Put Plastic Bottles In The Bottom Of Your Flower Pot And Thank Us Later

If you love the look of giant planters filled with succulents, flowering shrubs, or trees, then you aren't alone because giant pots and planters are everywhere now from restaurant entryways to living rooms and outdoor patios. The only problem with large planters is that they are ridiculously heavy and use a lot of potting soil. This makes them almost impossible to move after you water them and also pretty expensive because good soil isn't cheap. Luckily, there is one easy way to fix this problem because you actually don't need to fill up the entire container with soil. Instead, you can fill the bottom with anything from rocks to cut-up pool noodles. However, one of our favorite methods involves plastic bottles.

Saving up your single-use plastic water or soda bottles and then putting them in the bottom of your giant pots is an easy and inexpensive way to help take up space in large planters so that they require less soil. Plus, this method has the added benefit of helping the environment by reusing plastic and preventing it from ending up in landfills.

How to do it

For this trick, you can use any type of plastic bottle as long as it has a lid. Some examples include old soda bottles, milk jugs, or even empty cooking oil containers. Before getting started, it is important to rinse your chosen bottles so that they are completely clean and don't draw pests. You should also close the bottles tightly so that no air can escape. This is essential because you don't want the weight of the potting soil to be able to crush the bottles as the air inside them is key in keeping your pots light and moveable. 

Then, simply fill your large pot halfway with sealed plastic bottles, cover them with potting soil, and transfer your chosen plants inside. The added plastic bottles will not only make your planters lighter but will also create better drainage which can help prevent your plants from turning yellow from overwatering and root-end rot. However, one important note is that plastic water bottles may contain chemicals that can leach out into the soil over time. Because of this, you should not use this method for any edible plants and reserve it for decorative flowers, shrubs, and trees.

Does this trick only work for shallow-rooted plants?

Because you will be taking up half of the space in your large pots and planters with air, this hack is often recommended for plants with shorter root systems like succulents, annual flowers (like marigolds, gardenias, zinnias, and petunias), and some species of juniper bushes. However, that doesn't mean that you can't use the same trick with more deep-rooted plants like perennial flowers, trees, and shrubs.

To do this, you just need to know what soil depth is required and change the number of plastic bottles you use to match the soil depth of the plants you'd like to grow. According to Birds and Blooms, flowering perennials need around 12 to 18 inches of soil for healthy growth, most shrubs need around two feet of soil, and trees require at least three feet of soil to thrive. So, if you'd like to put a shrub in a planter that is three feet deep, simply fill the bottom foot with plastic bottles and then the top two feet with soil and you are good to go.

While on the topic of garden recycling, here are a few fun ways to repurpose old tires as outdoor decorations