Recycled Plant Pots

It has been 6 months into the quarantine period and people have found different ways to cope with being cooped up at home. Quarantine hobbies/careers have emerged — baking, online selling, vlogging, urban planting, to name a few. I have joined one of those hobbies and I am proud to say that I am a plantita, a struggling one to say at least.

The term “plantita” is a mixture of plant + tita (aunt in Filipino) and refers to the people who have discovered their love for plants. Homes have been transformed into jungles and people are now sharing their collection of plants. I have now a Pinterest board dedicated to plants — a list of plants that are good indoors, how to take care of them, and how to use them as decoration.

Mother Nature would be thankful that people are now into plants, but she would be even happier if we would also recycle and lessen trash. Instead of buying ridiculously expensive pots online, why not be creative and transform items at home into plant pots? Even if I’ve gone plantita mode and made it my goal to add more plants in my room, the DIY in me has never disappeared.

Milk cartons would make great containers because they’re waterproof and durable. I usually just throw the milk cartons once empty but I finally realized that they could be recycled into plant pots.

The idea was to use the spout as the drainage. The bottom part of the milk carton would be the repository for the excess water. I sliced the carton open, leaving 2.5 inches from the bottom.

The box was flexible enough that I could fit the top part with the spout into the bottom part. That way, I can still remove the bottom portion and throw away (or rewater) the excess water from time to time.

To cover the brand on the milk carton, I tore strips of scratch paper (I still have a ton of used paper from my college days) and wrapped them around the box. I used glue and double sided tape to attach the paper to the carton. I purposely used the side with the print to give it some sort of pattern. It was satisfying to rip the paper because that draft from my fiction class was so cringey and badly written. hahaha

To further secure the paper, I did a mixture of glue and water and lathered it all over the box. I’ve been doing this method for years now and I just found out that it’s a cheap version of Modge Podge. Huh, so Modge Podge is just glue? Anyway. I did two layers and after leaving it a couple of hours to fully dry, it was ready for planting.

Even if there’s a drainage, I still placed stones at the bottom of the carton pot, followed by a soil, and finally the aloe vera. My mom propagates aloe very well, and I asked for a couple of stems from her.

I had another milk carton to recycle but in my excitement to finish another pot, I made a mistake and cut the wrong side. So instead of discarding this project, I just placed the small portion with the drainage inside the bigger portion. I just won’t be able to remove the excess water anymore since it’s stuck all the way inside. Ah, that’s the beauty of DIY, you make mistakes and just move along.

For a different design, I used the blank side of the scratch paper as a wrap around. I didn’t wrap the drainage portion anymore since that went inside the box.

Then I saw a DIY idea from Pinterest for a plant pot design. I did the same idea by cutting triangles out of colored paper and gluing them to the carton.

For this pot, I placed a Wandering Jew. I’m happy that my aunt who lives across the street is supporting this plantita mode and she offered to give me some of her plants. She gave me a snake plant, a spider plant, and this Wandering Jew. She said that the Wandering Jew propagates fast so I’m excited for it to look like a luscious bouquet.

I currently have two milk carton pots. I have another carton waiting for me and I think I’m going to make it into hanging pots. That can be for another blog entry.

My mom also squeezed in a DIY pot request from me. She asked me to transform an empty vitamins bottle into a pot. This was fairly easy to do because I just wrapped the bottle with some brown string. The sticky portion from where the label was originally was helpful so that the string wouldn’t loosen.

I don’t have a glue gun yet (my mom’s old glue gun doesn’t work anymore), so I secured the end of the string with glue. The glue took long to dry but it’s still as effective as glue gun.

My mom placed oregano in it and it now sits in our living room. She has more success in propagating oregano. I’ve killed 3 oregano plants already so I refuse to put an oregano plant in my room even if it smells heavenly.

There goes my quarantine hobby. My mother prays that it’s not a phase because she doesn’t want to adopt all the plants that I have hoarded. lol I think it’s here to stay for quite some time and I plan on getting more plants. I still want to put hanging plants and some crawlers. Let’s fill this room with plants!

P.S. I also used this idea for a work project. Instead of plants, we propagated food plants.

Head on over to the Nestle Philippines YouTube Channel and watch all the recycling projects under the Ready eCademy playlist.

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