Paper pots for seed starting

You can reuse newspapers instead of buying plastic. These origami pots also look great.

Some advantages of using DIY newspaper pots for starting your seeds:

  • Save money. Reuse and do it yourself instead of buying.
  • Save the planet. Plastic pots create garbage that can take thousands of years to decompose. Even biodegradable pots take lots of energy to produce, ship, and market.
  • Extra tall pot design let your roots grow deeper, a bit like a root trainer pot.
  • You can plant the whole pot in the ground and avoid disturbing the roots of your tender seedlings. The paper will quickly dissolve and the roots grow through it. (Most newspaper ink nowadays is non-toxic but inquire if in doubt.)

I developed this pot design after I tested and didn’t like so much other designs I found available. Either they would not hold well closed, or would have thick walls that don’t degrade fast enough when put in the soil.

This version has very clean lines and folds tight. It’s based on the classic “masu” origami box, with adaptations to make it taller. (The original masu box is much wider than tall, and this one is quite the opposite.)

I created two variations, one extra tall with almost double the height than the width, and one a bit shorter, only one and a half times taller. The shorter pot closes a bit better and tighter.

The instructions are in the form of a handy PDF to download here.
Let me know if you use them and if you have suggestions.

Happy planting season!


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