Making Newspaper Seedling Pots

Making newspaper seedling pots is an inexpensive and sustainable way to raise your seedlings. Not only are you eliminating plastic from the process, but it’s better for your plants, too. 

There are so many advantages to using paper seedling pots. In terms of the environment, you’re reusing a waste product that would otherwise be destined for the recycle bin or compost heap and you’re using it as an alternative that would otherwise be plastic.

Of course, the other advantage is you’re removing any risk of root damage or transplant shock to your lovingly raised seedlings because the paper pot itself can be planted straight into the ground.

Making Newspaper Seedling Pots 1
These little guys are all ready for your seed trays!

 Why you should make your own pots from newspapers 

There are commercially available products that you can use that are probably a bit quicker than folding your own using this method, but more often than not they produce circular biodegradable seedling pots.

What we like about these homemade pots for seedlings is that they produce a square-shaped pot which (when many of them are packed neatly and tightly into seed tray) tend to support themselves much better than cylindrical paper pots do.

This is especially true after a period of time of the paper being wet… which should be all of the time when you’re raising young plants in a seed pot!

how to raise seedlings
Be sure to use regular newspaper, not glossy print.

What you’ll need when making newspaper seedling pots

This is truly a single object project. All you need to make each pot is a standard-sized piece of newspaper (so you’ll get two pots from a double-page spread).

Don’t use glossy paper as it won’t let the roots grow through or break down as well as standard newsprint. And if you don’t buy newspapers, you should find that your local cafe or newsagent will be more than happy to give you their old pile of newspapers.

Some tutorials will recommend you use a staple to hold the final folded-over flaps in place once finished, but not only is this step unnecessary, by doing so you’re making a product that isn’t 100 percent biodegradable. If you do opt to staple the flap in place, just be sure to remove it before planting the newspaper seedling pot into moist soil.

Watch to see how easy it is to make your own seedling container from a sheet of newspaper.

Want to know more about making newspaper seedling pots?

In Issue #23 of Pip Magazine, our article on making biodegradable newspaper plant pots, includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to make your newspaper pots.
  • Advice on how to store them.
  • And tips on how to customise your eco-friendly paper pots.

You can access this article online here as part of our digital subscription offering, or subscribe to the print version of Pip Magazine here

One comment

  1. Great little project!! Thanks. Can’t wait to use all those wasted newspapers in my garden this year
    I just wish the video was a bit slower! Every time I looked down to complete a step, I’d missed 3!

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