I got one of these snazzy paper pot makers and made a ton of pots to grow all sorts of stuff. It's pretty cool because, unlike a bedpost, you can press the newspaper you use to make the pot into a little form and it stays that way, just like a real pot. I put a little bit of masking tape on them just to keep it together until I filled them with dirt.

What should you do with the pot when you plant it to make sure the seedling had the optimum chance of growing and the roots take... root in the soil?

  • So that thing is cute and all, but looks like not much more than a bed knob. Any chance you could comment on what feature(s) makes that different from any other protuberance that you might wrap paper around?
    – mfg
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 20:16
  • @mfg There's two parts to it, you press the bed knob part onto the form and it indents it and it sticks that way. In any event. I got it as a freebie for spending 50 bucks or so at a garden center, I don't regret it though! Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 20:29

3 Answers 3


If it is just a paper pot, I would suggest that you plant it along with the paper. Paper disintegrates very easily and within a couple of watering cycles, most of it will have become mushy and the roots won't have any trouble in growing right through it. Also, by not disturbing the contents, it is less of a "shock" for the plant.


If you make the pots out of newspaper (black & white only is the best -- definitely not glossy/coated), and the plants aren't overgrown, then just plant the pots in the ground. Newsprint will rot away quickly.

If the plants are large (starting to become root bound in the pots), it wouldn't hurt to slash the paper a bit when planting so that the roots don't have to do any work to push through the paper.

I haven't used paper pots, but I'm guessing that with the watering you do during seed germination and the first few weeks of growing the paper will be well on the way to disintegrating away by the time you get around to transplanting.

The advantage of paper pots versus plastic pots is that you don't have to remove the seedlings to transplant. This avoids root disturbance which sets back seedlings after transplanting. I suspect the advantage of paper over peat is that paper pots will rot much faster than peat pots (I've seen peat pots persist quite a while after transplanting, especially if the pot isn't slashed up when the transplanting is done).

  • 2
    Good answer. +1 for paper over peat. Much more ecological.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 2:40

In addition to keeping any sprouts wet while waiting to plant, you should thoroughly saturate the pot itself just prior to putting in the ground. It is also recommended that you "tear away the bottom half of the pot before placing the plant in its hole to exposes some roots to direct contact with the soil.(source)" On the latter step I am not 100% sure it applies to all scenarios, but on the former step I have heard and seen (on manufacturer's packaging in particular) this advice repetitively.

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