How To Make Seedling Pots Out of Newspaper

Making your own biodegradable seedling pots is an easy and inexpensive way to reduce your carbon footprint and start gardening.

February 15, 2017
newspaper seedling pots
ROL Staff

It’s incredibly easy (and cheap, too) to make your own biodegradable seedling pots out of newspaper. To create your DIY newspaper seedling pots, you'll need to grab: a plain black and white newspaper, a 1¼-inch diameter dowel, and some flour. 

(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)


Here's how to do it:

1. Mix flour together with some water to create a light paste.

2. Spread open a standard sheet of black-and-white newspaper and lay the dowel along one edge of the paper. Roll the paper and dowel one turn, then dab a small amount of flour-and-water paste on the rolled portion of the paper.

Related: 14 Plants You Should Never Grow Side-by-Side

3. Continue to roll the dowel to within 3 inches of the end of the paper, then apply more paste in a zigzag pattern to this remaining area and finish rolling. Remove the dowel and allow the paper to dry overnight. The next day, when the paper is dry, cut the tube into 3-inch lengths.

4. When you're ready to start sowing your seeds, (You can also check our handy, downloadable seed-starting chart to time your indoor seed-starting correctly) stand the open-ended cylinders upright inside a planting tray or flat, fill each with seed-starting mix, then plant your seeds.

5. When it's time to transplant, place the pots right in the garden—the paper will decompose. When you plant them, just be sure to cover the entire paper pot with soil so that the paper doesn't act as a wick, drawing moisture away from the seedling roots.