Gardening Tips

How to recycle yogurt containers into planters

November 5, 2011

Yogurt container planters

Used yogurt containers add to the trash dumped on our landfills. Most of them are made from plastic and take ages to decompose. You can put them to better use by recycling or reusing them around the house. It can be used as flower pots.

Their cup like shape is ideal for making planters. You can decorate and work on them in many different ways.

Difficulty level

Easy, for first timers. Anyone can do it

Time required

Depending on what type of planter you are going to make, it can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.

Resources required

a. Plastic yogurt containers

b. Paper

c. Cloth

d. Paint

e. Glue

f. Woven baskets

g. Metal tubs

h. China bowls

Estimated cost

You will be mostly reusing materials so the cost is negligible. If you will decorate the pots with glitter, moss, stickers, or paint then you will have to purchase it from the market.


a. To begin with, you will have to bore a hole through the bottom of the container. Just take a sharp object like a knife or a screwdriver and drill a hole. You can also use a hammer and nail.

b. Decorate the planter by sticking a piece of fabric or paper on it. Add to the green cause by reusing old cloth, paper, or newspapers.

c. Shells, glitter, strings, beads, stones, stick-ons, etc. can also be used to embellish the pot. For a more upmarket look use rhinestones, lace, ribbons, etc. For rustic gardens, you can tie a jute rope all over the body of the planter. Before decorating just coat them with a plastic primer and let them dry out.

d. Painting or sticking borders is also a great idea. If the containers are short then paint with dots or paste small stickers. On taller containers, paint stripes or stick borders across the width. Give sufficient time for the glue or paint to dry.

e. You can also make a nice moss planter with yoghurt cups. Just buy some moss and spread it out on a sheet of old newspaper. Then take a container in which you have drilled a hole. Smear glue on the outer surface wherever you want the moss to stick. You can spread glue either on the entire container, only the bottom half, or just daub randomly over the surface to have patches of moss here and there. However planters covered fully with moss look quite classy and green. After dousing with glue, roll the container over the moss spread out on the newspaper. Repeat rolling a couple of times till moss sticks properly.

f. Another great idea is to place plastic containers inside more attractive looking trappings like woven baskets, metal tubs, china bowls, antique boxes, etc. Grow the plant inside the yogurt container and a have better looking vessel for show on the outside.

g. Finish by adding some drainage facilitator like rocks, sea glass, etc. and throw over the potting soil. Your planter is ready to be used.

Frequently asked questions

What type of containers should be used?
Use strong containers and not the pliant ones as they might tipple over very easily with the weight of the plant. Decide which type of plant you are going to sprout in each planter. Some plants have long root so will require sufficiently deep planters. If the container is too long, cut it down with scissors to bring it to the desired size.

Quick tips

You can add a straw to facilitate watering the plant. Just glue the straw through the hole at the bottom and let it mount sufficiently above the edge of the cup. Now every time you want to water the plant, just attach the funnel on top and pour water into the plant.

Things to watch out for

  1. Don’t use containers straight away after using them. Clean them up thoroughly. Rinse with soapy water and allow them to dry completely before you start out to make planters from them.
  2. When you wrap paper or cloth over the container, make sure that the hole at the bottom is drilled through the material also. Make sure that the hole on the material stuck on fits exactly over the hole in the container. You can insert or glue a small straw into the hole to check for this.

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