The Mystery of Plastic Pots

Plastic pots? Where do they all come from? It is a mystery, yet to be solved.

As spring continues, the first of the plastic pots filled with new plants are beginning to congregate on the front porch and the back patio, my two favorite plant staging areas.

Once I get everything planted, hopefully before the 4th of July, I'll have towers of square and round, black and green plastic pots of all sizes. I'll have stacks of flats and piles of plant labels. 

Once I've planted all of these pots and flats of plants, I'm going to need a good plan to hide the evidence to recycle many of them, keeping just a few because you never know when you might need a pot or two or one hundred.

Some people may look all shocked at the number of pots that will accumulate over the next month or so and think that it represents a lot of plants. They may wonder where I planted everything and what my gardening budget really is.

Let me set the record straight on behalf of all gardeners.

We should draw no conclusions about the number of plants purchased based on the number of plastic pots left over. It is a mystery how there could be so many.

Every gardener knows that the empty pots make it look like we bought many more plants than we think we bought.  How else would you explain that even though we may have dozens or hundreds of empty plastic pots, we still need more plants?

Again, should anyone be looking for evidence of the number of plants a gardener has purchased, they should not try to count the leftover plastic pots.   It is like counting blades of grass to figure out how big a lawn is.  It's an impossible task and the answer won't mean anything.

In fact, what we should be doing is figuring out other causes for the accumulation of plastic pots in the spring.  I have several theories including one involving garden fairies dragging pots to my house from the neighbors' garages and recycle bins.  Plausible, yes, but I have not yet ruled out the spontaneous replication of plastic pots, brought on by a process that involves sunlight and dirt. I'm still working out how that might happen.

I have doubt that I will eventually solve the myster and  find the cause for the excessive number of plastic pots around here.  In the meantime, while I come up with other theories,  let me repeat, I do not believe the number of plastic pots tells us anything about the number of plants purchased.


  1. Sometimes I can stack two or three together to make it look like one pot. More if they are smaller pots. :)

  2. I have always thought that the Garden Fairies collected pots from around the neighborhood and they ended up in my garage. ???

  3. I know someone has been putting pots in my potting shed cupboards. Even I am surprised by the staggering number in there. D want to know why I keep them all. It's a mystery to me too.

  4. And here I was thinking they just reproduced, like rabbits!

  5. Carol, everyone knows that pots have feet. How else would they follow us home? Very funny, by the way.

  6. It is the mark of a true gardener to have a shed filled with plastic pots...a good subject for a "hoarder" reality show.

  7. I was just thinking about this! How can I have so many plastic pots when I've been so good this year (and I have so much buying still ahead of me)?

  8. Amen. They are already accumulating and somehow multiplying in the back corner of my garden. Today is the plant sale that I look forward to all year so now my car is going to be full of plastic pots too.

  9. "everyone knows that pots have feet. How else would they follow us home? Very funny, by the way."

    Indeed, such a funny thing.

  10. I used to use plastic pots too, well I prefer them than any pots, because they are so easy to handle specially when it comes to recycling.

    Denver Patio


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