The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Pots for Your Plants

Our top choice is the Ecopot, available from Bloomscape.

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Indoor plants

Sara Monika / Getty

Years ago, it would’ve been difficult to find many options for plastic-free or eco-friendly plant pots. Outside of some wood planters here and there, there’s not always a lot to pick from. While there are still a fair share of plastic planters on the market, the choices overall have gotten a lot better. Between grow bags, sustainable materials like cork, and even recycled plastic options, it’s much easier to choose sustainable gardening products. With so many unique designs, it may even be hard to pick just one...or two...or three.

Here are some of the best eco-friendly pots for your container garden or houseplant collection.

Best Overall: Ecopots Square Pot

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Ecopots Square Pot

Bloomscape

Bloomscape is a company started by people with a long history in the horticulture world, offering a wide range of products they love, including plants, pots, and other unique gardening decor. Ecopots are made from waterproof, UV-proof sustainable material.

At least 80% of the pot is created from recycled plastics, including material recovered from the ocean, making it our top choice. Ecopots are available in multiple shapes and styles, including this large and stylish 8 x 8 inch pot with saucer. Choose from three different colors to use for indoor or outdoor plants.

Best Budget: Lyincat Grow Bag

Lyincat Grow Bag

Amazon

Grow bags are an easy and affordable way to have a garden when you’re short on space. Just pop them up and fill with soil. Then at the end of the season, fold them flat again or store in a shed or garage.

These non-woven fabric bags are durable, and highly permeable, so you have a strong built-in drainage and ventilations system. The fabric also absorbs and retains water well, to help conserve water compared to thin plastic pots. You can get grow bags in so many different sizes, and this 12 pack is especially easy on the wallet. They are available as small as 3 gallons and as big as 10 gallons.

Best Splurge: Terrain Barnacle Planter in Blue

stoneware planter with barnacle textured finish

Terrain

This beautiful stoneware planter has is appealingly textured to evoke the sea, with hints of blue glaze. Stoneware is relatively eco-friendly, because it’s made with natural materials and should last an extremely long time. At 15 inches in diameter and 10.5 inches high, it’s a nice size for a collection of herbs or medium-height flowers. 

Best Decorative: POTR Pots

POTR Pots

POTR

This pot company was created with sustainability in mind through and through. The pots themselves are made from recycled polypropylene, which is strong enough to last for years but can also be recycled again. This signature origami design doesn’t just look cool—it actually reduces the overall carbon footprint of the product by nearly 100 times, because the product uses so little space.

The company as a whole is very conscious of its carbon footprint, which it keep in mind with every step of the process. Although based in the UK, you can get these planters shipped to just about anywhere in the world.

Best Bamboo: Ikea Vildapel Plant Pot

Ikea Vildapel Plant Pot

Ikea

As you look for pots for going more green in your gardening habits, keep and eye out for bamboo offerings. Not only only is it usually an eco-friendly material, but often affordable as well. This pot from IKEA isn’t big—only about 6 inches square—but it’d be perfect for herbs and small indoor house plants. Group several of these together for a stylish look on a ledge, windowsill, or side table.

Best Large Capacity: Barrel Warehouse Half Wine Barrel Planter

Half Wine Barrel Planter

Etsy

Upcycling a whisky or wine barrel is both eco-friendly and fun for the garden. If you like this look, definitely keep an eye out in your area, both from individuals and at garden centers, who have upcycled barrels for sale.

If you’re not able to find good local options, this Etsy maker based in Salinas, California sells a lovely option. The interiors of the barrels are dyed by the wine making process, and measure approximately 16 inches high. Note that they don't have drainage holes, but it would be easy to drill your own. Wine barrels have long been popping up in gardens, and they make great containers for flowers.

Best Window Box: Ecoforms Quadra Window Box

Ecoforms rectangular window box planter

Ecoforms

Here’s another company that sets out to create a pot with sustainability in mind first and foremost. Ecoforms are rice hull pots and contain no wood or petroleum ingredients. They also don’t deplete natural or edible resources. The entire pot is biodegradable in a large-scale composting facility, yet you can expect it to last up to five years outside and 10 years or more inside.

There are many ecoforms sizes and colors available, including fun shades like turquoise, avocado, and coral. This window box measures 10.5 x 4 x 4 inches and comes with a saucer for drainage.

Best Natural Material: Wild Pact Cork Flower Pot

Wild Pact Cork Flower Pot

Amazon

Cork is a fantastic material for a flower pot because it’s natural and has good drainage and aeration. Even the saucer of this pot is eco-friendly as it’s made from rice-hull. One of the best features of cork is that it's lightweight. You can fill this with soil and still place it on a floating shelf without worrying about it being too heavy. While it’s not a big pot, roughly 7-inches square, it’s perfect for indoor herbs, cacti, or succulents.

Final Verdict

Our Best Overall pick is the Ecopot, which contain 80% recycled plastics and have good drainage. For large planters, we also like upcycled barrels, like those offered by Barrel Warehouse on Etsy

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Pots 

Materials 

You shouldn’t have to dig deep to find information about whether a product is sustainable or not. If a pot is made from eco-friendly materials, it will likely say that upfront. For plastic pots, look for those made from recycled plastics or from natural materials. If it’s biodegradable, that’s also a bonus.

In addition, try to buy pots that you can reuse for many years or even toss in the recycling or compost bin when you’re all done. By both buying sustainable materials and making sure you’re not contributing to material waste, you’re doing a lot to go green.  

Size 

Some of the most gorgeous, attractive pots can look big in a photo, but then when you get your dream plant in them, it’s immediately taking over and is crowded. This is an easy and common mistake made by new and experienced gardeners alike, so be sure you take the time to check the overall size of the pot. Then crosscheck that with the plant you want to put in it to make sure it’s an adequate size. It’s almost always best to buy bigger so the plant has time and room to grow. Even though you’ll likely spend more upfront, it’ll last longer over time. 

Drainage  

Good drainage is essential for the overall health of your plant. It’s easy to assume that most pots have drainable built in, but that’s not always the case. Check the description as you’re looking for an eco-friendly pot. If a product description doesn't say if a pot has a hole, assume it doesn't.

If your pot doesn’t doesn’t have drainage, this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Just be sure the pot is made from material that’s easy enough for you to add this on your own.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger strives to help our readers make more sustainable choices when shopping for garden tools. To make this list, we researched dozens of different plant pots from a variety of retailers, considering their materials, value, and durability before making our selections.

Author Stacy Torino is a gardening expert. She has written 15 books about nature and gardening.