Pros and Cons to Using Fabric Pots For Houseplants

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Fabric plants pots were one of those trends that was MASSIVE for about three months and then…disappeared.

I think their grand rise to power happened about three months before everyone started wanging on about semihydro, and leca was just more exciting.

I have nothing against fabric pots, but I like longevity in a plant pot. I can’t be doing with buying a load of gorgeous matching pots just to have them rot three years down the line.

I have nursery pots that are over a decade old (this is a lie. Maybe five years) and they’re going nowhere.

Which I suppose is great and all, but also they don’t biodegrade, so I try to look after them as best as possible so I can reuse them until I die and it’s not my problem anymore.

Are fabric plant pots good for indoor plants?

They’re…fine.

The thing about plant care is it’s as much to do with you as a person and the conditions in your house as it is about the actual plant. If you’re the kind of person that suits fabric plant pots, then your plants will thrive.

Fabric plant pots and I don’t gel. They’re extremely good for allowing the air to circulate, but that also means that the soil will dry out more quickly than it would in a plastic pot and my plants would probably suffer from dehydration more than they already do.

How long do fabric plant pots last?

As I mentioned before, we’re looking at a shelf life of a couple of years before they rot, depending on what they’re made from. Soil and water are a tour de force when it comes to rotting things, so fabric pots never stood a chance.

I do think they’d be good for planting something like seedlings if you could get fabric pots that degraded quickly or allowed roots to grow them. That’d be great for planting out because you wouldn’t need to a) take the seedling out of the pot and b) have to store the pot year-round.

Can you overwater in fabric plant pots?

Yeah. If I’ve learned one thing in my years of researching plant care, it’s that some people can overwater anything. If you have a particularly dense soil mix or simply like to water your plants a lot you can overwater a plant whatever pot it’s in.

If you’re going with fabric pots because you think they’ll help with overwatering, might I suggest trying terracotta pots? They’re cheaper and last longer (as long as you don’t smash em).

Benefits of Fabric plant pots

Environmentally friendly

Hmm.

HMM.

I googled the benefits of fabric pots and this cropped up everywhere.

The issue we have here is that it can be true, but it isn’t necessarily. If someone is selling plant pots made out of old tea towels, then maybe they are.

But I’ve been trying to work out how to help the environment for a long time, and fabric plant pots aren’t going to do much unless you have a million plants.

If we put big business to one side for a minute (which is ridiculous in itself because they’re the ones that can actually invoke change) there are only three things we can do to help the environment:

  • Go vegan. In general terms, the better an animal is treated, the worse it is for the environment.
  • Don’t fly
  • Don’t have children

I doubt your plant pots will have much impact on the environment. Avoid peat if you can.

Allow great air flow

Again, this must surely depend on the fabric? The jumpers my grandmother knitted me from acrylic wool let in no air whatsoever.

Either way, terracotta has you covered here, or amend your soil to make it airier.

APPARENTLY cause strong root growth

This was in the copy from a fabric pot company. Apparently, the fabric stops the roots from growing long (because they can’t grow through the fabric) and tey grow string instead?

Sounds like a lie, guys.

Cute af

Oh my god. Yes yes yes.

They really, really are.

Check out these on Etsy.

This is the reason to buy plant pots. Because they’re cute. I have an article here with 20 awesome Etsy plant pot shops.

Disadvantages of fabric plant pots

Expensive

They’re not actually that expensive, and certainly cheaper than a nice ceramic pot BUT they only last a couple of years. Cheap initially, but the cost per use isn’t great.

Don’t last very long

Self-explanatory, and this is really subjective. If you’re currently in a plant phase, but might not be in two years (ah, ADHD), then go ahead.

Can you make your own fabric plant pots?

You definitely can, but remember that dyes, microplastics, and general nasties can leach into the soil. If you’re re-purposing your jeans into a plant pot, perhaps put a pothos in it rather than your prized variegated Monstera.

You might be better off making a plant pot cover for a plastic pot rather than a pot itself.

As you can probably tell, I’m not massive on fabric plant pots. They look cute, but I don’t think they’re particularly practical.

I crocheted myself a plant pot cover from some old yarn I had and it was wet and grim within about three months. I don’t recommend it at all, unless you’re going to take the plant out of the pot, water it, wait for it to dry and then put it back in. I will NOT be doing all that, so no fabric plant pots for me.

Before you go, you might find these articles useful:

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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