Using Coconut Shells as a Planter

Posted on May 17 2010 - 3:42am by Mike Lieberman

After you are done with your coconut, hollow it out out and use it to plant vegetables with shallow roots in them such as lettuces and other greens.

Much like the toilet paper roll seed starter pots, these are the great price of free.

    What you’ll need to get your coconut shell container made:

  • Coconut shell
  • Potting mix
  • Seeds
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Drill with 1/4″ bit
    How to make a coconut shell container:

  • Drill 2-3holes in the bottom of the shell. Drill from the inside of the shell.
  • Fill up with potting mix.
  • Dig a small 1/4″ deep hole in the middle of the soil and drop in your seeds.
  • Spray with some water and cover up with soil.
  • Spray down again and place in the sunlight.

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16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Michaela May 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm -

    Egg shells 😉

  2. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm -

    Nice. Gotta be pretty delicate with that one, huh?

  3. Sketchkat06 May 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm -

    Good ideas all of them.

    I have used some paper roll tubes, they are alright. I had a problem with them unwinding when wet :/ and a mysterious and freaky orange growth on one O.O When I have enough to do that again I think I shall try sterilizing them in the over first.
    Mostly I use Starbucks cups – I think they are food grade and they are super sturdy for plastic cups so they last several uses. There are a few I think I've already re-used 3 or 4 times and still going strong.
    Also yogurt cups are working great, the brands from Trader Joe's. They are the right shape and just big enough. I can't use the Yoplait ones as the opening is narrower than the base 🙁
    And of course I have re-used the nursery cells. Last year when I was starting out I got several different things from the local nurseries to test out. I just wash and sterilize the leftover cells and they work really good although a couple are starting to crack.

  4. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm -

    Can the yogurt cups be transplanted with the seedlings? I would think the coffee cup could be.

  5. Sketchkat06 May 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm -

    No the yogurt cups I use, or the plastic Starbucks cups, they are plastic so they don't decompose (at least not in my lifetime). The paper coffee cups seem to fine although I remove the bottom just to make sure the roots get into the soil good.
    It is very easy for me to remove the seedlings and soild from the plastic yogurt and coffee cups though. And easy to poke drain holes into them with an awl.

  6. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm -

    Gotcha. That make more sense.

  7. liz May 19, 2010 at 9:50 am -

    The strawberry container is called a clam shell, Ive just started trying outthe toilet paper roll pots, seems to be working ok for me! I also have a bunch of various clam shell containers (tomatoes, strawberries, cookies) and Ive started lettuce in them. They're supposed to have a greenhouse effect i think, the lettuce seems to like them lol.Ive also used water bottles (gallon size), but they dont seem to do well.. coul just be my brown thumb lol

  8. Mike Lieberman May 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm -

    Clamshell huh? Who would've known? Thanks. Sounds like you got things goin on pretty well on your end.

  9. panyvinito May 21, 2010 at 1:52 am -

    This is a great idea! Love it Mike! Keep it coming!

  10. Mike Lieberman May 21, 2010 at 3:34 am -

    Thanks Lina. You have plenty of coconuts in FL, no?

  11. Manure Tea Gardening May 29, 2011 at 7:30 pm -

    great reuse tips Mike : )

  12. Mike Lieberman May 31, 2011 at 7:42 am -

    Thanks. Would’ve loved to lined the stairs with the coconut shells.

  13. Jennifer Saul June 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm -

    I’ve been using plastic fruit containers to start off all my seedlings.. its great as they’re free! Also tried using bean tins with holes drilled in the bottom, and old jam jars (downside being they dont drain!). everything seems to grow very well ! 🙂

  14. Mike Lieberman June 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm -


  15. Coleen Griffin July 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm -

    Does the white (pith?…whatever it’s called) on the outside of the thai youngs eventually dry out or should I scrape it off first?

  16. Aimee Cabrera September 14, 2013 at 8:12 am -

    I just got some used ones from a couple of friends. Do I need to dry them out first before I can plant in them?

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