How To Sow Seeds Using Toilet Paper Rolls - Backyard Boss
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How To Sow Seeds Using Toilet Paper Rolls

Sowing seeds is one of the most exciting parts of gardening because you get to anticipate that your little seed will grow beautiful flowers, tasty crops, or fragrant herbs. Seeing your plants sprout from just a seed gives you a sense of fulfillment like no other.

It’s no surprise that amateur and expert gardeners are constantly looking for eco-friendly options to grow their plants. From planting forks and using CDs in your garden to putting diapers in your planters, there’s so much gardening can teach you about putting your creativity to the test!

Toilet paper rolls are eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and completely biodegradable, so sticking the entire roll in the ground will decompose. So, how should you go about sowing seeds in toilet paper rolls? Is there anything you have to take into consideration before you do so?

Learn this and everything else you need to know in the process below!

How to Make Toilet Paper Roll Pots

toilet roll plant pots
Image credits: girlingearstudio via Creative Commons

There are two ways to turn your toilet paper rolls into seed starter pots.

The First Way

The first one is to just fill the tube with potting soil and use it as you would a store-bought starter kit. However, there’s a drawback to this method. Taller tubes can fall over as the seedling grows and becomes heavier at the top.

If you choose this method, you must ensure that your toilet roll pots are well-supported. If you don’t think this is viable, you can cut the tubes in half or to a length that you find easier to work with.

The Second Way

The second method is a little time-consuming and requires cutting and folding; however, not many people choose it because it’s unnecessary. But if you are a DIY fan and want your pots to be neat and easy to move around, then this method may work for you.

To make your folded toilet paper roll pot:

  1. Find a sturdy toilet paper roll and cut it in half, so you have two short cylinders to work with.
  2. Using sharp scissors, make four 1½ inch vertical incisions on one end of both of your short rolls.
  3. Gently fold the flaps, one on top of the other, to create a sturdy base.
  4. Use biodegradable tape, like Baokai Clear Packing Tape, to secure the bottom.

How To Sow Seeds Using Toilet Paper Rolls

You’d be doing the environment a solid by recycling and reusing empty toilet paper rolls to grow your plants instead of throwing them away. One way to reuse them is to sow seeds inside!

Step 1: Prepare Your Pots

making toilet roll pots
Image credits: The Robin’s Perch via Creative Commons

Take a clean and dry toilet paper tube and make it into a pot using one of the two methods above.

Step 2: Prepare Your Seed Starting Mix

compost soil used in gardening
Image credits: Sasha Kim via Pexels

Use a seed starting mix instead of potting soil when sowing your seeds. Although potting soil is nutritious and refreshable, its dense and can contain weed seeds. The last thing you need is an unwanted weed explosion in your backyard or pot when you sow your toilet roll.

If you don’t want to use a store-bought seed starting mix, you can easily make your own homemade seed starting mix for your seeds.

Step 3: Fill the Pots and Add the Seeds

toilet roll pots
Image credits: hardworkinghippy : La Ferme de Sourrou via Flickr

Fill your roll with the seed starting mix, leaving ½ inch of space from the rim of your makeshift pot. Using a spray bottle, lightly spray some water on the soil to moisten it. Read the seed packaging details to find out how deep the seed needs to be for healthy growth.

After sowing the seed, spray some water again, and place it where it gets at least a couple of hours of direct sunlight, plenty of indirect light, and air.

Pro-Tip: If your pots aren’t stable enough, or if you see them leaning or about to fall, support them by tying some thread or ribbon around a group of pots to hold them together. Ensure you don’t tighten them too much.

Step 4: Plant in Your Garden

toilet paper roll pot
Image credits: girlingearstudio via Creative Commons

Since toilet paper rolls are biodegradable, you won’t need to remove your seedlings from the pots. Just go ahead and plant the roll directly into the soil. After planting, ensure you can’t see the toilet paper roll above the soil line. If you don’t cover it completely, it will suck moisture from your plant’s roots, inviting fungus and mold.

Most importantly, before planting the toilet roll pot straight into the ground, unfold it at the bottom for the roots to spread downwards.

Pros and Cons of This DIY

empty toilet paper roll
Image credits: Jessica Lewis Creative via Pexels

Here are some pros and cons you need to consider when using empty toilet paper rolls for sowing seeds:


Budget-Friendly They’re budget-friendly because most people have them in their homes. It doesn’t perish and is cheaper than most store-bought seed starting equipment.
Biodegradable Toilet rolls don’t leach any kind of chemicals into the soil. After sowing seeds, you can put the entire roll into the soil, and it will break down and decompose without hurting your plants.
Prevents Transplant Shock Plants don’t like to be disturbed when they’re growing. They can experience plant shock and, sometimes, root damage when you transplant them. If they’re growing in toilet paper rolls, you can plant them with the roll to prevent the shock.


Avoid Overwatering Overwatering can cause the roll to collapse if it becomes too soggy. If it collapses, it can permanently damage your plant.
Uneven Base Unlike pots, after sowing seeds, you can’t place your toilet paper roll on the table and go on about your day. If you have kids or pets, a nudge is all that’s required for your roll to come crashing down. You’ll need to store them properly to avoid them from falling over.
Can attract mold Mold and cardboard are a match made in moldy heaven! Add moisture to the mix, and it’s the cherry on the cake! Since you’ll be watering your seedling, you risk attracting mold, too. Keep your toilet rolls in a room with sunlight and air to prevent mold and fungus.

You’re on a Roll!

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to grow your plants, why not use the empty toilet paper rolls that you usually throw away? Tissue paper rolls are eco-friendly, cheap, and biodegradable, making them a fantastic makeshift seed-starting kit.

The best part about using toilet roll pots is that you can plant them without removing your seedlings and causing transplant shock. Remember to take a piece of twine and tie a few pots together to prevent them from falling over if they’re not sturdy.

As always, leave your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comment section! And share with friends and family who might find this helpful.

Happy gardening!

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