The number of people becoming environmentally conscious is steadily rising, and recycling has become a common practice in most countries.
Perhaps you have wondered whether houseplants can be recycled – either out of a sense of responsibility for the planet or to save some money.
There is a possibility of recycling parts of houseplants. Generally, soil can be recycled, along with the pot, as long as the pot is made from a recyclable material. You can however compost the leaves and flowers from houseplants instead of recycling them.
Now, let’s break it all down and find out which parts of house plants are actually recyclable, which can be composted, and how to do each of them.
Can houseplants be recycled?
If you have a plant that can’t be revived or have too many houseplants and want to get rid of some in a clever way, read on.
How do you dispose of a potted plant?
The potted plants can be disposed of by composting them.
Organic materials decompose naturally under oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich conditions during composting.
It is the leaves, stems and flowers of houseplants that are organic waste. The nutrients and oxygen come from the soil, which is filled with microorganisms.
How does composting work?
Carbon-containing organic waste is consumed by soil microorganisms.
This creates humus, the soil containing a high content of carbon and fibers, as well as organic components such as potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
During aerobic respiration, humus is broken down by oxygen and formed into compost.
What is compost and what to do with it?
Compost is produced by composting by microorganisms and organic matter. It is full of nutrients and is abundant in microorganisms, so it is an excellent organic fertilizer.
Adding compost to other houseplants can provide them with nutrients.
Using the composting steps above, plus a few extra steps to speed up the process, you can make your own compost pile at home:
Compost should be moist so that microorganisms can multiply comfortably. Compost should be kept heated, around 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit) as microorganisms thrive at high temperatures. Compost will release heat and carbon dioxide without your help, so don’t kill the microorganisms by making the compost too hot.
Rotation of compost is necessary to allow it to inhale fresh air and maintain a constant temperature and moisture level.
As an alternative to composting, you can spread the leaves, stems and flowers of your houseplants over your lawn or any green space, mulching them with a lawnmower or garden fork. If you lack these resources, you can use your gardening gloves.
Now you know how to recycle plants through composting and spreading.
You can dispose of your houseplants in the Yard waste/Organic trash if composting or spreading is not an option for you. I, however, strongly recommend recycling houseplants.
Can potting soil be recycled?
Yes, it is possible to recycle potting soil and reuse it from year to year. Even though recycling potting soil has some pros and cons, it can be a cost-effective method for repotting plants.
Benefits of recycling potting soil
Saves you money
Drawbacks of recycling potting soil
Recycling potting soil often contains no nutrients, so it is useless for growing houseplants.
When using recycled potted soil, a plant is more likely to catch diseases from another plant.
Fortunately, there are solutions available.
The old soil should be sterilized to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Make some compost (the one we learned to make earlier) to replenish lost nutrients and you’ll have the perfect soil to grow beautiful plants in.
8 Easy Steps to Recycle Potting Soil
In case you don’t think recycling potting soil has already convinced you, let me show you exactly how to do it, and you’ll see how easy it is.
The potting soil should be completely scooped out of the pot including roots, twigs and debris.
Perlite and peat moss help retain moisture, so add some to the soil (a mix of 1 part peat moss, 2 parts perlite).
It is nutrient-rich and restores nutrients to potting mix when compost is added.
Mix everything together.
A baking tray lined with aluminum foil should be covered with a layer of new potting mix.
For best results, bake it at 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (82 to 93 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes in an oven to kill any pathogenic bacteria in the soil. Do not increase the temperature as you may burn beneficial bacteria in the mix.
pH levels are best kept between 6.8 and 7. If your soil is too acidic, add lemon or lime juice. If they’re too alkaline, add Aluminium Sulfate.
This newly enriched potting soil is perfect for houseplants, packed with nutrients.
Note on step 7: You can test soil pH by yourself, but in all honesty, the measurements are not very accurate. If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend getting a pH meter. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run if you re-use the soil and keep plants alive.
Can plant pots be recycled?
It isn’t that difficult to recycle a houseplant and it is beneficial to our budget and the environment. But what about the houses that houseplants live in?
We often wonder what to do when it comes time to upgrade plant pots. Can pots be recycled?
It is possible to recycle plant pots if they are made of recyclable materials.
Therefore, let’s look at the most common materials used to make plant pots and see which ones can be recycled with this general guide to recycling plant pots.
Ceramic or terracotta
No, they cannot be recycled.
If the plastic is soft and flexible, plastic planters can be recycled if the local recycling program accepts them. Some of them do, but most do not.
It depends on the plastic’s hardness, so I’d check with your local recycling center.
Most often no, but sometimes yes. To be recyclable, the clay pot needs to be made from high quality clay, like what artists use to make beautiful sculptures.
No, they cannot be recycled
Metal planters can theoretically be recycled. However, most curbside programs probably will not accept them, so you’ll need to contact your local recycling center.
In fact, peat is biodegradable and recyclable but should not be placed in the recycling bin, but should be placed in the garden waste bin instead.
All the information you need is contained in this article regarding recycling houseplants and their pots.
Your houseplant should now be familiar to you in regards to recycling each and every part of it.
It was my pleasure to guide you to the end. Thank you for your patience.