Can You Grow Vegetables in Plastic Containers?

Depending on where you live, you can grow vegetables at home. But can you do it in plastic containers?

The answer is “Yes!” It is possible to grow vegetables in plastic containers, but there are limits to what you can grow, where you can grow it, and what type of plastic containers can be used for growing these vegetables.

Where to Grow Vegetables in Plastic Containers

If you’re planning on growing vegetables at home, you obviously need at least a small plot of land and space where the plants can be exposed to sunlight.

But did you know that many homeowners were actually able to grow vegetables in plastic containers that they put on their rooftops or balconies?

You can also put these plastic containers in your garden, though if you do have a plot of land, it’s often better to simply plant the vegetables directly on the ground in that case.

What Vegetables to Plant in Plastic Containers

There’s a limit as to what vegetables you can plant in plastic containers. Green, leafy vegetables such as lettuce and other salad greens grow well even in small containers.

These plastic containers are also perfect for other small shrubs and root crops such as:

  • Chili peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Cucumber
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Winter squash

If you can find bigger plastic containers, you can even use those to grow potatoes.

Types of Plastic Containers for Container Gardening

It’s tempting to use all the plastic containers you have at home for growing vegetables. But you can’t just recycle all these plastics for container gardening because there are those that might have chemicals that can go to your vegetables.

Popular household plastics you can use for planting vegetables:

  • Food-grade buckets
  • Plastic bins and pots
  • Yogurt and deli/food containers
  • Used plastic softdrink bottles

Look for these labels (usually found at the bottom) for food-safe plastics:

  • #1 PETE (clear, plastic bottles)
  • #2 HDPE (cloudy milk jugs and food bottles)
  • #4 LDPE (storage and squeeze bottles)
  • #5 PP (rigid containers such as bowls and baby bottles)

Plastics to avoid:

  • #3 Vinyl
  • #6 Polystyrene (plastic wrap and styrofoam)
  • #7 Polycarbonate

Other Factors to Consider

Some plants need support. These include tomatoes and eggplants. So, it’s a good idea to pick bigger buckets and add a trellis or some tall sticks as support.

Plastics can get damaged easily and might not look nice after a few planting seasons.

Also, you can do container gardening inside your house but you still have to make sure that plants get enough sunlight during daytime.

It can be a hassle to move the pots in and out of the house, so it’s best to put your containers at spots that can receive sunlight so you don’t have to move your plants.

Share this:

6 thoughts on “Can You Grow Vegetables in Plastic Containers?”

  1. GReat post. I think it’s also important to remember that in some cases, the size of the pot determines the size of the plants. For example, a deep pot would be better for tomatoes.

  2. What great tips – we use some plastic pots outside, but haven’t tried gardening in them. I may try that soon with your tips!

  3. We’re having trouble with bunnies this year! They just won’t leave our garden alone. They keep finding a way in. I wonder if containers would be better.

  4. I have always started my veggies in plastic containers. Love that you mentioned how some veggies need support like the tomatoes, and eggplants. I experienced this with cucumbers too.


Leave a Comment