How to Plant a Kitchen Colander

A kitchen colander is a unique and appropriate container for growing plants like lettuce, peppers, cherry tomatoes, chives, or strawberries. It would also make a wonderful hostess or housewarming gift. I like the traditional stainless steel colanders, but they aren’t the only ones out there.

Keep your eyes open for brightly colored plastic and porcelain colanders, too. You could match the colander to the recipient’s kitchen or back porch! Garage sales and flea markets will have the least expensive, as well as the biggest variety. The colander below could also be planted entirely with strawberry plants or all herbs. plant a kitchen colander at untrained housewife

Here’s all you need:

  • Colander of your choice
  • Potting soil — be sure it’s potting soil; garden soil is too dense for containers.
  • Plastic sheet or two gallon-sized food-storage baggies
  • Scissors
  • Assortment of seedling plants; look for food types such as chives, strawberries, lettuce, herbs, etc.

Take the plastic or the baggies and cut some slices in them with the scissors. Line the colander with the plastic or use the two baggies and spread them out so that they cover most of the inside of the colander. Of course, the colander already has holes in it, but I like to line it with the plastic so that you don’t lose much soil when it’s watered. It also stays neater looking should you want to use it as a centerpiece or in a sunny kitchen window.

Next, I take a few handfuls of potting soil and fill the colander about a third of the way. Don’t add any more soil at this time because the plants themselves have a lot of soil attached and you want to get them all into the container. Slide a plant out of its container and place it into the colander.

Do this with the next plant until all of them are sitting in the colander. Move them around until you’re happy with the arrangement. Now, add soil by the handful between each plant, pressing gently. Add enough to reach the top of each plant’s root balls, then water lightly.

Enjoy your creative planter or give it to someone special!

Planted colander photo by Chris McLaughlin

Strawberries photo by Limerick6

Chives photo by Wally Grom


Green Thumb Thursday

About Chris

Chris McLaughlin has written 35 posts in this blog.

Chris is a freelance garden writer, blogger, and author of six books including her latest project A Garden to Dye For (St. Lynn's Press, March 2014). She balances family, writing, and all things modern homesteading from their hobby farm in the Northern California foothills. Chris' pet project is the Mother Lode Seed Library that will launch in January, 2014. She's blessed with four fabulous kids and four darling sugar babies. Follow Chris on Twitter: @Suburban_Farmer and her website:



  1. Deborah Aldridge says

    Share this with my gardening group on FB. I think old coffee filters would be great for lining it too. I use them for all my pots.

  2. says

    Coffee filters would for sure work, as well. I do like how the baggies keep in the moisture. This is a small container & it dries out quickly! I also don’t have coffee filters around & would have purchased them just for this project.

  3. says

    I keep the soil damp to the touch all the time. I just harvest the outside leaves as they mature — same with the strawberries & the chives. I don’t think I actually paid attention to how often :S

  4. says

    Coffee filters would probably also work if you didn’t have plastic handy. Maybe a few used coffee grinds in there, too! Really cute idea.


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