Don’t Throw Away That Old Styrofoam Box!

Yes, there is another alternative for new garden planters.

The next time you see a Styrofoam box being discarded, don’t let it go to the local landfill. Rescue it! Make a new and different garden planter! ( Be sure to still recycle all of your cut-off pieces.) And you can make it look like a cement planter or hypertufa planter. And it can be any color you imagine!

Match it to a holiday theme, or to accent the color of your favorite plant’s blossoms.


Video included - Making a Styrofoam Planter


I have written about my “homemade” garden planters made from the discarded Styrofoam boxes that we all see here and there. I see them mostly from where steak or fish is packed in them for shipping purposes. Those boxes are usually the larger ones seen.

If you would like to watch the video on how they are made, you can find it here.


But there are also those that are used to ship pharmaceuticals . These are usually the ones with the stronger thick sides that I favor. You may be able to get some from the local hospital or drug store. They are typically discarded via recycle bins, so ask for them and you may score big!


How do you make a garden planter from these, you say?

Well, let me just show you a few that I have made. And you will find all the directions on this page.

I have called these “Almost” Hypertufa and Faux Hypertufa. They are really nice planters.  This page explains the step-by-step method for making them. So easy!


making a styrofoam planter

The Styrofoam planter above is planted with Platycodon “Sentimental Blue” which is a tiny Balloon Flower. Well, the plant is small but the blossoms are just as big as on the regular sized plant.

And the best part is you can plant these Styrofoam planters up in just a day or two. Those who are in a hurry all the time like me ( I like instant gratification) will be able to plant them up in no time.

Check out how these are looking. No worries in winter because they survive well. The insulation provided by the Styrofoam benefits your plant anyway.


Winter is no problem. ( Ignore those other containers in the snowy photo since those are pop bottles, ice cream…those are my winter sow containers.)


I encourage you to try this. Those large garden planters and pots are so expensive any more. Especially cement pots which are so heavy. And you need someone to just get them home for you. There are the resin garden planters, but those are really expensive when you want a pair or more.

And these garden planters will look great and can be tailored to suit any color scheme or bloom color you want. The sky is the limit. So try them.  Note: Not for food crops, please.

And let me hear about or see them on my Facebook page.   I would love to see them and I am sure everyone would be inspired.






Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

9 thoughts on “Don’t Throw Away That Old Styrofoam Box!

  • June 11, 2018 at 11:26 pm
    I actually spray painted one of the styrofoam boxes I have and turned it into a small plant stand. I took another one and covered it with self adhesive tiles and it is a plant stand. I need to add some cement glue to the tiles because the tiles are too heavy for the styrofoam. I will add the styrofoam containers as an alternative “pot” in my garden. I love the idea. Reply
  • August 5, 2017 at 9:06 am
    Yes, it is better to try this instead of purchasing those expensive large garden planters. Superb information--worth giving a try! Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 2:39 am
    Never use tires, they have toxic chemicals that will leach. Reply
  • December 31, 2016 at 10:51 am
    Great idea!! I've used old tires before. Xoxo Reply
    • December 31, 2016 at 4:31 pm
      I haven't used tires yet. They just haven't appealed to me. Maybe if I slap some tufa on them! LOL Reply
      • May 2, 2017 at 7:33 am
        Tuffa on tires,what a great idea! So many great ideas here Reply
        • May 3, 2017 at 2:49 am
          Oh, I think on tires would work. Might need to rough them up a bit with sandpaper or a grinder or something. Reply

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