Where To Find Free Containers For Gardening

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Are you looking to turn your gardening dreams into a reality without breaking the bank? Creating a lush oasis of greenery, vibrant flowers, or homegrown veggies while saving a pretty penny is entirely possible!

There are numerous opportunities to cut costs in gardening; one is finding free containers. I mean, why buy gardening containers when there are multiple ways of getting them without spending any money?

The world is teeming with potential containers waiting to be repurposed for gardening, from unconventional finds to everyday household items. Check out these various options that are worth exploring.

Where To Find Free Containers For Gardening

Where To Find Free Containers For Gardening

1. Your Home

Your home is a goldmine for free containers when it comes to gardening. Look around your home for empty containers you can repurpose for garden use. They include coffee tins, eggshells, old cartons, tea jars, glass bottles, food cans, and milk jugs.

You can use larger containers to grow herbs or small plants.

2. Recycling Centers

Where to find free containers for gardening near me

Some recycling facilities have areas where people drop off items like pots and containers. Visit these areas as you might find containers in good condition that others have discarded.

You can find plastic bins, metal barrels or drums, wooden crates, and paint buckets at these facilities. Before taking any container, ask the staff for permission.

3. Community Groups

Another fantastic resource to consider when looking for free gardening containers is community groups. Consider tapping into the resources below:

a) Community Gardens

These spaces often have a network of gardeners who share resources. Participating in or reaching out to community gardens might lead to opportunities to acquire free containers. Gardeners in these spaces often have surplus pots or containers they’re willing to share.

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b) Local Gardening Clubs or Meetups

Join local gardening clubs or attend gardening meetups. These groups usually have gardening enthusiasts among their members and might have spare containers they’re willing to give away or trade.

c) Neighborhood Associations

Some neighborhood associations organize community events, swaps, or yard sales. Keep an eye out for these events where gardening items, including containers, might be offered for free or at a minimal cost.

d) Online Community Forums or Groups

Explore gardening groups on social media and online forums. These platforms often facilitate exchanges or giveaways of gardening supplies, including containers.

e) Community Centers or Libraries

Some community centers or libraries host gardening workshops or events where gardening supplies might be shared or given away.

4. Online Classifieds

Websites like Craigslist, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, and local buy/sell groups often have postings where people are giving away items for free, including containers suitable for gardening. Therefore, check these platforms regularly as new postings appear frequently.

Consider setting up alerts or notifications for specific keywords like “free pots,” “gardening containers,” or “planters” to stay updated. You can also post an ad stating that you’re looking for free containers for gardening, specifying the size and type you want.

5. Friends and Neighbors

Where To Find Free Containers For Gardening

Your friends and neighbors might have unused spare pots or containers in their garages or gardens. So, reach out to them.

Consider offering assistance in their gardens or with any tasks in exchange for spare containers. Sometimes, a bit of bartering or helping out can help you acquire what you need.

6. Restaurants or Cafes

Restaurants and cafes have a plethora of containers, such as large plastic containers, large cans, plastic salad containers, and mason or glass jars for storing ingredients. Speak with the manager or owner and politely inquire if they have any empty containers they might be willing to give away.

7. Construction Sites

cheap large containers for gardening

Are there any construction sites in your area? If so, you might be in luck because they might have spare containers, barrels, or materials they no longer need. Approach the site manager to ask if you can have them.

Offer to pick up the containers yourself. They might be more inclined to let you have the containers if they don’t have to take the extra effort to transport them elsewhere.

8. Local Bakeries

The flour, sugar, icing or frosting, and other ingredients typically come in bulk containers that could be perfect for gardening. Therefore, visit or call local bakeries and kindly ask if they have any empty containers or large buckets they could give to you.

Visit the bakery during their quieter hours, when they’re less busy and more likely to have time to address your request.

9. Landscaping Businesses

Reach out to the landscaping businesses in your area to ask if they have any surplus containers or pots they’re willing to give away. Clearly state that you’re looking for containers for gardening purposes.

Offer to pick up the containers yourself to make it more convenient for the landscaping business. It is also in your best interests to build a rapport with them. This is because even if they don’t have containers immediately available, maintaining a positive relationship might lead to future opportunities.

10. Animal Feed Stores


Where To Find Free Containers For Gardening


These stores manage a significant amount of bulk supplies that come in large containers like barrels or tubs; hence, they are often willing to part with empty containers. So, feel free to ask if you can have some empty containers.

11. Tree Nurseries

Nurseries often accumulate an excess of containers used for growing and selling plants. These pots come in various sizes and can be reused for planting vegetables, flowers, or shrubs. Fortunately, they often do not mind parting with surplus containers to reduce clutter and waste.

Some nurseries might appreciate help organizing or cleaning up pots and trays in exchange for letting you take some off their hands. If the nursery allows you to take containers, express gratitude and consider visiting them for future plant purchases as a gesture of appreciation.

12. Local Farmers

Farmers often have surplus nursery pots or seedling trays they no longer need after transplanting seedlings into the ground. They may also have empty barrels or drums that once contained feed, fertilizer, or other farm supplies.

Sometimes, farmers receive produce in wooden crates or baskets, which they might not reuse. These containers can make attractive planters for herbs or flowers.

Engage with farmers at local markets or visit their homes to inquire if they have any spare containers they could part with.

13. Florists

Places to Find Free Gardening Containers

After selling the flower arrangements, florists often have excess flower pots they no longer need. You’ll find these pots in different sizes and materials, perfect for repurposing in your gardening endeavors.

They may also have decorative containers or unused or slightly imperfect vases you can ask for to repurpose as decorative planters for indoor plants or flowers. Try to visit the florist early in the week when they might be more likely to have excess containers from the weekend’s floral arrangements.

14. Liquor Stores

Liquor stores might not be the first place that comes to mind for finding containers for gardening. However, they can offer some unique options, so this is worth exploring. Some liquor stores receive shipments in sturdy wooden crates that you can repurpose as raised beds or decorative planters for herbs or flowers.

You can also creatively use empty glass bottles as garden edging, to create borders, or even as individual planters for small succulents or herbs.

15. Go Dumpster Diving

Yes, it may be unconventional and even dirty, but you can find great containers suitable for gardening in dumpsters. Check the dumpsters near garden centers, supermarkets, tree nurseries, bakeries, restaurants, residential areas, and similar locations.

Your safety comes first when dumpster diving. So, be mindful of safety hazards and sharp objects, and ensure the area is stable and safe before exploring. Also, put on gloves and possibly even sturdy footwear to protect yourself from any sharp or hazardous materials.

Only explore where it’s legal and safe to do so and avoid entering private property or areas that prohibit entry. Additionally, leave the area as you found it and avoid making a mess.

Tips for Acquiring Free Containers

Here are a few things to consider when seeking free gardening containers.

  • Always express gratitude when someone offers containers for free, and consider paying it forward.
  • Establish connections within your community; people may think of you when they have containers to give away in the future.
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize anything you find before using it for gardening.
  • If you acquire wooden crates or barrels, clean them thoroughly and consider treating them to withstand outdoor conditions.


  • Inspect the containers for cracks or damage that might affect their usability.
  • Ensure the containers you take are safe to use for plants. Avoid containers that once held toxic or hazardous materials.
  • Embrace the variety of shapes, sizes, and materials containers come in for an eclectic garden design.
  • Pay attention to the moisture levels in different containers because some materials might dry out faster than others.
  • Think outside the box—anything that can hold soil and has drainage can potentially be a planter.

With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, finding free containers for your plants can be an enjoyable part of the gardening journey. You can create a thriving garden without breaking the bank by utilizing everyday items, exploring community resources, and being inventive. After all, gardening doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby.

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