People Are Using Soda Bottles as Strawberry Planters and This DIY Is Pure Genius

You can start a garden with recycled plastic bottles!

If you have limited space available, it’s still possible to make planting dreams come true! People are using soda bottles to create strawberry planters—and honestly, we can’t believe we didn’t think of this before.

How Does Planting in Soda Bottles Work?

A video shared by TikTok user @spicymoustache shows a way to reuse plastic bottles to create strawberry growing magic. Instead of recycling the empty bottles, make a vertical planting system that will give you fresh strawberries all summer long.

@spicymoustache DIY vertical garden recycling plastic bottles! #foryourpage #fyp #contentcreator #asmr #asmrsounds #asmrvideo #asmrtiktok #tiktokshortfilm #verticalgarden #verticalgardening ♬ You – Petit Biscuit

The plastic bottles work as a vertical planter and the caps are punctured with small holes to create a slow-watering drip system for hydrating your plants. The bottles are stacked on top of each other and mounted to a trellis to save space.

You’ll need to cover the bottom part of the plastic bottles with white paint. This is important because the plant’s root system will grow in the lower part of the vertical planter and it needs to be protected from direct sunlight. The paint will work to reflect the sun and prevent it from reaching the roots. This is not a random color choice—dark colors absorb the sunlight while light colors will reflect that heat away from the roots.

Have a little more space? You can use a laundry basket as a strawberry planter.

How to Use Soda Bottles as Planters

This DIY works best for people with small home garden spaces or apartment dwellers with a sunny balcony. You’ll need plastic bottles, plus some basic tools and planting materials.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Power drill
  • 35 mm drill bit
  • X-Acto knife or serrated kitchen knife
  • 2 5L clear soda bottles
  • Black marker
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • White paint and brush
  • Trellis
  • Strong stapler
  • Vermiculite
  • Compost mix
  • Strawberry plants


Each mini vertical garden uses two bottles and holds two strawberry plants. You’ll need to make enough vertical gardens to hold all the plants you have.

  1. Wash the bottles with warm soapy water and allow to dry.
  2. Use the 35 mm drill bit to create a hole in the bottom of one bottle.
  3. Draw a square on the side of each bottle about 6 inches wide and tall. Cut out the square and remove to reveal a square-sized hole. (This is where the strawberry plants go in.)
  4. Use a hammer and nail to tap several holes through the bottle caps.
  5. Place the top of one plastic bottle through the opening you drilled in the bottom of the other bottle. Then reach in to secure the cap with the punched holes.
  6. Place the second cap on the second bottle.

It’s time to hang your DIY vertical gardens and pop in the strawberry plants!

  1. Expand or secure the trellis to the wall.
  2. Place each vertical garden in on your trellis and use the square opening to reach in and staple the bottles to the trellis.
  3. Fill the bottom of each planter bottle with several inches of vermiculite.
  4. Add several inches of compost mix.
  5. Plant the strawberries. Be careful not to crowd the smaller strawberry plants. Leave enough room for the plants to grow, and not compete for space, so they’ll be happy for the entire growing season.
  6. Paint the bottom half of each bottle with white paint. You want to cover the root system and compost layer.
  7. Water through the top opening of each vertical garden and allow to water to drain through to the plant below.

Juicy strawberries will soon be ready for the picking! Don’t forget to store your strawberries properly.

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Alice Knisley Matthias
Alice Knisley Matthias writes about food, family, education, and garden. Her work appears in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food Network, Delish, The Kitchn and Parade. Her book about healthy kid snacks is published by Scholastic. Other work includes Woman's Day, Redbook, Highlights for Children, Boys' Life, Kids Discover and America's Test Kitchen Cook's Country Cookbook.