Food egg shell pot

Published on April 15th, 2011 | by Rhonda Winter


Creative Reuse: Egg Shell Planting Pots


As spring slowly crawls into western Washington, I have become inspired to begin propagating seeds for our garden. In the past I usually made recycled paper pots to grow my plants, but my friend James just shared a genius reuse idea for seed starts: egg shells pots.

egg shell pot

Planting with egg shell pots is a simple, smart and economical idea to help you start growing your own food. Larger eggs are a bit easier to work with, and also provide more space for your seedlings, though any chicken or duck eggs should work fine. A half dozen egg shells sprouting with beautiful young plants can also be an ideal and creative Easter gift.

eggs & knife

When getting ready to create your egg shell planters, it is always a good idea to plan on making a quiche, or something that requires several eggs, so that you have a ready use for the contents of your shells. In the past I have tried using the remaining shells from soft-boiled eggs for seedlings. This technique will also work, but I have found that shells that have been cooked tend to crack and break more easily.

egg shell cutting

How to Get Started

Begin with a few large eggs, a bowl and a sharp serrated knife. Cutting the top off of the egg is a little tricky, but you will get better with practice. Ideally you do not want to crack the egg shell in half, but rather just remove only the top quarter of the shell, or less, if possible.

egg shell

Once your egg shell has been opened, drain the contents into a bowl, rinse the shell out with warm water, and leave it to air dry before filling it with dirt or planting mix. I put my planted shells back into their egg carton with the cover closed until the seeds sprout. This helps to keep the soil moisture more even, and has really increased my seed germination rates significantly. Once the seedlings poke their heads up, leave the egg carton open in a warm and sunny spot until they are ready to be transplanted into the ground.

filling egg shell with soil

Since we are still get some frost here at night, our seedlings have remained living indoors to protect the tender sprouts from the elements and from the voracious banana slugs. As soon as all danger of freezing is past, just plant the egg pot directly into the ground. The shell will biodegrade into the soil, and will give the earth a delicious calcium snack as well.

I usually give my planted shell a light squeeze before it goes into the soil; not enough to crush it, just to crack it slightly. This will help the seedling’s roots to break through the egg shell, and will also aid in the composting process.

egg shell sprouts

Another thing to consider — if packs of marauding skunks or other creatures are a potential hazard in your garden, it is probably best to remove the egg shells entirely when transplanting the seedlings. Animals can be attracted to the buried shells, and they may devour your young seedlings, as well as all of your hard work.Keep up to date with all the hottest urban planning news by subscribing to our (free) newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

was raised by wolves, and subsequently has difficulty interacting with other humans; she can also be found on and Twitter.

  • Pingback: Natural Ways to Treat Depression()

  • I am so excited to try this!

    • It has worked quite well for me, and the eggshells look beautiful once your seedlings are really flourishing. I can’t wait for spring.

      • I tried it and I am hooked! Thanks for sharing this idea! Happy gardening. 🙂

  • You talk about retaining soil moisture– should I moisten the potting mix first? I want to try this to start my tomatoes, and I’m always dampening them off (grrrr!).

    • Have you ever experimented with using a heating pad set on low beneath your seedlings? That has worked wonders for me when attempting to propagate more sensitive plants.

Back to Top ↑