Biodegradable Pots explained

What are biodegradable pots?

A biodegradable pot, resolves itself after a certain time. Depending on consistency and the binder being used this process can take several month. The advantage of this setup is: The pot can be planted directly into the soil with the pot.

Coir Pots benefits

The pot doesn’t need to be removed, hence this saves time and money, especially for industrial usage, where large tray systems can be used. Also a huge advantage what some nurseries claim is that the roots get more air. Since the air can flow through the pot and it’s not plastic it’s more healthy for the plant and the soil. This results in stronger plants, which grow faster.

100% biodegradable plant pots wholesale, be careful!

A lot of biodegradable pot manufacturers will claim they have a 100% biodegradable or even organic solution. When you read such a statement be highly careful. Since these manufacturers want to optimize profits by heating up the glue quicker they normally add some highly poisonous substances to the pot. Which is toxic for your plants but also for humans (yourself) as a binder to the pot. Normally one of the dangerous substances they use are heavy metals, zinc. etc. So therefore make sure as also discussed below to use a certified manufacturer.

Biodegradable pot vs. conventional plastic pot

In today’s world there is tons of plastic, makes it a surprise that not yet more people having shifted to biodegradable products. Plastic won’t resolve itself for decades, whereas biodegradable material such as coconut will do this process depending on the binder relatively quickly. Also considering price: What is plastics? Plastics is mainly made out of oil, which means if the oil price goes up considerably like in 2008, the price of plastic will get also much more expensive. So in terms of biodegradable price considerations it makes also sense in the long run to shift to coconut or coir fiber pots.

Biodegradable Pots
Biodegradable Pots

Biodegradable pot solutions, what are the options?

There are a lot of different materials nowadays. From rice pots to hemp pots sugar cane pots and so one. The only one which has truly proven itself so far has been the coconut coir pot. Probably due to it’s huge supply in Asia. Excellent consistency and perfect ability so store water and let it trickle through the pot slowly.

When is a biodegradable pot considered organic?

Thats not an easy explanation, since there are various parts involved in the process, which need to be verified, for example the glue or binder and also the raw material, the coconut husk needs to be organically certified. So overall not an easy job. The best solution is to consider a very well known brand, which can hand you out the necessary documents.

Coconut pot manufacturers

There are tons of biodegradable pot manufacturers, especially in India. However, you shouldn’t let yourself deceit by them. Many of these will claim that they are organic and biodegradable, what is just a platant lie. Many of these manufacturers use highly poisonous glue and binders, which makes the pot not biodegradable at all. So be sure to get the certificate along of a well known certifier like German TUV or SGS.

Growing plants in coconut husk, thats how it’s done

The process is not much different from a conventional plastic pot, put it in the pot, water in wait, let it grow and repeat the process. The huge benefit is already as pointed out above: The ability for the air going through the pot and since it’s well known that plant need air, especially soil, it will help the development process significantly. The only substantial difference will be at the end of the growing process, where you either replant it in another biodegradable pot, or directly put it into the garden soil and let the roots there penetrate the pot and touch the normal garden soil.

What are the best biodegradable Coconut pot options for plants?

To sum it up: Your plants will be very happy growing in a coconut soil. It’s simply very very important to get a high quality one with certified organic glue binder and certified raw material. If you have just any body there might be a rude awakening, because you wont neither use biodegradable nor organic, so therefore make absolutely sure you have a certified well known producer.

Biodegradable and organic? Let it proof by the coir pot manufacturers.

Let the coir manufacturers proof to you that their material does not hold any toxic substances. The most dangerous substances (heavy metals) are listed below. For heavy metal test, TAT is 7-10 working days and at least 100g sample size for heavy metal testing.

List of heavy metal test and the limit as per below. The following are considered dangerous and should by no way be contained in your pots:

Element Limit [mg/kg, on dry substance]
Zn 150
Cu 50
Ni 25
Cd 0,5
Pb 50
Hg 0,5
Cr 50
Mo 1
Se 0,75
As 5
F 100

Click and Read below which are the coir pot manufacturers which do not use any toxic raw materials or binders.

Biodegradable pots proof of verified testing labs.

Basically, if you need TUV AK Certificate (no relevant to TUV Mark), you need to test for part 1 and we will issue test report and TUV AK certificate.

Testing cost for part 1 and certificate issue cost as per below table.

Description Lead time Test Description Sample size  

Price excluding VAT 7% (THB)

Testing Part 1 Laboratory testing for Biodegradation: Biodegradable 3-6 months the test material the percentage of biodegradation shall be at least 90 % in total or 90 % of the
maximum degradation of a suitable reference substance in 90 days, max 180 days
1kg (powder or granule) 280,000
AK certificate issue 2 weeks 25,000
Total charge 305,000
Test item Lead time Test Description Sample size
Part 1 Laboratory testing for Biodegradation
Biodegradable 3-6 months the test material the percentage of biodegradation shall be at least 90 % in total or 90 % of the maximum degradation of a suitable reference substance in 90 days, max 180 days 1kg (powder or granule)
ISO 14855-1;ASTM D 5338
Part 2 Disintegration under composting Conditions
Disintegration 3-4 months Sample is mixed with fresh biowaste for composting under defined conditions. After test less than 10% of sample can be found after sieving through a 2mm sieve; Maturity of the compost
ISO 16929 2kg (sheet/foil/final sample)
Part 3 Ecological non-toxicity testing
Plant growth 1-2 months Test for effects on emergence(germination rate) and early growth  of higher plants(dry biomass) Sample after disintegration +12kg (granule or powder)
OECD 208, modification
DIN EN 13432,   Annex E
Part 4 Chemical testing
FTIR , thickness and determination of heavy metals 7~9 working days Characterization analysis 50g,10 pcs (sheet, at least 2cm*2cm)

*Remark: For part 4, other chemical test may applied according to other laws and regulations.

Biodegradable pots for seedlings

Mini Tray
Mini Tray

Of course it will make sense to also use biodegradable pots for your seedlings, but it has to be approached in a professional way, just use a tray as on the left side. and put around 80 mini pots made from coconut husk in it. then just water it (coconut soil will expand), after the plant seedling has grown you can put it directly in the soil. where the pot will biodegrade. Thats a way to make sure your gardening process is highly efficient and cost saving.