Why You Should Put a Coffee Filter in the Bottom of Your Potted Plants

Coffee filters: Not just good for trapping the coffee grounds when you brew a pot of joe. These little disposable paper filters actually have a lot of random and creative uses: from straining wine to freshening the fridge—you can even turn them into a homemade tea bag (more on those things here).

But we think one of the coolest ways to use a coffee filter is something writer Shifrah Combiths discussed in a recent article on Apartment Therapy. We’re not going to lie, it’s pretty genius and we can’t wait to try it out.

This new awesome use for a coffee filter is one that’ll be pretty useful if you’re a plant person. Even if you’re not a plant person, this will probably make you a plant person (because it makes keeping plants alive that must easier and resourceful). 

So how can a coffee filter benefit your plants?

There are several ways actually.

First: a super easy lesson how to use a coffee filter on a plant. Place a coffee filter on the bottom of the pot, between your plant’s dirt and the pot’s drainage hole, where the water and dirt combo usually comes out. That’s it, the end. Simple right?

When you do this, the filter allows water to drain, but the dirt to stay in tact and not leak out. This matters because when dirt comes out of the hole with the water, you risk the hole getting clogged up, which can make the water flow less freely and trap air from flowing in.

That can make the plant’s roots rot, and ultimately kill your plant. (That, and it makes the worst mess all over you counter or shelf!)

This exact reason is actually the reason that most people put rocks or gravel at the bottom of their planters, but a coffee filter is way easier. Plus, rocks take up a ton of space and don’t really serve any benefits the way soil does. The coffee filter takes up way less space (if no space at all) in the pot and allows the plant to have more soil—another reason your plant might live longer by using a filter in its place.

Not convinced yet? Don’t worry, here’s another benefit to using coffee filters in your plant: Since they’re more absorbent than rocks, the filter can actually hold some moisture in, so it’s almost like you have your own self-watering plant (in case you’re like me and forget to water it one day…or multiple days).

But wait—there’s more! In the event you want to change your plant’s pot out for a new one, or simply move your plant from one spot to the other, the coffee filter helps retain the soil so it doesn’t spill all over your house while transporting (the struggle). The filter should cling to the dirt, so it can just stay on as you transfer the plant.

What do you think about this nifty idea to keep your plant alive longer? Will you try out putting a coffee filter on the bottom of the pot? Hey, it can’t hurt, right?