Can Plants Grow in Glass Bottles, Jars or Containers?

People go through many glass jars. Whether you buy pickles, sauces, salsas, olives, jams, baby foods, or much more, you probably throw away dozens of jars a month. You may be someone that tries to repurpose things but aren’t sure how to use them all.

If you are a plant-lover, you may be wondering if you can use them somehow such as pots for any new plants. Plants can grow well in glass bottles, jars, or containers especially if they enjoy moist soil and higher humidity. 

There are some things you have to keep in mind, however, as they differ from other plant pots. You need to keep in mind the size limit of glass jars, and the fact that they hold water, instead of letting it drain out, so your watering and care needs will differ a little. 

Additionally, while glass jars may work best for some plants, they aren’t ideal for all of them. You may find some plants thrive while others start to wither, so it is best to look up your specific plants and their care needs before using a glass container. 

Can You Use Glass Jars as Plant Pots?

For the most part, glass jars are a great option for growing plants. They can be a cheap way to grow a lot of plants without having to buy dozens of different pots in various sizes as your plants grow. 

While traditional plant pots aren’t super expensive, having to buy a different size every year or so per plant can quickly add up. Glass jars aren’t cheap either, but if you already have a bunch of glass jars lying around, it can be a great option for at least part of a plant’s life. 

Do Plants Grow Better in Glass Containers?

Though you may think traditional plant pots are better as they are tailored specifically for growing your indoor greenery, that isn’t necessarily the case. There are pros and cons to both which may make one more ideal for your needs than another, and you may find you like glass containers a bit more.

Some pros of using glass containers are:

  • Easy to find
  • May fit your style better
  • Can see the health of the roots without disturbing the plants
  • You can see the moisture in the soil without having to dip your finger into it
  • They hold humidity better
  • You get to upcycle
  • You don’t have to spend extra money unless you want to

Of course, there are some downsides as well:

  • The narrow tops can make it hard to get plants out for repotting without breaking the jar
  • Minimal airflow as glass doesn’t allow for air to filter through
  • No drainage holes, so water can sit in the container
  • May have a smell if not cleaned properly
  • Hard to find one size up if repotting is necessary

Additionally, the pros and cons differ depending on which plants you are growing and what kind of gardener you are. The fact that they can trap humidity may be beneficial for tropical plants but may be more of a con if you are growing plants that like drier environments. 

What Plants Can Live in a Glass Jar?

Basil in a jar
There are plenty of plants that do exceptionally well in glass jars. Since glass jars aren’t porous at all, they can hold soil very well, or you can use just water. So any plant that works well in a water-only medium will benefit from a glass jar. So can plants that like a lot of water in their soil or humidity with minimal airflow. 

Some examples are:

  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Purple Oxalis (Oxalis)
  • Mint (Mentha)
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Cactus (Cactaceae)
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens)
  • Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium)
  • Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

How to Grow Plants in Glass Bottles?

There are a couple of different ways you can grow plants in a glass bottle. A common one is a terrarium. This is when you close off the system, and let everything run by itself. You would take a clear bottle, pick some plants, lightweight soil, and add enough humidity. Additionally, you don’t want to overcrowd the planter or you risk your plants not getting enough airflow. 

In addition, you can grow plants in a glass jar like you would any pot. Most people tend to grow the plants inside the glass container instead of on the top, especially if it involves a narrow opening and a very narrow and deep container. But if you have something with a large opening that isn’t deep, you can plant it right on top as well. 

Finally, you can use glass jars to grow plants without soil. This is when you grow plants without soil, and just put water at the bottom. This doesn’t work for all plants, but it does work well for certain ones. This can be a permanent way to grow your plants or just a way to propagate and germinate them. 

How to Grow Plants in Bottles Without Soil?

This type of growth, where a plant doesn’t have any soil, is called hydroponics. It is used often in mass growing conditions, like with herbs, as plants have fewer problems like root rot. All you need is a container, a plant that does well with this type of growth, and clean water. 

Make sure you always check your plant first. Some plants just don’t do well in water-only conditions. Additionally, some may do better with filtered water while some are just fine with tap water. You may also want to make sure the plant you pick does well in water throughout its life and not just for germination. 

You want enough water that the roots are fully covered without the rest of the plant being submerged. You may need something to hold up the plant so it stays in place, like cork or just a narrow opening on the jar. 

Your plant doesn’t need to be watered, but you will have to change out the water occasionally, whenever it starts to look murky. If algae starts growing on the glass, you will have to clean it. 

Growing Plants in Jars Ideas and Inspiration

Plants in jar
There are so many things you can do with plants grown in jars. Unlike pots that aren’t see-through, you can decorate the inside of the pot. For succulents, you can create a fun layered rock garden. 

Terrariums are also popular, where you put a plant in a glass container and seal it off. This makes a wonderful centerpiece with little to no care as long as it gets sun. Some people decorate them with small figurines and stepping stones so it looks like a mini garden. 

You can also use a variety of containers. Old bottles, clear cups, pitchers, colored glass, and more. If you have a container that has a narrow neck, you can tie a ribbon around the neck and hang them up throughout your house as well. 

What Is the Best Container for Planting?

Currently, the most popular and widely considered best plant pots are thought to be those made from ceramic. Ceramic pots aren’t as porous as terracotta and they are also heavy which makes them more stable for windy areas, places with rambunctious kids or pets, or plants that can grow top heavy. 

They aren’t ideal for cold weather, as they can easily crack. They are also hard to move often due to their size and design. 

You can use any ceramic container you find, but some are designed for plants and have a drainage hole in them. However, if you find a really cute container without a hole, there are ways to drill a hole yourself. 


Glass jars may need a little more finesse than others, but they are a great way to grow plants indoors while saving money, and maybe enhancing your decorating skills. They are a fun new take on having an indoor garden and can look very neat if you do them right. 

While it may take more care for certain plants, others do well with the enclosed space, extra light, and plenty of moisture. Herbs in particular do very well, but certain flowers and plants can also flourish in that environment. 

Plants like Pothos, English Ivy, and Aloe Vera do well planted in glass containers as they enjoy moist soil and higher humidity.