What kind of pots do you use for seedlings?

I currently plant germinating seeds into 32 ounce styrofoam cups (about $24 for a case of 500 at Costco). I’d like to go to a narrower pot to make room for more seedlings, possibly a band pot like the ones that many own-root nurseries use. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? What kind of pots do you use?

One of the advantages of the styrofoam cup is that I can write labels and notes on it. Any ideas on how to make notes on a band pot? It should be something that could be erased or replaced each year.

If you used dark-colored plastic band pots, you could use a white grease pencil for marking them; it’s easy to erase and waterproof (they are commonly used with acrylic blackboards and scoreboards). It comes off easily with a cleaner.

Jim, you surely treat your seedlings as royalty. With me they get the 6 oz styrocups. If the seedlings are fed, that’s usually enough medium for roots for the first 2 or 3 flushes of growth–but sometimes I wind up leaving seedlings in the cups for a year or two if they don’t bloom early. I can’t say I recommend leaving them that long, but I just don’t have room for large pots, and seedlings that bloom early either get out or get the choicer properties.


Hi I guess you could email Vintage Roses to find their band supplier. I’ve got to think the dimension on the 32 oz. cup is slightly bigger than the vertical bands The pictures you see once in a while of polyhouses shows masking tape on the pots. Come to think of it, I’ve received some with the masking tape still on it. I guess the tape is waterproof. When I get into the numbers you are talking about, I’ll give up on the styrofoam 6oz cup.

I use green plastic 4-pack pots I order from Park Seeds. They are the same size as the little 6-pack pots you see in many nurseries (they have four compartments instead of the usual 6, but the outside dimensions of the “pack” are the same). You can get a whole lot of them into a flat. Having to deal with everything in groups of four is a nuisance, but once the rose has a bit of roots, it is pretty easy to pop them out of one 4-pack set and into another as needed. I think the cups you use would provide more soil per rose though.

I called Heirloom Old Garden Roses and asked them who they got theirs from and they told me. I used them (still have quite a few left over, too) for society sales and such but the company carried all sizes at that time and delivered nearly anywhere in the US. I dont have the phone # anymore since that was a few years back but asking any horticultural place in your area might help.


Thanks for all the feedback! You’ve encouraged me to go to a smaller pot than I had felt comfortable with before. Steuber Distributing in Snohomish, WA, sells bands and other plant containers by the case (see link). I’ll probably order the 2 3/8" square x 5" deep bands ($24.56 for a carton of 325). 32 oz. cups are nice because they don’t need to be watered as often as smaller pots (they hold about 2.5 times as much soil as the bands), but they do take a lot of room, and they aren’t reusable. I’ll try out both the grease pencil and masking tape on the bands.

Link: www.steuberdistributing.com/