Using diapers for plants

Diapers Help Your Plants Grow!

New discoveries can shock you on a daily basis. And we are not talking about huge discoveries like the wheel, sliced bread and the computer – we speak of simple ones that you never thought that would be possible because of the two items involved have absolutely nothing in common. You probably once never believed that you would be using newspaper to clean your windows, but guess what happens when they get the smudges. And that is small in comparison to this new discovery that has been unearthed after many and many experiments. It turns out that diapers can help your plants grow!

Wait, why are you not surprised? What? Nooo! No, no, no – not because of that. That is just dirty. Forget words like odour and compost, natural fertilizer, and potential contents of diapers, we are talking about the actual diapers and the ingredients within. It actually turns out that they contain certain things that can be useful to plants, and those ingredients, those playful little water crystals, based on the little experiments conducted, can provide you with fast-growing, and yet still organic plants that will flourish in your garden and grace you with a wonderful imagery, done simply by using a disposable diaper. Guess it is a better alternative than filling it and using the conventional contents, right?

Yes, it is insane. But instead of spending your free time marvelling over what somebody was actually doing to fill his own free time in order to make this discovery, you can instead venture in the world of your garden and see if it really works. If it does, you will be quite pleased. It does not involve any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or any other chemicals that are used to enhance growth and kill pests and vermin that harm plants and stumble their growth. This is an environmentally friendly method of growing plants fast to have the garden you want to eventually create, and to entertain yourself with the expressions of other people when you finally spill the beans and tell them how you tended to that pretty plant next to the window. Of course, that entertainment might not last long since you will have to go through the “Oh! You mean you used the… you-know-what?” conversation a few more times than your levels of tolerance can handle, but you can still get a few kicks out of it before replacing the answer with “It’s a secret!”

Okay, on to the important bit that you are actually interested about. How do you use diapers in such a way that in no way involves overeating and bowel movement, and still get your plants to a up-and-sturdy shape? The instructions are below.

  • Extracting the Ingredients

Now for this magical trick we will need a little assistance by a brand new unused disposable diaper and a can of water. Don’t be stingy on the water, a diaper can absorb quite the amount. The reason you need these items is because you need to take out the contents of the diaper (ha ha, yes, very funny – still not those contents). Pour the can into the diaper, and if it still has not started to spill, then take another can or cup and keep pouring until the diaper stops absorbing the liquid and it starts spilling. Once that trial is over take a bowl and some shears. Cut the diaper open and take out its contents in the bowl (the joke stops being funny after a while, right?). Add some more water and stir for a bit. What you have here is a pile of fibre-rich hydrogel, which is the main ingredient for the upcoming fast growth of your plants and the key to your garden maintenance. Take the hydrogel, place it in an airtight bag and stuff it in your freezer for the night, then we can concentrate on the next part of the trick.

  • Creating the Magical Soil

For the second act you will need all-purpose potting soil which can be bought from any agricultural or home improvement store. You could use the soil from your garden, but only if your reliable gardening instincts can be trusted that the soil will be fertile enough for the purposes of this spell. Take out your magical hydrogel from the freeze and, if it is frozen stiff, wait till it softens up a bit. Now take a pot or a bowl, or whatever container you are planning on planting in and add equal amounts of soil and hydrogel. Put those hands for good use and start mixing until you get a homogenous – or close enough – mixture. The magical soil you just created should be soft, kind of disturbingly fluffy, oh, and it will do wonders for your plants.

  • Easy Planting Gone Right

Do you have any idea how easy planting in pots just became? Well, you can see for yourself in act three by simply adding seeds to the magic soil you just made. You can leave them on the surface, or mix them into the soil, or add seeds over the soil and then add more soil – it does not matter. Now wait. Just after a week, without having to water, without having to worry about weed control or stirring the soil, or anything really, the seeds will start sprouting! What, you ask? How did this happen? Well, now you have perfectly acceptable potting soil that is perfect for your seeds, mixed with water crystals which keep the soil moist and ready for the seeds, and kind of automatically water the seeds and future roots of the plant. It is a simply-made seed starter for plants that you need not take care of!

When the seeds do start growing, of course, you will need to place them in a bowl that is fit for the plant, and will have to start taking care of it the usual way, but you don’t have to worry about water-retentive soil, moisturised areas and the such, because your magic soil will take care of all the plant’s static needs. Regular watering is still a must, of course, and you still have to water the roots and not the leaves – the magical soil works underground, it does not render your plant immune to physical water damage. But, unlike before, now you do not have to worry about overwatering your plants, or letting your kid water the plants that need a certain amount of watering. The water crystals from the diaper mixed within the soil cold water up to five hundred times their weight and they will absorb all the extra water while still keeping the soil moist and soft. Of course, there is an upper limit of water you should not cross, but you are not that irresponsible to your plants, are you?

  • Other Uses

These magical diaper contents are not only good for potted plants. You can also use them at home, for your vases, in order to preserve cut flowers for as long as possible. Just take another bowl and mix inside warm water, a bit of bleach, sugar, and vinegar. Weird combination, right? Stir until it becomes homogeneous and then add it to a bowl of the unfrozen diaper crystals. Do not get startled – it is supposed to grow. You should test how much it grows first by mixing a bit of the slush with a bit of the weird mixture, and then find a proper container for the whole portion. If you stir the newfound fertile colourful soil, it will look like crushed ice. Now pour it into a vase and place cut flowers inside. Now what you have is a mixture that looks amazingly beautiful, and that will feed the flowers water itself without any prompting on your side. It’s pretty much like self-sustainable fertile soil! And don’t be afraid – it cannot harm the overly curious kids that try to touch it. The mixture is utterly non-toxic.

Alternatively, you can use the hydrogel as a fertiliser for your garden. It does not contain any harmful chemicals, it is environmentally friendly, it is biodegradable, it does not cause damage, disease or pollution to your flowers, so it is perfect for your plants outside. Just add it to the soil waiting there and plant away to make an enduring and fertile garden. You will now have to add much less water than usually required as the water crystals will handle the moisturising of the soil and the watering of the plants from the inside. And even better – you do not have to replace the hydrogel for at least a few seasons! And all of that with just one diaper! Now that is a neat magic trick, right?

If you already have planted plants that you wish to have such magical soil, do not fret – you can still help them as well. Take a spoon and literally spoon feed the water crystals to the soil, close to the root. But you have to be extra careful not to damage a vital part of the root, so tread lightly. Alternatively, you can make space around the root, place some of the hydrogel around it, and then put the soil back over them, burying them around the plant.

  • The Conclusion

And schazam! Your garden and potted plants, and even your vases, are all better all thanks to a diaper. This is a pretty handy trick as it will do wonders both for the gardening and the green living. The hydrogel will lower your water costs as your plants will now need as twice as less watering, and no extra water to even get them started as seeds. Oh, the marvels of science.

We all know that the benefits of gardening are innumerable. Whether they’re purifying our air or protecting us from mosquitoes, plants are a beautiful and natural way of making our lives better. Just one problem: they can be kind of high maintenance!

Yes, it sounds kind of crazy – plants did survive in the wild for thousands of years before humans even thought about domesticating them, after all – but anybody’s who’s ever tried to take an extended vacation and had to hire somebody to babysit their plants knows what we mean. Once a plant becomes a potted plant, we’re responsible for its survival, and that means regular watering and care that can, on occasion, be tricky to fit into a busy schedule— or even remember!

Grant Thompson – The King of Random

Luckily for those of us not born with green thumbs, there are all kinds of tips and tricks out there to make our gardening lives easier. The latest one we’ve found comes to us from Grant Thompson, “The King of Random,” and it’s one of the craziest ideas we’ve ever heard: turn diapers into a DIY gardening gel.

Yes, diapers— those products bemoaned by environmentalists because of their non-biodegradable nature are now being put to use to help things grow. Granted, you need to use new – or very gently used – diapers for this project, so it’s not exactly a way to cut down on trash. However, if your child has moved up a size or recently become full-on potty-trained, this idea is a great way to put those diapers you no longer need to use, and extend the amount of time you can take between plant-waterings. Here’s how it’s done.


  • 1 diaper, new or gently used
  • 4 cups water, plus a little more for mixing
  • Potting soil
  • 2 large mixing bowls


  1. Place the diaper in a bowl or container. Pour the water into the diaper, and allow it to absorb.
    Grant Thompson – The King of Random
  2. Once absorbed, rip the diaper open and pour the contents back into the bowl. Add the extra water and mix to form a gel.
    Grant Thompson – The King of Random
  3. In the second bowl, add equal parts gel and potting soil. Work together until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Pot your plants! Throw some of the soil-and-gel mix into the pot first, then settle in the plant. Pack in the soil around the plant until stable.
  5. Give your now-potted plant a little more water, and you’re all set! The DIY gel mixed into the soil allows you to go twice as long between waterings, making your life a little easier and making your plants much happier.
    Grant Thompson – The King of Random

And that’s it! The diapers contain super-absorbent water crystals, designed to make sure that the diaper, you know, does what it’s supposed to do and holds up against even the most intense of toddler treatments. What you do with this method is simply release them from their plush plastic packaging and repurpose them to absorb, hold, and eventually slowly release the water in a more controlled way. Adding the water turns them into the kind of hydrogel you’d find in gardening stores— except you’ve made it yourself! Not only is it pretty easy, non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly, it’ll help keep your soil soft, fluffy and perfectly-damp, saving you time and resources.

There’s actually a TON more ideas for what you can do with this DIY diaper gardening hydrogel – start seeds, preserve flowers, enrich the soil in your outdoor garden, make DIY ice packs – and Grant Thompson outlines them all in this video. Now that you’ve got the step-by-step process down, make sure you watch and discover all you can do, and how “The King of Random” came up with this idea. Make sure to tell us if you try it and how it turns out for you!

Diaper Soil Plants Recipe Video

We were totally amazed to see how Diapers can help your plants grow and you will be too! This idea will save you time and it’s environmentally friendly. It reduces landfill by using disposables.

By following the steps, you’ll be able to make a totally non-toxic Super Gel to improve your garden and reduce your watering by half.

via king of random

All you need is a disposable Diaper (new or ‘gently’ used), Water Crystals and some all-purpose Potting Soil.

As you know Diapers absorb liquid but you may be surprised at exactly just how much. In the tutorial, the diaper absorbed 4 cups of water in just seconds.

We have included Grant’s video regarding making your own Super Soil and we highly recommend that you watch it.

This will change the way you garden. Be sure to share this great idea with your family and friends. To view, click Play above ^

via king of random

Diaper Soil Plants Recipe

Once you have your Hydrogel, it’s time to turn it into super soil. You need some all-purpose potting soil and a large mixing bowl to dump it in. Add equal parts of dirt and gel, then begin working the two together until they’re thoroughly mixed. Now you’ve not got a super absorbent, super soil that’s light and fluffy.

It’s perfect for your potted plants. Throw a little soil into the pot first, then help your plant get comfortable. To hold it firmly in place, just keep packing more soil until everything sits tight. You can finish up by giving the plant a bit more water, and now with the super crystals in your soil, your plant can go twice as long between waterings.

In the event of extreme overwatering, ordinarily, plants would drown or begin to rot. This is where hydrogel soil rises to the occasion. Being infused in the soil, the excess water is quickly absorbed, keeping the soil damp and fluffy, and potentially saving your plants.

One of our favorite tips is Grant’s final idea and that is to preserve your fresh cut flowers by adding sugar, vinegar, and a bit of bleach to some warm water.

via readers digest

This will create a homemade flower food and when you add your slush powder, you’ll see it absorbs the solution and slowly grows up to 60 times its size. By agitating the gel, you can create an awesome effect that looks like crushed ice.

Not only does it look amazing, it releases water as the flowers need it. You are also feeding them at the same time. The gel is completely non-toxic. It’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It’s a great option for working into your garden. Some other great ways to preserve the longevity of your flowers according to Readers Digest are -:

  1. Aspirin
  2. Bleach
  3. Coins
  4. Hairspray
  5. Soda
  6. Sugar
  7. Vinegar
  8. Vodka

Top Tip : Trim the ends of your flower stems daily, to keep them fresh

Another great idea for watering that we thought we would share is this Plastic Bottle Drip Feeder from Dream Garden 101. This will come in handy particularly if you are going away for an extended period and for those plants that are not so easily accessible.

All you need to do is put some holes in the bottle, fill it with water and bury it with the plant or in your garden. The smaller the holes, the slower the release of water. Be sure to leave the lid off too.

via Sand Paper and Silly Putty & Listotic

Here’s another easy and inexpensive tip for using Diapers around your garden – pop one in the bottom of your hanging basket to retain moisture and stop your baskets drying out.

Want more? See how to do your own Soil Test here.

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Using Diapers In Containers: Helping Your Plants Grow With Diapers

Using diapers in containers? What about diapers for plant growth? Say what? Yes, believe it or not, disposable diapers can keep your potting soil from drying out, especially during warm, dry weather when containers require frequent irrigation. (Keep in mind, it’s fresh, clean diapers we’re talking about!)

Diaper Filling for Moisture Control

Have you ever wondered how disposable diapers hold so much liquid? You might be surprised to learn that these highly absorbable, throwaway diapers container hydrogel – that’s the same stuff you can buy in gardening stores, usually labeled as water retention crystals or something similar. They work because each little crystal swells up like a sponge, keeping in moisture. For this reason, helping your plants grow with diapers is extremely plausible.

Interestingly, hydrogels are also extremely effective as an additive in high-tech bandages, often used for burns or severe scrapes and abrasions.

How to Use Diaper Gel in Plant Soil

When using diapers in containers, start with the cheapest diapers at your local big box store. Otherwise, you may be better off just buying expensive gels at your garden center.

Tear open a diaper and dump the contents in a mixing bowl. Don’t bother picking out the little cottony bits – they absorb water, too. Add water until you have a thick gel, then mix in equal parts potting soil. Put the stuff in a pot and you’re ready to plant.

If you don’t want the fuss and muss of ripping into the diapers, just peel away the layer that goes against baby’s bottom, then place the entire diaper in the bottom of a container, with the plastic side facing down. If the container is large, you may need more than one diaper. Be sure to poke a couple of holes in the plastic so the potting soil can drain; otherwise, you may end up with root rot – a disease that is often deadly to plants.

Is the Use of Diapers for Plant Growth Healthy?

You don’t need to be a chemist to understand that hydrogels are not natural materials. (They are actually polymers.) Although a diaper here and there probably won’t hurt a thing, it isn’t a good idea to use them excessively because the chemicals, which may contain carcinogens and neurotoxins, will leach into the soil.

Similarly, using diaper filling for moisture control isn’t a good idea if you’re growing vegetables in containers.

People who are interested in sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic gardening usually choose to and forgo benefits of chemicals – even the type that come from baby diapers.

Try this easy water saving tip to use fresh disposable diapers to help keep your container plants moist all summer. It works great and saves money!

Why I Use Disposable Diapers In The Garden!

Did you know you can save time and money by using disposable diapers in the garden! They are not dangerous to your plants — The water storing crystals in diapers are the same stuff that is packaged and sold as garden watering crystals, only a lot less expensive.

When I lived in Kansas, it would get very hot in the summer. Our deck didn’t have any shade and some of my plants needed to be watered twice a day. I was going to buy the granules that hold water from the garden center, but I discovered small container of the water granules was $25!

Even though I really needed it to keep my plants going that summer, I just couldn’t come to bring myself to pay that much. One day, I was thinking about it as I was changing my son’s diaper. Then it dawned on me! The same stuff is in baby diapers!!!

I tore open the center of a diaper and scooped out all the cotton with the granules in it into a bowl. Out of curiosity I wanted to see just how much water it would hold. I was hoping for two cups. It held NINE cups of water! That means I could use this stuff in 3-5 containers of plants, depending on the size. I was able to get diapers for .20 each so the cost wasn’t huge.

Using disposable diapers in your garden or in container plants, you can save a LOT of time because you don’t have to water nearly as often and the plants have a more even supply of water. You can even use these for plants that are already planted as I demonstrate in our disposable diapers in the garden video!

You can even use used diapers (GASP!), but not dirty ones. If you have diapers that have only urine in them, they are fine to use in the garden if you’re willing to mess with them. Some people are horrified at the thought, but consider this:

Gardening is an outside activity. Squirrels, rodents, dogs and cats and other various animals pee in your garden all the time, but it just goes back into nature. I’m assuming your baby doesn’t have some hideous disease that would make their urine more dangerous for you or your plants than the urine from these animals.

Nature has a wonderful process of using chemistry to convert various substances to other completely different things so if you use manure, compost (rotted food), or something with baby urine, even to grow food plants, it’s not like you’re eating manure, rotten food and urine! Good grief!

We have had a question about the safety of using these in your garden pots. I personally don’t have a problem with it. I didn’t use these in my vegetable plants only flowers. Use your own judgment regarding whether or not you want to use them with vegetables.

If you’re curious about the safety of using disposable diapers, here are some details:

  • The external liner for some diapers is plastic. It will not hurt the soil and the plants won’t eat it, so you can use the diapers and later, when you’re re-doing your garden, you can simply throw the plastic away.
  • Diapers also contain the water storing crystals, which break down naturally and harmlessly over time (and are also sold specifically for gardening with different packaging).
  • Some diapers also have cotton or wood pulp, which decomposes naturally. Some people are concerned about how these item are processed when diapers are made, but there seems to be little substantiated concern and if you’re using them in the garden, the environment provides several layers of “buffer” that will convert them through chemistry as I mentioned above, so I’m confident any substance that might have posed a minuscule threat would be neutralized.

Remember, Always Think Outside the Box!


P.S. If you are wondering about the safety of using diapers here is a great article we found with more details about what’s in disposable diapers.

Quick Tip: Plant Your Garden in… Diapers?

Photo:, via The King of Random

Yes, we’re just as shocked as you! But anyone who lives in an area that’s incredibly dry or has serious water restrictions knows how difficult it can be to maintain moisture-rich soil, and diapers can offer an easy solution to that problem. While we don’t spend much time pondering the power of the diaper (and understandably so), these top-notch absorbers can hold a pretty impressive amount of liquid. Skip the expensive products from the home and garden store, and turn to this unexpected—and budget-friendly—method the next time your leafy greens need a little TLC.

Photo:, via The King of Random

First, pour about four cups of water into the middle section of an unused diaper. Once the water has been absorbed, pull back the top layer of the middle portion to reveal the moisture crystals, which will have a gel-like texture. (Keep in mind that the blue color seen here is used only to highlight the gel—the crystals will actually be white unless dyed otherwise.) Scoop the gel out of the diaper and pour it into a bowl. Slowly add more water to the bowl, stopping when the crystals no longer absorb liquid. Combine equal parts potting soil and gel to create a super soil that can now be used in all your gardening endeavors. One adult-size diaper makes about 12 cups of gel, so keep that in mind when planning how much soil you’ll need. Because the gel has such an incredible ability to retain liquid rather than letting it slip away in the soil, you can worry less about watering your plants, which is great for thirsty roots—and busy summer days!

How To Turn Diapers Into Super Growing Potting Soil

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Did you know that diapers contain crystals that are nontoxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly? If you have no idea that diapers were this amazing you need to read on and learn why these could turn normal soil into “super soil”: try adding 4 cups of water to one and you will be amazed that nothing will leak and the diaper absorbs it all. The crystals in the diapers hold up to 500 times their weight in water.

This project is really easy and could save your plants that “accidentally” get forgotten about, you will understand better in a little while :). One adult diaper makes over 12 cups of “hydro-gel” so maybe investing in a pack would be worth it.

  • Firstly, get your adult diaper or baby diapers and fill them until they no longer soak up any water.
  • Drain the excess water.
  • Cut open to expose the hydro-gel and place into a mixing bowl and stir around for 30 seconds or so.
  • Get another mixing bowl of potting soil and mix equal parts of potting soil with equal parts of hydro-gel. Mix the two together until they are properly mixed. – Voila. Easy peasy!

When completely mixed you will have an airy, super absorbent, super growing potting soil. Go ahead and pot your plants with your new super soil and your plants could go twice as long between watering because of the super absorbent water crystals in the soil.

You could make a super batch and work the mixture into raised beds or your vegetable garden and have the same results as the potting plants and possibly get a better yield at the end of it. Its a win win. The crystals in the soil should last a few seasons and help keep the soil moist longer than normal soil.

If you want to store the crystals and have the gel for a vase of lowers that’s easy too. Just tear open the diaper and place the crystals on a piece of paper and add to a vase of water. The crystals will start to absorb the water and turn into a gel that will make your flowers thrive, especially if you add flower food to the water before you add the crystals.

Using Diapers instead of Crystals to Retain Water

An interesting gardening idea: instead of crystals, use diaper on the bottom of your pots to help retain the moisture. This is an unorthodox but very effective solution and it’s also more affordable than using commercial gardening products.

Placing a diaper on the bottom of a pot will retain the moisture, which is an excellent solution for making the plants fresh and strong. The diapers will help the pots stay moist, especially during the summer.

The diapers basically act the same as commercial water hydrating crystals, but they are more affordable. Diapers contain water absorbing polymer crystals that absorb water and expand when wet. If you put a diaper inside the pot, the polymers will absorb the water when you water the plant and become reservoir for the plant when it’s dry. This will effectively keep your plant moist.

How to Use Diapers

Follow these simple steps to use diapers in your pots:

1. But bark at the bottom of your pot. It’s best to use a mixture of bark and some old soil from the last year’s pot.

2. Make holes on the outside of the unused diaper so the water can drain.

3. Place the diaper with the inside up in the pot, on top of the bark.

4. Add potting soil over the diaper layer. You may buy commercial potting soil or make your own. A good homemade potting soil consists of: 25% old soil from the last year’s pot, 25% peat moss (it helps retain water), 25% vermiculite (it’s a de-clumping agent) and 25% new potting soil.

5. Arrange your plants in the pot. Use plants that need moisture. Various types of flowers usually work best.

6. Pack soil around the flowers. Add a bit of slow release plant food granules to the top.

Use Diapers as Filler in Potted Plants

Using (new) disposable diapers in bottom of flower pots will help hold in dirt and moisture. Cut to fit into pot leaving some coming up the sides. Place dirt on top and place in the plant of your choice.


Even the disposable training pants work great. These I have left complete, but placed a coffee filter in bottom of pot first, then the training pants and added dirt and put a plant in. The training pants sides will keep moisture up in the sides of the flower pot, which is really good for clay pots!

This is great for those diapers or training pants that are left over when your baby outgrows them and you can’t find anyone to give them to.

By Kat


Diapers for Potted Plants

I read about this on a gardening site. The guy suggested opening up the diaper and using the inside instead of water holding granules, which are pretty expensive. The article was a little incomplete as to how to use the diaper, but now I have a better idea. Thanks! (05/20/2005)


By Meari

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