If you’re looking for a convenient, portable way to grow just about any type of plant, grow bags just might be your answer. These are made of either breathable fabric or plastic, and they’re designed to replace pots. And best of all, once the growing season is done, you can dry, fold, and store them until next time. Today, we’ll be looking at five great options to use in your garden.
Our Picks for the Five Best Grow Bags
1. VIVOSUN Grow Bags – Best Fabric Grow Bags For Outdoor Garden
VIVOSUN is a company that makes a wide variety of products for growing plants at home. They’re known for quality and affordability, and there grow bags are no exception. With this set, you get five five-gallon grow bags. When planting, it’s a good idea to choose a more moveable planter size if possible. For smaller plants, the five-gallon size is ideal, and it’s also easier to move.
These are great performers. They’re made with 300G thickened non-woven plant fabric that’s also BPA-free. This type of fabric is the best of both worlds – it’s thick enough to resist tearing, but it’s porous enough that extra water can drain out, preventing root issues. Plus, the handles are reinforced, which reduces their risk of tearing.
As with some other grow bags out there, some VIVOSUN bags arrive smaller than advertised. And while draining excess water is a good thing, some growers have noticed that their plants dry out too quickly when using these. Still, we think these best-selling pots are worth buying.
|The thicker fabric is less prone to tearing than some similar products||Sometimes, these products arrive smaller than advertised|
|Smaller five-gallon size is easier to move|
|They come with a one-year warranty|
|They’re very affordable while also being high quality|
2. Futone Grow Bags – Best Potato Grow Bags For A Warm Climate
Whether you’re looking to grow potatoes or other root vegetables, having an access window to see roots is never a bad thing. These 10-gallon grow bags come in sets of three, which makes it easier to start with a smaller gardening setup and then expand from there. They’re made of dual-layer no-woven fabric, and they also come equipped with drainage holes to prevent water buildup and root circling.
These products perform well, it’s good for growing root vegetables and especially for growing potatoes. They come in three different colors: green, tan, and black. This might not seem like a big deal, but the color of a grow bag can help or hinder your plant’s growth. Dark colors like black tend to heat up more easily and are a good choice in colder climates. If you’re in a very warm climate, a lighter color like tan may be best.
Like some other grow bags out there, these have a window that lets you get a look at roots. If you grow vegetables like potatoes (and especially if you’re new to it), the window helps you check to see if they’re ready for harvest.
While the manufacturer makes these bags with double stitching, they aren’t as durable as some other options on the list. Occasionally, when a grower tries to move a filled pot by the handles, the handles will break. Because of their drainage capabilities and access window, we still recommend these.
|They come with a 30-day money-back guarantee||The handles aren’t especially sturdy, and they may be prone to tearing over time|
|Breathable fabric with drainage holes helps keep roots happy|
|They come in different colors|
|You get a visualization window to check on roots|
3. ANPHSIN Grow Bags – Best 10 Gallon Grow Bags For Growing Root Vegetables
If you’re unsure of what size to purchase, the 10-gallon size tends to be very good for a variety of plants. These bags from ANPHSIN are a bit of a departure. Instead of choosing fabric, the manufacturer makes these out of PE plastic. If you’re growing plants that need a lot of water, the limited drainage might be a good thing. There are some potential disadvantages – PE plastic doesn’t drain out as readily as fabric, so it’s important to avoid over-watering.
These perform well for the most part. The PE plastic construction is less prone to ripping than fabric, so if you’re concerned about durability, they’re a good option. Notably, they also have a “window” that’s accessible through a flap. This is a great innovation that lets you check in on carrots, potatoes, and other root vegetables any time you want. These are ten-gallon grow bags that come in a pack of four, which is a great set for starting to grow root vegetables.
These plastic bags may run into similar issues to black plastic pots. In very hot climates in direct sunlight, the plastic may heat up too much and almost “cook” the plant roots, hindering growth. This issue is largely avoided with breathable fabric. Additionally, while these are equipped with drainage holes, they don’t drain as uniformly as fabric does. If you’re not in a very hot climate and if overwatering isn’t a major concern, we would still recommend these bags, it’s the best plastic option.
|Plastic construction with handles is more durable than fabric||Plastic may heat up too much in warmer climates|
|Flap-covered “window” lets you easily look under soil without disrupting plants||These don’t drain as easily as fabric bags|
|A Four-pack of ten-gallon bags is ideal for just beginning a growing operation|
|These are fairly affordable|
4. WINNER OUTFITTERS Grow Bags – Best Tomato Grow Bags For Beginners
These bags from WINNER OUTFITTERS are a great potential choice, especially for growing tomatoes. Their capacity is 10 gallons (large enough to grow potato plants), and they come in packs of six. Beginners usually want to start fairly small, and six is an ideal number to start with. These, unlike many products on the list, come with detailed growing instructions. This is ideal for beginners who want some guidance on using grow pots.
These perform very well. They’re made with BPA-free, non-woven felt that is highly breathable. They also can keep roots warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, making these WINNER OUTFITTERS grow bags ideal for all-weather use. The stitching is incredibly durable, but occasionally, handles have ripped off.
While these are fairly well-made, the felt is thinner than some options. Over time, it can wear down and become prone to rips. The stitching itself on these bags is very strong, but the felt is not thick enough to resist tearing. Still, given the general quality and affordability, we would recommend these especially for growing tomatoes (as long as you don’t frequently need to move filled bags).
|Breathable, drainable felt prevents overwatering issues||The thin felt may lead to tearing over time|
|The black fabric helps keep the soil warm||Sometimes, they arrive slightly smaller than advertised|
|Stitching is incredibly strong|
|They come in packs of six, which is ideal for beginners|
5. HYDGOOHO Grow Bags – Best Environmentally Friendly Grow Bags For A Variety Of Conditions
Choosing the best fabric grow bags can be tough, but this product from HYDGOOHO is a great potential candidate. They’re an excellent value, as they’re less expensive than many similar options out there. They also have a very wide variety of sizes available – you can choose anything from one gallon to ten gallons. They also come with waterproof garden labels, which can help you keep track of each plant individually.
These perform very well in a variety of conditions. The manufacturer constructs them with environmentally friendly non-woven fabric. This fabric has a few advantages — it lets roots breathe, which can increase your yields and reduce the risk of plant disease. Because water can drain out of the grow bag, your plants also won’t suffer root rot or other issues that are commonly connected to over-watering.
Compared to most similar products out there, these are also incredibly durable. The tough, reinforced handles allow you to easily move each bag as needed. You can use them season after season without tearing them or otherwise breaking them down. As long you fully dry them before storing them, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
These only come in packs of 12. If you only need a few, or if you need different sizes, this shipping arrangement may not be ideal for you. We highly recommend these grow bags, as they’re one of the best values out there.
|These are very affordable, especially for buying in bulk||They only come in packs of 12|
|They come in a range of sizes to support just about every type of plant||Sometimes, the products are slightly smaller than advertised|
|They are extremely durable and can be reliably used season after season|
|And they allow roots to breathe and water to drain|
Best Grow Bags – Buyer’s Guide
What are Grow Bags? How Do You Use Them?
It might sound odd to grow plants in bags instead of in pots. Grow bags have some great advantages. For one, more traditional pots limit the amount of air that reaches a plant’s roots. While plants can technically grow in traditional pots, limiting their air can stunt their growth.
Pots also can be heavy and difficult to move. Whether it’s a sturdy terra cotta pot or a straightforward black plastic one, most pots don’t have handles for easy moving. Most grow bags are equipped with durable handles that make them easier to move.
These products do have one disadvantage compared to pots — they do wear out eventually. Most manufacturers choose to make them with fabric, which supports breathability but can wear out. They are usually much cheaper than pots, but chances are that you’ll need to replace them eventually.
Using grow bags is relatively simple, and in some ways, it’s like growing in a pot. For maximum plant health, it’s good to use a mixture like the following:
- 1/3 moss
- 1/3 compost mixture
- And 1/3 vermiculite
Why is Grow Bags Good for Plants?
If you’ve done any research into grow bags, you’ve come across the term “air pruning.” Air pruning is one of the primary benefits of this growing solution, but to understand it, you’ll need to first understand what can happen to plants in traditional plastic pots.
Plastic pots can’t drain the water completely, and a plant left in one will usually have roots that spiral down to the bottom and continue to develop. The root structure becomes disorganized, and the plant’s roots start to become tangled. Over time, nutrient absorption suffers, and the roots at the bottom of the pot may end up taking in too much water.
That’s where grow bags come in. When a bag is breathable, air can permeate soil more easily, and this occurs mostly in the outer edges of the soil. As a plant’s roots start to reach outward, they sense the air and dry up. As a result, the plant creates an organized root structure that grows deeper into the soil instead of circling through the pot. This type of structure absorbs water and nutrients much more easily, which translates to healthier plants and improved yields.
Do You Need Fabric or Plastic?
One of the selling points of grow bags is the fact that they’re porous — they let air get to the roots more easily, and they also allow excess water to drain out. This can be a good thing, as it reduces the risk of root complications from over-watering. Giving a plant too much water can kill it.
Fabric bags make it nearly impossible to kill a plant by over-watering it. Excess water can simply seep out of the pores in the fabric, and some of these bags are even equipped with drainage holes. Sometimes, water drains a little too well — plants in fabric grow bags can sometimes dry out too quickly. Depending on the size of your garden, you might want to set up an automatic drip system to give plants a constant supply of water. This is a major undertaking, so if you aren’t inclined to do it, you can also just monitor plants closely until you find a watering schedule that works.
If the fabric is causing your plants to dry out too fast, you may want to consider plastic bags. Plastic doesn’t drain nearly as quickly as fabric, so you’ll need to watch for over-watering. Plastic bags are typically equipped with several draining holes, but they don’t drain out as completely or evenly as fabric grow bags.
Where Can You Use Grow Bags?
One of the major selling points of this growing solution is that you can use it just about anywhere — even if you don’t have any land at all. Bags can let you cultivate almost any kind of plant on a porch, deck, or patio. This doesn’t mean that you can’t place them on a lawn — to carefully control your plants’ nutrient intake while reaping the benefits of air pruning, there’s nothing wrong with putting outdoor plants in bags.
But can you use these inside your home? The short answer is yes, although it may take some effort and preparation. Namely, you’ll need to find a container or tray that is wide enough to catch draining water. It’s also important to regularly empty this container since stagnating water can cause issues for plants. As the result, you can use it with grow tent.
As with any other indoor garden, you also will need to make sure you have the plants in an area where they can get sufficient sunlight. Light needs vary depending on the plant type, so make sure you check to see what each species requires.
How Do You Take Care of Grow Bags?
These products can last several seasons if cared for carefully. Proper care not only protects the bags — it also stops contaminants from old soil from causing problems with newer plants.
Proper care is relatively easy to do. First, after they have been emptied, you’ll want to hose them off. Be sure to let them dry after hosing, and then remove any remaining bits of dirt or plant matter.
In order to make completely sure that chemicals and other contaminants are gone, it’s a good idea to run them through the washing machine with baking soda and white vinegar. For maximum contaminant removal, use the “heavy soil” setting and run the washer more than once.
Finally, be sure to let them thoroughly dry before putting them away. If any moisture lingers, they may start to develop mold.
Whether you just want to make your outdoor garden moveable or you’re setting up an indoor growing station, these bags are a convenient way to get the most out of your plants. Their breathability and drainage capabilities help roots get the perfect amount of air and water, which translates to healthier, happier plants. Just be sure to choose the best option for the size and type of plants you have, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful garden.