TikTok Shares A Genius Way To Reuse A Kitchen Strainer In Your Garden

Washing and draining your fruits and vegetables in the sink isn't the only purpose that kitchen strainer can have in your home. In fact, that handy colander works as the perfect potted planter of your dreams. Why? Specifically for the purpose for which it was intended: to be able to drain water. The perforated holes in that colander make it the ideal container to create proper drainage for your potted plants. After watching a genius TikTok garden expert do this to grow the most beautiful mini bush of herbs, we have a feeling you're going to want to try it yourself.

In this particular video, the TikTok creator @ahmed_alsamalosy is growing coriander, also known as cilantro. To do so, he fills the colander with well-watered soil and plants seeds, then places it above a bin filled with water for the roots to grow into. Eventually, the cilantro grows nice and lush, with lots of roots coming out of the ends and submerged in the water. 

Why does this gardening hack work so well? For starters, cilantro is a plant that needs a lot of drainage. Using a strainer helps to create that drainage and also allows for bottom watering, which is the method demonstrated here. Cilantro leaves are ready to harvest in just three to four weeks, and the seeds (coriander) can be harvested in 45 days, or when the plant is 3 to 4-inches tall. This process helps to make it seamless!

Plants that grow well in a kitchen strainer

Because colanders help prevent you from overwatering, you can consider planting all kinds of vegetation in them. Herbs are a common go-to for colanders due to the way they need good drainage to thrive and grow. Garden expert Melissa King tells Better Homes and Gardens that mint is a great herb for this kind of container because it can "get a bit overenthusiastic" and needs space to thrive. King also plants chilis as well as strawberries, giving the strawberry runners space to cascade down the side, making them the ideal plant for hanging. Salad greens, such as red lettuce, along with cherry tomatoes and chives, also need good drainage and work well in this hack. Even flowers can be planted in kitchen colanders using a combination of potting mix and rocks.

While Ahmed Alsamalosy on TikTok grew his cilantro with a bottom watering method, that doesn't have to be the way you grow your plants in a strainer; King turns hers into hanging planters by attaching the handles to sturdy chains. (She paints her strainers beforehand to have them match the aesthetic of her space.) To make them, she shovels potting soil into the colander, then transfers her plants. Some experts will line their colanders with coffee filters or even landscape fabric to avoid making a huge mess, but this isn't necessary; the plant will thrive just fine without it.