Actually, there are many good reasons to use a grow bag instead of a pot. Here are some of them.

Healthier Roots

In a pot, the roots of a plant tend to grow in entangled and entwined circles. This increases the likelihood of having air or water stagnation problems, especially if the pot doesn't have proper drainage or is a large size. When the roots reach the edge of a plastic pot, they continue growing in search of more water and nutrients. This causes them to begin encircling the pot and is what gardeners refer to as being root-bound or pot-bound. The process of structurally damaging the plant has now begun. The roots become constricted which leads to less water and nutrient uptake. The stem of the plant will also become compressed leading to tissue damage which further restricts uptake of vital nutrients. Over time, plant growth gradually becomes stunted. To avoid disappointment, don't buy pot-bound plants.

Grow bags are made of various types of flexible materials that can help prevent this problem. Root damage occurs when roots come in contact with the edges of a pot and sense drier soil that is exposed to the air. At this point, they know they have reached their growth limit. This air-pruning happens naturally when roots are exposed to air in the absence of high humidity. In effect, the roots are burned off causing the plant to constantly produce new and healthier branching roots. If roots are not exposed to air, they continue to grow around the container in a constricted pattern. Air-pruning is a very necessary process in order to grow a healthy plant in a container. This prevents over-growth of roots and eliminates girdling roots that will damage the structure of the plant. You will notice many more fibrous roots where air-pruning has occurred. A more fibrous root system has many small root tips that allow the plant to take in more nutrients and water. Plants in plastic pots encourage only a few large roots to dominate and encircle the pot which subsequently constricts nutrient uptake.

These 20 gallon grow bags are big enough for even young trees and shrubs

tomato plants in orange grow bags

Moisture Control

Since grow bags are porous, they will require more frequent watering. However, it is harder to over-water them because any excess moisture will be wicked out of the bag. When you over-water a plant in a traditional pot, it's possible to actually drown the plant and will also promote the development of mold or fungus in the container. This results in unsightly and misshapen leaves and fruit. It is also likely to result in the eventual death of the plant.

pepper plant in a grow bag

Temperature Control

During the heat of summer, plastic pots located in direct sunlight may become quite hot. Since they are not made of a breathable material, they trap all that heat inside which then cooks the plant's roots. Because of their breathable quality, grow bags regulate the inside temperature. Excess heat is able to escape from all sides of the bag.

These 5 gallon grow bags are perfect for tomato and pepper plants

Easy Storage

Pots must be stored somewhere when not in use. But where do you put them? Do they become an unsightly pile on your porch or deck or perhaps they're stuck back in a corner of the yard or cluttering your garage? Most pots eventually end up stacked on top of each other to be reused and can easily be broken or crushed over the winter months. Traditional pots need to be stacked for storage; grow bags can be easily folded flat and stored in minimal space.


folded grow bags


stacked plastic pots


Grow bags are lightweight and usually come with attached handles that make them easy to move around to different locations in the yard or garden. They've also become popular with people who live or travel frequently in an RV because they take up such a small amount of storage space and the plants are easy to move from the inside to the outside. Since fabric grow bags are biodegradable, they can even be planted directly in the ground.

potato plant grow bag

If you want to grow individual plants or small bunches of herbs and flowers, try a 5 gallon grow bag. They're excellent for tomatoes, peppers, flowers, herbs, potatoes, and many other plants. If you want a larger planting area or something that resembles a raised bed, purchase the 100 gallon grow bags. This will give you room in a single bag for a number of plants or even a small tree.

Here's potato grow bags with the handy window for accessing your underground harvest.

Advantages of a grow bag:

  1. A healthier root system that encourages root pruning rather than root circling,
  2. Temperature control that sheds excess heat through the breathable fabric,
  3. Prevents over-watering since excess water percolates out through the fabric material,
  4. Can be folded flat and stored in a small space,
  5. Can be easily moved and even planted directly into the ground.

Click here for instructions to make your own grow bags.

patio tomato plant grow bag