8 Best Grow Bags: Pros and Cons of Garden Bags (2023)
Have you always wanted to grow things in your garden but you couldn’t because you don’t have a garden? Or if you have a garden, it’s too small to grow all the veggies, flowers, and other exotic plants you dream of. Well, now you can with the help of grow bags.
Grow bags are the simple answer to that quintessential problem that every aspiring gardener faces – the lack of space. Now you can pursue your gardening passion and grow anything you like in just about any free place you have. The backyard, the side yard, the porch, or even the fire escape. Any spot on your property that’s not occupied by a wall or piece of furniture is fair game for your gardening dreams.
But which is the best grow bag? And what kind of considerations do you need to keep in mind when looking for the top grow bag? We put together these best grow bags reviews to help you make the right choice. We also included a buying guide that pinpoints the key features that the best plant grow bags should have.
Best Grow Bags Reviews
Unlike pots and planters, grow bags are easy to move around, inexpensive, and lightweight. We tried out many of the grow bags in the market and shortlisted the top ones below.
1. VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags
Reliability, durability, and permeability are the three qualities that give VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags a distinction above the other products on this list. Made from rugged material that allows both air and water in, the bags are breathable and well-drained. And their reasonable price tag is the icing on the cake.
The thick nonwoven fabric is the key to the popularity and success of these grow bags. The material has been thickened for extra durability and ruggedness. Yet the bags are surprisingly both odor and BPA free which makes them a healthy option and ideal for any setting both indoors and outdoors.
Your plants will also benefit from the good drainage quality of the nonwoven fabric. Any excess water will just drain out of the bag. And since you can follow the level of moisture in the soil based on the signs of saturation on the walls of the bag, you will have less risk of overwatering the plants.
The sturdy and reinforced handles allow you to carry the bag around even when it’s full of soil and plants. This is an important feature since you’ll be moving your sun-sensitive plants around a lot to protect them. So having a bag that can handle some rough treatment is crucial for the success of your gardening projects.
On the downside, you’ll need to put these bags on top of a layer of pebbles or small rocks to improve their drainage. Otherwise, the bottom of the bag will always remain saturated with water which could lead to fungal and mold buildup. But other than that, these grow bags are a soil pick and they’ve earned our editor’s choice award.
- Thickened nonwoven fabric.
- Odorless and BPA-free.
- Breathable bags that prevent root circling.
- Rugged handles for easy transportation.
- Durable and sturdy.
- Need to be placed on rocks for better drainage.
2. 247Garden 5-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags
While the average price of grow bags is not staggering, it still feels good to pay less for a product that has good quality. And that’s why 247Garden 5-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags are our budget value pick. Not only do they save you a few bucks, but they also deliver on the quality of the material and the variety of sizes, and the attention to detail.
The bags come in many sizes and dimensions to accommodate all the plants you want to grow there. From the small one-gallon suitable for small flowering plants to the large 40-gallon bags that can take up a few tomato vines or rose bushes.
The bags are exceptionally light, weighing a little over one ounce when empty. But despite that lightweight, the bags are as sturdy as you’d expect them to be. You can lug them around without trouble thanks to the robust stitching and the reinforced handles.
The fabric allows air in and out of the bag freely. This has the benefit of letting you control the temperature of the soil inside the bag more easily. If you worry about the soil getting too hot for the roots, just train a fan at the bag to cool down the soil. And during the cold winter months, you can keep the soil warm for the plants.
One of the glaring disadvantages we found with this product is that the actual size of the bag is usually smaller than the advertised one. A one-gallon bag would take less than a gallon of soil and so on. So you’ll have to get creative when choosing the right size for the plant or plants you want to grow.
- Breathable material.
- Different options in terms of dimensions and sizes.
- Affordable price.
- Robust stitching.
- Bags are smaller than the advertised size.
3. Winner Outfitters 6-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags
If premium quality in grow bags are what you’re after and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to get a bag that will stay with you for years, then Winner Outfitters 6-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags would be an ideal option. It checks all the boxes when it comes to quality, design, and functionality.
Functionality is the operative word here. Once we had the plants growing in the bag we noticed that the roots were growing faster and the usual problems of root circling were a thing of the past. This has to do with the high-quality nonwoven fabric of the bag. It promotes air-pruning of the roots. The resilience of the material allows the roots to grow sturdy without cramping them up or forcing them to circle around each other and get entangled.
Another key feature here that was a pleasant surprise was the double stitching of the handles. Flimsy handles are a serious flaw especially with large size grow bags. However, the double X stitching here means you can carry the bag full of wet soil without any problems.
The bags are made from nonwoven felt which is BPA-free. This makes the bags a healthy choice especially if you keep them indoors where children and pets will come in contact with them.
However, we had a problem with these bags. Even though the bag’s capacity was 3 gallons as advertised, the walls of the bags were a lot shorter than we expected. That meant that we couldn’t grow taller plants in them. That said, the extra width allowed us to grow more plants in one bag than is normal for a bag this size.
- High-quality nonwoven fabric.
- Double X stitching for extra strength.
- Round design that doesn’t lose shape even when full.
- Air-prunes root structure.
- The walls of the bag are shorter than usual which is not ideal for tall plants.
4. OPULENT SYSTEMS 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags
Some products focus on the design and shape while others put performance front and center. But OPULENT SYSTEMS 5-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags combines the two in crisp and heavy-duty bags that stand the test of time. You can practically grow any veggie here including the notoriously difficult potato plants.
So what makes these grow bags so special? The answer is craftsmanship. When all things are equal and the fabric is the same, it’s the craftsmanship that makes a difference. The nonwoven fabric is designed and stitched in a way that makes it durable without losing its resilience or breathability.
The bags do a good job draining out excess water and allowing the air in and out to oxygenate the soil, cool down the soil in the summer, and keep it warm in the winter. The bags sit comfortably on the floor and their elegant design adds to the landscape rather than diminish it.
The built-in handles increase the durability of the bags. And since you can wash the bags, they are reusable. When the annuals are done for the year, empty the bag, clean it, and store it away until the next time you need it.
On the downside, if you want to grow tomatoes or other heat-sensitive plants in these bags you’ll need to make sure the fruits don’t touch the fabric. The fabric can get too hot and lead to fruit rot. So extra precautions are needed to protect the crops in the bags.
- Heavy-duty bags of good quality.
- Excellent craftsmanship for durability.
- Built-in handles for easy transportation.
- Easy to wash, fold, and store away.
- Not suitable for heat-sensitive plants such as tomatoes.
5. Gardzen 6-Pack 7 Gallon Grow Bags
Whether you call it to grow bags or fabric pots, what really matters is will they increase your crop production and improve the health of the plants and the growth of the roots or not. The answer that Gardzen 6-Pack 7 Gallon Grow Bags provides is an emphatic yes.
We gave the 7-gallon bags a try to see how well they treated the root systems. We were pleasantly surprised with the fast growth rate of the roots. The ample space inside the bag along with the flexible walls give the roots enough room to spread out. After a few months, our Knock Out roses were looking healthy with a robust root system. That had to do with the wonderful drainage of the material. Watering the roses was really easy since one can track the water saturation on the walls of the bags.
The bags have a fluffy look and feel about them. We put them in a corner on the patio and they blended in with the rest of the furniture. They are both BPA-free and AZO-free so there’s little risk of pollution when one handles them even without gloves. Also, the dimensions of the bags we received were the same as advertised, so we had no problem growing tall plants in the 12-inch high bags.
Moving the bags around is also easy thanks to the double handles which are double stitched for more reliability. Overall, these bags are a good choice if you want to plant large plants with hefty rhizomes or root systems.
The downside to these bags is that during the summer months, the soil dries out faster than in other bags. This could be due to the high permeability of the material. Either way, you would need to water your plants a lot more frequently to keep the soil moist on hot days.
- Sturdy and durable bags.
- Reusable and lightweight.
- Double handles with double stitching for extra durability.
- Promotes healthy root growth.
- The high breathability of the fabric leads to faster soil dry out in the summer.
6. MELONFARM 5-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags
The MELONFARM 5-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags balance a novel design with quality of material to offer a unique grow bag that promotes higher yield and healthier plants. The Oxford handles literally stick out but in a good way this time. Rather than attaching flappable handles at the top that collapse to the sides of the bag, the handles conveniently are shaped like the handles of an urn. That way you can carry the bag with ease and move it even when it’s full.
The thick nonwoven material is both sturdy and resilient at the same time. It retains enough water to satisfy the plant’s hydration needs and drains out the extra moisture. The bags also have high permeability that makes it easy to manage the temperature of the soil. This breathability however means that the soil dries out faster than when you grow your plants in plastic containers or terracotta pots. So you’ll need to water your plants more frequently than usual.
That extra thickness of the walls of the bags doesn’t come in the way of the roots. This is especially true for perennials with robust root systems. And that’s what we liked about these 3-gallon grow bags. They accommodate most flowering plants even those with bloated rhizomes. When repotting the plants, we just refreshed the soil and replanted the perennials in the same bag.
The only problem we had with these bags was the bottom being thinner than the walls. This is probably more of a feature than a design flaw to improve water drainage. But that thin bottom wears off quickly which puts the bag’s longevity in doubt.
- Thick nonwoven material.
- Oxford handles for easy transportation.
- Promote root health and higher yield.
- The bottom of the bags is thinner than the walls.
7. JERIA 12-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags
When the JERIA 12-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags first came out we were eager to give it a try. And years later we still use it with little issues. The spacious grow bags allow you to grow more than one plant species in the same bag. As long as the plants are compatible, you won’t have problems with watering or feeding them.
Made from nonwoven fabric, the bags do a good job draining excess water, allowing the soil to breathe, and keeping the plants warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This is one of the advantages of grow bags in general over planters and pots. But this JERIA product really excels with the high permeability of the walls of the bag. As for the bottom, it’s made of the same material and is just as thick and sturdy as the walls. So we’re satisfied with that.
The set has 12 3-gallon pieces which, in my opinion, is more than enough to create a small garden in a relatively limited space. The bags arrived in the same dimensions as advertised each bag measuring 9 inches high and 10 inches in diameter. They’re suitable to grow everything from herbs to jasmine and sweet potatoes.
On the downside, the handles of the bags are a little too small for such large bags. While sturdy, the handles could be a little taller for easier handling. It might be an aesthetic decision to attach smaller and cuter handles, but in practical everyday use, they’re not that convenient.
- Accommodate more than one growing plant.
- Keep the plants cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Spacious and durable bags.
- Handles too small for the large bags.
8. Garden4Ever 10-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags
Our last product to review on this list has a few good features going for it. The Garden4Ever 10-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags have a unique shape that is almost, but not exactly, circular. Unlike round or square bags that bulge when filled with soil, this bag retains its elegant shape and the walls hold the soil firmly without giving out at the bottom.
Despite its firm walls, the bag still bends under pressure which is exactly what the roots need as they expand and grow. The nonwoven fabric air prunes the roots and prevents the usual root circling build-up one encounters in plastic planters.
The 1-gallon bags are 7.5 inches high and 6.5 inches in diameter. That makes them suitable for small plants and annuals. Don’t use these to grow perennials or other plants with heavy root systems.
One of the things we didn’t like about these bags was their plain design. For small grow bags that most likely will end up on your porch or deck, they lack any aesthetic value. The two green lines that circle the top of the bag do a poor job alleviating the shabbiness of the bags. Other than that, the grow bags are practical enough to grow small plants.
- A solid shape that doesn’t bulge when full.
- Better at air pruning roots.
- Suitable for annuals and small plants.
- Not very durable and the bottom tends to dry rot and rips apart.
Grow Bags Buying Guide
You probably still don’t have a clear idea of what makes a grow bag worth buying. This buying guide explores the benefits of grow bags and highlights the features that set the above products from the rest of the pack.
Why Use Grow Bags?
If you’re wondering why you would go through the trouble of using grow bags when you could easily use pots or planters, read on to learn the benefits of those inexpensive gardening containers.
- Grow bags prevent the common root circling problem. Plants growing in plastic or terracotta pots tend to have a root circling buildup when the roots hit the walls of the pot. But a resilient bag allows the roots to grow and expand.
- The nonwoven material allows the soil to breathe. It improves the air circulation inside the bag and reduces heat build-up as a result of organic materials breakdown.
- Avoid overwatering your plants with grow bags. The walls of the bag will show you how much water is in the soil and whether the plant needs more watering or not.
- You can wash your grow bags easily and remove the odors and stains. That’s more you can say about terracotta pots or plastic planters.
- Grow bags are easy to fold and store in a compact place.
- You have more control over the humidity levels and temperature of the soil in a grow bag than with other types of containers. This reflects positively on the health and yield of your plants.
- They are easy to move around and transport.
Key Features of Grow Bags
Since most of the grow bags have more or less the same price tag and look almost exactly the same, then choosing the right one comes down to the quality of the materials, the size, durability, and washability among other features.
One of the advantages that grow bags, or fabric pots as they’re sometimes called, is that the fabric allows the air inside the bag and oxygenates the soil. This breathable fabric translates into healthier plants and better drainage as well.
The best bags that have these advantages are usually those made from nonwoven material such as VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags. That type of material gives you both strength and resilience. It doesn’t interact with the chemicals in the soil thus reduces the risks of wear and tear over time. The stitching also contributes to the overall durability of the bag. When you fill the bag to the brim, you wouldn’t want it to burst at the seams.
Grow bags come in different sizes. Since the main purpose of the fabric pot is to solve the problem of limited space, then you need to pick the right bag size. This usually comes down to the type of plants you want to grow. If you plan to grow veggies such as tomatoes, for example, then a 5-gallon bag will accommodate your tomato plants from germination until the fruits become ripe. If you start your tomatoes in a one-gallon bag, by the time the vines start flowering they would have outgrown the bag. That means you’d have to transplant them to a 5-gallon or even a 10-gallon bag if you’re growing indeterminate tomatoes.
Easy to Clean
Let’s face it. Your grow bags will hold soil, compost, chemical fertilizers and host a wide variety of grubs and bacteria. In other words, the bags will definitely get dirty every time you use them. So you need to have a bag that you can wash and clean up before you use it again. Even if you don’t plan to plant something again immediately, you’d want to store the clean bag away all clean and ready for reuse. OPULENT SYSTEMS 5-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags are made from washable material that doesn’t stain easily.
As every gardener knows, most of the plants you grow in soil don’t like to get their feet wet. Draining is important for plants since waterlogged soil leads to root rot which is a serious and often fatal problem. So the grow bag should be made from a material that both breathes well and drains even better.
Unlike plastic or terracotta pots, grow bags show you exactly how much water your plants need by watching the water saturation levels on the fabric. This handy feature allows you to give the plants the right amounts of water, not more nor less. That way you can avoid such problems as mold and root rot.
Handles, Design and Foldability
Handles for grow bags are more than just an accessory. As you’ll soon find out, you’ll be moving your plants indoors and outdoors quite often. This is especially true of plants that are too sensitive to direct sunlight or strong winds. Sturdy handles make it convenient to move your grow bags anywhere you like even when filled to the brim.
The design of the bag is for purely aesthetic purposes. If you’re planting roses, then why not grow them in a stylish bag that complements their beauty?
And last but not least, you’d want your bag to fold easily when you want to store it. A bulky bag that takes up space, whether it’s full or empty, defeats the purpose of having a grow bag in the first place.
Grow Bags FAQs
If you still have some questions regarding grow bags and how to use them, you’ll find the answers here.
Can I grow anything I like in a grow bag?
Yes. Grow bags are suitable for just about any plant. If you can grow it in a planter or a terracotta pot, then you can certainly plant it in a grow bag. Even heavy root plants such as sweet potatoes will thrive in a grow bag. Keep in mind that the dimensions of the bag matter. So plants with heavy root systems would require a large bag.
Annuals and small flowering plants such as petunias are more suitable for one-gallon bags. But tomato vines, rose bushes, and other sprawling plants need to grow in 5-gallon bags and above.
How about washing? Can I wash a grow bag?
For the most part, grow bags made from nonwoven fabric or felt are washable. This is one of the best features of these bags besides the ability to fold them and store them away until you next use them. Grow bags such as VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags are easy to wash and they repel mold and fungi. So you won’t have a problem cleaning them between uses. It’s also recommended that you wash your grow bags regularly whether when repotting your perennials or between annuals. That keeps improves the permeability of the fabric throughout the years.
Are grow bags well drained?
Yes, they are. If you have tried growing plants in plastic containers you probably struggled with excess water. That water may or may not make its way out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the containers. But with grow bags, the whole body of the bag including the walls and bottom drains out the excess water.
Another advantage with these bags is that you can always tell how much water the soil retains by checking the moisture saturation on the walls of the bags. This helps you manage your irrigation and water the plants only when the soil is dry.
The Last Word
Although most grow bags share the same qualities and are made from more or less the same materials, still some products manage to stand out and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. That’s why VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Grow Bags won our editor’s choice. The bags are odorless and BPA free making them environmentally friendly options. Their rugged handles and nonwoven fabric gives them an edge when it comes to draining excess water, preventing root circling build-up, and improving the health and growth rate of the plants. They come in different sizes and have an appealing design that matches their good quality.
For our budget value, we picked 247Garden 5-Pack 1 Gallon Grow Bags. These bags challenge the common assumption that a cheap price always means cheap quality. Made from a nonwoven material, they do a good job oxygenating the soil and allowing the roots enough room to expand. You can easily move the bags around with sturdy handles without giving the plants a movement shock.
We also recommend the aptly named Winner Outfitters 6-Pack 3 Gallon Grow Bags as our premium pick. Even though they didn’t make it to the top, they deserve their place as runner-up because they are a good combination of design, quality, and functionality. The high-quality material promotes better root air pruning and prevents mold and fungus buildup.