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The pot that grows: an accessory to facilitate the work of the urban gardener

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par Elsa Sidawy | 12.02.11


A flower pot that grows by itself. This is the latest concept in vogue for busy urbanites, proposed by a start-up created in September. With a finalist position in the category “Industrial Design” of the Grands Prix de l’Innovation de la Ville de Paris to be presented on Thursday, December 1st, this product, still in the prototype stage, is giving its founders reason to get excited.

Behind the “Pot that Grows” hides, for the two designers of the company Vegetal Fabric, the modest ambition of trying “to find original and artful solutions to problems faced by all urban gardeners,” says Lara Hamdi, partner and designer. The conclusion? As urban gardeners always short on spare time we look to make things convenient, especially in regards to a task that can prove more complicated than the others: repotting. “We do not necessarily know what pot to choose, we do not have the time or space … these numerous constraints often mean that we end up not repotting.” For all those without a green thumb, the ambition of the “Pot that Grows” is to propose an evolving user-friendly product that facilitates repotting.


The origami of potting
Technically, the idea is very simple: “we use a soft fabric to create a folding system.” A fabric that is rot-proof and stiff enough to hold soil but remains flexible enough to be folded or unfolded to increase or decrease in size. The pot can thus be adapted to the size of the plants and to the speed at which they growth. An innovation that makes the purchase of new pots and the storage of old redundant.  As far as materials, the outside fabric is lined with a watertight coating that seals the pot, and which can be easily stored inside an apartment, on a balcony or a windowsill.

But we must remain fairly traditional, because gardening is a arena where you cannot make radical innovations,” admits the designer, who is already dreaming of an ideal container which, without intervention, would grow along with the plant. “In fact, we must find a balance: the buyer also wants to stay active and involved up to a certain point but as soon as it’s too complicated, people stray away.

The art of discrete innovation
Today, the “pot that grows” is only in a prototype stage and is not yet commercially available. Once on the market, in garden centers and supermarkets in urban areas, it will be priced at approximately 25 to 45 euros, depending on its size.

Meanwhile, Vegetal Fabric is already selling “knit pots,” also in fabric, washable and foldable: a few arguments that should easily win over urbanites in search of decorating ideas and looking to wrap up their plants for a winter rest.

To learn more about the innovation presented in this article, contact us at

Translated by Genny Cortinovis

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