Custom Thermoformed Packaging and Products

T.O. Plastics Expands Line of Square Pots Specifically Designed for Enhanced Drainage

Matching plastic carry tray also includes several important improvements based on industry members’ needs

CLEARWATER, MN – T.O. Plastics, Inc., introduces its 2 quart 5.5’’ square pot and accompanying carry tray, suitable for a wide range of horticulture applications.

The large square plant pots have a 2-quart soil capacity, with nine bi-level drain holes strategically placed to aid drainage. Enhanced drainage was a specific concern among the growers that T.O. Plastics spoke with while designing the new pots and carry trays, said Doug Laubenstein, the company’s National Sales and Strategic Business Development Manager.

“We asked ‘how can we make this better for you?’ and they responded with two specific requests, the first one being better drainage,” he said. “The greater soil capacity of larger pots retains moisture, which impedes plant growth.”

Excess moisture prevents oxygen from reaching plant roots, leading to poor plant health, and encourages root rot and other diseases that further prevent the plant from developing properly.

To overcome those challenges, T.O. Plastics Product Design Engineer’s, Scott Klein and Warren Sowers, designed an array of raised and lowered drainage slots in the pots themselves and incorporated significant advancements into the 2 quart, 5.5’’ square pot carry trays.

“The trays are the key,” Laubenstein said. “We built in a ridge along the inside bottom of the tray to allow the pots to sit above water as it drains out. We also increased the height of the tray bottom and incorporated holes there that not only allow water to drain quickly but also allow air to reach the plant pots and help the soil properly dry down.”

With a raised divider down the center for added stability, the square pot carry trays are equipped to hold up to 35 pounds’ worth of pots and soil. Innovative automation grooves on the bottom of the tray allow growers to employ multi-tray handling.

“The growers’ second request was for a sturdy tag slot to allow for efficient labeling and uniform alignment for merchandising,” Laubenstein said. “Our 2 quart, 5.5’’ square is one of the first thermoformed square pot to successfully incorporate an integrated tag slot on all four sides.”

The inherent thinness of thermoformed plastics previously made creating an integrated slot difficult, but T.O. Plastics’ team found a way to engineer around that challenge, he said.

The new square plant pots were designed specifically for perennial and woody ornamental growers  and berry producers but are well-suited for other uses in the greenhouse and nursery industries, Laubenstein said. “The 2 quart, 5.5’’ square appeals to a broad market.”


T.O. is accepting pre-orders for February 2018. Contact the company to learn more.

About T.O. Plastics

Founded in 1948, the company got its start as a manufacturer of thermoformed refrigerator parts for the company known today as Frigidaire. Today, T.O. Plastics offers custom thermoformed products and packaging from plants in Otsego and Clearwater, Minn., to customers in the medical device, consumer, electronics, industrial and recreational industries, among others, and produces its own line of proprietary plant trays and containers. The company offers full-service engineering design, tooling, custom sheet extrusion and thermoforming capabilities.

For more information about T.O. Plastics, contact: Amber Laudenbach by phone at (320) 558-5620 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..