Introduction: How to Sustainably Grow Your Own Toilet Paper

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Are you in need of toilet paper, but the stores are out? Did you know that you can grow your own? There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of homegrown toilet paper. Here is how.


Toilet paper seeds (rolls)



Step 1: Soak Toilet Paper Seeds

Look for toilet paper seeds (often referred to as rolls) that are regional to your area for best results. These will be adapted to your environment and will produce optimal growth. We used a desert hybrid to produce rolls that are soft, yet also strong. While these desert hybrid seeds require low water for growth, they are able to absorb a very large amount of liquid when grown, which is beneficial for later use.

Place your toilet paper seed in water so that the bottom 1/3 is submerged. You may need to insert toothpicks so that only the bottom stays inside the water.

Wait several days until you notice that your seeds have started to sprout their roots. As soon and the roots start to grow they are now ready to be planted.

Step 2: Plant Your Toilet Paper Seeds

It is recommended you amend your soil with compost prior to planting. This will give your toilet paper added fiber and create larger fluffier rolls. Don't forget, timing is everything! Toilet paper seeds grow best when planted in the right season. We highly recommend planting on April 1st.

Dig a small whole in the soil and place your toilet paper seeds with the roots stretching outwards.

Cover roots with soil, then water.

Step 3: Water and Prune As Needed

When watering your toilet paper seeds it is very important to only water the roots. Watering the leaves will actually cause the flowering plant to wilt.

Prune as needed. You want firm tight rolls, do not be afraid to cut off the tops if they are growing uneven.

Step 4: Knowing the Parts of the Toilet Paper Plant

As your toilet paper grows you will notice that the roll itself actually grows on a stem. Very similar to an artichoke plant. There have rough fibrous stems and leaves, and the actually roll sits on top of the plant. You normally do not use the steam or leaves of the plant, except for other Instructables projects. You'll just pick off the top roll when it is full grown.

Try to refrain from picking your toilet paper too soon. While it is growing your rolls are developing essential minerals and oils that will create a soft and satisfying roll.

Step 5: Harvesting Your Toilet Paper Roll

You can easily tell when your toilet paper is ready to be harvested. It will have a hard protective shell surrounding the soft inner roll. Your toilet paper may already have a flower on it. It's okay for it to have a small flower, but you want to be cautious about the flower becoming too big and going to seed. This will make your roll will rough and unpleasant. You can let your plant go to seed if you are growing your toilet paper for its seeds. There are many uses for toilet paper seeds and some great Instructables projects you can do at home. Or use the seeds to grow more rolls!

Normally, when you buy toilet paper from the grocery store the hard shell has already been removed for you. For the freshest rolls, I always look for ones that still contain their shell. It seals in the freshness and keeps them soft. It is possible to utilize the hard shell in different ways. Save it, I would love to see what ideas you can come up with!

To harvest your roll, simply pull off the top of the toilet paper plant, remove the outer shell and flower, and enjoy! While toilet paper can be store safely for long amounts of time, I recommend using it right away to enjoy the soft freshness. There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of homegrown toilet paper.

Happy growing!

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