How to Sustainably Grow Your Own Toilet Paper

Introduction: How to Sustainably Grow Your Own Toilet Paper

About: I'm a Pre-K teacher at St. Mark's Preschool & Kindergarten in Tucson, Arizona. I love my job and working in Early Childhood Education. My classroom has a focus on nature, science, art, and having fun lea…

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.

Supplies

Toilet paper seeds (rolls)

soil

water

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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    14 Comments

    0
    DREWNOLT
    DREWNOLT

    Question 1 year ago

    Wait, so this actually works? It's not some sort of joke?

    0
    tytower
    tytower

    Answer 1 year ago

    Cardboard comes from tree pulp as does paper . Consequently the fibres willl absorb water and expand . Now if your soil is reasonable they should grow quickly.

    0
    Brown167
    Brown167

    Answer 1 year ago

    Well, why dont you try it. How long are you going to wait for growth? Until the cardboard rots?Ha-Ha!

    0
    tytower
    tytower

    Reply 1 year ago

    Of course its real. Needed too when you can't buy it.

    0
    ariannajones2004
    ariannajones2004

    1 year ago

    does it really work at all cause I have a garden in my moms front yard so if it works I was going to try it after I get off of my school work. thanks so much for letting us know that cause my mom and dad is almost out of toilet paper so I will try to grow some toilet paper.

    0
    tytower
    tytower

    1 year ago

    I use a bucket and sawdust method that leaves me with no smell whatever . As the rolls are used up I throw the seeds in too and then when full plant the whole lot in a hole in the garden. Later I have noticed there is quite some self seeding like tomatoes squashed in . Thanks !

    0
    acheide
    acheide

    1 year ago

    Having gardened most of my life, and associated with many gardeners, I'm surprised I've never seen this before. It is so easy to pick up eggs, T.P. and lettuce in the store and not think about where they come from. This explains one of them. Now to find out where eggs come from.
    Thank you so much.

    0
    TheSTEMAZingPro
    TheSTEMAZingPro

    1 year ago

    While I haven't had a chance to use this idea directly with students, I can see the incredible potential it has to build and strengthen children's vocabulary related to growing plants - seeds, roots, soil, sprouts, tufts, pruning, wilt, growth, harvest, stem, flower, fibrous leaves, desert-adapted plants, and hybrid. I also like the reference to the similarity between how toilet paper rolls grow and how artichokes grow. What an amazing, creative idea! Thanks for sharing.

    0
    dwolin
    dwolin

    1 year ago

    coolest invention ever and it works to, supprized you figured this out by your self

    0
    imakealot
    imakealot

    1 year ago

    Lol I love this!! 😂

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    This is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this :D

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    Well heck, I've been throwing away perfectly good seeds for years!