A Plantable Pencil

Pencil inserted into pot with basil plants sprouting.

By Larry Hodgson 

Somehow, I missed this one: a pencil that you plant after you’ve worn it down to a nub, thus giving new life to an end-of-life product that would otherwise be thrown away. They’ve been around since 2014 and apparently over 30 million have been sold in over 80 countries. 

Pencil with top removed, showing seeds inside.
The capsule at the tip of the pencil hides seeds you can sow.

Each Sprout pencil contains at its tip, rather than an eraser, a capsule of seeds. There are 10 different varieties that grow into vegetables, flowers, herbs and now, even spruce trees!

Also, all Sprout pencils are 100% natural and are made from sustainably harvested wood. The writing material is a mixture of nontoxic graphite and clay and the seed capsule is made from plant-based material.  

Sprout pencils for used as Christmas gift.

If you want to try one (and they would also make interesting gifts or stocking stuffers), all of the Sprout World products are available online at sproutworld as well as on Amazon. You can even have the pencils customized, perhaps a promotional idea for companies looking for a sustainable gift for their clients.

I suspect that if I were given a Sprout pencil, I’d have a hard time waiting until it became too short to write with: I’d probably plant it right away!

All photos from

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

3 comments on “A Plantable Pencil

  1. Okay, now that is just lame.
    Nonetheless, it is something that I think the kids might enjoy. Do kids use pencils anymore?

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