Fact Check

Was Pot Planted in Potholes in Portland?

An image purportedly showing marijuana plants growing in potholes is fake.

Published April 24, 2017

An image shows marijuana plants growing in potholes in Portland, Oregon.

A photograph purportedly showing marijuana plants growing in potholes has been circulating on the internet since at least 2015 when it was shared in the Reddit group r/funny:

This image is fake.

The picture of pot plants in potholes is most often shared with the claim that this street is located in Portland, although other posts have claimed the street was in Oregon or Colorado. The original image shows flowers and not marijuana plants, but we were not able to determine the exact location.

The following picture was posted to the Life of Dad Facebook page in May 2015.

The passive aggressive way of getting your town to deal with potholes.

As for the location, we found several posts from 2015 claiming that this photograph was taken in Edmonton, Canada. This location may also be visible in a May 2015 video featuring a group of people planting flowers in potholes in Edmonton:

Here's a still from the video (taken at the 2:27 mark) showing what appears to be the same location from a different angle:

This image may have been taken in Edmonton, Canada, but that isn't the only city that has seen flowers growing in its potholes. Oregon Live reported that "pothole gardening" has become a form of protest in cities across North America and Europe:

Flower potholes: How has this not caught on in Portland?

If ever there was a protest suited for a bumpy-streeted Northwest city obsessed with public art, gardening, good manners bordering on the passive aggressive and alternative transportation, "pothole gardening" is it.

Across North America and parts of Europe, people fed up with local municipalities ignoring their complaints are filling street potholes with potting soil and flowers.


Rose, Joseph.   "Planting flowers in potholes becoming popular protest against bad roads: Commuting roundup."     Oregon Live.   2 June 2015.

City Metric.   "The most passive aggressive pothole protest ever."     5 June 2015.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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