If you are like most of us, sometime this summer you are going to leave town for some rest and relaxation. The last thing you want to come home to is a plant funeral. So, it’s time to figure out how to water plants while you are gone. Forget hiring a plant sitter or a kid from your neighborhood to take care of your garden and plant babies. Instead, why not try an automatic watering system? Whether it’s for your seedlings or houseplants, we’ve got a solution! Check out these 5 DIY self watering ideas for your garden or planters.
5 DIY Self Watering Ideas for Plants
Here’s my five favorite ways to set up automatic watering for your plants! These are great for anytime you’ll be away, and some can even just help to minimize the task of watering your plants when you’re home!
Self Watering Idea Number #1: The Wine Bottle Method
This first method is my personal favorite – the wine bottle self watering method. I have personally tested this one, folks. It works for any planter. Keep in mind this method is best for plants that need regular watering.
Rinse an empty wine bottle (or other glass bottle with a narrow neck) and fill it with water.
Drill a hole in the cork or screw cap and place back into bottle
Turn the filled bottle upside down and push the neck several inches into the soil near the center of the planter.
How it works:
The excess water in the bottle will seep into the soil over several days, keeping the ground evenly moist. How long the water will last will vary with this DIY self watering system – experiment!
To support the bottle’s neck and help push it into the soil, use these Plant Nanny Stakes. They also help control the water flow, ensuring your plants get the perfect amount of water they need.
#2: The Plastic Bottle Method
Need a self watering plant idea for a larger container or planter or an in-ground plant? We’ve got you covered!
Rinse an empty two-liter soda bottle. Punch small holes in the body of the bottle, as shown in the photo.
Bury the bottle in the center of the planter (or next to the plant roots of an in-ground plant), leaving the bottle’s open neck exposed above the soil surface, and fill it up!
How it works:
With this DIY self watering system, water seeps slowly into the soil through the holes in the bottle. Burying the bottle in the ground helps prevent evaporation and promotes a deep root system. Your garden never had it so good!
#3 The Tub Method
This simple self watering method works indoors and outdoors and works best for plants requiring a lot of water. Use potted plants in containers with good drainage. If using indoors in a bathroom, be sure the plants you use this for don’t need much sunlight since bathrooms don’t get much.
Fill your tub, sink, or even a kiddie pool with a few inches of water. (Place a towel at the bottom to prevent the pots from scratching that gorgeous tub or sink.)
Place the potted plants in the water, and you’re done!
How It Works:
With this self watering planter, the excess water in the tub is absorbed into the plant roots. Simple, easy, and keeps your plants healthy while you are away!
#4: The Wick Method
For this self watering planter method, you will need a bit of cotton rope, a bucket, a large vase, or a watering can. It works great for one plant or many!
Fill the bucket with water and place the plants you want to self-water near it.
Cut a length of rope for each plant, long enough for the rope to reach from the potting soil and well into the water bucket.
Bury the rope several inches into the soil and place the other end in the bucket of water.
How it Works:
The cotton rope will wick water into the soil as needed, creating the perfect DIY self watering pot! PS- there are some kits available on Amazon that work very similarly (see here), but really all you need is the wick material and a bucket!
Self Watering System #5: The Greenhouse Method
Consider the greenhouse method for self watering plants that won’t be in direct sunlight! This long-lasting self watering solution is best for house plants and non-succulents. Be sure to follow these instructions to avoid ruining your plant’s beautiful foliage.
Place four wooden stakes in the corners of your planter – these are the base of your greenhouse.
Water your plant as you would usually (avoid over-watering!).
Grab a plastic bag that is big enough to cover your plant and more. Gently place the plastic bag over the top of your plant (be careful to keep the bag from touching your plant!) and secure the bag to the planter.
How It Works:
You’ve just created a self watering planter that recycles its water. A self watering plant with its own water cycle? We love it!
Commercial Self Watering Systems
If the above DIY options won’t work for you – or you are in a time crunch getting out of town (hello, last-minute getaways!) – there fantastic commercial options that will keep your plants thriving while you are gone.
Plant Watering Globes
Plant watering globes are the perfect ready-to-go self watering method for your plants. Like the wine bottle method above, a watering globe keeps your plants healthy and adds a pop of color! We love these Watering Globes that you can buy on Amazon.
SELF WATERING POTS AND SELF WATERING PLANTERS
Self watering containers for your plants are the perfect no-fuss self watering system. Plant or re-pot your plants into a self watering planter or self watering pots, fill the water reservoir, and voila!
We love these self watering plant pots from Amazon, and there are even self watering hanging baskets (PS if hanging baskets are your thing, check out our tips for beautiful hanging baskets here). Looking to keep fresh herbs without remembering to keep up with watering them? I have something very similar to these planters (seen below) on my windowsill and they are perfect for that! Be sure to choose self watering pots that fit your plants well and are durable enough for indoor or outdoor use depending on your needs.
Figuring out how to water plants while you’re on vacation should be the least of your worries. These DIY self watering systems for your plants will keep your garden green and happy while you enjoy a well-deserved break. So go ahead: get outta town!
You’ll also love our post on 10 No Fail Drought Resistant Plants, the perfect plants for those who like to travel a lot. And be sure to stop by our sister site OhMeOhMy to check out these ‘Stunning Planter Box Ideas‘!