How to DIY a Self Watering Bottle – Hydrate Plants Like a Pro

Learn how to make a self watering bottle for plants, and a green way to use and repurpose “junk” stuff into irrigation tools that can give your plants the right level of irrigation when you’re going tn vacation, and don’t want to have to worry that they’ll be dehydrated when you’re away. Or what if you’ve got a lot of plants in containers or pots indoors and can’t seem to find the time to water them all on your schedule, or are prone to forgetting, or not sure what you’ve watered first? Well we’ve got you covered.

That’s where this slow release plant waterer diy comes in.

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self waterers


Are Watering Globes Any Good?

I always liked those pretty globe shaped plant waterers, you’re probably familiar with them or have used them, too. They’re very elegant looking, made of blown glass, and provide an aesthetically pleasing solution to watering on the clock when you’re away. I still have a few of them, one accidentally got broken on the narrow end.

There’s a trick to making them work well, you have to make sure you mark a place for them – I used a chopstick or unsharpened pencil – because you can’t just push them into the soil without the chance of the tube part breaking -after all they are made of glass. . Second, don’t fill them up all the way, only three-fourths – as it needs air to get to it to be able to flow.

water globe for houseplants

Sometimes dirt would get trapped in the tube and block the flow of water. SO the angle you insert them in can make a difference – it needs to be about 45 degrees slant to get to the root system.

But I love the concept, as it’s important for plants to get the right amount of water, and slow-release or drip irrigation fits the bill nicely.

How to Make a Slow Drip Water Bottle For Plants – Easy Way

Did you know there’s a way to get something like this for your plants for pennies on the dollar? Small 8-oz bottles like those that contain filtered water, are great, you can take a thumbtack and prick the bottom in five places so the water trickles out incrementally. As I’m doing here:

diy self watering bottle

Alternately you could also prick small holes in the cap of the bottle and turn it upside down in the dirt (you may have to dig a little bit more so the bottle doesn’t tip as it’s inserted, and still insert at a slight angle to be beneficial to the plant root system. 

This is better suited for houseplants or individual container pots…not practical for raised beds and there are other ways I handle that. If that’s you, read on .

One exception – we made a micro-bed not long ago in the corner of the backyard to plant a luffa – that’s the actual plant that loofah sponges come s fro and we’re trying to grow our own luffa gourds. A story for another time…anyway, since it’s in a small corner bed by itself, it needed its own supply of water as it’s cut off from the main beds. We ended up using an empty liquor bottle to do so. John asked me to take a thumbtack and pierce it near the bottom in three or four different places. I’m not sure I pierced it in exactly the places he wanted, but it worked just fine.

slow release water for plants diy

Also, don’t forget, you can always decorate the bottle with bling so it looks decorative like the blown glass globes…even better., if you’re concerned it just looks like “junk”

Empty soda bottles are great for this. They come in lots of different sizes so no matter what size or type of plant you have, you can choose a size of bottle that will supply water adequately. A 20-oz works fine for a phlox, a liter size could do fine for a plant in a 5-gallon container. I know a lot of people are all into repurposing liquor bottles – and this would be no exception. Especially glass bottles that have a distinctive look to them, can be turned into great self-aterer tools. It doesn’t matter if you drink or not because you can find these bottles at places like Craigslist or FB marketplace, if you check around. Some people are giving them away for free.

And since I love the look of real glass (that’s another thing, for vegetable plants, I’d caution you to be sure the plastic bottles you choose for this are BPA free.) With glass, you’re also pretty safe, too, in addition to them looking more appealing. Paint or decorate them a little. I love the old-school glass Coke bottles, as they work great to turn into feeders for your hummingbirds which I enjoyed doing one summer.

Now the part about how you make them into waterers for your plants. There’s a method to doing this correctly, and it involves the use of PVC pipe and tubing.

I found a good video on YT that’s not only excellent in showing you how, but its’ entertaining too. He sounds like a real hoot.

Apparently, the PVC pipe creates a vacuum that keeps the bottle from leaking out in the wrong places, and the plastic tubing helps dispense the water where it’s needed the most – at the roots. The guy in the video above used a hot glue gun to make that end waterproof, but I am not a fan of those for long-term permanency. (Maybe he’s got a better one than I have…)

Hope you got some good ideas form watching this and you know a few things about giving your plants the right amount of water on the regular, or when you’re out of town!

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