DIY Guide: Self-Watering Bottle Planter

by Heart of Virginia Properties 11/07/2021

If you’ve ever gone on vacation and worried about your houseplants not getting watered, a self-watering planter is a smart option. Unfortunately, many of these planters available to buy are expensive and hard to find. Luckily there are ways to make your own while recycling old items at the same time. Here are some tips for making your own self-watering planters out of empty beverage bottles.

Materials

Bottle of your choice
A rubber stopper
A small piece of window screen or fine mesh
String or twine to use as a wick
Potting mix
Herbs or plants

What Kind of Bottle Is Best?

You have options for which bottles to use for your planters. The fundamental things to consider are size and material. Your planter will be the same size in diameter as whatever bottle you use, so the wider the bottle, the bigger your planter will be. That said, you can use wine, beer, soda, water or juice bottles—either plastic or glass will work. Glass is more durable than plastic, but requires special tools to cut.

Step-by-Step

  1. The first thing to do is cut the bottle in half roughly about the center. If you have a glass bottle, you’ll need a glass cutter, glass drill or a specialized bottle cutting tool.

  2. Add the rubber stopper around the edge of the bottom of the bottle to help keep the glass from sliding.

  3. Cut a small hole in the center of the mesh large enough for the string to pass through.

  4. Stick the string through the hole and tie a large knot at one end to keep it in place.

  5. Take the top of the bottle and position it upside down so that it rests inside the bottom part. Place the mesh and the string so that the string can pass down through the neck of the bottle.

  6. Add potting mix on top of the mesh and add your plant of choice.

  7. Fill the bottom of the bottle with enough water that the string hangs down into it.

  8. Now you’re finished! Place your new planter in a windowsill or somewhere else with enough light for the plants to thrive.

How Does It Work?

With the string hanging down into the water it acts as a wick to bring moisture all the way up into the planter part of the bottle where the knot is. This gradually waters the plant from below until the water in the bottom vessel is completely gone or low enough that the string can’t touch it. Now you have a great way to keep your moisture-loving herbs and plants happy without daily watering.

About the Author
Author

Heart of Virginia Properties

Tammy and Christy are Fredericksburg natives with strong community ties and family values. With 20 plus years’ experience in organizing, nurturing, multitasking, and problem-solving, they find themselves capable of juggling the many hats necessary for a real estate transaction. Most people look for one agent to help them manage the process but with Tammy and Christy, your clients will receive the benefit of 2 working on their behalf. They would love to welcome your referrals into the family.