Here’s how to make self-watering pots from plastic bottles

The Challenge with Leaving Plants Unattended

When you have a garden or indoor plants, it’s challenging to leave for an extended period. Some plants love moisture and need regular watering. Without water, they can dry out and wilt, especially in hot weather. To address this watering concern, why not make self-watering pots? Here’s more on this topic.

The Importance of Regular Watering

Plants need to be watered consistently, or they will wilt. To ensure your plants never lack water, especially your seedlings, consider making self-watering pots.

How to Make a Self-Watering Pot from a Plastic Bottle for Seedlings and Plants:

Take a clean, dry plastic bottle and cut it 2/3 from the base using a sharp knife. Both parts will be used to prepare the self-watering pot.

Unscrew the cap and drill a hole in the center. Take a string as long as the bottle, fold it in half, and thread it through the hole. Tie the end inside the cap and screw the cap back on.

Fill the bottom part of the bottle with water. Turn the upper part of the bottle upside down (cap facing downwards) and insert it into the lower part. Ensure the string is submerged in the water. Fill the top of the bottle with potting soil and plant your seeds. This setup helps maintain warmth, acting like a greenhouse. The string keeps the soil constantly moist. Your plants can grow without suffering from dryness, even in the heat.

Once your plants reach about 10 cm in height, you can transplant them into open ground or pots during the appropriate planting season.

Caveats with Self-Watering Pots

However, self-watering pots aren’t suitable for all plants. For instance, plants that dislike having constantly wet roots might suffer from too much moisture. Succulents, which have a limited water requirement, are a case in point. These fleshy plants can store water in their tissues, allowing them to survive in dry and arid climates. On the other hand, plants that require frequent watering, like geraniums and roses, will thrive in a self-watering pot.

An Alternative Solution for Keeping Plants Hydrated

If you want to keep your plants hydrated even in your absence, consider another solution: create an automatic drip irrigation system using a plastic bottle.

How to Set Up a Drip Irrigation System Using a Plastic Bottle for Your Plants

1. Setting Up the Drip System:

Choose a 1.5 L plastic bottle for potted plants, or a 5 L one for garden or vegetable garden plants.

Unscrew the cap and drill a hole in the center.

Fill the bottle with water, replace the cap, then turn the bottle upside down and push the neck into the soil.

This drip system should be set up a few days before you leave, allowing you to check the water flow and adjust the hole size if necessary.

Note: This type of drip watering, also known as micro-irrigation, is a cost-effective watering system.

2. Tips for Successful Plant Watering:

Observing Plant Foliage: When gardening or simply having indoor green plants, it’s essential to pay attention to the plant’s foliage. The condition of the leaves can indicate if a plant is under-watered or over-watered. Excessive water can be fatal. Over-watering results in softening and yellowing of leaves, asphyxiation and rotting of roots, and can also make plants more susceptible to insect and parasite attacks. Therefore, always remove any stagnant water from the saucer or pot cover after each watering.

Recognizing Water Stress in Plants: In cases of water stress, plant foliage may turn yellow. Depending on the plant variety, leaves may become limp or curl in on themselves.

Adapting Watering Techniques: Adjust your watering habits based on the plant’s needs and the seasons. For instance, plants require less water during winter than in summer. To determine if your plant needs water, check the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Water Temperature: Always water your plant with room temperature water, preferably non-limestone, like rainwater. Extremely cold or hot water can cause a thermal shock to the plant and damage its root system.

With these easy-to-follow tips, your plants will never be dehydrated!

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