6 DIY Steps For Making Self-Watering Pots For Your Outdoor Plants
If you have outdoor plants, you might find it difficult to water your plants exactly when they need it. It can be because plants get thirsty at different times or even if you’re gone for several days at a time.
Some plants require frequent watering, whereas others need water every couple of days.
To make sure a plant gets enough water, you might want to set up a watering schedule or implement a self-watering system, so the plant takes the right amount that it needs, when it needs it. If you cannot buy a self-watering pot, here are the steps that allow you to create one from scratch. Let’s get started!
Image source: Freepik
Get the proper Plant Container
The first step is getting the plant container that you want. Make sure that it is made of plastic, as you may have to drill a couple of draining holes in it. You can buy a planter, or you may even create one yourself from a bucket with some paint and some regular stone decorations.
The planter should be slightly larger than usual, so it will fit the self-watering system. Make sure it does not have any ready-made holes in it.
Create the Wicking Bottle
Take a regular bottle and poke holes every 1-2 inches into the bottom half of it. The holes will be necessary to pull the water into the soil. This way, the bottle will serve as a wick the plant can take moisture out of. Put it in the planter and let it sit at the bottom.
This is a great method to keep your plants watered while you are away for a few days, as the plant will pull the water from the water source and into the bottle.
Cut the Saucer
If your planter came with a saucer, cut a hole in its middle that is just wide enough to fit your bottle.
Pass the saucer through the bottle with its face down, and press until you get to the bottom of the pot. The area underneath will be the one where you add the water for the plant.
Add the Watering Tube to the Pot
Get a small pipe, slightly bigger than your planter, as it needs to reach above the soil. Place it anywhere between the edge of the saucer and the hole for the wicking bottle, trace the edge, and then cut a hole in the saucer.
Place it inside and adjust its height, as this is the medium where you will be adding water through. The pipe should stay at an angle, the top opening inching towards the edge of the pot. If you wish to add water automatically or from a distance, you may want to use a garden hose reel to connect it to the waterline.
Create a Draining Hole
The draining hole should not be in the bottom middle of the pot, but just under the base of the saucer. This will prevent the soil from holding onto too much moisture, especially if you connect it so that the pot gets water automatically.
Fill the Pot
Finally, you can add soil to the planter, starting with the wick. Once you are done loading the wicking bottle, finish with the rest of the pot. Make sure that the watering tube is not covered. At this point, you may start planting anything you prefer.
The Bottom Line
With your self-watering pots, your plants should have a water reservoir for at least a week – which is just enough time for you to enjoy a nice vacation. Plants that require even less water can last for longer, so there is no reason why you should not create one of these pots yourself.
Annie Morton is an avid nature lover from rural Australia. After some international adventures, she has settled in New York City where she currently works for Hoselink USA.