Cut the top off a 2 liter bottle, a little over halfway up. Drill a small hole in the cap, large enough to thread some twine through. Thread twine through cap and tie a knot on the inside to prevent it from slipping through. Cut the twine off with several inches on each end. Fill the top of the bottle with potting soil and fill the bottom with clean water. Dip the string into the water to submerge it and set the top in place.
This self watering container is great for indoor plants that don't have a large root structure, or for starting seeds. I use this planter for a jade but I think it would work really well for an African violet also. When the roots reach the edge, I will trim them back and add soil around them so the light doesn't damage the roots.
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
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From the simple to the extravagant, the garden marketplace is full of products that can feed and water your container plants for you. But if you prefer to spend your money on plants, rather than "systems," you may want to consider a simple and inexpensive method using wicks.
To keep house plants watered while on vacation is quite simple. Place A bowl of water near plants with yarn running from the water to a hole made in the dirt with the other end of the yarn buried.
This is a great way to make a self watering container using recycled materials. Learn how to make one in this short video.
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Thank you for the detailed explanation on using wicks for watering plants when away. I live the the United Kingdom and I have had a lot of frustration trying to get a suitable material to use as a wick with my used/saved milk jugs which I intend to use as my water reservoir.
Please could you be kind to recommend where I can get these or alternative materials and how to use them.
A length of thick cotton string would work well.
They sell wicks online like on Amazon:
This site has homemade solutions, which was my go to as I don't like to buy new when I have something I can give a second or third or fourth life to.
It worked, but I stopped using it I thought it gave off a musty/mildewey smell from the wet shirts. Perhaps I was doing something wrong. For me, I just went back to a regular watering...which works for me.
Hope you find a system that works for you!
I do not know how elaborate a self-watering system you plan to make and that in itself, may determine the type of wick material you will need.
Note: Plants that require excellent drainage, like orchids, succulents and cacti, may not be appropriate for this type of watering.
How do I use for wick watering container plants?