Plants are pleasant way to liven up a space but can be challenging too as they need a special care. Watering your indoor plants is not as easy at it sounds. Some people forget to water them sometime and when they remember, they overwater them to compensate. Luckily, there is an easier and reliable technique to water your plants regularly.
Self- watering soda bottle planters are perfect for a small space gardens or window herbs or window plants. As they don’t need a large amount of space, you can make these planters for you window or garden and they almost take care of themselves. These self-watering planters provide a continues supply of moisture and they are easy to make with used plastic soda bottles. In fact, it a great activity for children and they will get a chance to know about reusing materials and the needs of plants. They will be happy doing this activity on their own with your guidance. Your plants will be grateful to you for sure.
To build your planter you will need:
- Plastic soda or water bottle
- Potting soil mix
- Seeds or plants (I suggest an herb such as basil or a flower such as a marigold)
- Yarn or trip of t-shirt about 6 in. long (the wick)
- Hobby knife
- Erase marker pen
Try to make it where there is plenty of space to work and be ready for a mess, especially of you are working with children.
Step 1: Cut a Plastic Soda Bottle or Water bottle in Two parts
Take a big, clean and empty soda or water bottle. With the dry erase marker pen, draw a line around the center of the bottle. Make sure that the line should be around the middle of the bottle. If children are working with you, this is a good activity for them to practice their measuring skills. Ask them to fix the center of the bottle and even measure the perimeter if you have rulers with you.
Now take a hobby knife and cut the bottle crosswise in half. 1.25-liter bottle is ideal to make such planter. If you have cut them exactly in same half that’s good but if you don’t have marker pen or ruler to measure and if have not cut them exactly in half that’s fine. Plastic bottles comes with grooves in them, so you also can cut the bottle exactly from grooves right under the label to cut a straight line.
Step 2: Smooth the Edge of the Cut Bottle
The top piece with the bottle cap will be the top of the planter but it will be upturned. Now we have to smooth the sharp edge of the both bottle parts where it was cut. You can do this with kitchen pan. Heat a pan on the stove for few seconds and then turn over the pan and hold sharp edge section of the bottle against the pan to make it smoother.
This procedure will give you smooth even edge.
Step 3: Drill a Hole in the Bottle Cap
Now remove a bottle cap and take a drill machine. Now make a hole in middle of the bottle cap. If you don’t have drill machine, you can make the hole using scissors. But if children are working with you, don’t allow them to do this activity. Using scissor or drill, make a large hole carefully.
Step 4: Cut a Strip of T-Shirt Fabric
Take a scrap white cotton t-shirt and cut a strip about 1 by 8 inches. You can also take yarn around 8 inches. Cut a strip in such a way that it can be pass through the middle of the cap.
Step 5: Thread the Cloth Through the Hole
Now take a bottle cap which is having large hole in the middle. Thread the strip of T-shirt fabric through the hole in the bottle cap. You can push it with a help of a toothpick and pull out it from another end. Then attach the bottle cap back on the bottle
Step 6: Drill Holes in the Bottom Section
The bottom part of the soda or water bottle will be the water tank. Drill some small holes around four to five in this piece for air circulation. But make sure these holes are above the intended water line or else water won’t be stored in this part.
Step 7: Fill the Planter with Soil
Now take the section with the bottle cap on the bottom and fill it to the top with soil. If children are working with you, tell them the importance of good soil for plantation. How good soil help plants in growing. If you are planting seeds, you have to fill it to the top and if you are transplanting, then fill the part which is needed to accommodate the plant. Make sure the t-shirt strip or yarn extends to the top of the soil rather than getting hidden at the bottom of the bottle. If you are planting seeds, you have to fill it with soil to the top and if you are transplanting, then fill the part which is needed to accommodate the plant. Make sure the t-shirt strip or yarn extends to the top of the soil rather than getting hidden at the bottom of the bottle
Step 8: Add the Plant
Soil is already in the planter. If you are transplanting, add the plant on top of the soil. Three-inch preserved plant is suitable if you are using 1.25-liter bottle. If you are planting seeds, you have to plant them while you are adding soil in the planter.
Step 9: Fill the Water Tank
Now take the bottom section of the plastic bottle and add water in it. Just make sure you don’t fill it above the air holes. Then, adjust the planter into the water reservoir so the fabric strip or yarn reach to the water.
After completing all above steps, you have successfully made self-watering planter for your garden or your window space. Water now travels from the reservoir into the soil as required.
These self-watering planters are very useful if you are a forgetful gardener or if you are going on vacation or going out of town for few days. You don’t need someone to take care of your plants for watering. Additionally, they look lush potted despite their humble origin as used soda or water bottles.
Choose an area with good sunlight for your plants to grow. When no water left in bottom part of planter or water tank, simply refill them with water.