Watering the plants when you’re gone

I Need To Remember This For Next Year Have you ever been on a week vacation and came back to dead plants? I have and if I had known this I would’ve come back to my plants flourishing! So what exactly is it? Self watering plant containers. You can make it quickly and it’s inexpensive! It’s perfect for those of you who have small plants or herb gardens. It makes it easier on you when you have to go away for any reason at all. Here’s how to make it:

You will need:

One 2 or 3 liter soda bottle with the cap.

A piece of newspaper, a piece of plastic from a bag or a piece of aluminum foil.

Cotton string

Scissors or knife to cut the bottle

A drill (or something similar) for making holes in the cap

Tape (optional)

paper or some other decorative cover to keep the light out


  1. First, take the cap and drill a large hole in the middle, drill several smaller holes around it. This will be for the string which will act as a wick to draw up the water.
  2. Second, get the string and cut three equal lengths of string (about 15 inches long) and tie them together with a simple knot about 3 inches up from the bottom.  In the cap, feed the three short lengths of string through the big hole in the middle and pull them through so the knot rests on the inside of the cap. The short ends will dangle in the water, and the long ends will go up into the soil to feed the roots of the plants.
  3. Use a marker to draw a line on the soda bottle to use as a guide when you cut it with the scissors. You’ll be left with the cup and the reservoir. With the cup inverted (neck down), put it inside the bottle, it shouldn’t touch the bottom. There should be 2 inches of space so that the wick can touch the water but the cap can’t.
  4. The cup is where the soil will go and where your plants will grow at, roots do better in darkness than in sunlight. Use a newspaper and put it all the way into the cup, trying to flatten it against the sides of the cup to increase the amount of soil that you can put in later. Once its in there how you want it to be, poke a hole in the bottom for the wick.
  5.  Feed the cotton wick through the hole that you poked in the cup and screw the cap on, it is now ready for the soil!
  6. Hold the wick in the middle of the cup and begin putting soil in, having the wick run up the middle of the soil helps absorb water faster, after adding a little soil, separate one string and make a coil in the dirt. Put a little more soil on and make a second coil, same with the third then fill it up the rest of the way.
  7. After all the dirt is in the cup, trim off the rest of the newspaper and soak the soil with water. Let it drain an hour, make sure the bottom of the wick is wet as well, this will help it absorb better.
  8. The reservoir is just the bottom of the bottle and is used to store water. Put water in it and place the cup inside, there should be enough water for the wick to be in, but not so much that the cap touches it. Since the cup pressed down into the reservoir creates a vacuum, it makes the removal of the cup a little tough. To solve this, drill a tiny hole on the side of the reservoir to let air in. Now the cup can be removed easily for watering, transplanting or harvesting.
  9. Now its time to plant the seeds.
    About once every few weeks, remove the cup, water the soil, rinse off the wick and allow it to drain. Take care to let it drain completely so as not to contaminate the new fresh water in the reservoir. Then, the cup goes back into the reservoir and you can walk away from it for another couple of weeks.

This is a great way to keep your plants watered and healthy while you travel the world. 

Here’s a video of a man showing how he keeps his plants watered while he’s gone:

Here’s another video showing another way to do this:

Do you have any plants that could use this? Tell me what plants you’ll use this idea for!


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