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Video:Build a DIY Watering Planter

with Julie Edmonds

Watering planters make your houseplants as low-maintenance as can be. See how to recycle a plastic bottle and create a self watering planter for easy care of your indoor plants and herbs all year round.See Transcript

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Transcript:Build a DIY Watering Planter

Hey everybody – This is Julie Edmonds for About.com. Indoor plants go a long way in making a city apartment a more cheerful place. One of the best ways to do indoor container gardening is with sub-irrigation containers, which are also known as self-watering containers. They are simple to make out of recycled materials and are great for really bringing your indoor gardening alive!

Watering Planter Supplies

You'll need just a handful of things to make this project happen:
  • 2 liter bottle
  • a rag piece of cotton or wool
  • soil (different kinds depending on what you are planting)
  • knife
  • scissors

Construct a Bottle Into a Planter

First things first, take off the plastic branding sheet from the outside of the plastic bottle. I have already done this with mine. Next, lay the bottle down and cut into it, 2/3rds down from the top. Cut all the way through the bottle so it is in two pieces.

Create a Water Stopper

Now take your rag cloth and cut out a strip it should be about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide, it does not need to be exact but you will want a long rectangle. Like this.

Next you are going to take your strip of cloth and place it on the spout of the bottle. You want it to lay flat so that the ends lay up the sides and the middle takes up the mouth of the bottle. When you are done take the top part and fill it with soil like this. Then fill the bottom portion with water, you do not need too much.

This container works because the cotton and then the soil use a capillary action to bring the water to the roots and by not top watering you are not flushing away the soil's nutrients.

Water the Plant

Regardless of whether you are transplanting a smaller plant into this container or starting from seed it is a good idea to water from the top right at first to make sure that the soil is moist.

Monitor the Watering Planter

Even though they are sometimes called self watering containers they are far from self-regulating. However, do not just assume that because the bottom of your container is empty that it needs water. Sometimes, depending on the plant, all that water is now in the soil and has not evaporated or been used by the plant. To see if the plant needs watering, I do a simple test. If I lift it up and it feels like the same weight as when there was water in the bottom I know I should wait before I water again.

By recycling plastic bottles into sub-irrigation containers you not only save waste, but you can create an indoor garden that is as easy to maintain as it is fun to grow.

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