Irrigation sprinkler in a garden

10 Simple DIY Self Watering Planter Ideas (And Why You Should Use Them)

Sometimes, taking care of plants can be difficult. You might either forget to water them or end up overdoing it, both hurting the plants. If you want to get rid of these worries, you can build your own DIY self watering planter. This way, the plants will always get the water they need, and you no longer have to take care of them every day.

Watering can hung on a fence

Why should you build a DIY self watering planter?

By making such an installation for your pot plants, you can get rid of a lot of worries. For instance, going on vacations becomes easier again. Whenever you have to leave the house for one or more nights, your plants are still going to need watering.

This was a problem, as people weren’t always available to come and water your plants for you at least once a week. With a self watering planter, they can ‘take care’ of themselves for several days in a row. However, this solution isn’t only for traveling people.

These planters keep your plants alive while you’re gone

If you are a busy person and have a lot of things to do during weekdays, sometimes you might overlook plant watering. This will no longer mean the demise of your plants if you opt for the self watering mechanism. Also, it’s the perfect solution if you’re not really good with taking care of plants. Overwatering will become a problem of the past.

Then, you should start building. Most DIY self watering planter ideas do not involve cheap materials, and are all easy to manufacture. Once you’re done, the reservoir can keep your plants watered for up to a week’s time. This means all you have to do is fill this reservoir with water, and let it do its job.

DIY Self Watering Planter Ideas

1.      Repurposed plastic bottles

Instead of throwing away plastic bottles, you can turn them into one of the easiest self watering tools. They are easy to cut, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties in manufacturing them. Start by cutting the bottle in half.

Then, take the top half and make some holes in the cap. Afterwards, fill it with flower soil and seeds. The self watering reservoir will be the bottom half, where you should pour some water. However, make sure you don’t pour too much, to avoid overwatering. In the end, sink the cap of the top half in the water, and the planter is done.

Plastic bottle self watering planters

2.      Wicking beds

A wicking bed is a widespread idea to build a DIY self watering planter. This mechanism uses wicks to absorb humidity from one container to the one which contains the soil. To keep everything relatively cheap, you can use two containers, where one is bigger than the other.

The bigger container is the one which should keep some water on its bottom. Above it, place the smaller container filled with soil and seeds. To allow water to be absorbed, drill some holes in this smaller container and put some wicks in it. When one end of the bed is wet and the other is dry, the hydration process goes on smoothly.

3.      Bigger-scale watering system with wooden boxes

This idea requires a bit more time and finances to be fulfilled. However, the result is remarkable. When you’re done, you get a self-sustaining watering system that you have to tend only rarely. For it, you need wooden boxes for planting, and a bigger water tank.

Before planting, fix smaller reservoirs under each wooden box. Then, use pipes to connect them to the water tank. Don’t forget to install taps on each pipe, so that you should avoid overwatering. This way, the tank will deliver water to all your plants over a longer period. All you have to do from time to time is to fill the tank with water, and check the taps.

4.      Use an inverted self watering planter

This idea is not only effective, but it is also fashionable. It allows you to build a vertical garden, where the plants will hang upside down. They will be planted in an inverted container with an incorporated reservoir. This reservoir will have an opening on top, and it has to be filled with water from time to time.

The unusual planters will give some style to your pot garden. Find stylish ropes or chains to hang the containers, and decorate them however you like. However, even if you leave them like that, plants hanging from your ceiling will still look great.

Watering salad with a sprinkler can

5.      Eco-friendly watering mechanism using your air conditioning

This tip might work only temporarily, but it’s perfect for seasonal plants. The only thing you need is an air conditioning system, and the possibility to grow plants behind it. Whenever the AC is running, it releases some water. This water goes unused so, in other words, it gets wasted.

To avoid this waste, place a planter right under the air conditioning machine. The water dripping from it will fall directly on the plants. You can do the same thing if you have a garden and can use the soil behind the AC machine.

This is probably the cheapest DIY self watering planter idea, but make sure you choose the right plants. If you live in a place where you can’t keep the AC running throughout the year, pick vegetables or anything that grows only during hot seasons.

6.      Use glass bottles

If you can turn plastic bottles into planters, you can do the same with glass bottles. However, the process is a little more complicated here. First of all, you have to cut the bottle in half. Make sure you get the necessary tools which will actually cut the bottle instead of breaking it.

Then, take the top half and fill it with soil and seeds. Now, you can use the bottom half of the bottle as the water reservoir. However, the planter might not be big enough to feed the plants with water. Instead, you can choose a glass or anything that is a little bit taller. Such a planter will not only be effective, but it will also look good.

7.      Make your own watering globes

A watering globe feeds your plant with water for up to a week, but they can sometimes be a little expensive. However, you can make a DIY watering globe by using a bottle you no longer need. Depending on how much time you want to keep the plant watered, choose either a small or a big bottle.

The mechanism works both with plastic and glass bottles, but the glass ones might serve you better. Pour some water in the bottle, but avoid filling it to the top. Then, stick the bottle neck into the soil, and the water will keep flowing. This idea is both creative and useful, and will give a pretty touch to your flower pots.

Flowers in a watering can next to a flower basket

8.      Use water coolers

For this system, you only need two water coolers you no longer need. For the bottom, you need the bottom half of a cooler, and for the top the top half of the cooler. The bottom serves as water reservoir, while the top can be filled with soil and seeds. Since these are bigger containers, you can choose plants that grow bigger.

9.      Create a DIY self watering container from scratch from Styrofoam

What you need here is a Styrofoam box and a few tubes. Before planting, cut a tube in half and stick them to the bottom of the box. Make sure these half tubes are not too tall, and add some wicks in them. Then, take one more tube and stick it in the corner of the box.

This one has to be taller, preferably taller than the box. If not, make sure you don’t cover it with soil. Also, leave some space between the bottom of the box and the end of the tube. Then, put the soil and the seeds in the Styrofoam box. The taller tube is needed to deliver water to the bottom of the Styrofoam box, while the smaller ones absorb it through the wicks.

10.  Repurpose plastic boxes

This idea is, again, quick and easy. You need two plastic boxes which should be placed one on top of the other. The first one is the water reservoir, and the second one will keep the soil. For everything to work, you shouldn’t forget to drill holes in the top box, so that water can reach the soil. Also, you can add some wicks in the holes. This way, the water will be thoroughly absorbed.

Watering can next to boxes full of flowers

Conclusion

Building a DIY self watering planter saves you a lot of time in the future. If you are not good at gardening, or you don’t have time to water your plants every day, this is the best solution. By filling the water reservoir once a week, your plants will survive without much effort.

Some designs are exquisite, and will make your home look great without having to invest too much in decorations. Therefore, opting for this watering strategy has plenty of advantages, is a fun activity, and gives a chic air to your balcony.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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