DIY Tutorial: Self-watering pot

Potted plants are a great way to get some greenery into a small space. However, it can be hard to know when to water and you’ll need a plant sitter if you go away for more than a few days. Enter the self-watering pot, the concept, and execution of which is quite simple. You have a potted plant sitting inside a larger pot. The plant pot has a hole in the bottom with a strip of cloth or thick string threaded through the hole. The larger pot has water in it and the string aids in the movement of water to the roots of the plant. This process is called capillary action and is how roots pull water up through to the stems of the plant. You can make a self-catering pot with pots you already own that fit inside each other, or you can make one from something as simple as a pop bottle.

I wanted herbs inside the kitchen so we would be more likely to use them. We buy cilantro, parsley, lettuce, and green onions every week so these are the first ones I potted up. There are many kinds of veggies and herbs that you can buy from the store and regrow later, I encourage you to take a quick Google of your favourites to check! I have put together a brief tutorial explaining how I made my own self-watering pot from a plastic bottle for regrowing green onions.

Use green onions that you bought at the store in your dinner like usual and place the roots of the white end down in a little cup of water. Place the cup by a window and change the water every few days, you will be amazed by how quickly the green onions grow. Once you have new green growth and the roots have lengthened you are ready to plant.

Take a plastic beverage container that slopes at the neck and cut it in half. Drill a hole in the bottle cap and put the bottle cap back on the bottle. Pull your string or cloth through the hole in the bottle cap and tie a knot on the inside so it doesn’t come out. Flip the top half of the bottle and plant your onion into new soil. Fill the base of the bottle with water. Place the top half of the bottle into the base of the bottle. It should fit snugly. The string assists the water in traveling up to get to the soil and means your self-watering container will continue to be watered even as the levels in the base drop. You now have your very own self-watering pot! 


20190727_1649154097012843406960215.jpgYou can apply some of these techniques to outdoor pots and larger planters in order to reduce your water consumption and keep your plants evenly hydrated. As the days heat up it is so important to be responsible water users. Remember to only water in the early morning or late evening to reduce the amount of evaporation. Okanagan Waterwise has lots of great tips and information to help you make the most of our water. Head to or for more.

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