Easy self-watering flower pot (w/ tutorial)

There are a lot of variations of this out there on the wider internet, but here’s my super-simple version:

Take an empty plastic bottle, rinse if necessary, peel off any labels… Then poke some holes around the bottom half or so. I used an awl; whatever poky thing you use, be very careful not to slip & stab yourself.

Put your bottle in the middle of a plant pot, & start to fill it with dirt. (If you leave the cap on at this point, you will not accidentally fill the bottle with dirt.)

Your filled pot should leave just enough of the top of the bottle sticking out that you can remove the cap & fill it with water.

Plant and enjoy!


Perfect timing! I am about to prepare two blue pots for plants. I tend to overwater and kill them so this would definitely help!

Thanks for posting…they guys are mowing the lawn and grass pollen is probably everywhere so I will need to wait for a bit, but I can start poking the bottles (ha ha that sounds sort of bad…)…

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I was just looking for self-watering container ideas, so this came at the perfect time! I like that it isn’t sticking way up in the pot (like those “As seen on TV” watering globes. Thanks for sharing!


agreed! I hate those top heavy globes and they are such an eye sore.
Thanks for the tute!


What a great way to reuse/upcycle! Thanks for the tutorial.

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I have some of the blown glass self-watering globes that I think are fairly pretty, but they’re both a smaller reservoir and really annoying to refill, since you have to poke the dirt back out of the narrow stem first.

I have some very pretty glass bulbs too but ya, awkward to fill.

I like your idea! I will do this with the porch pots this year and see how they fare. They dry out SO fast when it’s really hot and sunny out.


This is a great idea. And you can regulate the flow of water by making the holes smaller. Knife-slits or pin-holes, for example, would let the water seep out slowly so you could fill the bottle and have it water the pot evenly over a few days. Of course, reducing the number of holes would also adjust the flow rate. My guess is that it a few tiny holes is better than a lot of large ones, but I haven’t tried it yet.


Well this sounds like my kind of plant care, lol. The one thing I did like about the glass bulbs was you can see when the water is in need if refilling. I guess you can still look down into the plastic bottle? I bet you’re a plant whisperer who just knows when it’s time to refill. :wink:

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When I made waterers from wine bottles w holes in the lids, with the bigger holes the water leaked out licketty split! I think small is probably best. I’ll experiment and see.

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yes, this is great! I did container gardening one year using this method! It’s so clever!


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oh…I pretty much kill plants unless I let mother nature do most of the work, like outdoors!

I never thought about how I would know to refill…hmmm…I was thinking the top of the soil would look dry? Maybe I could put a cotton strip of cloth down the bottle to act as a wick and when it was dry, fill the bottle…lol…or just look inside…

I am playing with this today before the landscapers come back…


The normal advice is to stick your finger in the dirt to the first knuckle & see if it’s damp; if not, add water.

They also make those terra cotta worm things that change color when the soil dries out, or obnoxious digital ones that chirp when your plant needs water… :grin:

(Mainly I just try to check every day or three)


Refilling these is pretty easy I’d think. Open every 3 days or so and add water, it will over flow when full!

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