How to Make a Self-Watering Plant System

Written by megan shoop
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How to Make a Self-Watering Plant System
Create a self-watering system for your plants. (lovely potted plants image by Ritu Jethani from

If you're tired of having to hire someone to water your plants while you're away or risking them dying on you, self-watering pots may be the solution. Gardening centres often sell self-watering systems, but they're usually expensive and require you to repot your plants. Instead, you may convert your current pots into self-watering planters with just a few modifications and some household items. The process requires no repotting and is very simple.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Disposable plastic food container with lid
  • Permanent marker
  • Utility knife
  • Acrylic kerosene lamp wick (new)
  • Scissors
  • Potted plant
  • Watering can
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Draw a dime-size hole just to left of the centre of your container lid. Draw a quarter-sized hole about 1/2 inch away from the edge of the lid. These two do not have to be in line. Push the blade of your utility knife into your marker lines and drag it through the plastic to cut out the holes.

  2. 2

    Snip a piece of acrylic kerosene lamp wick about 6 inches long. The wick must be new and free of oil because it must draw water into your pot. Fold the end of the wick over the point of the scissors. Push the scissors up through the drain hole in the bottom of your plant's container, shoving the wick into the soil so the water gets to the roots.

  3. 3

    Slip the loose end of the wick down through the smaller hole in your plastic lid. Snap the lid down onto the container. Fill your watering can with water and fill your plastic container through the larger hole. You'll need to refill the container every two weeks or so.

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