Making a homemade greenhouse out of 2-liter bottles is a simple and efficient way for a hobby gardener to explore horticulture before investing in a larger and more expensive plant habitat. The greenhouse can range from a simple design, constructed with few tools and steps, to a more complex ecosystem. Starting seed growth in a greenhouse is a great way to improve the chances of a plant sprouting and growing, since it will not be exposed to harsh outdoor conditions.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 2-litre clear soda bottles
- Small flower pot
- Potting soil
- Craft or Popsicle stick
- Distilled water
- 3 10-centimeter elodea stalks
- 2 water snails
- 2 guppies
- Serrated knife
Buy a flower pot that is small enough to fit inside a 2-liter bottle.
Pour potting soil into the pot and plant your seeds. Write the name of the plant you are growing on the craft stick and place it in the soil.
Place the pot on the saucer and water it until the soil is moist.
Cut the tapered top off the 2-liter bottle.
Place the 2-liter bottle over the flower pot and saucer so that the open, cut-off end is facing down toward the surface the plant is on, and the bottom of the 2-liter bottle is facing up. Place the pot and homemade greenhouse in an area that gets plenty of sun. Don't forget to open the greenhouse and water the plant when needed.
Make or buy planters that are small enough to fit in the base of a 2-liter bottle. One way to do this is to cut 2 3/4 inches off one end of a toilet paper roll and then making four equally spaced slits, about 3/4 inch long, along one edge of the roll. Fold each of the four tabs down toward the middle of the roll, tucking the last tab under the first tab as if you were closing a cardboard box. If necessary, you can use tape to keep the tabs closed.
Cut both bottles in half, keeping the cuts as level as possible. You can use scissors, but a serrated knife may make cutting the bottles easier.
Cut a vertical 2-inch slit into the bottom half of each bottle, perpendicular to the cuts you already made.
Place the toilet roll planters in the bottom of one of the bottle halves. There should be enough for three or four planters. Spray them lightly with water.
Slide one 2-liter bottle into the other, matching up the slits. The bottom of one bottle will become slightly smaller as it is squeezed into the other bottle. Your greenhouse should look similar to one of the original 2-liter bottles, but slightly shorter. Keep the greenhouse in a sunny area and transfer the plants to bigger pots when they outgrow the greenhouse.
Cut the top end off a 2-liter bottle. Cut the bottom of another 2-liter bottle off and poke several holes in the sides to provide ventilation. You should cut 3 inches off the bottom of the second bottle. This will provide a new cap for your greenhouse.
Place 2 inches of sand in the bottom of the taller 2-liter bottle.
Pour distilled or any water without chlorine into the bottle until the bottle is almost, but not quite full. The water should not reach the top of the bottle. Pour the water slowly to avoid disturbing the sand.
Secure three 10-centimeter elodea stalks in the sand and sprinkle the top of the water with duckweed.
Add one or two guppies and two snails. Place the habitat in a sunny area and monitor closely to observe changes in the plants and animals.
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