How to Make Watering Spikes

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are inconsistent in meeting your plants irrigation needs or you're going away, provide special watering arrangements for your flowers, especially for indoor plants or outdoor plants exposed to the hot summer sun. One possible solution indoors is to place the plants in a bathtub filled with a couple inches of water. Outdoors, a timed sprinkler systems works well. Another solution for both indoor and outdoor plants is to insert watering spikes that slowly drip water into the soil next to each plant. They are available for purchase, but you can make your own using common items found in the home.

Clean a plastic beverage bottle, such as one that holds 12 or 16 liquid oz. and has a cap. For outdoor plants, a larger 2-liter bottle works well. Rinse it out well so no contents are left.

Drill four holes in the cap using a small drill bit, such as 1/8 inch in size. Alternatively, buy a commercial bottle top watering spike that is made to screw on beverage bottles.

Cut the bottom off the plastic bottle with a serrated knife or pair of sharp scissors. This will create a funnel that will catch rainwater. It is also easy to fill with water for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Fill the bottle with water. For indoor plants, let the water set out for the day to evaporate any chlorine that may be in your tap water, and for it to reach room temperature.

Screw on the cap securely, and then dig a hole in the soil so approximately one-third of the bottle is under the soil.

Insert the bottle, cap side down, into the soil and pack the soil around it until it is secure. Use one watering spike for every container. Outdoors, use one in the centre of a group of plants.


Trees and shrubs can usually withstand short drought conditions, but those that have been planted recently should be regularly watered. You can also make a watering spike with a wine bottle and a commercial wine bottle watering spike, if desire. Watering spikes may not be practical for large outdoor gardens with many plants. Consider buying a timer for a soaker hose and lay the hose through your garden. You can also simply place the watering spikes near the plants that have the greatest watering needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Beverage bottle
  • Drill
  • Watering spike attachment (optional)
  • Knife or scissors (optional)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.