How To Make A Self Watering Planter

How To Make A Self Watering Planter

Making a self watering planter is a simple and cost-effective solution for busy gardeners like me or those who tend to forget to water their plants. It’s a DIY project that requires just a few materials and steps, but it can make a big difference in the health and longevity of your plants.

With a self watering planter, you can ensure that your plants always receive the right amount of water, even when you’re not around. This is especially useful if you have indoor plants or if you’re going away on vacation. It takes away the stress of constantly checking on your plants and worrying about whether they are getting enough water or not.

So, let’s dive into the instructions and create our own self watering planter!

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating a self watering planter is an easy and cost-effective solution for busy gardeners.
  • A self watering planter ensures that plants receive consistent moisture, even when you’re not around.
  • It takes away the stress of constantly checking on your plants and worrying about water needs.
  • Self watering planters are especially useful for indoor plants or when going away on vacation.
  • Follow the instructions below to make your own self watering planter and enjoy healthy, thriving plants.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s move on to the materials needed for our DIY self watering planter.

Benefits of a Self Watering Planter

Self watering planters provide numerous advantages for gardeners, making them a popular choice for plant enthusiasts. These innovative planters offer a range of benefits that help ensure successful plant growth and simplify the gardening process.

Precise and Consistent Moisture Control

One of the key advantages of self watering planters is their ability to maintain a consistent moisture level for plants. The built-in reservoir system allows plants to draw water as needed, preventing both overwatering and underwatering. This helps create an optimal environment where plants receive just the right amount of hydration, promoting healthy growth.

Promotes Healthy Root Development

The reservoir system in self watering planters also contributes to healthy root development. By providing a continuous source of moisture, self watering planters encourage plants to develop strong and robust root systems. This leads to improved nutrient uptake and enhanced overall plant health.

Reduces the Risk of Plant Diseases

Self watering planters are designed to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. This controlled moisture level helps prevent stagnant water and reduces the risk of common plant diseases caused by overwatering, such as root rot and mold. By maintaining a healthy balance of moisture, self watering planters create a conducive environment for plant growth.

Time-Saving Solution

For busy individuals who may not have the time or capacity to water plants regularly, self watering planters offer a convenient solution. With the reservoir system in place, these planters can sustain plants for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent watering. This feature is particularly beneficial for indoor gardening or when going on vacations, allowing plants to thrive even with minimal human intervention.

“Self watering planters make it easier than ever to maintain healthy plants without the need for constant monitoring and watering.”

In summary, self watering planters provide a range of benefits for gardeners, including precise moisture control, promotion of healthy root development, reduced risk of plant diseases, and time-saving convenience. These advantages make self watering planters a popular choice for both experienced gardeners and beginners seeking a hassle-free way to cultivate beautiful and thriving plants.

Advantages of Self Watering Planters
Precise and consistent moisture control
Promotes healthy root development
Reduces the risk of plant diseases
Time-saving solution for busy individuals

Materials Needed for a DIY Self Watering Planter

To make a DIY self watering planter, you’ll need a few basic materials. These include:

  • A planter with no drainage hole
  • A plastic planter saucer
  • An empty plastic bottle or two-liter bottle
  • A length of PVC pipe
  • A drill
  • A hand saw
  • Potting soil
  • Plants

These materials can be easily found at your local garden center or home improvement store.

Why these materials are important:

The planter with no drainage hole is crucial for creating a self watering system. It allows the water to be stored in the reservoir instead of draining out. The plastic planter saucer acts as the lower section of the self watering planter and holds the water. The empty plastic bottle or two-liter bottle is used as a wicking device to draw water from the saucer to the plant’s roots. The length of PVC pipe is inserted into the saucer to serve as a fill tube for adding water. The drill and hand saw are necessary for creating holes in the planter and bottle. Potting soil provides the necessary nutrients for plants to grow, and the plants themselves add beauty to the self watering planter.

Materials Importance
Planter with no drainage hole Allows water to be stored in the reservoir
Plastic planter saucer Holds water for the self watering system
Empty plastic bottle or two-liter bottle Acts as a wicking device to draw water to the plant’s roots
Length of PVC pipe Serves as a fill tube for adding water
Drill Creates holes in the planter and bottle
Hand saw Assists in cutting the bottle and PVC pipe
Potting soil Provides nutrients for plant growth
Plants Add beauty to the self watering planter

materials for self watering planter

With these materials, you’ll be well-equipped to create your own DIY self watering planter and enjoy the benefits of a low-maintenance and thriving plant.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Self Watering Planter

Creating your own self watering planter is a rewarding and practical project. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a self watering planter that will ensure your plants stay hydrated and healthy. Follow these instructions to get started:

  1. First, place the plastic planter saucer inside the planter. This will create an upper and lower section, with the saucer acting as a reservoir for water.
  2. Next, take the empty plastic bottle and drill several small holes in the bottom half. This will serve as the wicking device, allowing water to be drawn up from the reservoir.
  3. Place the bottle inside the planter, with the top half sticking out above the saucer. Make sure the holes in the bottle are positioned below the saucer.
  4. Using a drill, create a hole in the saucer that aligns with the bottle opening. This hole will act as a filling point for the reservoir.
  5. Insert a PVC pipe into the hole you’ve just created in the saucer. The pipe should be tall enough to reach the top of the planter.
  6. Cut the PVC pipe to the desired height and insert it firmly into the planter. This will act as a water delivery system, allowing you to add water directly to the reservoir.
  7. Finally, fill the planter with potting soil, ensuring that the top of the bottle and the PVC pipe are covered. Plant your desired plants and add water through the PVC pipe to fill the reservoir.

And there you have it! Your very own DIY self watering planter. Now your plants will receive the moisture they need, even when you’re not around to water them regularly.

How to make a self watering planter

To ensure the best results, monitor the water level in the reservoir regularly and refill it as needed. Remember to adjust the watering schedule based on the specific needs of your plants and the environmental conditions. With a self watering planter, you can enjoy healthy and thriving plants with minimal effort.

Alternative Designs for Self Watering Planters

When it comes to self watering planters, the traditional reservoir and wicking system design is just the beginning. There are a variety of alternative designs that offer unique functionalities and creative solutions for your gardening needs. Whether you’re looking to recycle materials, add a touch of style, or explore new possibilities, these alternative designs can provide inspiration for your next self watering planter project.

alternative designs for self watering planters

Recycled Bottle Self Watering Planter

One alternative design for a self watering planter involves repurposing plastic bottles. Cut the bottle in half, keeping the top portion for planting and the bottom portion as a water reservoir. Flip the top portion upside down and insert it into the bottom portion to create a wicking system. This design not only reduces waste but also allows you to easily monitor the water level and refill when necessary. It’s a simple and eco-friendly way to create a self watering planter.

Concrete Planter with Self Watering System

If you’re looking for a more stylish and durable option, consider using a concrete planter with a built-in self watering system. Concrete planters provide a modern and elegant look to your garden or indoor space. To incorporate a self watering system, insert a PVC pipe in the center of the planter and connect it to a water reservoir at the bottom. This design ensures proper water distribution and prevents overwatering, making it a functional and visually appealing choice.

“Using alternative designs for self watering planters not only adds a unique touch to your gardening but also allows for greater customization and creativity.” – Gardening expert

Downspout Self Watering Planter

Another innovative approach to self watering planters involves using downspouts. Install a downspout vertically and attach a planter at the bottom. The downspout diverts rainwater into the planter, acting as a natural reservoir. This design is particularly suitable for outdoor gardens and can be an excellent way to conserve water and utilize rainwater efficiently.

  • Recycled bottle self watering planter
  • Concrete planter with self watering system
  • Downspout self watering planter

These alternative designs for self watering planters demonstrate the versatility and creativity that can be applied to this gardening technique. Whether you’re passionate about sustainability, aesthetics, or experimenting with new ideas, there is an alternative design that can meet your specific preferences. So why not explore these creative self watering planter ideas and bring a unique touch to your garden?

Tips for Successful Self Watering Planters

When it comes to self watering planters, following these tips and best practices will help you achieve optimal results for your plants.

  • Use a well-draining potting soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot. This will ensure that your plants receive proper aeration and avoid water-related issues.
  • Place your self watering planter in an area with adequate sunlight for the specific plants you are growing. Different plants have varying sunlight requirements, so it’s important to consider this when choosing the location for your planter.
  • Monitor the water level in the reservoir regularly to ensure that your plants are receiving enough moisture. This will prevent them from experiencing drought stress or being overwatered.
  • Adjust the watering schedule based on the specific needs of your plants and the environmental conditions. Factors such as temperature and humidity can affect the water requirements of your plants, so it’s important to be mindful of these factors and make necessary adjustments.

By following these tips, you can create a thriving and low-maintenance garden with self watering planters. Whether you’re a busy individual or a beginner gardener, self watering planters offer a convenient solution for keeping your plants healthy and vibrant.

Plant Type Watering Requirements Sunlight Requirements
Succulents Low to moderate Full sun to bright indirect light
Herbs (such as basil, mint, and rosemary) Moderate Full sun to partial shade
Leafy greens (such as lettuce and spinach) Moderate Partial shade to full sun

These are just a few examples of plants that thrive in self watering planters. It’s important to choose plants that have moderate water requirements and can tolerate slightly drier conditions. Avoid plants that require high water levels or are prone to root rot in moist conditions.

Choosing Plants for a Self Watering Planter

When selecting plants for your self watering planter, it’s important to choose ones that are well-suited to this type of container. Not all plants thrive in self watering planters, as some have higher water requirements or are prone to root rot in moist conditions. To ensure successful growth and vibrant plants, opt for varieties that have moderate water needs and can tolerate slightly drier conditions. Here are some suitable options to consider:


If you’re looking for low-maintenance and water-efficient plants, succulents are an excellent choice. These resilient plants store water in their leaves, enabling them to withstand dry conditions. They come in a wide range of beautiful shapes and colors, making them a popular choice for self watering planters.


Herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, and sage are not only delicious additions to your meals, but they also thrive in self watering containers. Herbs generally prefer well-drained soil and can tolerate slightly dry conditions, making them suitable for self watering planters. Plus, having fresh herbs at your fingertips is always convenient for cooking!


Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce, can do well in self watering planters. These plants typically have moderate water requirements and adapt well to the consistent moisture provided by the self watering system. Growing your own vegetables in self watering planters ensures a fresh and sustainable food source right at home.

Remember, it’s important to research the specific care requirements of each plant variety before planting them in your self watering planter. Consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil type, and temperature preferences to ensure optimal growth and abundant harvests.

By choosing plants that are well-suited to self watering planters, you can create a thriving and low-maintenance garden that brings beauty and productivity to any space.

Not all plants are suitable for self watering planters. Choose plants that have moderate water requirements and can tolerate slightly drier conditions. – Author

Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips for Self Watering Planters

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the proper functioning of your self watering planter. By performing routine checks and addressing any issues promptly, you can keep your plants healthy and thriving. Here are some maintenance and troubleshooting tips to help you maintain the optimal condition of your self watering planter:

1. Check and Refill the Water Level Regularly

Monitor the water level in the reservoir of your self watering planter regularly. Ensure that it is at an appropriate level to provide sufficient moisture to your plants. Refill the reservoir as needed to prevent dehydration and maintain consistent moisture levels.

2. Clean the Planter and Reservoir

Periodically clean your self watering planter and reservoir to prevent clogs and algae growth. Remove any debris or dirt that may accumulate in the planter or block the drainage system. Cleaning will also help maintain the overall cleanliness and hygiene of your planter.

3. Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter any issues with your self watering planter, such as overwatering or inadequate moisture levels, it’s essential to troubleshoot and address them promptly. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

Issue: Overwatering

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Reduce the amount of water you add to the reservoir to avoid oversaturation.
  • Inspect the drainage system for any blockages that might be causing water to accumulate.
  • Ensure that the drainage holes are not blocked, allowing excess water to escape.

Issue: Inadequate Moisture Levels

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Check the wicking device, such as the plastic bottle, to ensure it is functioning correctly.
  • Verify that the wicking material is properly absorbing and distributing water throughout the planter.
  • If necessary, adjust the design of your self watering planter to improve the water distribution.

If troubleshooting the issues on your own proves challenging, do not hesitate to seek advice from gardening experts or professionals who specialize in self watering planters. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and offer valuable insights to resolve any problems you may encounter.

Remember, with regular maintenance and timely troubleshooting, your self watering planter will continue to provide the optimal growing conditions for your plants, making your gardening experience enjoyable and successful.

Decorative Ideas for Self Watering Planters

Self watering planters can be both practical and visually appealing additions to your garden or indoor space. With a little creativity, you can transform a simple self watering planter into a decorative focal point that complements your personal style or the overall theme of your garden. Here are some DIY ideas to inspire you:

1. Paint and Personalize

Give your self watering planter a unique look by painting it in vibrant colors or adding decorative patterns. Consider using weather-resistant paints or sealants to ensure durability. You can also personalize the planter by stenciling your initials or adding a meaningful quote. Let your imagination run wild and create a planter that truly reflects your individuality.

2. Upcycling with Repurposed Containers

Instead of using traditional planters, repurpose unused items to create one-of-a-kind self watering planters. Old watering cans, buckets, or vintage teapots can be transformed into charming planters with a touch of DIY magic. Just make sure to add drainage holes if needed and adjust the size of the reservoir accordingly.

3. Creative Container Combos

For a visually stunning display, create unique combinations of self watering planters. Mix and match planters of different shapes, sizes, and materials to add visual interest to your garden. Consider pairing a modern ceramic planter with a rustic wooden one or combining metallic and terracotta planters for a contemporary look.

4. Succulent Gardens

Succulents are popular choices for self watering planters due to their low water requirements and unique shapes. Create a mini succulent garden by arranging different varieties in a single planter. Play with textures, colors, and heights to achieve an eye-catching display that thrives with minimal maintenance.

5. Vertical Living Walls

Transform a blank wall into a living work of art by creating a vertical self watering planter garden. Use a wall-mounted planter system or repurpose a wooden pallet for a rustic look. Fill the planters with a variety of trailing plants and flowers to add depth and beauty to your outdoor space.

Remember to choose plants that thrive in your specific climate and consider their watering needs when designing your self watering planters.

Get creative and experiment with these ideas to make your self watering planters truly stand out. Whether you’re creating a small herb garden on your balcony or adding a splash of color to your backyard, decorative self watering planters allow you to combine functionality and style in a unique and personalized way.

Comparison of Decorative Self Watering Planter Options

Design Materials Difficulty Level Suitable Plants
Painted Terracotta Pots Terracotta pots, acrylic paints Easy Succulents, herbs, small flowering plants
Upcycled Vintage Containers Old teapots, watering cans, buckets Moderate Succulents, small trailing plants
Vertical Living Wall Wall-mounted planter system, trailing plants Advanced Trailing plants, ferns, herb varieties

The Environmental Benefits of Self Watering Planters

Self watering planters offer several environmental benefits. They help conserve water by providing precise and efficient watering, reducing water waste. The reservoir system also minimizes the need for synthetic fertilizers as the soil is consistently nourished by the natural absorption of water. Additionally, self watering planters promote healthy plant growth, which contributes to cleaner air and overall environmental well-being.

“Self watering planters are a practical and eco-friendly solution for gardening enthusiasts. By reducing water waste and minimizing the need for synthetic fertilizers, these planters are a sustainable choice for anyone looking to make their gardening practices more environmentally conscious.”

Using self watering planters can significantly reduce water consumption in garden irrigation. Instead of manually watering plants and risking overwatering or underwatering, the self watering mechanism ensures that only the necessary amount of water is delivered directly to the roots. This precise watering technique not only conserves water but also reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation. By optimizing water usage, self watering planters contribute to water conservation efforts and help protect this precious natural resource.

In addition to water conservation, self watering planters also reduce the reliance on synthetic fertilizers. The reservoir system in these planters allows the soil to absorb water naturally, delivering nutrients to the plants as the water is absorbed. This natural fertilization process promotes healthy plant growth without the need for chemical additives. By reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers, self watering planters help minimize the environmental impact of gardening and promote a more sustainable approach to plant care.

Furthermore, the healthy and thriving plants fostered by self watering planters contribute to cleaner air and overall environmental well-being. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, improving air quality. By providing the optimal moisture levels for plant growth, self watering planters support robust and vigorous plants that are better equipped to cleanse the air we breathe. Whether used indoors or outdoors, self watering planters play a vital role in creating a greener and healthier environment.


Self watering planters offer various environmental benefits, including water conservation, reduced reliance on synthetic fertilizers, and improved air quality. By using these eco-friendly planters, gardeners can contribute to a more sustainable future while enjoying the beauty of thriving plants.


After exploring the world of self watering planters, it is clear that these innovative gardening solutions offer a wealth of benefits for plant enthusiasts. With their ability to provide consistent moisture levels and reduce the frequency of watering, self watering planters are a practical and effective choice for both busy individuals and those prone to forgetting their watering duties.

By following the step-by-step instructions in this guide, you can easily create your own DIY self watering planter using readily available materials. This allows you to customize the design to suit your personal preferences and gardening needs. Whether you choose to repurpose containers or explore alternative designs, the possibilities are endless.

As you embark on your self watering planter journey, remember to choose plants that are well-suited for these types of systems and maintain regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can create a stunning garden display or indoor oasis with thriving, healthy plants that require minimal effort.

Source Links