How to Make a Self Watering Plant System


Container gardens are a convenient answer for gardeners who don't have large yards in which to garden, but they tend to need watering every day. If you have a busy schedule, want to take a vacation, or just sometimes forget to water your plants, create a self-watering systems for all of your containers. You'll be able to fill the reservoirs once a week or so and not worry about your garden drying up while you're gone.

Step 1

Cut your old T-shirts into 1-inch-wide strips. The size doesn't have to be exact, but get them as close as possible.

Step 2

Group your planters around a bucket. Use multiple buckets if you have a lot of container plants. Each bucket can water four or five planters, depending on the size of the plants.

Step 3

Bury one end of the shirt strip about 4 inches deep in the soil of a planter. Let the other end of the strip hang over the side of the plant pot and into the bucket.

Step 4

Place a rock on top of the strip inside the bucket. This will ensure that the T-shirt strip won't blow out of the bucket in a strong wind.

Step 5

Bury T-shirt strips in each of the planters surrounding the bucket. Hang all the strips into the bucket and place rocks on the ends to keep them in place.

Step 6

Fill the bucket with water. Moisten the strips to help them begin sucking up the water. The T-shirt material will draw the moisture up into the soil when the soil dries out, keeping a steady supply until the bucket is empty.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants in containers
  • Old T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Rocks


  • Organic Gardening: Pots the Self-Water When You're Away
Keywords: self watering plant, self water planter, water plants vacation

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.