Do It Yourself Automatic Houseplant Watering

Houseplants provide beauty to our homes. image by EMunson/


We nurture our plants while we are at home, and we want them to receive good care when we are away. When a plant-sitter is not an option, there are other methods of watering plants that will set your mind at ease. Try some of these methods under your watchful eye and determine which system works best for you and your plants.


A bathtub is an excellent watering hole for houseplants. The large area can accommodate several potted plants and the risk of water spilling and damaging floors or tables is non-existent. Place as many plants in the tub that can fit, then water these plants from the top to ensure the soil is damp. Plug the bathtub drain and fill the tub with several inches of water. Fill the tub with enough water to rise above the bottom of the pot if it is the type of pot that has a separate drainage saucer. If there is a shower curtain, it should be pulled in the closed position to keep in the humidity.

Pebble Trays

Setting your plants on a tray of pebbles or stones will help your plant gather and retain moisture. Line a large tray with stones and fill it with water up to the top of the stones. Set the plant on top of the rocks. This method will accommodate your plants need for moisture and can also give a nice look when colored stones are used.


Candle wicks work as a sponge to transfer water to the plant. A small pot of 3 inches will need a 2- or 3-foot length of wick. Add more wicks as the size of the pot increases. Carefully remove the plant from the pot and push the wick deep into the soil using a screwdriver or pencil. Thread the opposite end of the wick through the hole in the bottom of the planter and replace the plant into the pot. Fill a container with water and set the plant beside the container. A kitchen countertop and sink work well for this. Secure the wick to the bucket using a clip. The wick will transfer water from the pail into the plant.

Large Plants

Bagging a large plant will create its own greenhouse. Water the plant and then pull a large plastic bag over the top of the plant. Cut a few holes for ventilation.


Drip spikes use a reservoir to hold water and a spike that sticks into the plant's soil. The spike is attached to the water container and releases water into the soil on a gradual basis. The drips can be adjusted according to the needs of the plant.

Keywords: houseplant watering, do it yourself plant watering, automatic plant watering

About this Author

Emma Lee is an owner and contributor of a photography website. She incorporates photography and life experiences in her writing to generate feelings of nostalgia. Emma's freelance publications include home improvements, animals and photography. Her work can be found at eHow and DIY. She attended Charles County Community College located in Maryland.

Photo by: EMunson/

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