How to Make a Self-contained Plant Watering System for Vacation


Before vacation you know to stop the paper delivery and arrange for the post office to hold your mail. You've reserved a kennel for Fido and asked a neighbor to keep an eye on your house. Everything is taken care of, except your houseplants. If you're away for more than a few days you need to make sure your plants stay watered. You could ask a neighbor to come in and take care of things, but it's easier to set up a self-watering system for your plants.

Step 1

Purchase self-watering wicks from a nursery, or make your own by cutting long strips of felt. The felt strips should be 2 to 3 feet long.

Step 2

Bury a wick deeply in the soil of each house plant.

Step 3

Water all plants thoroughly.

Step 4

Arrange bricks in large plastic tub or tubs. You can use a bathtub, as long as the stopper is very secure and won't leak. Set your plants on top of the bricks and fill the tub with water to the top of the bricks.

Step 5

Trail the wick of each plant into the water. The plants will gradually absorb water while you're gone, keeping the soil moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-watering wicks or felt
  • Tub or tray
  • Bricks
  • Newspaper


  • Your Gift House: Preparing House Plants For Your Vacation
  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Vacation Plant Care

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension: Indoor Plant Care
Keywords: houseplants, self-watering system, self-watering wick

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.