How to Use Plastic Bottles to Water Outdoor Plants While on Vacation


Growing vegetables and flowers provides hours of enjoyment for gardeners, but doing so is a big responsibility. You not only must provide plants with the nutrients and water they need to grow but also must keep soil loose and weeds at bay. Soil and weeds can be ignored for a few days while you are on vacation, but without adequate water your plants can quickly wither and die. Creating a self-watering system provides your plants with fresh water even while you are away.

Step 1

Wash and dry a 2-liter plastic bottle and remove its label. Leave the cap screwed on.

Step 2

Remove the bottom of the bottle by cutting with a sharp knife at the point where the sides curve. This creates a flattened opening to your watering container.

Step 3

Sand the cut rim lightly to remove any rough edges and thus prevent injuries. Some people prefer to cover the rim with duct tape to create a smooth edge.

Step 4

Drill four 1/8- to ¼-inch equally spaced holes around the top of the bottle about 2 inches from the cap. Repeat the procedure, drilling another row of holes 2 inches below the first row.

Step 5

Insert the bottle into the soil 4 to 6 inches out from the base of the plant. The cap should face downward, with the open end exposed. The rim of the open end should rest 2 to 4 inches above the soil level for ease of filling.

Step 6

Fill the bottle with water for a slow-release watering system that keeps plants watered for several days.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-liter plastic bottles
  • Knife
  • Sand paper or duct tape
  • Drill


  • Care2: Water-Saving Tips and Garden Gadgets
Keywords: self-watering pot, plastic bottle self-waterer, 2-liter bottle waterer, plant self-waterer

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.