What’s the one type of decoration you’ll find in basically every home? Houseplants. They come in several varieties and sizes, and they really make a room more inviting – that is if they’re green and healthy. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find brown, dry, sickly houseplants tucked away in a corner or up on a high shelf.
Most people just chalk it up to having a black thumb, but this problem is not limited to the gardening challenged crowd. The majority of us lead very busy lives and attending to houseplants usually gets left off of our lists of things to do. Before you know it, you’ve got dead houseplants.
The only way to keep your plants alive is by watering them regularly. The amount of moisture in your plant’s soil is vital to its health. Many houseplants die simply because the soil is too dry, and some even die because the soil is too wet.
A self-watering planter can solve these problems for some plants. Self-watering planters enable plants to take in just the right amount of water, preventing them from being too dry or too wet. You can usually buy self-watering planters wherever plants are sold, or you can just make one at home. All it takes is a few common household items and a little time and effort. You’ll need:
- a clean, small disposable food storage container with a lid.
- a white cotton shoestring.
- a marker.
- a sharp object for cutting (scissors, knife, etc.)
Note Your plant must be in a pot with holes in the bottom in order for this to work effectively.
To make your self watering planter:
1) Cut the shoestring in half. Note This project includes both halves of the string, but you may use only one half if you like. In which case, adjust the instructions accordingly.
2) Push the narrow ends of each half of the shoestring into the soil through the bottom of the pot.
3) Place the lid of the container on a flat surface. Hold the plant over the lid allowing the strings to dangle just above it. Mark the places where the strings would touch the lid.
4) Cut out small holes in the marked areas of the lid.
5) Put the strings through the holes in the lid. The top of the lid should be touching the bottom of the pot.
6) Fill the container about 3/4 full of water.
7) Place the lid securely onto the container. Check to make sure the narrow ends of the strings are still in the bottom of the pot, and the rest of the string is in the water. If you want, you may trim the excess string so that they will just touch the bottom of the container.
And there you have it, a self watering planter.
Here are a few tips for using self watering planters.
1) Self watering planters should only be used with plants which constantly require moist soil. Succulent plants, such as cactus, should not be put on self watering systems.
2) Check the water level in your reservoir every two days or so. If the strings aren’t touching the water, refill the container.
3) Avoid using colored shoestrings. The dye will get into the soil and may cause problems for your plant.
4) Fertilizers may be added to the reservoir, but please be sure to follow the instructions included with the fertilizer to avoid damaging your plant.