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DIY Self-Watering Systems for Houseplants

Put empty soda and wine bottles to work in your indoor and outdoor container gardens. Convert them to self-watering devices to help keep your plants properly watered when you are out of town.

Thoroughly moisten the soil in the container. Then punch a hole in the soil large enough to accommodate the top few inches of the wine bottle. Fill an empty wine bottle with water, invert and place in the hole.  The water will move from the wine bottle into the soil as the soil begins to dry.

A 2-liter soda bottle may not be as pretty, but it holds more water. Punch a small hole in the cap of the bottle.  Fill with water, screw on the top, invert and set in the soil.

Or purchase one of the plastic or terra cotta watering spikes that attach to the soda or wine bottle, making it easier to install.

Always test your self-watering system before leaving town.

A bit more information: Terrariums are another way to reduce time spent watering. Use closed terrariums for tropical plants, like baby’s tears, palms and ferns. Open terrariums are a great way to grow and display cacti and succulents.

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