indoor plants

Most houseplants require a regular watering schedule to thrive. ATTRIBUTION: Kai Schreiber (Flickr)

Plants are an excellent addition to any space, but some people simply don’t have time to water them on a regular basis. When you’re not always available to care for your plants, it’s important to find alternative ways to keep your plants well-hydrated. There are a number of self-watering tricks you can try to prevent your indoor plants from wilting. Here’s a look at some of the most effective self-watering indoor plant hacks.

Watering Globes

Decorative plant watering globes are known to keep your plants watered for weeks without your interference. Just fill the glass globe with water and insert the stem into the soil a minimum of two inches above the base of the pot. Refill the globe every two weeks or when it runs out of water.

While the globe works well to deliver a steady stream of water to the soil as it dries out, it does have its downfalls. As the stem can easily become clogged with soil and debris, it must be checked and cleaned periodically.

String Method

If you have old plastic bottles lying around, you can use them to create self-watering seed starter pots. Start by cutting a two-liter soda bottle in half horizontally. Punch a hole in the center of the bottle cap. Cut a one-inch piece of string and tie one end through the hole in the bottle cap, doubling it over to create a loop.

Screw the cap back onto the bottle and insert the bottle (cap side down) into the base. Pour water into the base and your soil and seeds into the capped portion of bottle. As the soil dries, water will be sucked up from the base, through the string, and into the soil.

Paper Towel Method

The paper towel method for self-watering plants is similar to the string method but uses paper towel sheets instead of string. Begin by creating a one-inch cut horizontally across the center of the bottle, followed by two vertical cuts on either side to create a flap. Next, cut the bottle in half horizontally directly above the flap.

Remove the bottle cap and insert two rolled-up paper towels about a quarter of the way through the mouth of the bottle. Insert the bottle (cap side down) into the base. You can now pour your soil into the bottle. Fill the base with water and the paper towels will soak up the water and deliver it to the plants.

Drip Watering System

With some plastic tubing, a bucket, an air pump, and an inline valve, you can create an automatic drip watering system for your houseplants. Begin by attaching a plastic inline valve to one end of the plastic tubing. Insert the other end of the tubing into an aquarium air pump.

Connect a second piece of tubing from the valve to the plant. The valve should sit at the base of the bucket. Fill the bucket with water, turn on the pump, and adjust the valve. The valve works by suctioning the water and pushing it along the plastic tubing, where it gives the plant drips of water.