How to Make a Self-Watering Plant Pot

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Plants in containers that are exposed to hot sunny weather without regular access to water can quickly dry out and become unhealthy.

Self watering pots are an affordable solution that provide a slow release of water to your plants as they need it.

In this short video we provide easy-to-follow instructions showing how to make your own self-watering containers to keep your plants watered even during the hottest period of the year.

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45 Responses

  1. Gregory Toomey says:

    This better work …

  2. Nitin Srivastava says:

    My concern is that in Countries like India where the temperature can go up to 49 degree Celsius , won't the plastic buckets end up booking the plant itself.

  3. alice nakajima says:

    Some of the problems I ran into is that the reservoir is full of algae, and sometimes I find slugs crAwl inside the overflow hole. Do you have any suggestions? Also someone mentioned they to drill the overflow hole half an inch or so below where the top bucket sits. This will leave a bit of air above the water level and allows the roots in the top bucket to air prune. I have not tried this but it seems to make sense.

  4. Jan Vautard says:

    Great information and low cost as well!

  5. Diane Vitale says:

    Brilliant. Live in humid NC. How easily stuff can die when not watering for even a day during hot times.

  6. Khaliyah Malloy says:

    This video was awesome.

  7. Vibha Singh says:

    I liked your tips very much but can you make a small self watering system to keep plants healthy and don't take much space.It would be grateful if you to do that.

  8. Marcus Hudson says:

    water filled vodka bottle upside down in soil. boom, done. motha naytcha does all the water leaching and gravitational work for yah

  9. Lone Wolf says:

    to complicated

  10. First mate says:

    what material did you use ????~

  11. Suzanne Abad says:

    Nice video. I would make one suggestion though. If you live in a hot climate (or where the pot gets a lot of sun), I would suggest using a light colored container. Definitely not black…unless you want to cook your roots.

  12. Marty Lynchian says:

    If everyone in England is gay, how do they have kids>?

  13. Mrgreen1110 says:

    Could this idea work with air pruning ideas?

  14. Finding Myself at 37 says:

    the easiest self wicking container I've seen. thanks

  15. Joyce Lawrence says:

    One of the best, simplest, and easiest I've seen so far. Thank You!

  16. Cheryl Reich says:


  17. NaruKami1987 says:

    I like you. You say soil and not dirt.

  18. Cuba Rodriguez says:

    Very good video & idea! This is so practical with having many plants & sometimes lack of time to stay on top of them! Thank you!

  19. Safe n Easy says:

    I did this and the roots all tied up at the bottom and killed the plant. I think it might be best to leave off the top rim to allow water to the surface like nature intended.

  20. billsbasementworkshop says:


    How can I get your garden planner?



  21. Jackie Horsley says:

    enjoyed your video

  22. Cinda Scott says:


  23. jo sal says:

    i use cut off fallen branches sizes that can fit in the bucket and leaves instead of the potting cups to support the upper bucket, it degrades into a tea compost for the plant. i use rags to wick the soil, it degrades over time. your idea of an extra cup to wick is better. i also use some buckets that doesn't have overflow holes, i just remove the upper bucket when there's too much water during rain in an effort to conserve the collected water.

  24. Bee Victoria says:

    this is an ingenious plan for my southern california garden, thank you!

  25. calene cochran says:

    excellent video I'm a total beet and kohlrabi fan thanks to my great grandfather who had a plantation of beets in Europe that my grandfather brought to America yummm

  26. TheHYVE2010 says:

    Give credit to the Buster brothers in Colorado who came up with this planting technique, who did it to combat global hunger. They also have a siphon system setup to connect your buckets together. I've been following them, employing the "Global Bucket System" in areas like Jeremie, Haiti.

  27. Mala NR says:

    Amazing! Feel like trying it out for some of my plants, but it is not that simple. Thanks for sharing.

  28. David Garcia says:

    The only negative thing about this is the fact that in two weeks time or less the bottom part of the container will start to rot, and smell very bad

  29. eveny119 says:

    Nicely done video. I made these and they are great. I even made seed starting containers with a plastic bottle cut in half, turn the top upside down put in a wicking cord(I used a shoelace) thru a hole in the cap fill top with soil and plant, fill bottom res. w/ water.

  30. Homerlovesbeer2 says:


  31. Bobby Organics The Tattooed Gardener says:

    Nice video , Please check out my youtube channel for some loverly organic gardening 🙂 love the stacking with the pots never thought about using them

  32. Holly Jorgensen says:

    This really seems overly difficult and the container is really aesthetically unattractive. Wish their was a better way??

  33. R. M. says:

    That would be a major breeding ground for mosquitoes where I live.

  34. Carl Powers says:

    brilliant, just what I need! thanks

  35. Eddi3Pwns says:

    Great video! Love diy projects like this 🙂

  36. lovewalk9 says:

    do you need to water from above at all before relying on the wicking method?

  37. Brock I says:

    Great video! My blueberries are in desperate need for this.

  38. lane laney says:

    That was an excellent project for self watering. Thanks for your video.

  39. Jed is the best person alive. says:

    This solves my problem!

  40. m Day says:

    I have done this in the past and it works great!

  41. Andy Boyd says:

    I transposed the last two words and was sorely disappointed.

  42. TheGodFather232 says:

    im gonna use this method next year because im gonna plant a lot of plants next year and they take a lot of time to water them all and the idea is great ^_^
    but i have to say i do quite enjoy watering my plants

  43. Luke_CO says:

    From your experience, how long does it take before it's dried out? Or adding water just once will be enough for the season?

  44. Mohammed Nazar says:


  45. PorkNCheese says:

    >Hot sunny weather

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