How To: Make a Self-Watering Potted Plant Out of a Waste Plastic Bottle

Faculty of Education, ETE 2nd year students of Gardening and Agriculture recently made self-watering hanging plant containers of out of waste plastic bottles. In these kind of containers you don’t need to water the plant on a regular basis because it waters itself. You fill water in the lower part of the bottle once or twice a week and the plant, through an attached piece of a cotton cloth, absorbs the water out of the container on its own. Since the plastic bottles are transparent you can see and keep a track of the water level in the bottle as it decreases, and fill it back up as and when needed.

Self-watering hanging potted  plants made out of waste plastic bottles. (Photo: Imran Khan)
Self-watering hanging potted plants made out of waste plastic bottles. (Photo: Imran Khan)

Hanging plant containers can be made using any kind of plastic bottle that you can cut with a knife or a pair of scissors. It is environmental friendly and can be made easily at home. It can be used for interior or exterior decoration. You can hang this plant on a wall or put it on a table. The plant type for the pot depends on the place where you wish to place it. If you plan to hang your plant outdoors where sunlight can reach it, then you can choose any plant; however, if you place it in your room indoors, where sunlight cannot reach it, then you can choose interior plants such as a Money Plant or a water plant.

The materials used in the making process of this plant are:

  1. Waste Plastic Bottles
  2. Cotton cloth or Cotton Strip
  3. Knife or Paper Cutter or Scissor
  4. Soil
  5. Plant (Money Plant is good for Interior) 


Step 1. Cut the bottle in two parts as one third part from the upper side.

Step 2. Make a hole in the cap of the bottle.

Step 3. String the Cotton cloth or Cotton Strip in the cap’s hole. The length of the strip should be 6” to 10” for a half litre bottle. You can increase the length depending on the length of the bottle.

Step 4. Fill plant soil in the upper part and keep the string in the middle.

Step 5. Put the plant in the soil. Its roots should be covered in soil.

Step 6. Fill the water in the lower part of the bottle to its half mark.

Step 7. Place the upper part over the lower part. The cotton strip should be of proper length so it can approach water to upper part.

And there you have it, a nice-looking  self-watering plant!

(Photo: Imran Khan)
(Photo: Imran Khan)

 The Science:

Patch Planters ‘self water’ by using a technique called sub-irrigation that allows the water to moisten the soil through capillary action and keeps plant roots healthy and growing.

The wicking cotton cloth pulls water up from the reservoir and delivers it to the plant’s roots. A kerosene lamp is based on the same technique, where the wick pulls up the kerosene through the cotton ribbon to burn outside.


Watch a five-minute video of Jamia, Faculty of Education, ETE 2nd year students of Gardening and Agricultureon make a self-watering potted plant here:

About Imran Khan

Imran Khan (2014) is a special correspondent for Jamia Journal, and an ETE student in the Department of Teacher Training and Non-Formal Education, Faculty of Education. He can be reached via email at: imran.bsa[at]

Check Also

JMI VC Assures of Opening Distance Learning Centres in Seemanchal

19 March; Sehratola (Purnea), Bihar: During a seminar on educational backwardness of Seemanchal, Prof. Talat ...

Leave a Reply