DIY Plant Watering Globes

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on May 24, 2010

Keeping herbs in planters right off of my back stoop is pretty and convenient-I can just pop outside and grab what I need right in the middle of cooking.  But it has it’s problems, the largest problem being keeping those dang planters watered.

Any kind of pot kept outside requires much more frequent watering than plants that are in the ground-there is just limited soil to retain the water.  My planters compound that issue by being situated under the house eaves-so even though rainfall is pretty frequent in Upstate NY, those plants need to be watered almost daily.

And I am forgetful.

I just have a lot going on in life most the time, and I have a hard time remembering to water those planters every day all summer long.  In the spring when gardening is new and fun-yes, I remember.  By July? Well, not so much.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of those water globes you see on TV infomercials.  They seem kind of goofy-and a bit expensive.  I wondered if they even worked-and I wasn’t willing to spend the money to find out.

Well, several of my gardening friends have assured me that if you start out with damp soil and you put a long necked bottle full of water into the soil, it will indeed slowly release the water as the soil dries out.

A ketchup bottle was suggested as a perfect frugal implement for this-but I don’t use much ketchup, and the bottles I buy tend to be those large family size ones that don’t have the long neck.

So just a few minutes ago I was down in the basement putting something away when my gaze landed on the cluster of wine bottles we’ve been saving. . .


I filled one up* and stuck it in the planter.  The water didn’t all pour out as I was afraid of. . .

So now all of my herbs are “lushes”. . .

Wine Bottle Watering

Everyone getting a good "drink" ;)

DIY Watering Globe from Wine Bottle

Lemon Verbena-what a lush. . .

I just love ideas that save you money, are useful, and repurpose/recycle something you already have on hand.  Way to be frugal and green eh? This project didn’t cost me a single cent!

And you don’t have to spend any money to do this either. If you don’t drink wine (and therefore lack bottles) I’m sure there are other bottles that would work-or you could ask around for wine bottles from friends, neighbors, or even your local restaurants!  Shoot, someone on Freecycle or Craigslist is probably looking to get rid of some glass wine bottles right this minute :)

Although my wine bottles aren’t as pretty as those “art glass” style watering globes, I don’t think they look bad-although I don’t think Yankee Bill is going to be quite as pleased as I am with the look.  If the looks are an issue for you just remember, as the herbs or plants get taller they will block out the bottles more. And if I wanted to get all crafty on you I could decorate the bottles with mosaic tile, spray them with that frosted/colored glass spraypaint, or use something like modge podge (did you know they make a special outdoor kind now?) to decoupage it somehow.  Then again, if you hate the look that much you could just remember to water your planters every day and then forget the whole idea.

Now as a disclaimer-I literally came up with this idea five minutes ago-ran to the basement, filled all the bottles and stuck them in. . . so I don’t have any proof of how this will work in the long run. But I was so dang proud of myself that I had to share it with you all immediately!

If this works well in the long run, it could also be a great way to keep plants watered while on vacation.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has already tried this, or if you have any other great ideas of how to keep pesky potted plants from drying out.

*Note: All of these bottles had already been carefully rinsed.  You probably don’t want to have the dregs of the wine mixed with water going to the roots of your plants. . . I am no botanist, but I’m pretty sure that would kill them.

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