I am terrible at keeping my potted plants alive. A few long days at work where I forget about them or a trip out of town and they are dead as a doornail. I've seen some links about using a soda bottle to make a self watering planter like this one and this one I thought I would make my own variation.
I started by cutting the top third of the bottle off with a pair of scissors. It was a bit tough to get a straight edge but I cleaned it up after the pieces were separated. Next, I needed to have something act as a wick for the water. I cut four small slits in around the neck of the bottle and then took two unused paint rags and poked one end of each rag through the holes. I wet the rag and filled up the bottom of the bottle to act as the water reservoir. It is important that the water is high enough that the ends of the rag will sit in it but not as high as the slits. I then placed the top of the bottle inside of the bottom and then planted a petunia plant inside.
The roots of plants don't do well if exposed to light so I wrapped some duct tape around the bottom of the bottle to block the light. I wanted something that looked a little cuter than the soda bottle and a $2.50 metal floral container that I bought at Target was the perfect fit to place my new self watering planter inside.
I decided to put the plant outside on my front porch. With the cute plant I decided to also spruce up the little table I have out front. I bought an inexpensive Lindved table from Ikea several years ago and the white finish was showing its age from being exposed to the elements. With a few thin coats of teal outdoor spray paint it looks brand new and makes a great place for my petunia plant. So far it has been a week and the plant is still alive and kicking. I'll have to see how it goes...
Have you had any luck using self watering for your plants? What are your tricks for keeping your plants alive?