Watering plants both in the garden and around the home may seem like an easy job, but there are plenty of common mistakes which could leave the flowers and foliage looking worse for wear. Giving plants too much or too little to drink can be detrimental to their growth, so how can an empty plastic bottle solve these problems? Express.co.uk spoke to the experts Tom Hilton and Sara Dixon to find out the best ways to use water bottles to perfect your watering routine, and why they’re so effective.
Summer is drawing closer, and as the temperature starts to increase, it’s the perfect time to consider just how well you’re watering your plants.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Sarah Dixon, UK and International Marketing Manager at Hozelock said: “It’s important to water your garden efficiently to ensure your plants are healthy and flourish throughout the season.
“Using a plastic water bottle to create a simple, yet effective, watering system is a great solution to repurpose an item that could otherwise end up in landfill.”
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How to use plastic water bottles to water plants
While a watering can is usually the go-to tool when it comes to hydrating thirsty plants,
Tom Hilton, gardening expert and director of hydroponic specialists, National Greenhouse believes that there are many reasons to switch to a plastic water bottle instead.
From self-watering to better drainage, the benefits of making the switch are endless, and could significantly improve the health of your garden plants.
He noted that plastic water bottles can be repurposed in different ways to suit the needs of individual plants.
A similar method to this is to bury the top half of a bottle just below the surface of the compost.
To do this, Tom explained that you would need to cut off the lower half of a bottle and poke holes in the cap.
He said: “You can then place the bottle upside down within the first four inches of the soil, therefore when the bottle is filled with water it will leak out of the cap and water your plant.”
Both of these methods are perfect for plants that like constant moisture, including hostas, hydrangeas, candelabra primula and pothos.
Hang a bottle over your plant
Simply take a water bottle, pierce small holes in the bottom half and then enclose the bottle in a sock or some form of fabric cover.
Hang this above your plant by securing the bottle to a stick that securely rests inside of your plant pot.
Once the bottle has been filled, your plant will have a steady flow of water, which is perfect for larger plant pots or if you have multiple plants on the go.
Line planters for better drainage
For a good drainage system in larger planters, all you need to do is line the bottom with water bottles.
This will not only prevent the roots from rotting, due to the space created by the plastic bottles in the bottom of the plant pot, but it will also make the plant pot lighter, said Tom.
Water bottles are a great light-weight alternative to rocks or other heavier materials which are normally used to improve drainage.
Create a self-watering plant
Tom said: “Everyone wishes they had a magic plant that watered itself, and this bottle trick could be the closest you get.”
Simply cut a bottle around two thirds of the way up, and poke a hole in the cap.
Thread fabric through the lid, and fill the cap half with soil and a plant of your choice.
The other half should be filled with a substantial amount of water, and the fabric from the cap dangled into the water.
This way the water will be soaked up through the cap and into the soil of the top half of the plastic bottle.