Make Growing Pots With an Irrigation System Out of PET Bottles

In the classic growing pots, there is a risk of dry death if you forget to water. These self-made pots with automatic irrigation cost next to nothing and provide your young plants with an even supply of water.

Sow and then don’t worry about the young plants until they are pricked or planted out: No problem with this simple construction! Seedlings are often very sensitive – the potting soil must never dry out. The seedlings prefer transparent covers and should only be watered with fine showers so that they do not bend over or are pressed into the earth or washed out by too thick jets of water. This automatic irrigation reduces maintenance to mere sowing: the seeds lie in permanently moist soil and the seedlings become self-sufficient because the required moisture is continuously supplied from the reservoir via the cloth as a wick. Only the water reservoir itself has to be topped up from time to time.


  • Empty, clean PET bottles with lids
  • Old kitchen towel
  • Soil and seeds


  • Scissors
  • Cordless drill and drill (8 or 10 mm diameter)

Step by step: make growing pots out of PET bottles

Cut through plastic bottles

First of all, the PET bottles are measured down from the neck and cut across at about a third of their total length. This is best done with craft scissors or a sharp cutter. Depending on the shape of the bottle, deeper cuts may also be required. It is important that the top part – the later pot – has the same diameter as the bottom part of the bottle.

Pierce the bottle cap

To pierce the lid, stand the bottle head upright or unscrew the lid so that you can hold it securely while drilling. The hole should be eight to ten millimeters in diameter.

Cut the cloth into strips

A discarded cloth serves as a wick. A tea towel or hand towel made of pure cotton fabric is ideal because it is particularly absorbent. Cut or tear it into narrow strips about six inches long.

Knot the strips in the lid

Then pull the strip through the hole in the lid and knot it on the underside.

Mount and fill the irrigation aid

Now fill the bottom of the bottle about halfway with water. If necessary, thread the cloth with the knot up from the bottom through the hole in the bottle lid. Then screw it back onto the thread and place the upper part of the PET bottle with the neck down in the lower part filled with water. Make sure that the wick is long enough that it rests on the bottom of the bottle.

Fill the part of the bottle with potting soil

Now all you have to do is fill the self-made seed pot with seed compost and sow the seeds – and of course check every now and then whether there is still enough water in the bottle.

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