Build a Self-Watering Flower Pot
Here is what you need:
- Ups-A-Daisy Insert
- Round or Square Tapered Garden Pot
- Water Fill Tube
- Stick and Bobber (optional)
- Large Bowl
That’s it — and all the materials can be found at Nurseries and Hardware Stores.
1) Ups-A-Daisy Insert
Round inserts are available from 10” to 18” diameter on 1” increments; Square inserts from 11” to 15” on 1” increments. The inserts have two “pull holes”; one in the center to run your wick through and the other is used for the water fill tube.
2) Tapered Container
Choose a round or square tapered container so that the Ups-A-Daisy insert sets approximately half-way into the container for most plant varieties; deeper for tall or large plants.
Your container must have a hole(s) in the bottom (or side) for proper drainage and to supply oxygen to the roots.
If your container does not have a hole in the bottom, consider drilling a hole(s) in the side instead, approximately 1” below the insert set into the container. The entire bottom of the container becomes your water reservoir!
Important: Be careful if you must drill a hole(s); some containers are difficult to drill or should not be drilled.
3) Water Fill Tube
The tube can be hard plastic, flexible plastic or copper with each available in 5’ or 10’ lengths. Choose ¾” outside diameter tubing to fit thru the outside pull-hole.
The hard plastic tubing we recommend using is CPVC tubing labeled hot/cold potable water which is safe for drinking water; especially important when vegetable gardening. NOTE: PVC (white PVC Type 1 SCH40) tubing may give off toxic chemicals over time, okay to use for flowers and plants.
Other good tubing to use would be ¾” flexible pond tubing, available in black to blend better with the soil. One drawback would be that you must make sure that the tube stays straight so that the stick and bobber (optional) move freely.
The tube should extend from the bottom of your container, to the top rim of your container, just above the soil line; cut the tube to length with a coarse tooth saw.
4) Stick and Bobber (optional)
You will need a 1/8” diameter wood dowel rod, available in 4’ or 5’ lengths. For the bobber, use (2) #4 stopper tapered corks.
Cut the dowel rod 1” longer than the fill tube. Drill a 7/64” hole into the center of the two corks lengthwise and slide the corks onto one end of the dowel rod.
Place the stick and bobbers down into the fill tube to gauge the water level. If you wish, you could mark the top of the dowel to see the water level more clearly.
If you wish to omit the stick and bobber, fill the water reservoir until you see water come out the bottom or side of the container.
5) Wick Nylon rope makes a good wick; stay away from any natural materials such as cotton unless you plan to change out yearly, cotton will breakdown quickly. For best wicking, we recommend 5/8” or ¾” thick twisted nylon rope; white in color and has a soft, silky feel to it. Cut the rope to a length so that it rests on the bottom of the bowl inside your container and extends through the center pull hole of the Ups-A-Daisy and across the top of the insert. Separate and spread out the strands of the rope over the top of the Ups-A-Daisy.
6) Large Bowl
Use the largest water-tight container that will fit under the Ups-A-Daisy insert, set into your pot. Use an old bowl, Tupperware type container, cut down milk jug, bucket, etc. Tall sided water trays also work well and are inexpensive.
NOTE: Make sure the bowl does not block the hole(s) in the bottom of the container, there must be proper water drainage under the bowl. Raise the bowl off the bottom with pebbles or small rocks.
Wait! Don’t forget about the soil and fertilizer; critical to successful self-watering.
We recommend high quality, light weight potting soil or soilless mix that typically contains sphagnum peat, perlite and vermiculite for plants and flowers; organic potting soil for vegetable gardening. Never use a soil with water retaining crystals as this will water log your plants. Proper soil and fertilizer for self-watering containers is very important; please consult with your nursery for recommendations.
For best results, raise your container off the ground for better air flow & drainage.
Now you have all the materials you need to quickly and easily convert 2 to 4 containers with very little expense.
You will simply be amazed with the wonderful growth and improved health of your plants using the Ups-A-Daisy self-watering system; all while watering far less often!
For more information or if you have questions; please contact us at 815-477-0656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.