I first started cutting wine bottles to make these self-watering planters. Basically I was looking for a gift for may sister in-law. She has said many times that she just cannot keep plants alive because she forgets to water them. I have seen these kits sold in stores but they were a bit to plain looking for me. My sister-law appreciates handmade gifts and I thought I could make them a little nicer than what I have seen. That and I wanted unique planters for myself as well. Now before throwing wine bottles in the recycling bin I look at upcycling ideas.
The question is where to cut. If you cut them too close to the top you won’t have enough room for the plant. It you cut too close to the bottom the top won’t sit correctly. For the most part you can cut at the center of the bottle and be ok but just to be sure I measure the neck and add 1 inch. Then I measure up from the bottom of the bottle and cut there.
To make the wick I use canvas and whatever string I have around. I’ve used jute twine and yarn with no issues. The canvas is just a wad to prevent the soil from coming out of the neck.
Lately I have been propagating my plants with them. I start off with trimmings for most plants. If you are unfamiliar it is when you trim the new growth from the top of the plant and put it in water until roots start to grow. Just remove the lower leaves and roots will start to grow where the leaves were. I use a rooting hormone to speed up the process.
Once I have roots I start them off in a small self-watering planter until I get a good size root ball. The roots will eventually start to grow down the wick. At this point they are ready for transplanting into a larger planter. Sometimes I use large self-watering planters and other times I use terrarium planters. I am thinking about making a traditional planter out of bottles. If there is a hyperlink here…I did.
Let me know if you have any questions.