Use Old Wine Bottles to Water Your Houseplants

Use Old Wine Bottles to Water Your Houseplants

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Photo: Svetlana Mechonoschina (Shutterstock)

Glass may be recyclable, but sometimes it’s tempting to keep old wine bottles around for the aesthetic, the memories, or a little of both. If you have a tendency to hang onto your empty wine bottles, they don’t have to sit around collecting dust—they’re actually incredibly useful for watering your houseplants. Here’s how to put your old bottles to work.

Whenever you water your houseplants, you should always try to get as much water to the roots as possible. Although plants can absorb small amounts of water through their leaves, the roots are much better at it; dumping water on the leaves and letting it trickle down isn’t very efficient, and depending on the type of plant, could even damage the leaves. This is why most watering cans have such long, narrow necks—they make it easy to get at the roots. As luck would have it, wine bottles also have long, narrow necks that make it easy to pour water right where you want it. Another bonus: Since (most) wine bottle volumes are standardized to 750 milliliters, you can estimate how much water you’re actually giving your plants, which can be important to track.

In addition to regular old watering, old wine bottles are also great for setting up an automatic, self-watering system. Whether you’re going on vacation or just prone to forgetting to water, sticking an upside-down bottle filled with water directly in the soil allows plants to take in exactly as much water as they need, exactly when they need it. Screw-top wine bottles work best in this case because you can poke a hole in the cap before inverting the bottle into the soil; if you buy corked wine or don’t save the caps, you can also cover the bottle with plastic wrap and poke a hole in that. A standard 750-milliliter wine bottle works best for larger plants, or at least those with plenty of room in the planter.

Of course, you don’t have to use wine bottles specifically for this; any long-necked bottle will do, especially if they have a cool label or an interesting shape. Whether you drink bourbon, gin, obscure amari, or non-alcoholic sparkling cider, your empty bottles are worth keeping around for your plants’ sake.

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