Use Old Wine Bottles to Water Houseplants
Glass can be recycled, but it’s sometimes tempting to keep old wine bottles for aesthetics, memories, or both. If you have a tendency to hang from empty wine bottles, they shouldn’t sit around and collect dust – they’re actually incredibly useful for watering your houseplants. Here’s how to make your old bottles work.
Whenever you water your houseplants, you should always try to get as much water as possible to the roots. While plants can absorb small amounts of water through their leaves, roots do a much better job of absorbing it; dumping water on the leaves and letting it run down is not very efficient and, depending on the type of plant, can even damage the leaves. That’s why most watering cans have such long and narrow necks – they make it easier to access the roots. Luckily, wine bottles also have long, narrow necks, making it easy to pour water wherever you want. Another bonus: Since the volume of (most) wine bottles is standardized to 750 milliliters, you can get an estimate of how much water you’re actually giving your plants, which can be important to keep track of.
In addition to the usual old watering, old wine bottles are also great for installing an automatic self-watering system . Whether you’re going on vacation or just forgetting to water , sticking an upside-down water bottle directly into the soil will allow plants to get exactly the amount of water they need, just when they need it. In this case, screw cap wine bottles are best because you can poke a hole in the cap before tipping the bottle into the ground; 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 it. A standard 750 ml wine bottle is best for larger plants, or at least those with ample pot space.
Of course, you don’t have to use specially designed wine bottles for this; Any bottle with a long neck will do, especially if it has a cool label or an interesting shape. Whether you’re drinking bourbon, gin, the obscure amari or non-alcoholic sparkling cider, your empty bottles are worth keeping for the benefit of your plants.