Condo Blues: How to Make a Hanging Self Watering Herb Garden

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to Make a Hanging Self Watering Herb Garden

Husband and I like to cook with fresh herbs and the easiest and cheapest way to do that is to grow them on the patio off our kitchen. Unfortunately for my herb garden to be, most of the patio space has already been claimed by tomato and pepper plants.

No problem -  if you can’t go out, go up!

I made last fall’s hanging flower pots into a self watering hanging herb garden. I hung them on hanging plant pulleys I bought from Amazon here so I can water then more easily using the pulley to lower the pots to Lisa height and then raise the planters so no one else bonks their head on a low hanging plant. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience)

Easy DIY Self Watering Hanging Planter

Pin this post for later! Share this clever planter idea with your friends! 

You will need:

Hanging flower pot –  I recommend a plastic pot because it is easy to drill a hole in it and you need something that will keep water in it without evaporating until a coconut husk hanging plant liner


Small plastic bottles with a screw cap – this will be your watering tube.

Drill and Drill bit


Window screen repair tape


Wicking potmini clay flower pot like this one or the bottom of a small plastic bottle with small holes drilled in the bottom and sides

Perlite, foam packing peanuts, or synthetic wine corks

Potting soil


Step by Step How to Make This Project

1. Use the scissors or Dremel to cut the bottom off the plastic drink bottle to make your planter’s wicking chamber if you are not using a mini clay flower pot. Next, use the Dremel to drill a series of holes in the bottom and sides of the wicking pot.

I only drink wine for the corks.

I used both types of wicking chambers in my planters and they work equally well.

2. On the outside of the flower pot, measure the height of the wicking pot, add ¼ inch, and use the drill to drill a water overflow hole at that measurement. You don't want the roots of your flowers and herbs to get waterlogged!

3. Cut a piece of window screen tape that is large enough to cover the drainage hole with the scissors and use it to cover the over flow hole on the inside of the planter pot. This will discourage mosquitoes from using the still water in the bottom of the hanging pot as a nursery.

4. Use the Dremel to drill a series of watering holes in the bottom and sides of a plastic bottle to make the watering tube.

This project is a great excuse to treat yourself to a few bottles of cold pressed fruit juice – yum!

5. Fill the wicking pot with potting soil and put the watering tube (bottle) and the wicking pot in the bottom of the hanging planter pot.

6. To make the water reservoir, fill the bottom of the hanging pot to the height of the overflow hole with either:
  • Perlite
  • Foam packing peanuts
  • Synthetic wine corks (real cork will eventually decompose)
Basically what you need is something that is much lighter weight than pea gravel otherwise your planter will be too heavy to hang once you plant it. Guess how I know?

What you will end up with is something that looks similar to the this big guy.

7. Fill the rest of the planter with potting soil and soil amendments if desired.

8. Plant your seeds, water them, and watch them grow!

I am growing Opal Basil in this part of my patio kitchen garden. Have you tried it? What do you cook with it?

The twist cap on the watering tube (bottle) also discourages misquotes and pests from potentially breeding in the watering chamber of my flower pots. I think it looks more finished too.

If you'd rather buy than DIY, check out the following ideas - and more! - below!

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Jennifer Wise said...

Watering is my biggest downfall for container gardening. THANK YOU for this! So excited to try it!! Pinning!

Joanne said...

What a great idea; I struggle with remembering to water my outdoor plants regularly. Pinned

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