How to make self watering pots for growing marijuana

Published Sep 19, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / McIninch

When it comes to learning how to grow marijuana, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get a plant to reach full maturity, but it does take special care, love and nutrients from essential elements for marijuana plants to thrive. One of the most essential ingredients for a healthy crop is delicious nutritious water, something that many less experienced growers often forget about.

Allowing your marijuana plants to go through dry periods can hinder their growth, cannabinoid and terpene production, and reduce the size of a crop dramatically. If this one issue was eliminated it would take a whole lot of worry out of the process that is growing marijuana, and self watering pots are a simple solution, that both larger scale and private growers are beginning to utilize.

Though automated watering systems might be reliable and efficient, it really doesn’t take much to rig up a self watering pot system that is ideal for growing marijuana. You’ll just have to know where to start, and with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can have your very own self watering pots on a budget. Here are some easy to follow, step by step instructions for turning regular everyday plant containers into self watering pots in a matter of minutes, for less than $20.

DIY- Self Watering pots project

You will need:

  • 2 stacking buckets or containers (per marijuana plant)
  • 1 lid (per two containers)
  • 1 margarine container
  • 1 cutting tool
  • 1 drill and bit
  • Super soil (enough to fill the bucket to the top)
  • 1 ½ inch PVC pipe (long enough to stick out of the bucket)


  1. The first and perhaps most important part of this project is to remember that all of the pieces that will be used, must be sterile; otherwise the marijuana plant will be exposed to sickness from contaminants like mold. So, do not use soapy water, but instead, take steaming hot water and pour it over all the parts before you begin.

  2. Cut a hole into the bottom of one of the plastic buckets that will snugly hold the margarine container.

  3. Pop the margarine container into the hole, and make sure it is a tight fit.

  4. Now, use a drill to make anywhere from 10-20 holes into the margarine container to allow water flow. This portion of the self watering pots acts as a wick to draw the water up and deliver it to your growing marijuana plants.

  • Make a second hole that is the same width as the PVC pipe in the side of the lip that remains around the container.

  • Feed the PVC pipe into the hole and set the bucket into the unaltered container before feeding it far enough down, to add water without splashing, while keeping breathing room, so that the water flow doesn’t stop.

  • Now, double check your cuts and piece fittings and fit everything together except for the lid.

  • Fill the margarine container tightly with soil before filling the rest of the container full.

  • Pour clean and sterile water down the PVC spout to fill the holding tank of your self watering pots.

  • Now your pots are ready for growing marijuana, so now get your seedlings planted and watch the magic happen.

  • Benefits of self watering pots

    • Reduce watering from daily, down to once per week.
    • Freedom to travel and leave your marijuana plants without worry.
    • A consistent supply of water will always be delivered through this system, where others hold the moisture in the soil immediately surrounding the pot, which can lead to root rot.
    • The easy-fill vase makes for a convenient addition when using additives like fertilizers or nutrients. Add them to the holding tank, and they will be delivered in a steady supply to your marijuana plants each day alongside a fresh drink of water.
    Using hydroponics for growing cannabis outside


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