Water globe for plants

Automatic plant watering…using Watering Globes


Those beautiful Glass watering globes, or watering bulbs, can be handy when you leave for the holidays. They are great for duration lasting from 4 to 6 days but be careful relying on them for longer periods. Multiple factors affect the rate of water flow as explained below in frequency between filling.

Using Watering Globes for Houseplants

Watering globes are primarily designed to moderate the amount of water plants receive. The “set it and forget it” convenience factor is a secondary benefit, so be careful not to rely on it exclusively for the general caring of your plant.

Keeps Soil Moisture Constant

Globes administer a steady dose of water that is absorbed as your soil dries out, which provides a more constant moisture balance. This avoids waterlogging of the plant or the other extreme of the soil becoming bone-dry between watering. The globe helps moderate the water that the plant receive.

Frequecy between filling

There is no set time between refilling, so be careful of over-zealous advertizing. The rate of water flow depends on your soil. Globes can last two weeks in some soils and only a few days in othersl. The frequency of refills depends on the size of the glass watering globe, the size of the pot, the type of soil and the type of plant (some plants are more thirsty than others). Its best to try it. You will eventually get a sense of how long it lasts for the specific case.

Using for Sensitive Plants

If your plants wilt easily between watering, this watering system can help. Some plants are more thirsty than others and the size of the pot can also contribute to the speed at which the soils dry. Using watering bulbs for these application can be effective in mainting moisture balance.

How to Install and Preventing Clogging

Make sure the soil is damp, then make a hole in the soil (about the diameter of the spout) using whatever tool is at hand, such as a pen, pencil or knife. Insert the spout into the hole, and press firmly in. Simply pushing the spout into the soil can force dirt into the opening resulting in clogging and even worse, breaking of the globe especially if the soil is dry.

Clean the globe often

The long cylindrical part of the watering globe can get clogged with soil debris. The interior of the globe can also grow mold and algae. Use warm water mixed with detergent to clean the watering globe.

A combination of baking soda and lemon juice can also be effective in dislodging algae. Either make a solution then pour into the spout, or sprinkle the baking soda into the globe then pour in the lemon juice. Shake well to scrub out the dirt, mold and algae.

In event the stem is clogged with dirt, pour warm water to loosen the dirt, then use a thin stick or straw to poke at the dirt, then pour more warm water and shake. Repeat the process as needed.

Last BUT not Least…

If the plant shows signs of wilting that not solved by this watering system, it may be an indication the plant needs to be repotted.

No need to hire a houseplant babysitter. Keep roots from drying out while you’re gone—with a glass watering bulb that emits a slow drip stream. Here are 10 of our favorites:

Above: A glass Garden Water Bell holds 50 milliliters; it’s SEK 119 (about $13.85 US) from Artilleriet.

Above: A pair of two blown glass Self-Watering Plant Bulbs will keep a plant watered for from three to four days; $14 from Amazon.

Above: Made in Finland, a glass Watering Bulb should be hand-washed gently to clean; €40 from Samuji.

Above: A four-piece set of clear glass Automatic Watering Bulbs is $15.99 from Amazon.

Above: A Garden Pot Glass Watering Globe is $10 from Bomisch.

Above: Designed for Mjolk as part of the Garden Collection by Anderssen & Voll, a glass Water Saver Bulb is made in Toronto ” y glass artist Gregor Herman, one of the best glass artists in Canada. The glass is mouth-blown and hand shaped, harkening back to the brilliant experimental art glass of Sarpaneva or Wirkkala.” It is $200 CAD (about $155 US).

Above: A Waterworks Basic Set comes with a watering globe, stake (available in three sizes), and a cork. It is €35 from House of Thol.

Above: Made of mouth-blown glass, a Watering Bulb will prevent houseplants from drying out when you go away; £40 from Flora and Laura.

Above: A set of four Mini Plant Glass Watering Spheres is $20.97 from Amazon.

Above: Designed for a larger pot (up to a 6-inch diameter). a Large Watering Bulb is $14 from August Lily.

For more of our favorite ways to coddle houseplants, see:

  • 10 Easy Pieces: Grow Lights for Indoor Plants.
  • Root System: Ceramic Plant Funnels from Alicja Patanowska.
  • Clear Choice: A Glass Globe Terrarium from Designer Richard Clarkson.

Raise your hand if, no matter how hard you try, plants always seem to die on your watch. (FYI, I’m here raising my hand with you! 🙋). Now, all plants are different and some are more finicky than others, but in a lot of cases, the problem lies in the watering. Both under-watering and over-watering can cause plant problems, and it can be difficult to know exactly how much water your plants need.

The good news is, that’s where accessories like self-watering planters and plant watering globes (also called bulbs) come in. And some of them, like these hand-blown glass bird globes from Mkono, are super stylish — perfect for adding a little flair to your house plants and keeping them healthy.

BUY NOW Mkono Glass Bird Plant Watering Globe, $7.99, Amazon

For $8, you can get one 10-inch-long glass bird bulb that’s perfect for smaller plants, and all you have to do to use it is fill it up with water, poke a hole in the soil where you want it to stand, and stick it in. From there, the globe will release water into the soil on its own, and it should last at least one and a half to two weeks, depending on the type of plant you have and the soil you use (thirstier plants need to be refilled more often).

You’ll still have to remember to fill the globe when it’s empty, but you’ll no longer have to guess how much water your plants need — essentially, you can set it and forget it for a few weeks and not have to worry about how your plants are doing.

You can check out this chic bird-shaped watering bulb below, and you’ll find other stylish gardening accessories (including cute planters!) from Mkono on Amazon.

Mkono Hand-Blown Glass Bird Plant Watering Globe Amazon $7.99

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

Brittney Morgan Associate Market Editor, House Beautiful Brittney Morgan is House Beautiful’s Associate Market Editor, a noted land mermaid, and a Virgo with a penchant for crafts, red lipstick, and buying way too many throw pillows.

If you are like most of us, sometime this summer you might want to leave town for a few days. Really inconvenient from the point of view of your container plants, but hey, we’re human! No need to hire the next door neighbors kid to creep into your back yard for thirty seconds each day to wet the soil surface and then run off to the mall. Here are some great DIY self watering ideas for your garden, so no matter how much fun you have on vaca, you don’t come back to a plant funeral.

Self Watering Trick Number 1:

My personal fav – the wine bottle self watering system. I have personally tested this one out folks. (I knew my love of red wine was good for something other than, well, my love of red wine!)

Rinse an empty wine bottle, (or other glass bottle with a narrow neck) and fill with water. Standing next to your planter, quickly turn over the bottle and push the neck down into the soil near the center of the planter. Make sure the neck is at least several inches underground. The water in the bottle will seep into the soil over several days, keeping the soil evenly moist. It works! Check out how ‘Lettuce Share‘ added some extra modifications and made it even better.

Soda Bottle Watering Planter Trick:

This one is better for a larger container or planter, or even a delicate plant in ground that needs a more constant water supply. Rinse an empty two liter soda bottle. Cut the neck off so that the top opening can be easily filled with a hose. Or cut off the bottom and place the bottle upside down. The cut open bottom now becomes the “neck”. Punch or cut small holes randomly through the body of the bottle, as shown in the photo. Dig a hole big enough to bury the bottle in either the center of the planter, or right next to the root system of a plant that is in ground. Pack soil up to the open neck of the bottle. Fill the bottle with water from the top. The water will seep slowly through the holes in the bottle, into the soil. Being buried in the soil will help prevent too much evaporation. This method also promotes a deep root system.

Self Watering Trick Number 3:

Create a self watering system using a commercially bought “cheat”… You can either purchase “Glass Plant Watering Globes” , or you can use the wine bottle technique above by getting yourselves Plant Nanny Stakes to insert the neck into. These give the bottle the strength and shape to be pushed deep enough into the soil.

Plant Nanny Stakes for turning wine bottles into a vacation watering system for your plants.

So go ahead, get outta town! These DIY self watering ideas for your garden will keep it all green and happy for your return! We think you will also love our post on 10 No Fail Drought Resistant Plants!




This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *