Thursday, 6 June 2013

Getting plants drunk

So, in preparation for my trip to the Mother Country I'm busy doing things like making packing lists and then completely ignoring them, thinking of birthday gifts I could take and then running out of time, making arrangements for the dog (done), making sure passports are current (bit late for that, quite frankly. Fortunately, they are OK), and look -

Getting my plants drunk.

Not really. (Not quite sure why the photo's come out quite so fat by the way. That's a normal bottle of wine and not a mini-vat). No, it's a Plant Nanny - a marvelous invention that allows you to leave your plants unattended, but attended, without having to stand them in a bath of water, run a piece of rope from a bottle to the soil and all those other solutions we turn to. 

They're terra cotta receptacles; you stick the pointy bit well into the soil in your plant pots, fill it to the top with water then invert a bottle of water into it. Empty wine bottles (which are ten a penny in this house) are great because the neck fits snuggly into the Plant Nanny. The idea is that the liquid seeps through the terra cotta into the soil on an as-needed basis. No danger of drowning or otherwise killing your plants. And it works for me every time. 

Don't buy these if they're not terra cotta; the water needs to be able to bleed through. Glass or plastic (no matter how decorative) don't cut the mustard. 

Stay tuned for more going-on-holiday ideas!


  1. What a fabulous idea! So fabulous that I may steal it and use it ALL the time since *someone* (cough, cough - me) can never seem to remember to water the plants on a regular basis anyway.

  2. I only have one container with three plants and I water it every Saturday with exactly the same amount of water. That's right, I measure it. When I'm out of the country, I give the container to someone I trust with very strict instructions. I don't know if I can get a need gadget like you are showing here, but I am going to start looking immediately. I may have more faith in it.

  3. I'm with Gigi. The reason I don't need a plant nanny at the moment is for the reason she mentions - I don't have them because I forget to water them. This may change now I've seen these, though...

  4. I'm surprised it doesn't over-water them... but I trust your report.

  5. Iota - no, it apparently works almost like osmosis and the water is pulled through the terra cotta as the soil dries out. It's a bit like the other solution (which I haven't tried) where you put a one end of a piece of thick rope in water, and the other end in the soil; the soil sucks the water through the rope as needed.

    Potty - It's a tough call. My mum only waters her indoor plants once a week but in Chicago, where it's dry for a lot of the year, I have to do it every other day.

  6. Getting all excited about the idea of a plant nanny until I remembered I haven't got any indoor plants. Killed them all over the years...

  7. Oooh, I love these! Must google to see if they are available in the UK.


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