How to Grow a Garden in a Bottle
A bottle can be recycled to function as a miniature greenhouse. This is a great project for class or a home craft during vacation time. It is creative, easy and fun to make. The result can make for a unique decoration and a way to keep your green thumb busy through the wintertime.
Select your bottle.The bottle should be large enough to allow room for plants to grow. Clean it and allow the bottle to dry thoroughly before using it. The larger the opening, the easier it'll be to maintain the garden.
Turn the bottle right-side up.This will form the base of the bottle garden.
Place pebbles and sand on the base of the bottle.You can use a small spoon through the mouth of the bottle to add the pebbles and sand and move them around. This will provide a good drainage base for the plants. Wet the sand before putting it in place. Do not underestimate the importance of good drainage, as the bottle does not have drainage holes and wet substrate can lead to fungus issues.
- Adding a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the drainage layer will minimize any smell caused by decomposition within the bottle.
- An additional thin layer of sphagnum moss or a piece of weedblocker this will prevent the soil from settling into the drainage layer.
Cover the sand and pebbles with soil.The soil should be good quality and pre-dampened. If you accidentally get soil on the sides of the bottle, obscuring the view, you can tie gauze or cotton to the end of a pencil and reach in to wipe off the soil.
Plant the garden.Choose seeds of small indoor plants. Place the seeds in the soil using tweezers, a long, thin stick (if you have a steady hand) or chopsticks. Put the seeds in different spots to make it an interesting arrangement.
- Bottle gardening lends itself well to plants which require a good deal of humidity (e.g. tropical plants) because the bottle will trap moisture.
- Do not mix plants with different requirements, especially in terms of water. Growing a thirsty plant next to a cactus will make for difficult maintenance.
- You can also make an aquatic bottle garden (shown in a previous step).
Watch the plants grow.Tend to them as they mature. The plants will need air and moisture. Be sure to perforate the lid or cap of the bottle or jar, or don't put it on at all. Use a water sprayer to put moisture into the bottle. Only water when no condensation is observed on the glass--it's always better to under water than over water to prevent the growth of fungus or mold.
QuestionHow is this useful?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's just supposed to look nice, plus it is interesting to see the plants alive and thriving in a closed enviromentThanks!
QuestionHow long will a bottle garden last?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you properly take care of your plants, water and feed them when needed, they should remain alive and healthy in the bottle for a long time.Thanks!
QuestionShall I make a hole for a drain?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could. Most people use larger rocks and hard clay as drain from the dirt.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get my plants to grow larger?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe plant on top grows in relation to the roots below. A larger, stronger root system means a bigger plant. To promote healthy roots, you could treat your soil and water. Roasted coffee grounds add nitrates to the soil. Or, you could dissolve antacid tablets in water before watering plants. Different plants react differently to different treatments, so be sure to research what works best with your plant.Thanks!
QuestionWhere can I buy a suitable bottle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry a home-brew shop. Home brewers use big glass bottles called carboys to ferment their beer and wine. They range from three to fifteen gallons.Thanks!
QuestionWhich plants can be grown in a bottle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAny plant you'd like as long as it is smaller than your jar. The plant will grow naturally in order to adapt to the ecosystem created.Thanks!
QuestionCan I switch the plants to a new bottle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but it might be difficult, especially if the plant has leaves. If you choose to transfer the plant to another bottle, try to avoid breaking roots or damaging leaves.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of plant lives in a bottle without water?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are several types of succulents and cacti that grow well with little water. Please note that they still will need some water.Thanks!
Can I do a thriller filler and spiller arrangement in a bottle?
Which plant grows the best in a plastic bottle?
Can seeds grow in a bottle in under a week?
Why do the soil have to be in good quality?
Which types of seeds should I grow?
- You may choose to cover the bottle or jar to prevent evaporation. If you are doing this as a class project, test what happens to bottles that are covered and bottles that are uncovered.
- Do not place the bottle in full sun. This miniature ecosystem can heat up too quickly and burn the plants or your fingers! (Don't leave it in the dark all the time either.)
- Be careful what sorts of bottles or jars you use. Be mindful of the environment that you get them from. A discarded bottle (i.e. one you find on the side of the road) may be toxic, poisonous, or otherwise harmful to you. Always exercise prudence and caution with waste materials. Be sure to clean reused materials thoroughly, and sanitize anything the bottle or jar may have come into contact with, including yourself.
Things You'll Need
Bottle or jar; decent size to allow the miniature garden to grow
Sand and/or pebbles
Tweezers or a long, thin stick
Sources and Citations
- Adapted from Marguerite Ickis,Handicrafts and Hobbies: For Pleasure and Profit, (1948); text in the public domain.
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