How To Water Cannabis Plants When You'Re Not At Home
3 min

How To Water Cannabis Plants When You're Not At Home

3 min

Whether you're at home or not, you need to make sure your cannabis plants get watered on a regular basis. But how do you ensure this if you're going away for several days or a week? There are quite a few DIY options you can pull off, along with a couple of commercially sold systems, but they all serve to give your plants water when they need it.

As much as you’d like to see your cannabis plants through every day of their growing journey, life isn’t clear-cut. You may have to go out of town, and you may not have anyone to water your plants while you’re gone. But what are you supposed to do, then? You can’t just leave them there; they have to be watered somehow!

Thankfully, many other growers have encountered this issue in the past, and they’ve found many different ways to keep cannabis plants hydrated when no one’s around. You can employ some passable methods with things you may already have in your house, while others require extra equipment, and a couple others are only commercially available.

DIY Methods

DIY Methods

Luckily, you may already have all the supplies you need for most DIY auto-watering methods. We’re sure you’ve spent more than enough time and money on cannabis already, so we want to do whatever we can to keep you out of the gardening store.

Bottle Drip System

To start, if you’ve got some plastic bottles lying around, along with a sharp-pointed knife or needle (a sewing needle or a safety pin are perfect), you’ve got everything you need to implement the bottle drip system.

Simply poke some holes in the plastic cap. You can add more holes if your soil needs more moisture, but start with fewer just in case.

Then, when you’re ready to start watering, fill the bottle with water, flip it and bury the neck of the bottle into the soil near your plant. Note that it shouldn’t be too close to the stem, or buried too deep into the ground, as it could interfere with growth. It should be secure in the soil, though, as you don’t want it to fall out of position.

Depending on the size of the bottle, this should allow for 3–7 days of steady-dripping water for your plants.

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Bottle Upside-Down in the Ground

Bottle Upside-Down In The Ground

Don’t want to bother with poking holes? Well, if your plant needs a more robust flow of water, you can just flip an open bottle upside-down in the soil! Simply take the cap off the bottle, fill it with water, and cover the opening with your thumb as you insert the bottle into the soil, ensuring minimal water is spilled above-ground.

This will allow your soil to soak up more water at once, but that also means it won’t last as long. Even with larger bottles, you should only rely on this method for four days at most.

Drainage Plate

Drainage Plate

You may not be able to bring your plants in the shower, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a nice bath. Specifically, you can place your potted cannabis on large plant plates filled with water. This essentially functions like a bathtub, except your plant will only soak up what it needs through the openings in its pot.

Factors like temperature and lighting, along with the actual amount of water in the plate, will impact how long this method works. Typically, however, it’ll last for a week or so.

String Drip System

This is yet another simple system; you’ll only need a container with water and some long strings to put it together.

To pull it off, place your water container on a shelf or surface above the base of your plants. Then, place the strings inside of the soil (not too deep, but not at the very top of the soil either). Offering a steady and consistent flow of water, this system should last you a good 1–3 weeks depending on water amount, your plants, temperature, etc.

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Plastic Bag Greenhouse

This next system involves making the cheapest and simplest greenhouse known to man.

To start, water your cannabis plant like you normally would. Then, get a large translucent plastic bag that can fit your entire plant and pot, and place your plant inside of it. Tie the bag up at the top, ensure it’s completely covered by the bag, and place it in indirect sunlight.

If done correctly, this will create a system where the water evaporates, stops at the bag, and drips back down. This is best for longer stays away from home, as it can last you a good 2–3 months or more depending on specific circumstances (though we don't advise being away from your plants for that long).

Commercially Available Options

Commercially Available Options

Homemade solutions are great, sure, but they may not work if you’ve got more than a few plants to keep track of. If you need a durable or long-lasting solution, you’ll have to look for some commercially available systems.

Self-Watering Gadgets

To start, there are actually some gadgets out there designed to water your plants while you're away. These work via a mechanism similar to the bottle tricks we mentioned earlier on, except they’re specially designed to be inserted into soil and will last longer as a result.

To get the most out of these devices, first water your plants regularly. Then, when that’s done, fill the bulb up and insert it securely into the soil. Thanks to its narrow neck and large bulb container, it will last you a week or so.

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Irrigation System

Lastly, relative to this list, an irrigation system will be the hardest self-watering system to set up, although it’s by far the most effective and long-lasting as a result.

To pull off a standard drip irrigation system, you’ll need reservoirs for your water and nutrient solution, and the series of small hoses and drippers that will likely be packaged together when you buy everything.

These systems are usually fully automated as well, so all you have to do is measure out exactly how much water and nutrient solution your system will deliver to your plants. With that set up, you can leave it alone for days or weeks at a time!

You’ll have to perform some fairly regular maintenance to make sure it stays functioning, but you’ll end up gaining days of free time in return. Imagine all the cannabis research you could do when you don’t have to worry about watering and feeding every single day!

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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