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Plant Nanny Watering Stakes

Keeping container plants adequately watered can be a problem. I considered a drip irrigation system but putting one together can get a little complicated and I haven’t decided on a somewhat permanent arrangement for my plants yet. Then I came across the Wine Bottle Plant Nanny Stake.

This terra cotta stake goes into the ground near the roots of a plant. Fill a long neck wine bottle with water, invert it into the stake, and as the soil dries out the water wicks out of the bottle and into the soil. Ingenious!

I immediately ran into a snag with this idea as we don’t have a ready supply of wine bottles or other glass long neck bottles in our home. Then I found the Plastic Bottle Plant Nanny Stake with Adaptor. I ordered a set of eight and hunted up some plastic bottles.

The Plant Nanny stake can hold up to a two liter bottle which can overpower a smaller pot. Looking for design as well as function, I bought a six-pack of bottled water in 750ml tall plastic bottles, drank the water, and set out the Plant Nanny stakes with bottles in some of the gallon pots. I first chose plants that needed to be kept moist such as the banana plants.

I found an eBay seller with the ID of thegardenemporium who offered the Plant Nanny stakes at a discounted price and free shipping. They also have excellent customer service which I discovered when they shipped me a supply of Wine Bottle stakes instead of the Plastic Bottle stakes which I ordered. Not only did they immediately ship out the correct item, they told me to keep the others.

Since I didn’t want to let the wine bottle Plant Nanny stakes go to waste, I put a couple in the five-gallon hibiscus pots, using some almost empty wine bottles from our pantry. I had to admit, they looked nicer than the plastic bottles. After putting out a call to a friend to save her empty wine bottles, I turned to Amazon to look for more.

Both types of stakes can hold up to two liter bottles but the most widely available are 750ml such as these 750 ml Emerald Green Claret/Bordeaux Bottles for the wine bottle nanny or a wide choice of plastic water/juice/food bottles from the grocery store for the plastic bottle nanny as long as the nanny adapter will fit the plastic bottle’s screw top. I have also found that most champagne bottles will not work in the wine nanny as they have a wider/thicker neck.

For plants in pots larger than one gallon I am using 1.5 liter bottles such as this plastic drinking water bottle or this green glass wine bottle.

Someone might find so many bottles an objectionable distraction in their container garden but I don’t. The bottles can also be painted or have decals affixed.

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