STEAM Learning Lab – Inverted Plastic Bottle Planter

Inverted Plastic Bottle Planter

Happy Earth Day! Today we are partnering with the American Chemical Society to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. You can find some fun activities on their website. To show some love for the planet we are going to recycle a plastic bottle into a self-watering planter. This easy to maintain planter makes a great place to watch fruits and vegetables grow!


• Plastic water or soda bottle
• Soil
• Seeds
• Tape
• Scissors
• Marker
• Piece of sponge or scrap fabric


1. Draw a line down the middle of the bottle
2. This step needs a grown up to help Cut the bottle in half on the line, and put tape on the sides that have been cut so there are no sharp edges
3. Take the top half of the bottle, the part with the lid, and remove the lid
4. Replace the lid with the piece of sponge, or bunch up the fabric to loosely fill the opening
5. Put the top half of the bottle inside of the bottom half, the part where the lid was should be facing down
6. Fill the top half of the bottle with soil
7. Plant your seeds in the soil
8. Lift the top half of the bottle gently out of the bottom half
9. Fill the bottom half with water, at least halfway
10. Put the top half back over the bottom half. The water will immediately start to move into the soil!
11. Refill the water once a week or whenever it looks empty and the soil is dry

More Fun:

• Use a hole punch to punch 3 holes in the bottom half of the container, before you fill it with water. Tie yarn into these holes and create a hanging planter
• What other items could you recycle into a planter? Tin cans, old milk jugs and other common items can make fun and interesting planters

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