Keeping your plants happy just got much easier. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated August 31, 2018
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Laurence King Publishing

When you have an impressive collection of house plants (or even just one finicky fiddle-leaf fig), keeping your plants healthy and happy can be a challenge. One week you over-water, and they're sad and soggy. The next week, you over-compensate by skipping their weekly water, and they're dry and thirsty. Striking the right balance for each plant isn't easy—so when we spotted the brilliant, zero-effort watering trick in the book How to Raise a Plant and Make It Love You Back by Morgan Doane and Erin Harding, published by Laurence King, we knew we'd discovered a game-changer. Rather than having to remember to water your plant and guess the correct amount, the "yarn trick" is the plant-watering secret that makes plant care remarkably easy.

Laurence King Publishing

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The Yarn Trick

According to plant pros Doane and Harding, all it takes to keep your plant properly watered is a bit of yarn. To create your own DIY water-wick system, start by filling a jar with water (if you're going on vacation, make sure it's enough water to cover the time you'll be away). Then, cut a length of yarn long enough to reach the bottom of the jar, and have about one inch of the other end nestled into the soil of your plant. Using a toothpick, guide the yarn into the soil. When the plant gets thirsty, it will draw water from the jar, through the yarn. Genius!

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Automatic Watering Devices

While you can buy a slow-release watering globe online or at your local garden supply store, you can also DIY your own using a bottle. To make one, fill a bottle with water, then insert the bottle neck into the blunt end of a terracotta stake, then push the stake into the soil. The terracotta will pull water from the bottle slowly and deliver it into the soil. Pro tip: Automatic watering devices work best when inserted into soil that's already pre-moistened. 

For more brilliant ways to make your house plants love you, check out How to Raise a Plant and Make It Love You Back