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

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!

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