Introduction: IKEA Self Watering System

About: I'm a physiotherapist with a great passion for science, bricolage, DIY, photography and first of all astronomy. In the last years i started to approach to Arduino, Makers and this comunity.I wanna realize watc…

Need to leave your plants alone or tired to water them every day? Or do it wrong? See how to solve it with IKEA cheap furniture and a few simple tools.

In less than 1hour you will settle 4 plants


Step 1: Holes

Take the "vase" and make 5 simmetrical holes at the base, of the same size of the rope, NO LARGER.

Step 2: Ropes

  • Take the rope, cut 5 pieces length as 2.5 times the height of the SUNNERSTA.
  • Make a simple knot on one rope, at a "vase height "distance from the end.
  • More "vases", more ropes, make your maths.

Step 3: Ropes Insertion

  • Take the longest part of the rope (the knot is the reference) and insert it from inside to outside at the base
  • Tweezers may help you!
  • Now don't pull al the rope but just a small part

Step 4: The Plant

  1. Remove the plant from the original vase gently.
  2. Model the ground to fit better the IKEA "vase"
  3. Free the terminal roots carefully
  4. Take the "vase" and move the external ropes at the corners, leave the central one wherever is it
  5. Fit the plant basement into the vase, keeping the ropes at the corners as better as possible.

Step 5: Pull

  • Now you should have a part of the ropes outside the base vase
  • Pull every rope, until the knot stops the rope.

Step 6: The "VARIERA"

  1. If you want to make the garden on a wall, buy the rail and mount it following is own instruction (write it here would it be pretty ridiculous no?Of an Ikea item...c'mn)
  2. Take you VARIERA Storage Box and fill it with 2liters of water and a proportional dosage of VÄXER fertilizer (half plug).

Step 7:

The water should be close the bottom of the "vase"

  1. Add all the vases and immerse the ropers into water
  2. 4 SUMMERSTA is the limit but we have space to move them and do some refills with a bottle

Step 8: How It Works?

Is pretty simply: capillarity. The water slowly rises up the rope until it reaches the ground of the plant. The rope and the ground will stay always in the water balance,a kinda of osmosis. 5 ropes, with 4 at corners for reach every single point of the the ground.


  • For one week and maybe more the garden will be fine.
  • IF SEEMS that your plant is receiving TOO MUCH WATER, just cut one rope or more. For example, my Rosemary is watered with just 2 ropes.
  • If your plant needs different watering for a precise period, just lift off one or more rope and fit it between the SUNNERSTA and VAREIRA.
  • With 5 ropes, in spring, the ground will be always wet untill the surface.


Everything goes right! I've eaten the first raspberry, salad, basilica and rosemary go perfect... it works!

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