How to Make a Hydroponic Garden in a Jar

This handy setup lets you grow herbs in a glass jar while providing plants with proper drainage and you with a low-maintenance watering routine.

DIY Self-Watering Planter 01:01

Follow these tips to create a simple DIY Self-Watering Planter.


  • (1) empty yogurt cup – 5.3 oz
  • (1) cotton strap or cotton rope
  • craft knife
  • (1) 8” clear cylinder vase
  • washi tape, various colors and widths
  • hydro rocks
  • (1) activated charcoal capsule
  • seed starting soil mix
  • (1) seed packet, we used basil

Step 1: Prep Yogurt Cup

Make two slits with craft knife in the bottom of clean yogurt cup.

Step 2: Cut Lunch Tote Strap

Cut at base of strap on each side. This will give you maximum length to work with.

Step 3: Thread Strap Through Cup

Thread strap up through slit in yogurt cup and then back down opposite slit. Leave a loop at the top. Don’t let the loop stick up higher than top of the cup. Straps will now be hanging out of the bottom of cup. This makes a wicking system where the strap soaked in water solution provides the soil with nutrients and moisture.

Step 4: Add Hydro Rocks

Fill cup halfway with rocks.

Step 5: Rinse

Pour water over the rocks in the cup to thoroughly rinse.

Step 6: Washi Vase

Add washi tape to bottom of vase about ¾ of the way up. This keeps light out and helps to prevent mold from forming in vase.

Step 7: Add Water

Fill vase with water up to washi tape line.

Step 8: Add Cup to Vase

Place yogurt cup inside vase. The rim of the cup will prevent it from falling to the bottom. Will catch right at the top.

Step 9: Add Soil to Cup

Fill the rest of the cup up with seed starting soil.

Step 10: Add Charcoal

Break open a capsule and sprinkle charcoal on top of soil.

Step 11: Add Seeds

Sprinkle seeds on top of soil. Gently press with finger to bury them slightly.

Step 12: Add Soil

Cover with a thin layer of soil.

Step 13: Spritz With Water

Using a spray bottle on lightest setting, spritz the soil with water. Do this a few times a day until germination.

Step 14: Fill Vase With Water

Now that seeds have germinated, add liquid fertilizer before you pour over water to fill vase. This will allow straps to soak up nutrients and keep soil moist. Watch it flourish!

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