The Simple Shoelace Hack For Making Sure Your Plants Stay Watered

It can be hard to find the time to water your plants. Or, maybe you never know how much to give them and how often to do it. By using the simple shoelace hack, you won't have to worry about watering your plants again. It works by using a cotton string like the one you use for lacing your shoes to suck water out of a bucket and into your plant's soil. Since it's controlled by how moist the potting mix is, it'll keep your plants perfectly watered at all times. All you have to remember to do is top off the bucket when it starts running low.

Remembering to water your plants is vital because it can cause damage and even death. When you forget to do it, the foliage will dry and turn brown from the lack of moisture. Then the leaves will begin to curl and fall off until the entire plant is bare, leading to its death. Overwatering your plants is also a problem. The foliage will turn yellow, then brown. As you add more water, it'll pool in the soil, drowning the roots. This also increases the likelihood that your plant develops root rot and dies. If you're having trouble knowing how to water your plants or just don't have the time, the shoelace hack will make it easy to care for your houseplants.

Use your old shoelaces to water your plants

Before starting this hack, you need to find shoelaces that will work. They need to be cotton and the proper length to reach from your plants to the bucket. You can use about one lace per plant or more if it prefers a lot of water or is in a big pot. First, knot one end of the shoelace or tie it around a small bolt to hold it down if you notice it is constantly falling out of the bucket. Then poke a pencil through the other end. Use it to push the lace to the bottom of your plant's pot and out the drainage hole. For the best results, make sure it goes into the root ball.

You want your plant elevated higher than the bucket. This could mean putting it up on a shelf or a table. Then place the bucket on the floor. The size of the bucket depends on how many shoelaces you'll put into it. A 16- to 32-ounce container will work. If you have a large collection, consider using multiple buckets. Finally, take the dangling end of the shoelace that's sticking out of your plant and place it into the container. As the soil drys out, your plant will drink water from the bucket through the shoelace.

How can a shoelace water plants?

It may sound crazy, but your shoelace really can water your plants. The hack works by creating a liquid-wicking system. That way, your plant is able to control how much water gets deposited into the soil. You can't accidentally over or underwater it because liquid won't run up the shoelace if the potting mix is already saturated. It all works through capillary action.

Scientifically, capillary action causes moisture to defy gravity and move from one container to the next. "It is defined as the movement of water within the spaces of a porous material due to the forces of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension," according to the United States Geological Survey. The simplest way to explain it is that your plant's roots use the shoelace like a straw to drink from the bucket. Then the liquid can be absorbed and move up the string in the same way a paper towel picks up spills.