drip irrigation potted plants

Drip Irrigation System for Garden Pots and Planters

Drip system for potted plants is the best choice if you are looking for an irrigation system for your planter garden. They are more efficient, do not waste water, and keep moisture levels at ideal values for plants. This article teaches you all about them and how to get set up irrigating your planter garden with drip irrigation.

Advantages of Drip System for Potted Plants

A drip irrigation system for planters basically consist of hoses with small holes drilled into them, through which water is poured slowly so that plants can receive just the right amount of precious liquid. Unlike other watering systems, drip irrigation systems are a green choice, great water savers, as well as time and effort savers. They are now favored by many gardeners because they can turn any garden into a beautiful one, with minimal effort, time spent and water consumption.

Conserving Supplies of Clean Water

Clean, healthy water is a precious resource in the world we are living in today. Water shortages become more frequent as the world population grows. Under the circumstances, the wise choice is to use systems that are not wasteful of this natural resource.

The main advantage offered by drip irrigation for planters is the ability to water each potted plant with just the right amount of water, without overflowing the pot or starving the plant. The best part is that each drop of water goes directly in the soil, and it is not lost through evaporation or surface runoff. This means that you can offer your plants ideal watering conditions, without wasting water.

Combat Fungal Diseases

There are many fungal diseases that affect plant leaves, when water stays for too long on the foliage, without drying. This is the main disadvantage of sprinkling systems. As they spread water over a large surface, it is inevitable that some of it will end up on the leaves of all the plants in that area.

This does not happen when using a drip irrigation system. Because the water ends up slowly infiltrating the soil, and feeding the roots, but without being sprinkled from above, it is obvious why drip irrigation system is preferred, especially when you want to combat fungal diseases in your plants.


Drip irrigation system for planters has a major advantage over other types of systems: convenience. By setting a timer, you can automate the system to water each of your potted plants regularly, without having to lift as much as a finger, something that cannot be said about other watering systems.

An Ideal Solution for Gardens and Potted Plants

At first glance, it would look like drip irrigation system must be conducted over a large patch of land, but this is not always the case. These systems can be adapted for small gardens and especially for potted plants.

As long as the system is designed so that the dripping holes are positioned next to each plant, ideal conditions for watering can be achieved. Potted plants can benefit greatly from this type of watering system as it also greatly reduces the appearance of weeds in each garden pot. Weeds can be an issue when growing plants in large planters, since it can become very difficult to pluck all the weeds regularly from the pots.

Water Slowly Seeps Into the Soil

When plants are grown in containers or well delimited gardens, watering cannot be left to the care of weather, even if the pots they grow in are left outside. Sprinkling systems and drip trays represent a waste of water, and they are not very efficient either.

A drip irrigation system allows the water to slowly seep into the soil. This way, plants receive just the right amount of moisture, and they are never suffocated by too much water, as it can happen when other types of watering systems are used.

What is equally important, the soil gets to maintain all the nutrients, as they are not washed away by water pouring quickly through it. This way, plants get the best care they can possibly have access to, while gardeners do not have to waste time and effort.

They Do Not Encourage Weed Growth

Weeds represent an important problem for many gardeners, as they are unsightly, and they tend to suffocate other plants inside the pots. When using drip trays, for instance, the first to benefit from the excess of water in the pots are these unwanted guests. They begin sprouting and before you even notice it, they have already started taking over your garden. Removing them is hard work, and it may never really end.

With drip irrigation systems, these enemies are kept at bay. Since the system only feeds water to the roots of the plants you grow, there is not much left for other sprouts waiting to hatch in the soil. In dry soil, they cannot live for too long, and your potted garden is easily maintained weed free.

They Combat Wet Foliage Diseases

Sprinkling may be considered, by many, a convenient solution to any watering needs for a garden. However, there is one big disadvantage that must be taken into consideration. Water sprinkled through the garden partially remains on leaves, promoting the appearance of various wet foliage diseases.

As drip irrigation systems only pour water at the root of the plants, they actually combat such diseases.

How to Purchase the Best Drip Irrigation System for Planters

Drip irrigation system for planters designs are considered the best option for watering a potted garden without wasting precious water. Because of the many benefits of these systems, many gardeners prefer to use them as they are efficient, non-intrusive, and the best choice for many plants. Putting together the best drip irrigation system for planters is fairly easy, but you will need to purchase the best components if you want it to function flawlessly. Here are some pointers on the main components that will help you with your shopping.

The Qualities of a Backflow Preventer

Since the drip irrigation will be connected to the source of water, in case of overflowing, your plumbing can get damaged. What you need is a backflow preventer, a component that will ensure your plumbing will be kept in good shape. When you design the layout for the best drip irrigation system for your planters, establish the areas where you will need to install backflow preventers.

Buying a Pressure Regulator

A drip irrigation system is called this way, because the water slowly drips on the soil, nurturing the roots of the potted plants. The water that is normally running through the pipelines has quite a high pressure, compared to what is needed for these systems. Therefore, you will need what is called a pressure regulator to go with your device.

Different Tubing Sizes

Tubing is the most visible part of your drip irrigation system for planters. This comes in various sizes, and you need to decide which ones you will use for your garden or potted plants. Black polyethylene is the common material used for making these tubes and even microtubes are available, if you need to insert them in particularly cramped places.

What to Look for in Emitters

Now that you have all the major components of the best drip irrigation system for planters, you will need to purchase some emitters, as well. The great part about these components is that they come with different flow rates, so you can adjust the system based on what your plants need. Since not all the plants have the same watering requirements, emitters come very handy, as you will be basically micro-managing your garden. There are three types of emitters that are more common: bubblers, which are used mainly for trees and shrubs, and they deliver a higher amount of water; drippers are ideal for nurturing roots with the exact amount of water needed; and misters which are made for maintaining moisture.

Do Not Forget About Fittings

You cannot simply create your drip irrigation system for planters by using tubing alone. You will also need a wide variety of fittings, depending on your garden layout. Straight fittings serve for connecting one tube to another, while elbow fittings allow the system to take right angle turns. Do not forget about tee splitters and figure eight fittings, needed for the end of the line.

Other Components

To put the entire system together, you will also need other components, such as a timer (for automating the system), stakes and risers, a hole punch and a barbed adapter for connecting the emitters to the tubing.

Drip Irrigation System Installation in Your Garden Planters

Drip irrigation system designs represent, at the moment, the best option for watering garden planters, even one of larger dimensions. These systems are water-efficient, time-efficient and, if they are automated, they take much of the work off the shoulders of any gardener. The single issue with drip irrigation is that you need to install it in the beginning, so that all your plants receive the much needed water. Here are the steps to follow for a drip irrigation system installation project.

Draw Boundaries

It is important to keep in mind that you need to measure the area that is going to be watered in this manner, so you can calculate all the needed materials for the drip irrigation system installation for your planters. Any type of garden can be watered like this, even one that is composed of large planters, without plants growing from the ground.

Establish a Water Source

The drip irrigation system installation must have access to a water source. Install a hose-pipe connector in shape of the letter Y, to ensure that water is distributed evenly to your garden and other watering needs. Attach the connector to a nozzle (for the water source) at one side and the system of hoses for irrigation on the other.

First Design the Layout

The best thing about drip irrigation system for planters is that they can water only the roots of your plants, without wasting one drop. However, you need to design a layout first, so that the dripping holes do not end up pouring water over areas where there are no plants whatsoever. Even if this stage requires some time and effort, it is very important for obtaining the best results later on.

Additional Materials

Besides the hoses that will be installed throughout your container garden , you will also need some additional materials. First of all, you will need a timer, so you can automate watering. You will also need a back-flow valve, to avoid accidents that can lead to damage to your plumbing pipes. Install filters, as well, to prevent rust and dirt from accumulating in the drip lines.

Connecting the System

Use drip lines and connectors to put together the entire ensemble. If the layout you have designed earlier is accurate, you will do this with very little effort. After the ensemble of drip lines is ready, connect it to the Y shape connector, so that it can start receiving water.

Last Checks

Once your drip irrigation system is ready, it is time to put it to the test. Let the water run more powerfully at first, to see if it comes out through all the dripping holes. Use the nozzle from the water source to adjust the flow, so that your plants do not get too much water.

At this point, it is very important to check for possible leaks. In case you discover problems, you can apply some tape to correct them.

Set the timer to automate your garden watering system. Now, you can sit back and enjoy watching your garden grow!

A drip system for potted plants is ideal to make sure that the soil has just the right amount of moisture. It also saves water and electricity. Still not convinced? Check out the benefits of drip irrigation system and learn how to install your very own drip irrigation system in your garden.