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Self-Watering by Evaporation

10 years ago

So I saw a youtube video of someone growing an African Violet with a self-watering system that was different from anything I've seen before.

I figured that "Self-Watering by Evaporation" would be a better title for this post, but I couldn't delete the other post...I'm not sure how to do that.

Unfortunately, I can't link the video because he took it down, but what he did was place the pot in jar so that the pot fit snuggly, and then filled the bottom of the jar with water but WITHOUT a wick. He said that the evaporation kept his AV moist and that he didn't use wicks because his water was very hard and would block the wick from pulling up water.


How does evaporation work? OR

Where could I go/what books to read that would explain what effects the rate of evaporation to a total newbie?

Is evaporated water essentially distilled water?

Have you tried this before?

Should I make multiple holes in the bottom of my pots to increase the surface area for evaporation?

Would heat or cold effect the rate of evaporation?

Is there anything you think I should study or do you have any ideas to add for my experiment?

Does water evaporate the fastest by itself or should I try putting a material in the bottom of the reservoirs to speed up evaporation or does it not work like that at all? total newbie here lol


I will be putting AVs in both my regular potting soil and then others in 5-1-1.

Then I will put the potted AVs on top of glad plastic containers that have pre-cut holes so the pots sit snuggly in each hole.

I will then put water in the bottom of the glad containers, but not use a wick with each pot, to see if the evaporation will be enough to water them.

I'll also put lots of small holes in the bottom of some of the pots to see if it makes it easier for the evaporated water to get into the soil/mix above.

My room conditions are between 70-80 degrees each day and humidity varies from 40-60%


I'm definitely trying this out because I have had issues with my water and AVs, mainly fertilizer salts showing up without using any fertilizer on them, and other white crust.

Well I figured this would be a better title for this post, but I couldn't delete the previous one! Not sure how to do that.

The problems that I've heard and now experienced with self-watering containers are that when you have a closed system, the water continuously re-filling the reservoir continues to build up salts.

Also the other issue with self-watering wicking systems is that too much water gets wicked up so that plant soil is sopping wet. What I've done to get around both of these is bought purified water (temporary solution) to water my AVs for now, flushed them, and also repotted them...

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