Water containers for wicking

luvofrosesMarch 19, 2009

I am getting ready to re-pot again with the right mixture of soil and I want to try wicking but i need ideas on what the water containers that the pots sit in could be. I guess I am a little lost but I will get it soon I hope.My pots are 3 inch pots but have no clue as to what could be used to hold the water for the wick to use.Thanks so much for any and all ideas

Ann

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donna_c

Hi Ann, I've just started wicking and am trying various containers.

* You can get humidity trays with an egg crating grid and dangle the wicks into the water. See http://www.calwesttropical.com/index.php/categories/humidity-trays for an example. They are expensive, but you can use other trays and get egg crating at home improvement stores and save money. Benefits are quickly and easily watering many plants and creating a microclimate of increased humidity that AVs love. The drawback is that critters can easily commute between plants.

* For individual wicking, one way is to use jars that have a mouth small enough for the pot to fit in without going all the way down. Many people use baby food jars for the 3 oz. solo cups. Check your fridge and shelves for possibilities for your 3" pots(for example, jelly jars).

Another way is to use containers with lids. You can buy special wicking reservoirs or save money by recycling margarine tubs or deli containers. Cut two holes in the lid (one for the wick and one to add water without needing to take the plant and lid off), fill with water/fertilizer, put the lid on, stick the wick in, then plop the plant on top.

Good luck! ~ Donna

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 4:38PM
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luvofroses

Thanks Donna, I just finished re-potting and I found some different containers that worked very well and looked really nice. I have my plants in my window sills and so individual wicking works better for me. I have 3 more to go and then watch to see if i did it right. I do have to say i will make checking the water on them better. Are the containers to always have water in them or should they dry out and then fill again? Thank you so much for your help.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 6:31PM
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fred_hill(6)

When I started wicking I used pint containers that were filled with WonTon Soup from the Chinese take out. I have continued to use them but at one point bought a batch from Cape Cod Violetry. I only wick water my little plantlets on a tray with egg crating.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:42PM
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donna_c

I grow in windowsills too and got a couple of 26" x 6" windowsill humidity trays plus am trying some individual containers. I'm brand new at wicking so maybe some of the veteran wickers will jump in here! I have read that some people like to let the reservoirs go dry for 3 -4 days before refilling them to give the roots a break and discourage bugs like springtails or gnats. However, if things get too dry you might need to restart the wicking again. Others never let the reservoirs go dry, preferring consistent conditions for their plants. I have some self-watering ceramic pots that always have water in them, and although the soil looks way too wet, the plants LOVE them and thrive. I'll probably try both methods, watch the plants carefully, and decide which way works best in my conditions.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:29PM
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bspofford

I use 1/2 pint containers and lids I buy in the deli dept of my supermarket. I pay a total $7.00 for 50 of each. I usually don't let them go dry, but occasionally one gets by me. If the pot dries out, you will have to re-start the wick to work by letting the pot soak in a saucer of water. I use the 1-1-1 mix with some extra perlite thrown in.

Barbara

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:27AM
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nwgatreasures(7)

I use baby food jars to put my 3 oz solo cups in.

Dora

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:49PM
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frank325

Ann, what kind of 3 inch pots do you have? I'm looking for some and am not having any luck.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 6:56PM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi,
I try not to let the reservoirs go dry that way the capillary action is not interupted. I buy all my 3" pots from Cape Cod Violetry.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:28PM
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frank325

Fred - is he only available via email or phone? I couldn't seem to find a website after a brief search.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:06PM
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quitecontrary(6)

I like the plastic freezer jars with snap-on lids. These are about 4" square and come in 2-cup, 3-cup, and 4-cup sizes. As you can imagine, the quart size is quite tall. Most of my plants are wicked on the 2-cup size. However, the tall ones are good for trailing plants or for raising a plant higher than its neighbors. I used the 2-cup size for my Flora Carts because they were short enough to fit under my lights with a plant on them. Now, I am growing in window light, so height is less of an issue. All of the sizes hold enough water for a good long time! I have an old paring knife that I use to cut holes in the lids. The jars are #2 recycleable plastic. I put the knife blade on the hot stove burner until the blade is hot. It then zips easily through the plastic - like a hot knife through ... plastic! Moving the blade in a circle, I cut a center hole in the lid for the wick. I then cut an oval "fill hole" near the corner of the lid. The fill hole is about 3/4" in diameter. I have a watering can with a small spout. It is easy to walk around the house pouring water directly into the fill holes. I usually don't even have to move the plants much.
Barbara

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:46PM
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luvofroses

The only 3 inch pots I could find in my area are the little terracotta ones. They are not the best for this but for now they will do fine. they will be replaced with the ones I am getting from the Violet Barn. I am also using the 9 oz solo cups for the violets that are a little larger. then I found pretty drinking tumblers that they fit into and have been using them for the water receptacles. THey look very nice in my window and on my tables.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:29PM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi,
Here's the info on Cape Cod Violetry. You can email John Cook and have him email you his catalogue back.

Name of vendor: Cape Cod Violetry
Address: 587 Shawmuth Ave
City: New Bedford Zip: 02740-4622
Country: USA
Phone: (508) 993-2386
Hours Of Operation: Hours by appointment only.
Email Address: violets@cape.com
Products offered: African Violet Leaves, Plants, Supplies, Accessories
Contact: John & Barbara Cook

Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:07PM
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RenitaEversole

I want to place a container of petunia's on a dock on a lake here in Middle Georgia. Would this be too long of a distance for the wick to reach down beneath the dock to get to the lake water? It sounds like a great idea...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Linda

Ann,
When I first started wicking, I used margarine containers. I used a hole punch to make a hole in the lid for the wick. It was a bit unhandy to remove the plant and the lid to refill the container so I soon moved on to trays lined in plastic with egg crate.
I now use cheap flats that I buy at Worm's Way for $2.50,( sometimes nurseries or big box stores will give them to you for nothing). I cut an egg crate to size with tin snips and add my violets. Works great!
I usually let my trays go dry for a day or so. I have lots of plants and lots of humidity and this works well for me. You do have to be careful, however, that all wicks are functioning. If they are not, I water from the top and everything gets going again.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:54AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Renita on the Lake - you can probably accomplish it but the wick should be thick, I am thinking about some thick rope,

I think they started selling double bottom containers for tomatoes and such - where you fill a substantial amount of water in a bottom one - and it wicks into the top container.
May be it will be a good fit for your petunias.

I.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:04PM
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