How are 2 liter bottles used to grow plants ?

rolacoyMarch 21, 2010

I found a page on this forum where someone was explaining how to cut 2 liter soda water bottles and use them to grow plants. I can not located the page, but the discussion was all about how to cut the bottles and put them back together. the discussion did not cover in any detail as what they were used for.

My questions are:

 How are they used ?

 What advantages do they offer ?

I am new at plants and am trying to learn how to root cuttings.

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

My guess is that the thread you saw was talking about starting seeds and maybe winter sowing seeds. The bottle tops are retained to keep the soil from quickly drying out, and, in the case of winter sowing, can also be used to help provide a little more stable temperature. You can create a moisture tent with about anything, including sticks and plastic wrap. But the soda bottles are free (you already have them) and are pretty easy to make and use. BTW, be sure to check out the FAQ sections in some of the forums, especially the winter sowing forum. You'll find lots of ideas and information there.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:14AM
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There is a fellow on the site who likes to experiment with different ways to grow plants in containers. Basically it is a pot inside a larger container. The outside container has no holes and retains water. The inner pot is filled with soil mix and allows water to drain into the lower pot - otherwise it would be totally hydroponic. A plant can adapt to both conditions - with "normal" roots in the upper portion and "water" roots in the lower. A wick can be used to insure water contact from lower to upper. Advantages to this can be the novelty or "fun" aspect of doing something different. Also these are somewhat SWC (self watering containers) which can help with the watering chores.

As far as rooting cuttings:
I like to use an aeroponic rooter (cloner) myself as it is low maintenance - there are plans around for build your own.

The easiest system I have seen on this forum involves a clear box, potting soil and a small plugged up clay pot. Use the box like a mini-greenhouse with soil in the bottom. Put the pot in the center and fill with water periodically. This system provides humidity (cutting leaves don't dry out), warmth (enclosed), soil based rooting (less transplant shock) and steady moisture in the root zone (the pot slowly releases water to the soil)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 2:34PM
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The process of cloning or propagating a plant from cuttings is not so complex as you may think. I have been reading your posts and there seems to be some confusion between cloning, and hydroponics or aeroponics. Hydroponics and Aeroponics are systems of growing plants with roots in a soiless environment while feeding them via water/nutrient that is sprayed or in a chamber below the plant.

Cloning a plant by rooting cuttings in a sand or soiless potting medium is a way to duplicate a plant without the need for seeds. Large propagating operations use mist systems set up on a timer or electronic leaf to keep the cuttings at the needed humidity level and hydrate the cutting in the sand or potting mix. The use of sand, potting mix, peat, etc varies by preference. When the cutting developes sufficient roots to sustain the plant, it is then potted up and kept in a controlled environment until it is a strong plant. This is done indoors, usually in a greenhouse or similar structure. The plastic bottle is an expedient greenhouse for one plant in order to maintain a humid environment for the plant until it is rooted.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:09PM
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Cloning is my main goal. While trying to learn I came on all of these different terms. I have never worked with plants before. I like to build things and could easily build a hydroponics or aeroponics growing system with a little more understanding of what the plants need and how the systems work. When we moved to town from the country. I decided to turn our small backyard into a garden. I built the hardscape, well not finished yet, maybe never finish. Now I need to fill it with plants and flowers, a hard learning curve for me. I do know a Rose from a tree, but that is about all. I built a greenhouse a couple of months ago and have it full of plants that I am growing from seeds.

I had to trim back some Azaleas so I decided that I should try to root the cuttings rather than throwing them away. I used root tone and put about 250 of the cuttings in potting soil. Tis was probably 2 months ago, most turned brown. I started reading this forum and have learned a lot. After I posted this thread. I read a lot of the threads relating to rooting and planting seeds. I think that I understand that rooting can be accomplished in soil or with out soil. I am going to try to root some more Azaleas in some Miracle Grow potting soil one more time this spring. I may try the hydroponics or areoponics later.

Also the bottles interest me, in the morning I plan to plant maybe ten cuttings in some 20 oz Gatorade bottles. I found that if you cut Gatorade in the right place they will snap back together. I think I will put the potting soil in the neck of the bottle and use the bottom as the "greenhouse".

I do have some questions about growing something in a bottle. It is pretty much a closed system, but I guess that it will still have to be watered, need drainage and will have to vent out the top. Any suggestions along this line of thought ?

Here is a link that might be useful: The Garden

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:56AM
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