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25 Clever Gardening Ideas Using Plastic Bottles

  • diy
A fruit harvester garden tool made from the bottle of a plastic bottle, a hanging garden made with plastic bottle planters, a mini greenhouse made from a recycled 2-liter plastic bottle

Welcome to a world of sustainable gardening solutions! 

In this article, we’ll unveil 25 inventive and budget-friendly gardening ideas using plastic bottles. Because while recycling is great – reusing is even better!

Explore eco-conscious tips to transform empty water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs and 2-liter bottles into thriving elements in your garden. 

These projects allow you to embrace creativity while making a positive impact on the environment. From simple projects that require just a couple tools to complex feats of engineering, we’ve got lots of ideas for you!

Dive into our guide for a greener, more resourceful approach to cultivating your garden paradise.

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25 Useful Ways to Use Recycled Plastic Bottles In Your Garden!

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Yellow coneflower and milkweed in plastic milk jug winter sowing containers, sprouted chives in another plastic milk jug winter sowing container

Winter Sowing Mini Greenhouses

Winter sowing is a great way to start seeds outside. It lets you reuse milk bottles and other large water bottles and jugs. Plant seeds in the winter and by Spring, you end up with hardy plants! 


Recycled Water Bottle Plant Waterer

Whether you need a way to keep your plants watered while you’re out of town for the weekend or if you are just forgetful, having an auto waterer like this comes in handy! 

By adding a simple adapter to the end of an empty soda bottle or water bottle you can make an automatic waterer that will keep your indoor and outdoor plants hydrated with less work needed from you! Buy it on Amazon here.



Recycled water bottle undergrround drip watering system

Underground Recycled Plastic Bottle Drip Irrigation

Another way that you can use recycled plastic bottles to water your plants is by creating a below-ground plant watering system. 

Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Soda Bottle Cold Frame
Self-Watering herb planters made from recycled 2 liter bottles from I Think We Could Be Friends

Self-Watering Planters

Turn an empty 2-liter bottle into a self-water planter that waters from below with a couple household supplies. The bottom half of the bottle serves as a water reservoir and the top half draws up water as the plant needs it. 


Recycled coke bottle fruit picker

Recycled water bottle with watering can attachment
Water Bottle Wind Spirals - Brightly colored wind spirals made from water bottles
Whipper Berry Hanging Succulent Garden
DIY bird feeder from 2-liter plastic bottles

Upcycled Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

Upcycle an empty plastic bottle into a bird feeder! While there are lots of plastic bottle bird feeder tutorials out there, this bird feeder from The Birch Cottage is one of the cutest recycled bird feeder projects I have seen. 

Empty 2 liter bottle craft - DIY cat planter craft
Garlic being grown in recycled water bottle planters

Mini greenhouse made from a 2-liter plastic bottle over a terracotta plant pot growing a seedling marked with a plant marker saying parsley
hanging shade canopy made with recycled clear plastic bottles that have colored water added to the bottle of the bottle

Hanging Plastic Bottle Shade Canopy

If you are a DIY lover, this project is a cool way to bring shade cover to a hot spot in your garden or patio. The project used 1,581 recycled soda bottles to create a canopy for shading from the sun. 

The bottom of each plastic bottle is filled with a small amount of colored water. The specific color of the water added to the bottle is based on the elevation of the bottle relative to the ground. 


DIY hanging planter made with recycled bottle, paint and twine

Make a Greenhouse Heat Sink from PET Bottles

They might not be pretty, but this heat sink project is pretty clever! Those black bottles on the ground are inside a greenhouse. 

The makers of the greenhouse used bleach jugs (really, any PET would be fine!) that have been spray painted black. They’ve got water in them so during the day the water heats up with the heat of the greenhouse, and during the night, they release their extra stored warmth inside of the greenhouse! 



three DIY hummingbird feeders made from recycled bottles
plant markers made from milk jugs
How to make a soda bottle cloche from garden gate magazine

Make a Plastic Bottle Cloche or Mini Greenhouse 

Extend your growing season and start your seeds outdoors earlier with a set of garden cloches made from 2 liter bottles. Enjoy fresh herbs, vibrant flowers, and thriving vegetables regardless of the weather outside.

DIY hothouse / greenhouse made from recycled plastic bottles

DIY 2-Liter Bottle Greenhouse

DIY your way to your own budget-friendly haven for your plants using readily available 2-liter bottles. Experience the joy of gardening without the hefty price tag, making horticultural dreams accessible to all.

scoop made from an empty plastic jug scooping mulch in a garden

Make a Scoop From an Empty Jug

This simple yet ingenious project not only reduces waste but also provides you with a handy tool for gardening. I know I am constantly using scoops in the garden for all sorts of things from compost to mulch to fertilizer and more. 

Turn Old Bottles Into a Garden Mister

This innovative accessory not only repurposes old bottles, turning them into garden tools, but also offers a cost-effective solution for maintaining your garden. Just add this attachment to upcycle empty plastic bottles into functional sprayers.

Recycled plastic bottle light cover

Recycled Bottle Light Shade Craft

Good garden design isn’t just about plants – it’s about creating a cozy hospitable environment as well. Who knew that hanging plastic bottles could combine with paint and lights to look so cute?

These recycled bottle light shades use the top two-thirds of the bottle to make cute light covers to go over tea lights or LED Christmas lights that feed through the neck of the bottle. Get the step-by-step  Recycled Bottle Party Light Tutorial from EPC Crafts.

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25 ways to use plastic bottles in the garden from Creative Green Living
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