25 Clever Gardening Ideas Using Plastic Bottles

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 clever gardening ideas made with plastic bottles from Creative Green Living at www.creativegreenliving.com

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

FTC affiliate link disclosure: Some of the products we link to use affiliate links where a small commission may be paid to Creative Green Living as a thank you for sending business their way at no additional cost to you.

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! 

Get all the details you need about winter sowing, how to do it, and more from Winter sowing: An easy, low-cost technique for starting seeds at Savvy Gardening

Recycled water bottle plant waterer

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. 

This plastic bottle waterer helps distribute water deep below ground and minimizes evaporation. Get the directions from the tutorial Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants from The Gardening Cook.

Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Soda Bottle Cold Frame

Turn Empty Soda Bottles into a Small Plastic Bottle Greenhouse or Cold Frame

The Thurston County Master Recycler and Composters in Washington State posted this great photo on the WSU website showing a demonstration cold frame / plastic bottle greenhouse they had built with empty plastic bottles. 

While they do not include instructions, they appear to have a wood frame with a hinged lid. The bottles appear to be threaded onto 1/2" PVC and sandwiched between the frame pieces to hold them in place, Check out the Thurston County Master Composter Recycler Program page to get a zoomed-in photo of this project.

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. 

These plastic bottle planters are perfect for starting seeds inside or for growing herbs in your kitchen window. Get the directions on how to create a "Super Simple DIY Self-Watering Herb Garden" from I Think We Could Be Friends.

Recycled coke bottle fruit picker

Recycled Plastic Bottle Fruit Picker Tool

Overhead fruit pickers can cost $20-$30. Turn an empty Coke bottle or other 2-liter bottle into an overhead fruit picker garden tool by following this easy detailed video tutorial on the Fun-Easy Crafts YouTube Channel.

Recycled water bottle with watering can attachment

Recycled Water Bottle Watering Can

Empty water bottles and 2-liter bottles make great watering cans with a little help! This inexpensive attachment softens the stream of water to a gentle sprinkle on one side and makes an easy to aim pour spout on the other side. Buy the watering can attachment for water bottles on Amazon here.

Water Bottle Wind Spirals - Brightly colored wind spirals made from water bottles

Recycled Water Bottle Wind Spiral Garden Art

Turn empty plastic bottles into interesting garden art (and scare the birds away from your freshly planted garden at the same time!) with this clever tutorial. 

If you can scribble and cut in a diagonal line, you can make this easy craft! See the Water Bottle Wind Spiral Project from Happy Hooligans as featured on Creative Green Living.

Whipper Berry Hanging Succulent Garden

Hanging Recycled Creamer Bottle Succulent Planters

There are so many creative ways to use empty plastic creamer bottles! I love this cute DIY hanging succulent planter from WhipperBerry. 

By removing the neck of the bottle she was able to transform the bottom half into something supper cute with some paint and a knife. Get the Hanging Succulent Garden tutorial from WhipperBerry.

Two photos of a DIY fairy house. Photo on left is the fairy house during the day time with the word DAY. On the right is a photo of the fairy house glowing in the dark and the word NIGHT.

Make a Glowing Solar Powered Fairy House

Transform a recycled plastic creamer bottle into a magical haven for fairies, illuminated by the power of the sun. 

This fun and captivating project not only brings a touch of fantasy to your garden but also harnesses sustainable solar energy! Get the step-by-step directions to make your own fairy house from Creative Green Living.

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

Adorable Cat Miniature Planters

These clever cat planters turn an empty plastic soda bottle into adorable kitty cat plant pots. The creative person who designed this project turned the ridges on the bottom of the bottle into the kitty cat feet. Get the directions in both English and Spanish from Bru DIY.

Garlic being grown in recycled water bottle planters

Plastic Bottle Planters for Garlic

Watch as your discarded plastic bottle blooms into a thriving home for fresh garlic. Embrace the simplicity of this craft and turn your kitchen scraps into a delicious and decorative addition to your kitchen. Watch the YouTube video embedded above or on the Terrace Garden channel.

Mini greenhouse made from a 2-liter plastic bottle over a terracotta plant pot growing a seedling marked with a plant marker saying parsley

Mini Greenhouse or Plant Cloche Covers from 2-Liter Soda Bottles

Transform ordinary 2-liter plastic bottles into a thriving haven for your favorite plants with this simple and sustainable craft. 

This easy mini greenhouse project not only breathes new life into discarded bottles but also provides a charming and efficient space for your seedlings and tender plants to flourish in a windowsill or outside. Get the details for making a mini greenhouse craft on Crafting a Green World.

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. 

Each bottle is hung from a grid by a unique string length ranging from 6" to 30" to create a unique wavelength pattern. Get the directions for this brilliant recycled DIY engineering feat from Instructables.

DIY hanging planter made with recycled bottle, paint and twine

DIY Hanging Plastic Bottle Planter

This hanging garden planter tutorial is the perfect way to breathe new life into your space using recycled materials! 

Transform discarded plastic bottles into suspended green sanctuaries by adding just a touch of paint and wrapping them in rustic twine! This craft will add a sustainable touch of nature to any corner of your home. Get the step-by-step directions from The Seaman Mom.

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

Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder With This Simple Attachment!

Invite the mesmerizing beauty of hummingbirds into your garden with your own DIY Hummingbird Feeder! This simple yet delightful project transforms a recycled bottle into a cafe for your backyard bird friends using a simple attachment that you add to any recycled bottle. Buy it on Amazon here.

plant markers made from milk jugs

Plant Markers from Milk Jugs

It has been common practice for many decades to use old window blinds as garden markers. They're a nice shape, cut easily and tend to not fade. The problem? Old blinds often contain large quantities of lead!

Instead of leaded blinds, turn the sides of an empty milk jug into plant markers! To help the writing go even further, use a Sharpie Grease Pencil. Get the details on making plant markers from milk jugs here.

Hanging Bottle garden made from plastic bottles turned on their sides

Vertical Hanging Garden Made from Plastic Bottles

Save space and suspend your favorite plants in mid-air with these chic hanging garden planters. Elevate your gardening experience by creating an eye-catching vertical display that turns any space into a lush, green oasis using reclaimed plastic bottles! Learn how to make this inspiring recycled hanging garden on Bit Rebels.

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.

This is the perfect easy Earth day project for teaching kids about sustainability, gardening, and the importance of repurposing materials while enjoying quality time together. Get directions for making your own plastic bottle cloches from Garden Gate Magazine online.

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.

While not as efficient as a glass or a fully enclosed greenhouse, the bottle greenhouse is on average four degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Get detailed directions for assembling a DIY greenhouse from recycled bottles on Instructables.

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. 

This easy DIY scoop made from an empty plastic jug will not only save you money but will make sure you are well stocked on scoops around the garden or homestead! Get the directions for making a DIY scoop from a plastic bottle or empty jug from Purple Hues and Me.

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.

This DIY garden tool can be used for misting and watering plants or even for applying foliar fertilizers and sprays. Buy the Hydrospike plastic bottle garden accessory on Amazon.

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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If you loved this collection of gardening ideas using plastic bottles, be sure to save it on Pinterest

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

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If you love this post, you might also be interested in these additional recycled garden crafts:

Recycled plant marker made from can lid that says mint

Recycled Garden Markers: Make Plant Markers From Can Lids

Recycled Mason Jar Planter: Make a Unicorn Succulent Planter

raised garden bed for lettuce made from an old desk

Recycled Desk Garden Bed: Turn an Old Desk into a Lettuce Planter

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About the Author:

Carissa B is the owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living as well as Creative Green Gardens. She has won multiple awards including the ShiftCon Media "Best Green Lifestyle Blogger" award in 2019.

Her projects have been featured in magazines like Urban Farm Magazine, Capper's Farmer and Kids Crafts 1-2-3. Follow her on TikTokPinterestInstagramor join the Creative Green Living Community Group on Facebook.
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