/ / How-to Automatically Water Your Hanging Plants While on Vacation!

How-to Automatically Water Your Hanging Plants While on Vacation!

Did you know you can automatically water hanging ferns and flowers? Even while you sleep or are on vacation!

Are you tired of watering your hanging ferns and flowers in the crazy summer heat?

Don’t want to get up early in the morning and get up on a step stool to keep them alive?

Worried your ferns will die while you are on vacation because you can’t ask a friend or neighbor to water them? 

Prior to installing an automatic watering system, the only way I could keep everything alive in the summer was to get up and water my ferns at 5:30am every day.

Yes, there are extensions for your hose to help you reach, but see that 2nd story on my home? Watering those couldn’t be done with the hose.

I was filling up a water can out of a bathroom sink to water those babies.  Not fun!

Luckily, I have found solution that I can set-and-forget it.  The best part?

I installed it myself and I don’t need to rely on other people to water while I am on vacation 🙂 What is it called? Drip irrigation!

Even the ferns on the 2nd story are being automatically watered! Hanging ferns on blue house with two stories and blue sky and white columns

My drip irrigation automatic watering system has been installed for years and works like a charm!

In one weekend and about $100, you can install your own drip irrigation system.

The only upkeep? Have AA batteries handy and change them once a month or right before vacation.  Easy!

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Automatically water hanging ferns plants and flowers

Post contains hand selected products, with some affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here}  

Create a Watering Map for your Hanging Plants

Map out your plan and figure out how many hanging plants you want to water and their location in relationship to the hose spigot

  • Are there any challenges to running the tubing to that location? Do you have to run tubing under stairs or a deck?
  • I was able to run mine UNDER the stairs, which required 1/2 inch PVC pipe and pipe cutter

PVC Pipe Conduit for 1/4 Inch Tube

Automatically Water: Drip Irrigation 

This may seem overwhelming at first, but I think once you read through ALL of the instructions it will make a lot more sense.

Seriously, I did this without much research and it was intuitive once I got going.

It’s medium level DIY project, so keep that in mind 🙂

This method can be used for a pergola, patio, or porch. Wherever you have hanging plants!


Click on each product for more information or the pictures below to learn more: 

  1. Y-Connector
  2. Drip Irrigation Kit
  3. Automatic Timer
  4. ¼ inchTubing
  5. Scissors
  6. 1/2 inch tubing
  7. Back flow valve
  8. 1/2 inch coupler
  9. Tube crimper
  10. Hole punch
  11. Silicone
  12. Coupler kit
  13. Landscape staples / pins
  14. 1/4 inch white tubing
  15. White clips
  16. Irrigation Drippers
  17. 1/2 PVC Pipe (if needed)
  18. PVC Pipe Cutter (if needed)

Installation Instructions for Hanging Plants

Setting up an automatic watering simple as setting up a timer to your hose!

All you need to get started is setting up the Y-Connector to the spigot, so one side is your day-to-day hose you use for other tasks and the other side is the timer (sorry Amazon didn’t have the one I purchased, so the pictures are different).

Hanging Ferns on 2nd Story of house with blue sky background

Understand the couplers before reading ahead because they are important! 

  • T-Couple connects 3 lines
  • Coupler connects 2 lines
  • Elbow-Couple connects 2 lines at an angle

Types of Couplers for Drip Irrigation

Step 1:

Attach Y-connector to outside faucet spigot. Place hose on one side and timer on the other.

 Connect Y to outside Faucet      

Step 2: 

Measure enough 1/2 inch tubing to reach where you will run the 1/4 inch tubing up a post or column. At my house it was 8 1/2 feet.

Cut with scissors. I used a pipe cutter, but scissors are fine!

Cutting 1:2 Inch Tubing

Step 3:

Attach back flow valve to timer. Then attach the 1/2 inch tube coupler to the back flow valve, and attach the 1/2 inch irrigation tubing to that.

Attach back flow valve to timer

Step 4: 

Lay the 1/2 inch tubing along foundation and bury under mulch, dirt or pine needles.  Tack down with landscaping staples

Run 1:2 inch tubing around foundation and under mulch or dirt

Step 5:

Sorry I don’t have a picture – this is buried, so a graphic will have to do!  Using the crimper to stop the water flow, you will slide on one end of the crimper, and folder over about 6 inches of the 1/2 inch tubing to stop the water.

Pull the end of the tube through the other hole of the crimper. 

Crimp 1:2 in tubing
Credit: Irrigation Repair
Step 6:

Start tapping the line with the hole punch tool to add the 1/4 inch tubing using a coupler

I have ALL 5 hanging ferns running off of ONE 1/4 inch line of tubing. After some digging, I am able to show you this connection. Add a little silicone to seal the connection. Looks icky, but it works!

Here is a simple and pretty picture of what you are doing 🙂 The reality is below…

Push coupler into 1/2 pipe

Attach 1:4 in tube to 1:2 tubing

Step 7:

Run the roll of 1/4 inch tubing along the foundation to the corner where you will be adding the white tubing to run up the columns or post.

If you have a stained pergola, you can use tan 1/4 inch tubing, if you have white paint use white tubing, or just use the black!

At the time I did this, white tubing didn’t exist so I spray painted it. Yep, I’m a little bit of a perfectionist!

1/4 inch tubing

Step 8:

Using another coupler, attach the column/post tubing  to the 1/4 inch tubing along the foundation and begin running it up the column or post.

Attach where needed with clips. Please use these white clips – they require drilling a small pilot hole, but are much easier to install than the typical clips for drip irrigation. You can push down on them to hold the tubing in place. 

White 1:4 Tubing for Drip Irrigation Attached to Column to 2nd Story of House

Attach white clips

Use the elbow or t-coupler depending on how many lines you need to run.  I’ve used a t-couple above because I am running one line to my ferns on the first story and then another line to my ferns on the second story. 

Step 9:

Cut a small piece of 1/4 in tubing to run into the fern – here I used black to coordinate with the chain and blend.  If you are splitting the line to run to a 2nd fern, use a t-coupler or if just running to one fern us an elbow-coupler.

Drip Irrigation Attached and Into Fern

Step 10:

Attach the 1/4 inch tube to the stake drippers and remove the coupler (save it for repairs or use it!). 

Connect 1/4 inch tube to bubbler

Twist off coupler

Step 11:

Push stake into center of plant and twist top to get desired water flow. You can determine this by running the system on manual until you get the correct water flow.

I like the water to run through and drip out of the bottom of the fern. That’s usually 4 minutes at my house.

Bubbler in Pot Drip Irrigation

Watering Instructions

Place batteries in the timer and follow the instructions for set up and programming.  

Since I live in the heat of North Carolina, I have to water more than someone in the midwest for instance.  In early spring, I water at 7am all locations at once for 4 minutes every other day. My system waters:

  • 7 pots
  • Front landscaping
  • 5 hanging ferns

Once it starts getting above 85°F, I move to watering every day, but still for 4 minutes. I have NEVER noticed a change in my water bill!

Check your system at least every other week on manual to make sure it is running properly!

Charleston Styled Blue House with 2 Stories and Hanging Ferns

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

If you are interested in the flowers and plants I grow in my yard click here to read Easy to Grow Flowers from My Southern Garden or the 12 Essential Garden Tools I use to maintain my yard!

Now you can sit on the porch, have a cold drink, and watch your hanging plants get watered 🙂

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Fantastic idea. How do you run line for your landscaping?
    Enjoy all your posts and ideas. Thank you!

    1. Thanks! I didn’t run the line for my landscaping and had it tacked on during a re-do of my landscaping. It’s the same concept where you attach drip lines to the main water feed and bury it in the dirt between the plants.

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