Watering globes, also known as watering spikes or aqua globes, are round blown glass globes with thin, long necks.
You can put watering globes into your plant pot, and they slowly release water into the soil, steadily supplying water to the plant over time.
Watering spikes can be ideal for when you go away on vacation.
What Are Watering And Aqua Globes?
There are many different names for watering globes, such as aqua globes and watering spikes. Different manufacturers make different variations and name them differently.
While some products have the typical glass globe shape with a long thin neck, others are more similar to spikes with a screw-on water reservoir. This can make it easier to refill the water when the watering spike is empty.
Some even more simple designs of the aqua globe come with just a spike and a screw attachment so you can use your own glass or plastic bottle as a water holder.
They may not be so nice to look at but they work well and give you more flexibility to use whatever size of water reservoir you want.
How Do Watering Globes Work?
Before we go into how long watering globes can last, it’s a good idea to see how these water regulators for your plant work.
Although there are many variations of regulating water systems for plants, watering globes are one of the cheapest options, compared to more complex hydroponic systems.
Watering globes work well and effectively for small and medium-sized plants that only need a small amount of water at once.
The way watering globes work is very simple: just fill the globe with water and invert it, slowly pushing into the soil near your plant. The globe will gradually water your plant over time.
When the globe is empty, the soil will dry and it will start to emit oxygen into the globe which will then push more water out of the globe.
This process limits the rate the globe empties, and while this depends also very much on the soil type in the pot, the room temperature and the plant’s water requirements, most watering globes can last 1-2 weeks.
The functional watering system of an aqua globe does not only help to reduce watering time when you are busy or on vacation, but it also provides the plant with the right amount of water. This is ideal for plants who need consistently moist soil.
Aqua globes are a great option for controlling the watering of your potted plants because they are cheap and easy to use.
How Long Do Watering Globes Last?
Most watering globes last for up to 2 weeks but there are a few different factors that impact how long an aqua globe can last. In the dry and winter seasons, your plants need slightly more water so you need to refill the water globe more often.
Also, the plant, soil type and globe size can all affect how long the water in the globe lasts. Different plants have different rates of water absorption, which can influence how long a plant retains water.
Another factor to consider when watering your plant with an aqua globe is how the globe is positioned.
Placing it again at the right angle and filling it with the right amount of water every time the globe needs a refill can be difficult, and it can lead to variations in how the water is released into the soil.
This impacts the length of time a watering globe can last.
Some plants need a stable water supply. If you plan to be away for longer than two weeks you will need to find a solution how to replace the watering globes.
How To Use A Watering Globe?
If you want to ensure that your plant is watered steadily, you need to use the watering globe properly.
With the help of a few basic tips, you can make sure the water globe provides a constant, slow water flow to your plant for up to two weeks.
Simply fill your globe with two-thirds of water. Then use your finger to create a small hole at an angle in the soil near the plant. Invert the globe and gently push the long thin neck into the soil.
Initially, there will be only a small amount of water leaking out of the globe’s neck.
The rate of water draining will depend on the amount of water the plant needs, the type of soil and whether your plant is indoors or outdoors.
An aqua globe or watering spike works for indoor plants as well as outdoors. While indoor plants benefit from an ambient temperature which means they might not need as much water as outdoor plants.
Particularly in summer, you will need to refill the water globes more often as the soil dries faster and the plant will need more water.
Not all outdoor plants however require constant watering, for example, succulents would not like an aqua globe.
Generally, water globes need regular cleaning as the spike can get clogged with soil.
You can avoid this by using your finger or a pencil to make a hole in the soil before inserting your watering globe.
This can help to prevent soil from getting into the neck when you insert it, and it also reduces the risk of breaking the aqua globe.
You should also clean your watering globe each time you refill the globe. Just use a toothpick to remove the soil from the stem. You can then fill the watering globe again and replace it.
When you use a watering globe for your plants outside it tends to get dirty very fast, so if you are using a watering globe mainly as decoration, your globe will need regular cleaning and refilling.
That’s why it is best to use a watering globe for outdoor plants only if you can check on your plants more frequently.
Advantages Of Watering Globes: The greatest advantage of watering globes is that they get the job done quickly at a very affordable price.
Watering globes keep your plants watered, and they can also look very attractive.
With an aqua globe you don’t have to move your plant pots to water them, and you don’t need to attach the watering globe to an external water supply.
The concept of a watering globe uses simple physics to release water slowly into the soil.
Disadvantages Of Watering Globes: There are some disadvantages of watering globes which you may want to consider.
One of the things to bear in mind is that the rate at which water is provided to the plant is variable, so you might find that one time your watering globe is empty after 7 days, while another time you need to refill the globe after ten days.
When you are going on vacation, this could make a big difference between a dead or a living plant.
It’s important to get a watering globe to work reliably and place it properly. If you are not sure whether your globe will last long enough, just try one a few times before you are going away.
Another drawback of watering globes is that they can be delicate. As some aqua globes are made of blown glass, you need to be careful as it is fragile, particularly the long thin neck.
Handle all glass globes with extra care so not to crash or smash them. Alternatively, you may want to look at watering spikes which are usually made of plastic.
Alternatives To Watering Globes
Although watering globes are cheap and affordable, if you have more than a handful of plants, the costs can quickly add up.
You can also make your very own aqua globe by using plastic water bottles, beer or wine bottles, or milk jugs. These DIY watering globes hold much more water than the average globe.
All you will need for your own watering globe is a plastic bottle with a lid, matches or a lighter, a candle and a nail. First, light the candle with the lighter.
Heat the spike of the nail in the candle flame and then use the nail to push five holes around the stem of the bottle. Then fill the bottle with water and fasten the cap firmly.
Then dig a small hole into the soil, invert the bottle and push it carefully, upside down, into the hole. Ensure that you make the holes not too small or too big so the water flow is even.
There are also a few other alternatives to water globes that do not need to be difficult to make, for example, you can set up a wick to a jug or bucket of water, use a self-watering planter or put your plant in a watering tray with a capillary mat.
Not as cheap but if you want to be absolutely sure that your plants are watered when you go away, you can also set up an electronic watering system.
All these watering options are great if you are going away, but it is worth saying that nothing can replace the relaxing moments when you take some time out to water your plants.