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I am thinking about building an automated watering system for some potted flowers.

They need water every day so staying away for some days has become impossible without sacrificing them (which is something I don't want to do).

So I thought about getting an aquarium pump, a timer clock and some tubes to have this happen without me.

My first thought was to simply pump out the water of a bottle or so, that way I would have the needed amount of water in the bottle, and when the timer clocks activates the pump it would get the water to my plants, so I could take 1 day off. Unfortunately pumps tend to break when they run dry and they might even catch fire. So that doesn't work.

My next idea was to put the plants above a reservoir, so any excess water could run back into the reservoir where the pump gets its water from. That way they would be watered for 1 hour every day (that is the smallest amount of time I can set the timer clock to) and I might even be gone for a bit longer. Problem is, those plants stand in soil. So some soil might get in the reservoir and damage the pump.

So does anyone have an idea how to solve that problem? Or maybe someone already has a working automated system and is willing to share the plans?

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    I just wanted to ask what the plants are that they need watering every day, because having to water daily is extremely unusual for houseplants? – Bamboo Apr 1 at 10:48
  • Try larger pots ; I water about once a week , orchids , brometiads , etc do not even need weekly water. – blacksmith37 Apr 2 at 15:02
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I used Gardena Holiday Watering System for several trips (and similar local brand system also). Here's the system: https://www.gardena.com/int/products/watering/holiday-watering/holiday-watering-set/900902901/

It took around 2hr to install it for my ~30 plants.

Worked well. Main problem was water coming out of drainage holes in pots and spilling to the floor (so you guessed well).

Watering process itself took around 2 minutes for small plants. So maybe 1 hour you're planning is too much.

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