Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

Life Science: Brassica & Butterfly System

Bottle Growing System



Materials Needed

For Building

  • One one-liter plastic bottle (provides a deep base unit and top unit)
  • One bottle cap
  • One 20 cm length of nylon craft cord (for wick)
  • China or non-permanent marker (for making marks)
  • Safety razor or utility knife (for starting bottle cuts)
  • Scissors (for finishing bottle cuts)
  • Soldering iron or drill (for making wick hole in bottle cap)

For Stocking and Maintaining

  • One package of Fast Plant (Brassica rapa) seeds (can be ordered from Carolina Biological Supply Company (1-800–334–5551) or www.carolinabiology.com
  • Potting soil mix (Jiffy-Mix™, Scott’s Redi-Earth™, or 1:1 peat moss and vermiculite)
  • Fertilizer solution (Peters Professional TM Fertilizer™ or Miracle Gro™)

Building Instructions

  1. Following the instructions for making cuts in Bottle Basics, make a top unit and a deep base. Note: You may wish to make two to three Bottle Growing Systems at the same time because they are used in many systems.
  2. Melt or drill a hole in the bottle cap and screw onto the top unit.
  3. Insert the wick through the hole in bottle cap with approximately 10 cm on either side.
  4. Invert the top unit over the deep base.

Stocking Instructions

  1. Moisten the potting mix.
  2. Fill the top unit with potting mix to about 5cm from the rim.
  3. Apply water gently to the mix until it is dripping from the wick below.
  4. Add more potting mix until settled but being careful not to pack heavily.
  5. Distribute 20–25 seeds onto the potting mix.
  6. Cover the seeds lightly with a thin layer of potting mix.
  7. Fill the deep base about 3/4 full with fertilizer solution (follow instructions on fertilizer container).
  8. Place inside a Light House and follow instructions for maintaining.

Maintenance Instructions

  1. Keep the deep base supplied with fertilizer solution.
  2. Thin seedlings so that each is at least .5 cm from the others.
prev: components


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy