Using Ollas in Pots

Justin shows you how to use the Olla (Oy-ya) Pots (unglazed clay pots) to help water your plants in tubs or raised garden beds. They’re a great way to irrigate and were an ancient watering technique that delivers water directly to the roots.

The use of buried earthen jars for watering plants has been used for thousands of years. The hand-thrown unglazed pot is buried neck deep into the soil, fill the pot with water and it slowly seeps into the soil to be absorbed by surrounding plants (not for use around wood plants such as shrubs and trees).

Purchase them online via our store or local pick up

Irrigation with ollas (unglazed clay pots) is simple and extremely efficient, but the system gave way to modern watering techniques decades ago. With this type of irrigation, gardeners fill unglazed clay urns with water and bury them near plants. The tops of the ollas (pronounced OH-yas) extend above ground so the urns can be refilled as water is absorbed.The water slowly seeps through the porous clay, directly irrigating roots. As they grow, roots form a dense, fibrous mat around the olla — the water nourishes the plant, not the surrounding soil and weeds.Ollas virtually eliminate the runoff and evaporation common in modern irrigation systems, allowing the plant to absorb nearly 100 percent of the water.

The Olla, according to the Spanish English dictionary means “pot” and was used by Spanish speaking countries as a cooking pot. These clay pots were initially used by ancient Latin American cultures to cool water by evaporation. The techniques used to cool the water by evaporation have allowed for a great way to irrigate your garden and provide water directly to the roots of your plants.

For small city lots,  growing in containers is an ideal and practical growing medium.  Container gardening makes growing more versatile as you are able to move the containers around to  adjust to the seasons.   However, one of the drawbacks to gardening in pots or containers is that  they dry out too quickly.

Since we started using ollas back in 2005, we found out that the plants grow faster, better, and stronger near the ollas. And another advantage is that we cut out watering bill in half!  Of course, this went along with many water conservation efforts.

By making your own Self Watering Containers, your garden becomes:

Water Efficient
Low Maintenance
High Production
Patio, Deck & Balcony Friendly

Make your own using SWP (Self Watering Pots) using clay pot irrigation or “Ollas.”

:: Resources ::

Ollas in Containers

How to Use Ollas

Every Drop Counts





  1. Winona says:

    Love the info on this website

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