Hurray for ollas!

Save water and time with this ancient device

Ordering an olla:
If you don’t want the fuss of crafting an olla, you can order one online at a variety of distributors, such as

Looking for an easy way to efficiently water your plants, but don’t want to install traditional irrigation?

Make your own olla and save water in the garden!

An olla (“oy-yah”) is an ancient method of drip irrigation, thought to have originated in northern Africa and brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Ollas are unglazed pots that are buried neck-deep into the soil and filled with water, which very slowly permeates the porous clay wall to irrigate adjacent plants.

It is said that 90 percent to 100 percent of the water placed in the olla is eventually absorbed by the plants, whose roots hug the outside of the pot. This creative watering device needs to be refilled every one to two weeks, depending on the size, location and thickness of the pot.

Ollas can be purchased online at retailers such as But you can construct your own by using silicone aquarium sealant to first glue together the tops of two terra-cotta flower pots and then to plug up the drain on the bottom end.

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