Tank Sprayers: Not Just for Chemicals Anymore

You know those big sprayers used to apply pesticides and fertilizer? It turns out they're perfect for watering and misting the plants on my balcony. In the past I've used spray bottles that were unable to withstand the daily rigors of misting my plants every day. They each broke after about a month of sore hands and puny spritzes, and each ended up with a pile of other spray bottles in the trash. My new tank sprayer on the other hand sends out a steady stream of water in a mist or jet, and is as easy to use as a garden nozzle.

Here's why I love to use it for my watering rounds. They're:

Affordable. I picked up a two gallon economy version from Home Depot for less than $9. There are nicer versions that don't require pumping, but "Misty" gets the job done on the cheap. That's her name by the way. It was either that or "Mister Mister."
Efficient. No longer will excess water drain through my plants and on my neighbor's head downstairs. Instead they'll be treated to a cool and gentle mist, like a kiss from the sky. You're welcome, downstairs neighbors!
Perfect for Orchids. And bromeliads. And any other epiphytes because the droplets end up right where you want them; on the leaves and in the growing medium. With the watering can, very little moisture ends up in the medium and a whole lot ends up on the ground. Sorry again, downstairs neighbor.
Great for Foliar Fertilizer Applications. I'm always reading about how certain plants benefit from diluted fertilizer sprayed directly on the leaves but they never explain how. This is how it's done. I'm going to start using Moo Poo Tea in mine for a nutritious spray of cow dropping droplets.
Easy to Use. Instead of squeezing a trigger with my calloused palm all afternoon, I just fill up the tank, pump it up, pull the trigger and spray! It works like a magic wand and makes all of my dreams come true. Of course I don't dream of money or fame but rather healthy and happy plants, but at least my wish actually came true!
FUN! Remember those Super Soaker water guns that they had in the 90's that you'd pump up with air before blasting your friend 50 feet away with icy cold water? Wit the nozzle set to a jet, these work exactly the same way! In the absence of friends you could just spray yourself to cool off on a hot day.
Useful for Houseplants. You can water houseplants with the tank sprayer by pointing the nozzle right at the soil. No water ends up on the carpet, and no water leaks through the floor to the aforementioned downstairs neighbor. To prevent spidermites or raise humidity in winter, simply mist the leaves regularly.

My Rainforest Drops like the new tank sprayer!

As does my epiphyte centerpiece.

Here are Some Disclaimers. Don't use sprayers that have contained chemicals, EVER unless you're actually trying to kill your plants. If you're misting the plants often, ensure that there's enough air movement for the plant's leaves to dry off. Don't spray cacti or other plants from dry climates with velvety hairy leaves. They don't like to be sprayed with your Super Soaker and might tell your mom or worse, develop fungal infections and start to look unwell. So that's what was wrong with my friend from fourth grade.


  1. Great tips. I use this item in my own garden for the hanging plants and smaller potted ones.

  2. Clever idea, Steve! I use a small pump sprayer to fertilize my orchids.

  3. What a great idea Steve! Why didn't I figure this out? My plants thank you for sharing this tip.

  4. Excellent idea! I may need to use it very soon.

  5. LOL, I do the same thing!! My sprayers actually say "Roundup" on them. I always wonder what my neighbors must think, as it looks like I'm spraying roundup on my plants... especially when I add Miracle Grow, which turns the water blue. ;-)


  6. This is such a great idea!! I forgot about these and was only thinking of pesticides when I thought
    of them! My plants love to get misted & the hummers love to leaf bathe &..... my hand thanks you too!!lol ;)


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