How Do Self Watering Pots Work? Plus 10 Of the Best

Self Watering Pots

Although self-watering pots work, you must use them the right way. In this article, we are going to talk about how self-watering pots work. We will also review the ten best self-watering pots and show you how to choose the best one for yourself.

If you are wondering what plants are good for self-watering pots, you will also learn that here.

So without much ado, let’s get started.

How Do Self Watering Pots Work?

Self-watering pots use the wicking technique to supply plants with water from a water reservoir that is assembled with the pot holding the plants.

Usually, self-watering pots comprise of a growing layer, potting soil, water reservoir. The wicking action ensures your plants get enough amount of water at any given time.

The plant roots will absorb water then the soil will wick more of it keeping it optimally moisture.

Self-watering pots have become popular these days due to the effectiveness and convenience they offer to gardeners.

You can either make your own self-watering pot or buy one- they aren’t costly and are made with non-toxic material.

The Essential Elements of a Self-Watering Pot

Any type of self-watering pot has four basic elements namely:

  • Growing bed: As the name suggests, the growing bed is where you add the potting soil and the plants.
  • Potting soil: The potting soil helps in wicking up water and supplying oxygen to the plant roots.
  • Water reservoir: The water reservoir is the essential section of the self-watering pot. It’s the one below the growing bed. Usually, a water reservoir will have a water level indicator to help in the monitoring of the water levels.

The growing bed and the water reservoir are all held by separate containers.

  • Wicking system/capillary action: The wicking system, also known as the capillary action is the way by which water moves from the water reservoir to the soil and plant roots.

Usually, wicks made of absorbent material like ropes are used to facilitate the wicking action.

Best Self-Watering Pots

Self-watering pots are helpful when it comes to growing your indoor and outdoor plants in the right condition and especially if you have a busy life. 

You can make your own self-watering pots although you need to find the materials to do that. The good thing about buying self-watering pots instead of making them yourself is that you get good-quality planters that can give you peace of mind even when you travel.

But what self-watering pots are good for your indoor and outdoor plants?

How to Choose the Self-Watering Pots

Choosing the best self-watering pot has never been easy given that the market is saturated with plenty of containers of all types and varieties.

As a beginner choosing a self-watering pot for your indoor and outdoor plants can be overwhelming. Apart from the shape of the pot, the color, design, etc, there are other important considerations if you want to get the best container for you.

Here are a few things you need to consider when choosing the best self-watering pot.

  • Ease of use

A self-watering pot will continue to provide your plants with the required amount of water even when you are not around to do the watering yourself. For this reason, you need to choose a convenient container.

A complicated self-watering pot won’t do anything good apart from starving your plant or even killing it.

That’s why you need to choose a pot that’s user-friendly when it comes to installing, growing and even watering the plants.

Thankfully, most of the self-watering pots we are going to talk about in this article are easy to set up and use.

  • Size of the pot

Before you purchase your self-watering pot, you need to understand that the roots need enough space to grow and the plant will also grow tall. This means, if you buy a small pot, your plant won’t grow properly inside or you will be limited on the type of plant to grow

A good rule of thumb is to choose a pot that’s not too small or too big.

  • Material

When it comes to the material for your self-watering pot, durability, and quality, is everything. This is especially crucial if you intend to use the container for outdoor panting.

The pot should be strong enough to withstand all types of weather conditions. Fortunately, the pots you will find in this article are made with strong plastic, ceramics and other sturdy materials, although you need to avoid containers made with toxic material. 

  • Amount of water your plants require.

The quantity of water your plants consume is another important thing to consider when buying your self-watering pots. Note that different plants have different water requirements at any given period.

Therefore, before you buy your pots, make sure the reservoir will hold sufficient water the period you intend to travel or if you are busy.

Ideally, a large water reservoir would do well for plants that require a lot of water.

  • Enough oxygen

Your plants need light, water, and humidity but your plant’s roots also need enough oxygen to keep the plant healthy and happier.

Most of the indoor and outdoor plants do not require moist soil. For this reason, you will need to buy a pot the keeps the water reservoir separately with the soil.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best self-watering pots.

Best Self-Watering Pots Reviews

Aquaphoric (7”) + Fiber Soil

This self-watering pot comes with fiber blocks. Besides, you can choose from different colors and the pot is made with durable plastic material. You just have enough colors to choose from that will complement the décor of your house or garden.

The good thing about this pot is that you can use it immediately after purchasing it as long as you have your plants ready.

What’s more, the container has a water level indicator so you can know when your plants need watering. This way, you don’t suffer issues of under watering or overwatering. With this container, you only water once every week.

Another good thing about this self-watering pot is that the fiber soil balances water and oxygen so your plants can grow healthy and happier.

You will need to supplement the soil with fertilizer though since it lacks sufficient nutrients. The container is also sleek in design, so you can place it anywhere inside or outside your house.

Pros

  • It comes with fiber soil that allows oxygen to circulate freely in your plants.
  • You have more than one color to choose from –at least 12 shades.
  • It’s easy to install and use.
  • The water level indicator will prevent you from overwatering or under watering your plants.

Cons

  • If you don’t add fertilizer, your plant’s growth may suffer.

Overall, Aquaphoric (7”) + Fiber Soil would make the best option if you are looking for an eye-catching yet convenient, and practical self-watering pot.

Aquaphoric (5”) + Fiber Soil

Aquaphoric is a household name when it comes to the production of good-quality watering planters and Aquaphoric (5”) + Fiber Soil is no exception. Note that this is the smaller version of the first product we have reviewed above.

Similar to the first product in our list, this self-watering pot also features a sleek design so you can place it anywhere inside your house or at the balcony.

The pot is also made with good quality and sturdy material so you rest assured of a product that will last. Besides, you can use it to grow as many plats as you wish.

The Aquaphoric brand produces products of almost similar features. Like the first product, this one also has a water level indicator so you can tell when your plants need watering. This way, your plants don’t die or suffer from overwatering or under watering problems.

What’s more, the container also ships with breathable fiber soil that allows oxygen to circulate freely. This helps to keep the roots and the plants healthy. You need to add fertilizer to the soil though as it does not contain enough nutrients required by plants to thrive.

Pros

  • Water level indicator keeps your plants safe from underwatering or overwatering.
  • The fiber soil is breathable so it allows oxygen to circulate properly inside the container.
  • The pot comes in different colors.

Cons

  • You need to supplement the fiber soil with fertilizer as it contains insufficient nutrients.

Overall, this Aquaphoric self-watering pot is long-lasting and can be reused to grow as many plants as you need.

Santino Arte (6.5”) 

The Santino brings a different taste, unlike the two products we have talked about. This pot comes in a variety of sizes. Besides, you can grow a variety of plants with this container.

With this container, you also don’t need to worry about cases of under watering or overwatering your plants.  Depending on the water requirements of your plants, you can water them once a week or a month.

To set up this pot, you add a layer of gravel and soil to make the container half-full, place your plant and then add some more soil until the plant is stable.

As we have said that this pot brings a different taste, you will need to add gravel, unlike the first two that come with fiber soil. The gravel allows for air to circulate freely inside the container.

You can get 5 different sizes of the Santino’s self-watering container and in different colors that match with any décor inside your house.

What’s more, this pot is made of reliable and durable plastic making it suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.

Pros

  • It is built to last.
  • The pot is easy to use.
  • The gravel allows sufficient oxygen circulation.
  • You can choose from different colors and sizes.

Cons

  • Lacks a water level indicator.

Overall, Santino’s self-watering pot ensures your plants get adequate amounts of water even if you are away from home for any time you wish.

Santino Self Watering Planter

Santino is perhaps another brand that has claimed its name in this area by producing remarkable self-watering pots.

The Santino self-water pot is built to last with sturdy plastic. You can use it to grow different types of plants for a long period.

The durability of this self-watering pot makes it well-suited for indoor and outdoor applications.

You can get this pot in four different sizes and five colors. You just can’t miss a size and color that match and fits well in your house.

The good thing about this pot is that it comes with an inner pot that has good drainage system so your plant’s roots won’t suffocate. The other part of the container (that’s attached to the bottom of the small pot) features a cartridge meant to adjust moisture and drainage.

The exterior pot holds the water reservoir and has a water level indicator. To empty the reservoir, you use the plug placed at the bottom of the exterior pot.

The good thing about this self-watering pot is that it can self-water your plants for four weeks thus making it a suitable choice for people with a busy lifestyle.

Pros

  • The self-watering pot is built to last.
  • The drainage cartridge makes the pot breathable.
  • You can use different types of potting oil.
  • It’s a best-pick for people with a busy lifestyle.

Cons

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The two (inner and outer containers) can’t be separated easily.

Overall, if you are looking for a pocket-friendly but efficient pot that is also built to last, then this would make the best option for you. The self-watering pot is built with usability in mind.

It’s easy to use, and it offers peace of mind when it comes to watering your plants even if you’re away.

Lechuza Cubico Garden Planter

If you are looking to grow taller plants and you are wondering what self-watering pot to choose, then look no further than this model.

Well, this pot only comes in 3 different sizes but with amazing shapes, unlike the other models we have talked about above.

It’s also available in three mate colors but its elegant and chick design fits properly at any place inside your house. Besides, your plants remain watered while your home décor remains top-notch.

The pot also has a water level indicator so you don’t have to worry about under watering or overwatering your plants.

Also, your plant’s roots won’t suffocate as this planter is breathable. What’s more, the container is built to last with high-quality and sturdy plastic. You rest assured of a planter you can use both indoors and outdoors.

The drainage cartridge adjusts the drainage and moisture. You spent one month out and you have found that your plants have excess water due to rain? Don’t worry; just pull out the drainage cartridge at the bottom of the water reservoir to drain the excess water out.

Pros

  • Well-suited for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Drainage keeps the pot well-drained.
  • It features the latest design.
  • Plants get ample oxygen.

Cons

  • You can only choose from three colors.

Overall, if you are looking for a simple yet efficient self-watering pot that features the latest design, this model would make the best pick for you.

Bloem Ariana 8″

Bloem Ariana has its water reservoir at the bottom of the pot. The durable plate has drainage holes. This self-watering pot has its water and soil separated.

Depending on your plant’s water requirements, you will need to drill some drainage holes on the areas marked X before you start using this self-watering pot. It is designed that way to take care of plants that need more water and those that need less water to thrive.

You could start by experimenting with the fewer holes before drilling some more until you get the desired water requirement for your plants.

The good thing about this self-watering pot is that you place the plastic plate inside the pot then plant the normal way using any soil.

When you water your plants, the excess water escapes to the reservoir. You can get the Bloem Ariana in six different sizes and five amazing colors.

Pros

  • It’s a pocket-friendly and efficient self-watering pot.
  • You don’t have to worry about overwatering and root rot when you use this pot.
  • It’s easy to set up use.
  • You can drill additional holes at the bottom of the pot to allow for efficient drainage.

Cons

  • This pot lacks a water level indicator so you will need to be careful not to underwater or overwater your plants.

Overall, if you are looking for an affordable yet efficient self-watering pot, this is your best option. It features a cute design and will keep your plants watered without drowning.

T4U Plastic Pot 5″

If you want to give your smaller plants the maximum care they need to grow healthy and happier, then choose any of the six adorable pots of this model. With this self-watering pot, you will only need to water only one time a week.

This self-watering pot features two containers. The smaller one is where you place your plants, then there is the outer larger container that holds the water reservoir.

Excess water will always escape to the reservoir and when the soil is dry, the pot will self-water the plants. 

What’s more, with this pot, you don’t need to worry about under watering or overwatering issues. Your plants will always get the required amount of water at any given time.

The good thing about this self-watering pot is that it’s made with sturdy and good-quality material and is still lightweight. You can relocate your plants with ease.

The pot comes in four different shapes and three colors.

Pros

  • It’s a portable self-watering pot.
  • It features the latest design.
  • It is built to last.
  • It is small and compact.

Cons

  • The reservoir does not have a water level indicator.

Overall, if you are looking to grow smaller or baby plants, then this self-watering pot would make the best option for you. It is small and compact, lightweight, and efficient.

Mkono 3-Pack 

Mkono 3-pack is a simple yet adorable self-watering pot. When you buy this pot, you get 3 of them. The three pots are a great addition to your home décor. What’s more, the pots are made with durable material hence making them suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.

At a glance, the pots look luxurious. The white color makes them well-suited with any furniture décor. The Mkono 3-pack uses a unique self-watering approach in that it has double layers that make it water your plants with the right amount of water.

The water reservoir is held by the outer pot. You add the soil and place your plants in the inner smaller pot that has a cotton rope that ensures your plants get the required moisture and nutrients.

You can get three different sizes of 4.2 inches, 5.4 inches, and 7.8 inches of this self-watering pot. Just choose the size that fits your plants.

The good thing about this self-watering pot is that you can apply any type of fertilizer and potting soil. The watering of plants is done only once a week.

Pros

  • Made with durable and sturdy material.
  • It features the latest design.
  • Well-suited for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • The inner pot is smaller than the white one.

Overall, if you are a minimalist and you want an efficient self-watering pot, this would make the best option for you. With this pot, you water your plants only once a week.

Self-Watering + Self Aerating Planter 18”

This is a simple and traditional-like self-watering planter that takes a short time to set up.

It’s a reliable container that will water your plants without drowning the roots. The bottom of the pot the holds the soil has holes so your plant will get enough amount of water at any given time.

The good thing about this self-watering pot is that it’s easy to disassemble. Instead of watering the soil, you can use the clip-on attachment.

You can get the Self-Watering + Self Aerating Planter in three different sizes and five colors. You rest assured to get a pot that will complement your home décor.

Pros

  • It is made with non-toxic material.
  • It’s easy to install and use.
  • It features a simple, traditional design.

Cons

  • You may want to skip this planter if you are looking to grow taller plants.

Overall, if you are always on the go and you are looking for a simple yet effective self-watering pot, this would make the best option for you. The pot is made with non-toxic material, it’s reliable, and will keep your plants watered and healthy at all times.

Plastic Round 

Our last (but of course, not least because there are plenty of self-watering pots there, but we picked the best of the best) self-watering container is the Plastic Round, which has a unique shape and is suitable for smaller plants.

This self-watering pot is stylish. It features a stunning round shape you can spot from a distance even when crowded with flowers.

This pot also has a water level indicator so you will know when it’s time to add more water to the reservoir.

With this self-watering planter, you water your plants once a week. Well, the pot is small so you may consider purchasing it if you want to plant smaller plants.

He pot also features the latest design and will complement any décor inside your house.

The pot is also well-suited for indoor and outdoor applications.

Pros

  • Best for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Accurate water level indicator.
  • Prevents drowning of roots.
  • It features a modern design.

Cons

  • You may want to consider another pot if you intend to grow larger plants.

Overall, the self-water pot is affordable and stylish. With this pot, your plant’s roots won’t drown but will grow healthy and happier.

So there you have it; the best self-watering pots for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Final Thought

Self-watering pots are convenient and they make the best options to keep your plants watered even if you are not around.

They are also affordable and come in different colors. But before you choose yours, make sure you equip yourself with the necessary information required.