At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are Self Watering Pots?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Self watering pots are planters that automatically water plants. They are available in different shapes and colors. Self watering types of plant pots are often used by people who travel frequently. They make good vacation watering options for houseplants because a plant sitter doesn't have to enter the home as often to water the plants. Self watering pots are available in many different sizes from small to extra large.

The water in a self watering plant pot is stored in a reservoir that is usually filled weekly or even less. A wick draws water from the reservoir up through the soil to reach the plant. Most self watering pots have connectors to the reservoir at the bottom of the pot. Good quality potting soil should be used in a self watering pot. It should be professional quality potting soil and not dirt from a garden. Liquid fertilizer should be used in the reservoir according to the directions that come with each pot.

Woman posing
Woman posing

The water-holding tank, or reservoir, of a self watering plant pot and its distribution wick are made to give plants just the right amount of water. Too much water, especially on the surface of the soil, can cause mold and diseases. Small insects called gnats are encouraged to breed by wet soil surfaces. Too little moisture can kill the plant. Many self watering pots have a sensor mechanism that helps control the moisture in the pot.

Self watering pots are available in many colors and sizes. Most of these plant pots are made of lightweight, yet strong plastic. The plastic may be finished to look like stone or metal. There are self watering plant pot colors and designs to match any type of residential or commercial decor. Prices range from under $20 US Dollars (USD) for small planters to more than $250 USD for large ones.

The self watering plant pot design is good for use with African violets and many species of indoor trees. Herbs, container tomatoes and flowering plants usually grow quite well in self watering pots. Succulents and cyclamen plants may not thrive in a self watering pot. For hanging plant varieties, self watering planters made to hang up are often available for sale at nurseries and garden centers. Staff at most garden shops can recommend the best soil, plants and fertilizer to use.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman posing
      Woman posing