Everyone wants a beautiful garden, but it’s a lot of work. Many people don’t realize how much work it is to plant and maintain your garden. Along with applying the correct fertilizer, you have to carefully watch the water amounts and keep them damp to prevent drought damage. The amount of water you give your plants will depend on the plant itself, the environment, and more. This can be a time-consuming process if you have a larger garden or a lot of vegetation to take care of, and this is where self watering pots come in.
Self watering pots can cut your garden maintenance time by a drastic measure, especially if you set them up correctly and coordinate the plants that will do best with them when you first put them in. Although these self watering pots aren’t new, they’re more popular in greenhouses and commercial operations. They’re quickly catching on with residential homeowners, people who are passionate about gardening, and DIYers all over. I’ve picked out 10 self watering pots to give you a good idea on nice brands and what to look for. The buying guide also highlights important considerations to keep in mind, and you can see it at the end of this post.
Your self watering planter can remove some of the stress of growing a thriving garden or keeping your indoor plants alive. They can water your plants for over a week, and they’re relatively easy to set up and maintain.
1. SAND MINE Self Watering Planter
These self watering pots come in a pack of six with a dual-layer design that lets excess water run into the bottom of the basket and store until your plants need it without drowning the roots. There is a water line on the inner basket that tells you exactly how full to fill it, and staying at or below it will prevent your plant from getting too much water. Once you fill it, your plants will have enough water for up to 10 days or more, depending on the environment around them. The hotter and drier it is, the more water your plants will need to continue to thrive. Remember to take this into consideration when you leave.
The sleek white coloring on these self watering pots make excellent home decorations because they blend well into almost any decor, and you can easily set them on counters, tables, desks, or in window sills. It uses a PP plastic material in the build that is very durable but lightweight, and you can use them indoors and outdoors without a problem. The larger size works well for herbs while the smaller size is suitable for African violets, some succulents, roses, and more. The cotton rope draws the water up from the base into the container by the plant’s roots to keep them moist.
- Get six self watering pots in every order
- Can water plants for up to 10 days
- Sleek white design
- Not large enough for big plants
- Difficult to separate one piece from the next
- Doesn’t come with instructions
2. T4U Self Watering Pots
These self watering pots by T4U have a thin cotton rope that hangs from the smaller pot down into the water to give your plants a continuous stream of water to keep them from drying out. Once you fill it, it can water your plants for 7 to 15 days without having to refill it, and the excess water sits in the bottom of the pot safely away from your plant’s roots. This makes it excellent for succulents like Chicks and Hens, and they’re also large enough to hold an array of herbs or smaller houseplants. You can use them both indoors and out without a problem.
These self watering pots come made out of a new raw material that is free of formaldehyde, it resists heat and cold, and it’s non-poisonous. It has a high strength rating and a high tenacity that makes it durable and safe to use. It has a textured design that is very elegant, and it comes in four colors and three sizes. The soft pastel colors are perfect for most home decors, and you get six planters per order. Also, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee with these pots that makes it easy to get a refund if you don’t like them.
- 120-day money-back guarantee
- Four soft color options
- Comes with a textured design
- Can pull up too much water
- Only uses thin cotton
- Slightly thinner walls
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3. Gardenix Decor Self Watering Pots
These self watering pots come with a high-quality polypropylene that is very difficult to break, and it won’t wear out, break, or crack with repeated use. It’ll also survive very well with exposure to the elements like heat and cold without buckling. You can get these pots in teal, purple, gray, or white coloring, and the colors are fade-resistant. This allows you to expose them to sunlight without worrying about them looking worn out and unattractive after a season or two. This is a nested pot design that has an inner plant holder that sits up on legs to keep the roots out of the water.
There is a water indicator level in each pot to ensure you don’t accidentally overfill these self watering pots and drown your plants. The potting soil that comes with these products is 100% organic coconut shell fibers that offers excellent water retention to give your plant a great water and oxygen balance. It’s easy to fill and refill the water reservoir without lifting the plant out of the pot, and each time you water can tide your plant over for up to two weeks. This makes it a great choice for a board range of plants.
- Get three pots per order
- Water level indicator included
- Easy to fill and refill
- Has a slightly more narrow bottom
- Soil can soak up too much water
- Inner baskets are thin
4. FENGZHITAO Self Watering Pots
These self watering pots allow you to store enough water for over a week for your plants if you accidentally forget to water them, and they work on everything from vegetables and herbs to container gardens. These pots have a unique design because they feature a transparent material that allows you to view the water levels and know when it’s time to refill them at a glance. On the side of this pot, you’ll get a nice water injection port that allows you to refill it without taking the plant out, and it has a screened design that doesn’t allow insects to get in and breed inside it.
A smooth and glossy nontoxic PP resin material makes up these self watering pots, and it’s very resistant to wear, tear, and breakage. You can use it at home, at your business, and indoors and outdoors without fear of it breaking apart and failing. A small cotton rope threads through the bottom of the container and sits in the water to draw it back up to the soil to keep the roots moist without adding too much water at once. This way, you can leave town for a few days without worrying about your plants.
- Stores water for over a week
- Has a transparent design
- Water refill spout on the side
- No fill line on the pot
- Pots don’t snap together
- Has a cheap look to them
5. DeEFL Clear Self Watering Planters
Next up is the self watering pots by DeEFL. You get a three or five-pack of 5.1, 4.3, or 7-inch pots in each order, and you can customize your selection to suit your needs. Each one of these planters has a newly redesigned look with a clear outer plastic pot that allows you to easily see when your pot starts to get low on water. They use a high-quality, BPA-free green plastic material in the build that is durable while staying stylish and lightweight. The outer plastic pot features a shatter-proof plastic material that can support over 100 pounds without buckling, and you can confidently use them indoors and out.
There is a unique design on these self watering pots that helps deter insects, and this is very helpful for keeping both your home and plants healthy and thriving. There is space at the bottom of the design for your plant’s roots to breathe and get great airflow. It has a modern and fashionable design with a beautiful modern shape that blends well into your decor, and they work well for ivy, ocean spider plants, African violets, and a variety of orchids. You will have to monitor your water levels more with certain plants.
- Can support over 100 pounds without breaking
- Very easy to set up and use
- Works for a large array of plants
- Run smaller to size
- Inner chamber is more fragile
- Too small for larger plants
6. HBServices USA Self Watering Planter
When you use this self watering container for your easy vegetable garden, you’ll get up to two weeks worth of water in a single fill. This is excellent for those people who have really busy schedules and may forget to water rigorously. The hollow legs on this planter stick down into the reservoir with the water and slowly draw it up as the plants need it to grow. Your plant will sit comfortably above the water to prevent decay and root rot, and this minimizes general upkeep. This is also a self-aerating pot that will help combat fungus and mold growth that could kill your plants if it takes hold.
These holes let air flow into the soil, and it’s very easy to refill this self watering planter. There is a watering attachment clipped to the side of this pot, and you can fill the reservoir directly without drenching your plants. The studs on the bottom of the planter will keep it off the floor, and this helps to prevent circular water patterns from damaging it. It uses 100% UV-stabilized plastic that comes coated with a UV-resistant pigment to increase the durability, and it’s great for indoor and outdoor use.
- UV-stabilized polypropylene plastic
- 100% BPA-free and non-toxic
- Aerates and self-waters
- Expensive for plastic
- Easy to scuff and scratch
- Watering spout is fragile
7. Window Garden Self Watering Planter
This self watering pot gives you a foolproof way to water your indoor and outdoor plants, and it comes with a nice water indicator that lets you know when it’s time to refill your containers to give your plants a continuous flow of water. It’ll hold enough water for a few weeks, and it works well for tropical foliage, vegetables, herbs, succulents, cuttings, and starting seeds. It creates a nice root zone with a balance of oxygen and water that encourages healthy growth while helping to stave off rot and fungal infections. When you purchase this product, you’ll get two quarts of Fiber Soil that allows you to plant immediately when you get them.
You will need to add fertilizer to your plant because Fiber Soil has very few nutrients. There are sleek lines on this self watering pot with vibrant color tones that can compliment any garden, home, business, or outdoor area. It comes in eight different colors ranging from bold and vibrant to classic and chic, and the smaller pot is black.
- Available in a host of colors
- Holds enough water for weeks
- Comes with Fiber Soil
- Pots don’t attach
- Water indicator is hard to see
- Can allow mold growth
8. GardenBasix Elongated Self Watering Planter
This sleek self watering pot by GardenBasix is an excellent choice if you want to grow several Mediterranian herbs in one pot. The rounded edges and sleek whole coloring make this an elegant and classic addition to your home or garden. It sits beautifully on your windowsill, and this allows your plants to get the maximum amount of light while getting good levels of water. There are two cotton ropes that draw the water up into different ends of this planter, and this makes it quick and easy to ensure that all of your plants get good water levels each time you fill it.
The water indicator on the end allows you to quickly and easily see when you need to refill your water, and the inner chamber holds the roots away so they don’t rot. It comes with a single quart of fiber soil that allows you to quickly plant your items right when you get this pot. It has a very sturdy bottom that is difficult to tip over, and there are several holes to allow for great aeration when you have plants in it. In turn, this resists fungus and mold growth.
- Has an elongated design
- Fits nicely by the window or in narrow areas
- Dual cotton ropes included
- Need to add stones in the bottom to support the pot
- No instruction booklet included
- Can clog
9. ZOUTOG Self Watering Planter
Zoutog’s self watering pot has a double-layer design to help protect your plants from root rot and fungal growth. Excess water sits in the bottom of the pot before being drawn up into the soil and root system. However, there is a seal to ensure that insects can’t get inside and start breeding. You get six pots in every order, and each pot is six inches in diameter. This is large enough for several different types of indoor and outdoor plants, and you won’t have to repot them over and over again. It’s also a good choice if you want to start cuttings or seedlings with several different plant varieties.
The self watering pots come from a green plastic material that is BPA-free, and this ensures that nothing will leach into your soil, water, or plants. This makes them a nice choice for more sensitive plants. It’s light, durable, and easy to use. They make an elegant decoration to your home, office, or garden, and the customer service team is very responsive. If you have a problem, you can contact them for a refund or replacement pot.
- Pots seal to prevent insect infestations
- Large enough for several plant types
- Green plastic material
- Cotton rope is too short
- Have to remove it to add more water
- Difficult to track the water level
10. GreenSun Self-Watering Planter
The final entry on my list for the best self watering pots comes from GreenSun, and it’s an excellent choice if you want to keep your orchids healthy and thriving. It comes with a separate inner design storage tank that won’t crack or leak with repeated use, and changing the water for cleaning it or refilling it won’t stress out your plants. You’ll give them a constant water supply from the hollow legs on this planter, and it’ll only draw up enough water to keep the soil moist and damp. This is more than enough water for a few weeks with this planter.
The plant roots can sprawl along this self watering pot to get great airflow, and there aren’t any obstructions to hamper your plant’s growth. There is a water line mark that lets you know when you added enough water to your planter, and you get three planters per order. The mini size is excellent for your kids to start a garden project or for you to grow smaller houseplants. They come in three sizes, two styles, and five vibrant and classic color choices.
- Available in square and round styles
- Has a water line mark
- Three sizes available
- Difficult to pop the inner layer out
- Colors are slightly lighter
- Bottoms are more narrow.
Self Watering Pot Buyer’s Guide
Self watering pots work one of two ways, and they use either a rope wick or they have soil they use as the pot’s wicking material. The one that works best depends on the plant’s maturity.
- Rope – If your self watering pot has a rope wick attached, it uses a cloth rope like cotton to pull water up from the reservoir in the bottom of the pot. This gives you a slightly more flexible setup because you can put the rope anywhere in the pot you choose. You’ll most likely need more than one wick to get the amount of water in the soil your plant needs to thrive, and it’s better for less mature plants that don’t need as much water to survive.
- Soil – On the other end of the spectrum, you have soil medium. This will transfer water directly to the root system through a soil plug or a light layer of it. The upper pot has a dropped area where the soil dips into the water. You’ll want to use this method with mature plants that have large root systems to reach down in the water.
If you don’t match the type of wick to the correct plant, they can get too much water. This can lead to problems with root rot, decay, and fungal infections. It also makes a great area for insects to breed and thrive.
One handy thing to have on your self watering pots is a water gauge. Since the water reservoir gets hidden under the smaller pot, the water gauge will tell you how much rainwater to pour into the pot without overfilling it. Make sure you look at reviews of the product to see the accuracy levels. Some pots allow you to fill water along the side in a small spigot, but others require you to pull the inner pot out to refill them. Having a spigot is usually much easier.
Shape and Size
You’ll find self watering pots in all sizes and shapes. Ideally, your pot will be at least two to four inches larger than your plant’s current root system size. This will give it plenty of room to grow, and you should also consider where you want to place your new planter. Square planters slip into corners and look nice when you line them up in rows. Narrow planters slide onto window sills and shelves, and hanging planters allow leaves to hang down. If you need support, look for ones with a trellis. A tiered planter is a nice option if you want to grow several different plants, and consider one with wheels if it’s big.
It’s a good idea to match your planter shape and size to your home or yard so you have a sturdy place to set them. If you have several areas, you can mix and match to meet your decor.
It’s important that you consider picking out a self watering pot with plenty of drainage holes. These holes should be above the water reservoir to allow for good airflow. If it isn’t, it can promote rot, fungal growth, and your plant may start to turn brown and decay. You can prevent this by ensuing your planter has several drainage holes suspended above the water level.
The base of your planter will decide how sturdy it is. Several planters have a more narrow base on them, and this makes them more prone to tipping over and being generally unstable. Instead, you should look for a planter that doesn’t get very narrow on the base. This will make it more sturdy overall.
Once you pick out your planter and get it set up, you can relax and know that your plants will have the correct amount of water if you forget to water them or you have to go out of town for a few days.
Picking out a self watering pot doesn’t have to be a huge chore. As my top 10 reviews showed you, there are several excellent brands available for almost any budget. You can take a look and compare them side by side, and use the short buying guide to match the pot that fits your needs the best.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.