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Self watering pots are great for busy gardeners who don't have the time to water all of their plants regularly, especially in the summer months when they need it most. Summer is the season when plants are more likely to dry out. They are also indispensable when going away on vacation, operating on a reservoir principle that allows plants to draw moisture up through the soil when they need it through wick-watering systems.

Self watering pots actually help you save substantial water because they provide water inlets or attachments to hoses and taps, which ensures no spillage or water waste. Overflow features and drainage holes also ensure your plants don't become waterlogged.

Self watering pots come in a range of sizes, designs, and styles, and it can be difficult to pick the most suitable for your needs.  In this article, we review the best of the many self-watering pots available for your indoor and outdoor gardening needs.

Comparison of the Best Self Watering Pots

Product FAQ

1. What Is a Self Watering Pot?

A self watering pot incorporates a water reservoir which retains a reserve of water that plants can access when needed. Some designs incorporate water pipes buried in the soil and water-level indicators to determine when the pot needs to be watered.  As water evaporates through the surface of the soil, a mulch of bark chips or another type of cover is used to keep moisture in the soil.

Some of the self watering pots we review here provide a mulch cover for free as part of their packages. Others offer compost, fertilizer and seeds to enable beginners a complete package to get off to a good start.

Self watering pots can be used for herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables. Larger vegetables such as tomatoes and climbing beans will require additional support and heavy crops can produce extra weight on lightweight plastic fittings. So, self watering pots with wheels may not be suitable for vegetable growers.

3. How Does It Work?

Capillary action throughout soil enables plants to access water from a reservoir beneath them.  The best self watering pots have drainage holes and overflow pipes that take away excess water. Some planters and pots have holes in their sides or drainage holes underneath to allow excess water to drain away.

Since plants use up the nutrients of the limited amount of soil in a container over a period of three to six months, compost with good drainage is recommended for use in these containers. Regular applications of fertilizers suitable for your choice of plants is also highly recommended.

4. What Do I Need to Do Before Buying a Self Watering Pot?

Plants that have not yet established stable root systems will not benefit from a self-watering pot. They must be fertilized and nurtured until the roots have grown through the pot and into the reservoir where they will then be able to access water.

Also, remember that some plants thrive in drier conditioners than others, so it is essential to research your plant's needs, and also the quality of the soil you are planning to use. Whether you are using the containers indoors or outdoors primarily, it is great to have portable pots with wheels to enable easy transfer from the garden to indoors.

5. Where Can I Buy Them?

You can find self-watering pots and planters at most gardening centers and online at Amazon.com 

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the following products based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Durability. Trusted consumer sites and gardening sites were also consulted.

Overall Price Range for Self Watering Pots

Five assorted colored cacti

Image by Scott Webb via Pexels

The prices of these pots range from around $10 to $150.  The higher prices are based on increased soil capacity or multiple plant pot holders such as those required for vertical wall gardens. Organic growing products are also at the higher end of the price range alongside those self watering pots made from heavy duty plastic and other materials.

What We Reviewed

  • Misco Modern Round Flared Self-Watering Planter
  • Self Watering Vertical Wall Hangers with Pots by Worth
  • EarthBox 1010011 Garden Kit
  • Mr. Stacky Self Watering 3-Tier Stackable Garden Vertical Planter Set
  • Glowpear Urban Garden Self-Watering Planter
  • Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter by Window Garden
  • Best Choice Products Self Watering Wicker Planter
  • Bloem Living LP1048 Lucca Self-Watering Planter
  • Rely2016 Self Watering Hanging Flower Planter Pots
  • The Three Company Self-Watering Indoor Planter (LiveBox)

Misco Modern Round Flared Self-Watering Planter

Misco 1654/4-072 Flare Self Watering Planter, 16.85-Inch, Latte
  • 16-Inch diameter
  • Large built in reservoir
  • Quick view lip shows water level, prevents over and under watering

Features

Key features of this self watering pot include a lightweight, smooth plastic design, making it easy to hang. It is 12 inches in diameter and 10 inches in height, with a flared lip design. It is available in three different colors.

Pros

  • Pale color reflects light well and keeps plants cool
  • Good value for money
  • Can be placed on any flat surface or suspended from a hook

Cons

  • Water reservoir only 30% of this pot's depth
  • Difficult to add water because of the watering lip design

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

To avoid breakage, care is required when handling this pot.

Self Watering Vertical Wall Hangers with Pots by Worth

Sale
SELF Watering Indoor Outdoor Vertical Wall Hangers with Pots Included...
  • ONE OF A KIND AUTOMATIC DRIPPING SYSTEM- Self watering planters provide enough water for days, meaning you don't have to...
  • INCREDIBLE 3 POCKET WALL MOUNTED PLANT SYSTEM- Each hanging wall planter has 3 pockets to give you room to grow...
  • INCLUDES 12 MODULAR WALL PLANTERS- We’ve included 12 pots within our wall mounted hanging planter for you to create...

Features

Key features of this product include 12 holders, each designed with three pockets to hold individual plants. A total of 36 plants can be housed in this system. Each holder can be easily attached to the wall, vertically above each other, for your indoor patio or outdoor wall. The drip watering system attaches easily to standard American taps, and the system requires a 9-foot hose. These pots are suitable for herbs and flowers.

Pros

  • Efficient watering system
  • Three-year warranty
  • Customer service available
  • Economical price per plant space

Cons

  • Depending on the size of your plants, this system may need water every 2-3 days

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This product features a durable PVC design and study construction.

EarthBox 1010011 Garden Kit

EarthBOX 80155 Garden Kit, Terra Cotta
  • Wheeled garden box growing kit with fertilizer, dolomite
  • Great for cultivating vegetables, herbs and flowers on windowsills, decks, balconies, and even indoors!
  • No digging, no weeding, no guesswork

Features

This kit is highlighted by a large, terracotta-colored, rectangular plastic box on wheels. It is advertised as a box for organic gardeners with organic fertilizer. This Earthbox product holds two cubic feet of soil, and it arrives with a complete growing kit including organic dolomite, a bag of fertilizer, an inner watering tube, wheels, and a mulch cover. It is suitable for flowers and vegetables.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Complete system
  • Organic products included
  • Cover included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too shallow for tomato plants because weight causes plastic wheel caster holders to crack
  • Requires more water than other systems

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

Unless handled with considerable care, this product may only last one growing season.

Mr. Stacky Self Watering 3 Tier Stackable Garden Vertical Planter Set

Mr. Stacky Self Watering 3 Tier Stackable Garden Vertical Planter Set,...
  • Smart, Simple, & Efficient - Plant. Stack. Grow
  • Innovative & Attractive Design With The Gardener In Mind - Gardening Made Easy - You Just Need To Water The Top Pot To...
  • (3) Mr Stacky Planters & Drip Tray; 12"x12"x18"; Soil Volume 14 Quarts

Features

Key features of this product include a three-tier stacking system of round plastic pots, with each tier having space for three plants. There is a hole through the center where a pole can be inserted to maximize stability, and you also receive a tray the stacked rows of plant pots can sit on. These containers can hold up to 14 quarts of soil.

This product is suitable for cultivating strawberry plants in a small area, small compatible herbs, or other grow projects. (Different herbs need different soils, sunlight and moisture and do not thrive if placed close together). This set of planters can be used indoors or outdoors.

Pros

  • Good for herbs, strawberries, and small flowering plants
  • Economical way of maximizing small spaces

Cons

  • Needs to be rotated regularly to ensure all plants receive equal light
  • Inefficient drip system may leave upper-level plants dry

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This product features a durable plastic design, and it can be long-lasting if not overfilled. 

Glowpear Urban Garden Self-Watering Planter

Sale
Glowpear Urban Garden Self-Watering Planter
  • Designed for growing a wide range of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers
  • Built-in drip tray ensures indoor or outdoor surface protection
  • Easily connect additional modules to expand your garden

Features

Key features of this product include its stylish, white, modular design. It has a large capacity and black support rails. Drip trays are built right in, and each unit is modular for use together with other planters. This planter is suitable for growing many types of decorative plants, flowers, and vegetables either indoors or outdoors.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to read water level indicator
  • Distinctive design
  • Deep enough to grow tomatoes successfully

Cons

  • Too heavy for small balconies
  • Expensive

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

We found that this product exhibits high durability although water level indicators may not function reliably.

Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter by Window Garden

Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter (7”) + Fiber Soil = Foolproof...
  • CHECK OUT OUR STORE! - Click on the blue Window Garden link at top of page*** FOOLPROOF – It’s self-watering! The...
  • PLANTS LOVE IT! – And it’ll show with lush growth and more flowers. The unique passive hydroponic action creates the...
  • CONVENIENT – Includes 2 quarts of Fiber Soil so you can get planting immediately. Superior growing medium because...

Features

Key features of this product include stylish sturdy pots in a range of colors. These pots are delivered in stylish packaging complete with full instructions, two quarts of dehydrated compost and instructions. These self watering pots are seven inches tall.

Pros

  • Range of color options
  • Full instructions and compost provided
  • Holds two cups of water 
  • Good for beginners

Cons

  • Water indicator can lead to over-watering, so checking the soil manually is essential

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

We found no negative reports on the durability of this design, but we did observe that water level indicators may be unreliable.

Best Choice Products Self Watering Wicker Planter

Best Choice Products 11x11-inch Indoor Outdoor Self Watering Wicker...
  • SELF-WATERING: Contains large water reservoir for self-watering that prevents excess watering, with water level...
  • DURABLE WICKER: For protection from the sun and natural elements, the wicker is frost-resistant and UV-stabilized....
  • WHEELS: Casters at the base provide easy mobility to and from different areas of your home

Features

This product includes a stylish, tall, self watering pot of natural wicker design. Made from durable UV-stabilized, frost-resistant plastic, it is 22.5 inches high. It has a water level indicator and wheels for added portability.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Great for larger plants

Cons

  • Inefficient self-watering system
  • Will tip over if overfilled with soil

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This is a strong plant pot designed with fade-resistant colors.

Bloem Living LP1048 Lucca Self-Watering Planter

Bloem 818573010827 Living LP1060 Lucca Self-Watering Planter, 10-Inch,...
  • Perfect for first-time gardeners, travelers, and drought conditions
  • Self-watering feature creates a water reservoir to prevent over watering and under watering. It also keeps plants...
  • Includes drainage holes, water reservoir and saucer tray for worry free spills indoors or out

Features

This product is a self watering pot 10.8 inches diameter and 8.8 inches high. It is made of stable, non-toxic UV plastic which is recyclable. It has a watering hole in one side. This product is available in several colors.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Difficult to water through the small watering hole

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This planter is very sturdy and can be recycled.

Rely2016 Self Watering Hanging Flower Planter Pots

Rely2016 Self Watering Hanging Flower Planter Pots Plant Pot...
  • Self-watering hanging flowerpot made of high quality PP plastic material, safe and non-toxic.
  • Polishing processing, imitation white porcelain design, simple and artistic.
  • 90 ° vertically design at the back side, an perfect joint with the wall. With a hanging hole, you could use a sticky...

Features

Key features of this product include strong, non-toxic plastic construction, a white porcelain design, and a cotton rope and hole for easy hanging.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to mount on a wall

Cons

  • Easy to over-water
  • Not good value for the money given its size

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This is a basic, long-lasting product of its type.

The Three Company Self-Watering Indoor Planter (LiveBox)

The Three Company Self-Watering Indoor Planter (LiveBox), Perfect...
  • PERFECT GIFT - Because it can be either a "grow your own" experience, or a gorgeous display planter for other indoor...
  • SELF-WATERING - This planter is designed, with it's easy water wick system, to give your seeds/plants the exact amount...
  • PERFECT SIZE - Measuring in at 14.25 x 5 x 4.5 - our live Box is the perfect chic, compact, and affordable self-watering...

Features

This product includes a complete system ready to be planted with flowers or vegetables. It contains soil, herb seed packets, fertilizer, and water wicks measuring three inches. A water reservoir and germination bags are also included.

Pros

  • Complete growing system
  • Full instructions provided
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Flimsy
  • Small

Where to Buy

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

The recycled cardboard construction of the exterior with plastic plant holders inside mean this item requires very careful watering.

The Verdict

Three succulent plants

Image by Ylanite Koppens via Pexels

Of the many we checked out, the best wall-mounted self watering pots we found are the Self Watering Vertical Wall Hangers by Worth. They are easy to install and can produce a beautiful vertical garden instantly, for herbs or flowers or both. They utilize water efficiently through the hose pipe and taps attachments supplied.

For maximum grow area, and long lasting durability, we like the Glow Pear Urban Gardening Self Watering Planter because it offers a stylish alternative to more traditionally styled rectangular planters. It can also be used either indoors or outdoors. The best individual self watering pot for you depends on whether you need to attach it to a wall or would prefer it to be freestanding.

One of the strongest and easiest-to-install self watering pots for this type of display include the RELY2016 Self Hanging Plant Pot. This item is sturdy and easy to set up. We found the square Wicker styled portable self watering pot deal, as it offers a great value for your money with its sturdy design and wheels for easy maneuvering of large plants.

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