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The Best Self-Watering Planters

FotoHelin/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated March 2022

Self-water planters can be a huge help for anyone who wants to cultivate houseplants or a home garden. If you want to buy some self-watering planters or pots for your plants, here are a few we recommend.

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  Top Choice Best Hanging Model Most Colorful Best Transparency Best for Outdoor Use
 
  HBServices USA
Self-Watering Round Plant Pot
VIVOSUN
Self-Watering Hanging Baskets
Gardenix Decor
Self-Watering Flower Pots with Water Level Indicator
ETGLCOZY
Self-Watering Planter Pots
Lechuza
White Matte Self-Watering Planter
 
Our SummaryA self-watering and self-aerating planter, with superior airflow to reduce the risk of rot and mold.A pair of hanging, self-watering basket planters that are strong enough for both indoor or outdoor use.A set of self-watering planters with a simple, classic design and enough color choices that match just about any home decor or style.This set of self-watering pots not only come in different sizes for different plants but allow for a clear, unencumbered view of their water level at all times.A tall self-watering planter that is suitable for larger plants, grasses, and even trees, and is strong enough to withstand the elements outside.
ProsSeveral sizes and colors, well-aerated, antimess tray, UV-resistant.Antirust, has drainage plugs, good for indoor and outdoor use.Multiple colors, good value, potting soil included, easy to refill.Good price, several pack sizes, has aeration holes, easily see water level at all times.Three extra-large sizes, UV- and frost-resistant, has drainage plug.
ConsCan't buy as a set, pricey for a single planter.Two different sizes, no alternate size options.No overflow drain, less interior space.Plants may overwater themselves, smaller sizes.Expensive, no pack quantity.
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The Best Self-Watering Planters

Round transparent self watering device globe inside potted peace lilies.
FotoHelin/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Self-Watering Planters

Round transparent self watering device globe inside potted rose plant soil in home garden.
FotoHelin/Shutterstock.com

Why buy self-watering planters?

Many people love the greenery and decoration that flowers and other plants can lend to their home. But if you’ve struggled with giving plants the right amount of water in the past or if you travel away from home a lot, you may think that live plants aren’t an option for your living space since you can’t care for them properly. That’s where self-watering planters and pots come in. Their self-regulating wicking system ensures that the soil always maintains a consistent moisture level as long as their reservoir contains water. Thus these self-watering pots are the best way to prevent under or overwatering your plants and to be sure that your plants always get enough water. They also ensure that all the water goes into the plant’s roots instead of evaporating before they can take it in.

What should you look for in self-watering planters?

  • Capacity: When you’re picking a self-watering planter or pot, check and see how much water it can hold. The water is held in the reservoir, so you’ll want to check its reservoir to get an idea of its capacity. The more water the self-watering system can hold, the longer you can go without needing to water your plant or plants. In addition to or instead of listing the capacity, some models will give you a timeframe for how long they’ll last in between watering sessions or how many times per week or month you’ll have to refill the water.
  • Plants: You’ll want to consider the number and type of plants you plan to keep in your planter or pot when you’re picking one out. Generally, you’ll want to look for an elongated, horizontal planter for several plants at once and a smaller, vertical pot for a single plant or vegetable. Some smaller planters may be able to hold a few plants that are also on the smaller side or enjoy a snugger fit. If you have a plant that needs a lot of room to grow or has long roots, look for a deeper pot to ensure they have enough space. There are some extra-large models that will be suitable for bigger indoor plants like corn plants or birds of paradise. These tend to be taller and narrower, 1.5 to several feet high.
  • Extras: There are a few extra, convenient features you can look for in your self-watering planters and pots. Some models have a built-in drainage system, which certain types of plants require to stay healthy. And in some designs with drainage holes, the holes can be opened or plugged as needed. Other models are elevated to allow for better air circulation, which prevents mold growth and rot. Sometimes you’ll be able to find planters that are weather- and/or UV-resistant, so they can be used indoors or outdoors. Also keep an eye out for models with a water gauge to show how full the reservoir is so that you’ll always be able to tell when it needs refilling.

Are there any plants you shouldn’t use self-watering planters for?

While self-watering plants are an excellent choice for most house plants, there are some varieties of plants for which they’ll do more harm than good. Some plants prefer well-drained soil, or even require dry soil in order to thrive properly. These are usually plants that are native to deserts, which have to dry out in between watering sessions, and/or are at high risk for overwatering and root rot. The most common houseplants that fit this bill are cacti and succulents, so you’ll want to skip buying a self-watering planter if you own either or both of these types of plant.

Alternatively, plants that prefer super moist soil aren’t a great choice for self-watering planters either, for the opposite reason. Since self-watering planters ration out water, the soil doesn’t stay as consistently damp as these plants would like or need. Among others, this includes plants like ferns, peace lilies, prayer plants, and some varieties of alocasias. So you’ll want to pass on the self-watering planters with these species as well.

Our Picks for the Best Self-Watering Planters

Top Choice

HBServices USA Self-Watering Round Plant Pot

A self-watering and self-aerating planter, with superior airflow to reduce the risk of rot and mold.

Pros: Aeration is almost as important as watering for proper plant care, and this self-watering planter takes care of both. There are open, large slats on the bottom that maintain a consistent airflow through the soil, which reduces the risk of rotting or mold or fungi growing. Even with these open slots, you don’t have to worry about staining your counter, floor, or carpet. The planter has an integrated, deep reservoir dish to catch water and soil, and the dish has studs on the bottom that keep the planter raised and prevent stains. The clip-on water attachment inside the reservoir dish makes watering your plants easier and reduces the risk of overflow. And it can be removed and reattached at will. The hollow legs inside the planter reach down into the reservoir system to allow the soil to draw moisture in as needed. This model can last at least two weeks without needing a refill. The planter itself is made of BPA-free plastic that is UV-stabilized with a UV-resistant pigment, and it won’t leach chemicals into the soil or water, fade, or peel, so it’ll appear smooth and glossy in the long term. It’s available in four different sizes, including one with wheels, and in five color options.

Cons: You can only purchase one at a time—there aren’t any sets or bulk option.

Bottom Line: If you’re worried about your self-watering planter growing mold, rot, or fungus, this pot has you covered. It’s self-aerating as well as self-watering, allowing better airflow, oxygen, and overall breathability for your plant’s roots.

 

Best Hanging Model

VIVOSUN Self-Watering Hanging Baskets

A pair of hanging, self-watering basket planters that are strong enough for both indoor or outdoor use.

Pros: These reinforced PP plastic self-watering planters provide a similar look and aesthetic to hanging wicker baskets. The planters are antirust, antifade, antipeel, and antident. Not only will this keep them looking nicer for longer but ensures they’re durable enough to hang outside as well as inside your home. Nor will you have to worry about your plants’ roots sitting in water should it rain, thanks to the handy drainage plug at the bottom of each planter. You also have four different color choices to better match them to your interior or exterior decor.

Cons: Keep in mind that these two self-watering planters are actually two slightly different sizes; one is a few inches bigger than the other. Nor are there any alternate sizing options to choose from, should you want something larger or smaller.

Bottom Line: Self-watering planters aren’t limited to traditional pots that have to rest on a countertop or table. If you want to hang plants around your home while stilling benefit from a self-watering pot, this pair of round basket-like planters are an excellent choice.

 

Most Colorful

Gardenix Decor Self-Watering Flower Pots with Water Level Indicator

A set of self-watering planters with a simple, classic design and enough color choices that match just about any home decor or style.

Pros: White or cream tends to be the standard color for self-watering planters, and other neutral shades are also common choices. If you want something more vibrant, this set of three self-watering planters are available in teal, purple, and rich terracotta red as well as white and gray. And the colors are resistant to fading, even in direct sunlight. All three planters have a 7-inch diameter and come with an inner basket that holds the plant and watering system. The water level indicator is clearly marked, easy to read, and equally easy to refill; you just have to pour the water into the deposit slots on the inner baskets. No need to remove the entire system to restock your water supplies. As an added bonus, you get three packets of pH-balanced potting soil with your purchase, one for each planter.

Cons: While you can display these self-watering planters outside if you wish, just be aware that they don’t have any sort of built-in drainage.

Bottom Line: If you own or plan to buy multiple flowers, herbs, or plants for your living space and want to ensure they’re always properly watered, this set of self-watering planters is an ideal choice. Especially if you’re after something more colorful than the usual white or cream-colored models.

 

Best Transparency

ETGLCOZY Self-Watering Planter Pots

This set of self-watering pots not only come in different sizes for different plants but allow for a clear, unencumbered view of their water level at all times.

Pros: These self-watering planters are a great option if you want to own several plants of different sizes, especially if those plants have different watering needs. They’re available in sets of four, five, or six planters, each in a different size. But regardless of quantity and size, each planter comes with a water reservoir below the pot, which is completely clear so you can easily see the water level at all times. These self-watering planters work a bit differently; a cotton rope is attached at the bottom of the pots and reaches down into the water reservoirs, allowing the plants and soil to absorb the water through it. There are several aeration holes at the bottom to ensure that the plants’ roots get plenty of airflow and circulation. The price is quite low considering the number of planters in the set.

Cons: Since the design of these planters allows plants to suck up water whenever they need, there is the chance they might end up overwatering themselves. They’re also not a great choice for larger plants, since the biggest planter has a 6-inch diameter.

Bottom Line: If you find it challenging to read the water level indicators of many self-watering planters or you want to be able to check the water level at a quick glance from across the room, you’ll love the design of these unique self-watering planters. The transparent bottoms offer the clearest possible view of a plant.

Best for Outdoor Use

Lechuza White Matte Self-Watering Planter

A tall self-watering planter that is suitable for larger plants, grasses, and even trees, and is strong enough to withstand the elements outside.

Pros: If you’re looking for a self-watering planter for extra tall or extra large houseplant, you’re in luck. It’s available in three different heights to suit different plants, and the cubic shape and choice of white, black, or brown ensure that it’ll suit a wide variety of decor styles. All three colors have a subtle matte finish. It’s made out of UV- and frost-resistant material, which ensures that it will hold up well outside, even under more extreme weather conditions. The drainage plug allows you to remove excess rainwater to ensure your plants don’t rot or become overwatered even when outside. The self-watering system features inorganic granulate compounds that ensure your plants’ roots are receiving just the right amount of water at all times. It also comes with a water level indicator, so you’ll always know when the water storage reservoir requires a refill.

Cons: This larger pot is on the more expensive side.

Bottom Line: Succulents, herbs, and small flowers aren’t your only options for houseplants. You can grow larger, taller flowers, grasses, and even certain types of trees at home. If you want one of those bigger plants for your living space, this tall, sleek, self-watering planter is built for them. It’s tough enough to leave outside 24/7 if you so wish.

Final Thoughts

Self-watering planters can be an excellent investment for people with busy schedules or those who struggle with plant care. They allow you make sure your plants are receiving the proper amount of water they need to thrive, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you forgot to water your plants that day.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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