The 10 Best self watering Pots of 2021
After viewing several DIY home decor videos on social media, you may be tempted to purchase a few plants to brighten your living space. They can add pops of color with their blooms and freshen the air by acting as oxygen bombs.
The only issue that may make you hesitate in procuring them is the question of regular maintenance. You probably dread returning after a long absence to find your plants wilted, drooping or dead. Low-maintenance plants are the solution since they are hardy enough to survive with little or infrequent watering.
They can be maintained with further ease with the help of self watering pots or planters.
Succulents, orchids, African violets and cacti are a few popular varieties of flora that have made their mark as suitable indoor plants. Just as infrequent watering can kill plants, over-watering can cause root rot and fungal growth, especially in these varieties.
|Product||Sizes||Packing options||Available colors||Key feature|
|Product 1. DeElf clear self watering plastic pots||4.3", 5.1"||No, 1 item in 1 set||1|
|Product 2. T4U self watering planter pot||7.5", 9.5"||No, 1 item in 1 set||3||💎 120-day MoneyBack*|
|Product 3. T4U 6-inch self watering pots||4", 4.5", 6"||No, 1 item in 1 set||4|
|Product 4. GARDENIX DECOR self watering pots for indoor plants||5"||No, 2 items in 1 set||5||#16 in Garden Pots|
|Product 5. DeElf self watering wicking pots||4.7", 6.7"||No, 6 items in 1 set||1||❤️ Amazon's Choice for "6 inch self watering pots for indoor plants"|
|Product 6. DecoPots self watering pot with water-level indicator||7.1", 7.9", 9.2", 10.6", 11.8", 12.6"||Yes, many options||9|
|Product 7. T4U self watering plastic pot||4"||No, 6 items in 1 set||1||💎 120-day MoneyBack*|
|Product 8. GardenBasix self watering pot||7"||Yes, 1 or 3 in 1 set||1|
|Product 9. Window Garden Aquaphoric self watering pot||7"||No, 1 item in 1 set||9||❤️ Amazon choice "self watering planter"|
|Product 10. HBServices USA self watering + self-aerating planter pot||6", 8", 10"||No, 1 item in 1 set||2|
self watering pots are designed to regulate the amount of water that your plants absorb, keeping them healthy and safe. They are a convenient way of ensuring a green thumb and peace of mind when it comes to plant-care.
What are self watering pots?
self watering planters are like regular pots, except that they have a reservoir from which water is drawn by the plants, making the watering process semi-automated. This is termed sub-irrigation because water is absorbed from below the root system rather than being introduced from the top.
- Sub-irrigation allows the automation and self-regulation of the hydrating process and makes it ideal for container gardening in various contexts;
- self watering pots work on the basis of passive hydroponics. Water is absorbed from below through capillary action. Instead of soil, a porous material that can hold water and water-soluble nutrients is used as a potting medium. Examples are clay pellets and coconut fiber wool;
- While using coco soil or other porous alternatives as potting media, it is advisable to weigh the liner pot with gravel for added stability and better moisture retention and pH balance;
- Passive hydroponics use a cotton wick that absorbs water from the reservoir and transmits it to the roots or uses a set of hollow legs resting in the reservoir, through which the soil absorbs water;
- The system reduces the amount of labor involved in actively watering the plants. This is especially beneficial for large collections of plants;
- The porous potting medium keeps the roots aerated and increases oxygen supply to them. Plants like orchids, which naturally grow with their roots exposed to the air, benefit from this system when planted in a pot;
- The drawback of sub-irrigation is that fertilizer, pesticides and other nutrients that are applied to the topsoil cannot effectively permeate down to the root system. In such cases, water-soluble fertilizer or pesticide can be dissolved in the reservoir water. Salt accumulation can occur and the system needs periodic cleaning. Also, plants that require intermittent dry spells can suffer damage from the constant supply of moisture.
A few self watering pots make the cut as preferred products due to their attractive and efficient design. Their key features, pros and cons are discussed below.
More detailed information you can read in our article “How Do A self watering Pots Work?”
10 Best self watering Pots in 2021
DeElf clear self watering plastic pots
One of the best self watering pots for indoor plants. These pots use the wick absorption method to keep the soil hydrated at the optimal level. Just fill the bottom reservoir, make sure that the wick dipped in it is intact, and let it take care of your plant’s watering needs.
The planter has two components. An outer reservoir made of clear plastic and an inner plastic liner that holds the plant. A cotton wick emerges from the bottom of the liner and rests in the water in the reservoir. Through capillary action, it absorbs water and transmits it to the soil in the liner.
The key feature of this pot is that the clear plastic allows you to stay informed about the water level and enables you to make timely refills.
- Since the wick only absorbs enough water to reach saturation point, a steady supply of moisture is ensured, without the danger of over-watering [+];
- It is constructed from durable plastic that can withstand a weight of 100 pounds and is shatterproof [+];
- The plastic is BPA-free and lightweight [+];
- The two components fit together without a gap so that the reservoir water stays free of dust and insects [+];
- At four inches, the outer pot is deep enough to allow sufficient space between the water level and the liner bottom. This allows the roots to breathe and only be hydrated through the wick [+];
- Its simple design and neutral white color make it a versatile addition to any type of decor [+].
- Since wick absorption is not an exact science, there is a danger of too much water being drawn into the soil. Trial and error and adjustments to the potting medium can help resolve the problem [-];
- You will need to lift out the liner to refill the reservoir, which can be a little cumbersome [-];
- A single wick may not be effective in uniformly distributing the water it supplies to the soil [-].
T4U self watering planter pot
These plastic pots with a reservoir tray are wide and deep, making them ideal for larger plants. The pot has four hollow legs with holes, which fit flush with the reservoir. They draw moisture into the soil, keeping it steadily hydrated.
The key feature of this pot is that it is Amazon’s Choice for the category “self watering pots for indoor plants 10 inch.”
- This planter measures nine-and-a-half inches in diameter and is eight inches deep, making it suitable for larger balcony plants and indoor plants that have a wider root system [+];
- A snap-on mechanism holds the pot and tray together seamlessly [+];
- A wick is not used in these pots, making them easier to maintain. Also, the four legs are spaced widely apart for more uniform hydration when compared to a single wick [+];
- Two holes on the side serve the dual purpose of being water inlets and drains. Their sleek design creates a pleasing aesthetic [+];
- It comes in the three neutral colors of beige, teal blue and brown to suit any color scheme of plant or decor [+];
- It has a graceful shape and is made from high-quality polypropylene [+].
- Since it is opaque, the only way to ascertain the water level is by separating the tray and pot [-];
- The snap-on mechanism keeps the pot and tray together but does not always work well. If they cannot be snapped on together, the pot does not stay attached to the tray [-].
T4U 6-inch self watering pots
Self watering pot. These beautifully-designed pots use a wicking mechanism and are available in three sizes to fit any planting need.
This pot has a stylish two-toned color scheme. The outer pot has a neutral color and a graceful fluted pattern and pedestal. The inner liner pot is black. It is a good choice for indoor as well as outdoor use.
The key feature of this pot is that it is available with a full 120-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the quality.
- A double wick allows moisture to be drawn into opposite portions of the liner pot for more distributed hydration [+];
- Vertical slats cut into the inner liner pot allow some aeration to prevent the soil from developing mold or fungus [+];
- A common question regarding these pots is how often do you fill self watering pots? Most models hold enough to last a week or two. The reservoir holds enough water for one to two weeks [+];
- It is made from a durable and eco-friendly material that is resistant to extremes in temperature and free from formaldehyde and toxins [+];
- It is available in three sizes of varying diameters and depths [+];
- It is available in pastel shades of beige, white, blue and green. Although it is made of plastic, its fluted design makes it look like ceramic [+].
- The plastic of the liner pot is a little flimsy and can give way under excess weight. It may not be suitable for heavy plants [-];
- The vertical slats of the liner pot provide insufficient ventilation and soil tends to turn moldy [-];
- Some liner pots come will plastic still covering the liner pots and are tough to tear off. They need to be cut with a heavy-duty knife, which can be a hazardous job since the plastic is tough [-].
GARDENIX DECOR self watering pots for indoor plants
It comes in the additional colors, purple, terracotta, dark gray and teal. The pigment is directly injected into the plastic and not painted on it. Due to this, prolonged exposure to sunlight and the elements will not cause the color to fade or peel.
The key feature of this pot is the water-level indicator that informs you of when you need to refill the reservoir pot. The indicator also has a dial at the top to keep you apprised of the growth rate of your plant.
- The water-level indicator resolves the issue with opaque self watering planters, where the liner has to be lifted out to check the water level [+];
- Next to the groove into which the indicator fits, a water inlet allows you to refill the reservoir without dismantling the setup [+];
- The inlet also acts as a vent to keep the interior of the setup aerated and free from mold and fungus [+];
- Coco soil is included with the purchase of this pot. It is made of organic coconut shell fiber and keeps the roots aerated and prevents rot. Packed soil can retain too much moisture and prevent healthy air circulation. Coco soil is more porous and is conducive to good drainage and aeration, keeping the soil healthy and safe for the plant. It needs to be hydrated before potting so that it expands to its maximum size [+];
- The reservoir holds water for up to two weeks [+];
- Four hollow legs extend down from the liner pot to absorb moisture from the reservoir [+];
- A contemporary square design makes it blend even into a minimalist decor [+].
- The water level indicator could compromise the sleek look of the pot [-];
- The indicator could malfunction, in which case you will need to lift out the liner pot to check the level [-];
- The coco soil does not contain any nutrients. Additional enriched soil and fertilizer need to be added for nutrition [-].
DeElf self watering wicking pots
This pot has a pretty round shape and a two-toned color scheme with a white outer reservoir pot and a black inner liner pot that is visible at the rim.
The key feature of this pot is that it is Amazon’s Choice in the category “leca pots.”
- A cotton wick that is threaded through two holes at the bottom of the liner wicks moisture into the soil [+];
- Several slats are cut into the sides of the inner liner and they keep the interior aerated and free from moisture-induced growth of mold [+];
- The reservoir holds sufficient water for three weeks [+];
- It is well-suited for African violets, herbs and orchids [+];
- It is available in three sizes [+].
- Wicks can get clogged and need periodic replacement [-];
- There is no water-level indicator and you will need to lift out the liner pot to check if a refill is required [-];
- The inner pot is much smaller than the outer pot. Although the setup looks large, it can only accommodate small plants [-].
DecoPots self watering pot with water-level indicator
It comes in several choices of rich attractive hues like burgundy, forest green and deep gold. It has a glossy finish, which gives it a ceramic look.
The key feature of this pot is a conveniently located window at the bottom of the reservoir pot, through which you can see the water level.
- The simple low-tech indicator makes it unnecessary to insert an additional indicator into the pot, which could compromise the aesthetic of the setup [+];
- In addition to the hollow tubes that absorb draw moisture, the bottom of the liner pot has mesh-like drainage holes to release excess water back down into the reservoir. This maintains a balanced moisture level in the soil [+];
- The reservoir can hold enough water for up to four weeks [+];
- The liner pots are available in either black or white to complement the color of the outer pot [+];
- It is constructed from sturdy plastic and is UV-stabilized to protect its color from prolonged exposure to the sun [+].
- The inner liner as well as the outer pot are a flimsy and prone to cracking and breaking. They may not hold up under the weight of heavier plants [-];
- A few customers felt that the look of the pot is a little cheap and it does not look as solid and glossy as the pictures [-].
T4U self watering plastic pot
It is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for a collection of cacti or succulents that are arranged on a tabletop or along a window sill.
Its stylish square design with a matte finish gives it a contemporary look.
The key feature of this pot is a 120-day free return and exchange if you are not satisfied with its quality.
- An inner liner pot nests seamlessly into the outer reservoir pot, and has hollow legs that draw moisture from it [+];
- Excess water drains through a mesh of fine holes at the bottom of the liner pot [+];
- Small slats cut into the top of the liner pot provide ventilation for the interior of the reservoir pot [+];
- It is available in white, dark grey and a grayish-blue color [+];
- Small imperceptible studs attached to the bottom of the pot keep it slightly raised from the surface on which it rests and avoids the risk of water stains without spoiling the aesthetic of its design [+].
- There is no water-level indicator and so you will need to lift out the liner pot to check if the reservoir needs to be refilled [-].
GardenBasix self watering pot
This attractive set of three self watering pots comes in a set of white or a tri-color set consisting of vibrant blue, green and terracotta.
The key feature of this pot is a water-level indicator that shows you when you need to refill the reservoir. The indicator neatly fits into a dedicated groove in the corner of the pot.
- A water inlet beside this groove can be used to refill the reservoir without removing the liner pot [+];
- Its minimally-tapered cylindrical shape gives it stability and makes it a great choice for balconies where the pots are susceptible to being knocked over by strong winds [+];
- A disc of coconut fiber is included with the purchase. When half a quart of water is added to it, it expands to one quart and its porous quality keeps the root system aerated and steadily supplied with oxygen [+];
- The fiber will need to be fortified with some additional regular soil and fertilizer to increase its nutrient value [+];
- Its high-gloss lacquer finish gives it a stylish look, which makes it suitable for indoor use as well [+];
- It is made from sturdy non-toxic plastic [+].
- The self watering mechanism of this pot has the tendency to draw too much water into the soil and cause mold. This harms the plant as well as the air in your home [-];
- The indicator setup takes up space and the pot can only accommodate smaller plants like herbs [-].
Window Garden Aquaphoric self watering pot
This chic self watering pot will fit into a modern decor and is suitable for holding indoor plants such as African violets, succulents and cacti.
The key feature of this pot is that it is Amazon’s Choice in the category “aquaphoric self watering planter.”
- A water-level indicator sits in a groove and extends to the bottom of the pot, keeping you informed of when a refill might be required [+];
- A water inlet allows you to refill the pot without separating the liner pot from the reservoir [+];
- Two quarts of fiber soil are included with the purchase. They are porous and keep the roots well-supplied with oxygen but are devoid of nutrients. Additional fertilizer has to be added to keep the plants healthy and well-fed [+];
- The loosely packed fiber soil allows roots to move freely and grow to their maximum potential [+];
- An unusual oblong shape lends it a chic look [+];
- It is available in a variety of trendy colors like chartreuse, wine and slate to suit modern decor [+].
- Its narrow oblong design and the space occupied by the indicator mechanism reduces the amount of space needed for the plant and it can only accommodate smaller plants [-];
- The fiber soil has no nutrients. Additional enriched soil or fertilizer need to be added to it [-];
- The soil tends to get too wet and develop fungus [-].
HBServices USA self watering + self-aerating planter pot
This well-ventilated set comprising a pot and a saucer will keep the soil and roots healthy and safe from dangerous fungal or mold growth. This, in turn, keeps the air in your home safe.
This planter is available in 1.6 quarts, 1-gallon and 2-gallon capacities. This makes it a good choice for large plants.
The key feature of this pot is its rare design. The pot sits inside a saucer and has slats cut into its bottom to keep the soil and roots aerated.
- There is a gap between the pot and the saucer, which provides additional ventilation to keep the interior airy and safe from excess moisture [+];
- The gap also allows you to check the water level and refill the saucer when needed [+];
- A spout-like attachment that conveniently clips on to the saucer is used to refill the reservoir saucer with ease. Since it is detachable, it can be used only when needed so that it does not spoil the sleek look of the pot [+];
- The pot draws water from the saucer through its hollow legs and capillary action [+];
- Studs on the bottom of the saucer keep it lifted clear of the surface on which it rests and avoids unsightly and damaging water rings from forming on it [+];
- Made from sturdy polypropylene plastic, it is BPA-free and does not contain toxins that could leak into the soil or water and harm the plant. It is UV-resistant and its color is part of the plastic and fade-resistant when exposed to sunlight [+];
- It is available in deep blue and white [+].
- Due to the gap between the pot and the saucer, the water in the reservoir can collect dust and insects, and will need to be cleaned frequently [-];
- The draining mechanism is not efficient enough and the soil stays wet, causing fungus and mold [-];
- The exterior of the pot is not scratch-proof and the setup may not look chic enough to gel with indoor decor [-].
A buyer’s guide with tips to help you choose the right self watering planter
- For the convenience of being able to see the water level, choose a clear plastic pot or one with a water level indicator;
- Pots with a wick will require a little more maintenance than pots that use hollow legs for capillary action. Wicks will need to be adjusted or periodically replaced and sometimes get clogged;
- If you know that your plant has a vast root system that will spread out horizontally as it grows, choose a pot with a large diameter in which to plant it when it is still young;
- If you plan on placing your planter on a table, mantel or window sill, purchase ones with studs at the bottom, which will help avoid unseemly water rings or stains on the surface on which the pot rests;
- If you plan on placing the pots on a balcony where it will have to withstand strong winds, choose pots with cylindrical shapes and avoid the ones that taper downwards, as the latter will not be stable and can get knocked over. Shapes that are wider at the top and narrower at the bottom are more unstable;
- For outdoor plants or indoor plants that will need constant exposure to sunlight, choose a planter made of fade-resistant and UV-resistant polypropylene plastic;
- Use eco-friendly and toxin-free polypropylene plastic pots for edible herbs to avoid chemicals that can leach into the soil, water and the plant itself;
- If you plan on using the pots for starter plants that will be moved to other pots after some time, you will be constantly switching out the plants from them. In such instances, choose white or neutral colors so that they provide a neutral palette for any color of plant that they contain.
In conclusion, self watering pots can help keep your plants safe and healthy by regulating their moisture intake. They help take care of your plants’ nutrition and hydration, whether you are physically present to do so or not.
Plants bring cheer to your living space, be it indoors or outdoors, and self watering planters take the labor-intensive aspect out of caring for them. You can enjoy the process of nurturing your plants and take pleasure in their healthy vibrancy as they brighten and freshen your home.