According to studies, the number one reason plants die is due to overwatering. When you overwater a plant, excess water pools at the top, causing the plant to wither and rot. On the other hand, some people kill their plants by not watering them enough. You’ve probably encountered some people that, no matter how hard they try, always end up killing their plants. Paired with sunlight, the amount of water a plant gets is crucial to its survival. To combat overwatering and underwatering, the self-watering planter was invented. These pots boast a water reservoir that draws water when the soil dries out. As long as the reservoir is filled, the plant will get water. Be it winter or summer, you can always find a top-notch self-watering planter for sale on Amazon.
Self-watering planters are perfect for people who are novice gardeners that don’t know how to assess their plant’s water levels. Not only that but owning one of these pots makes for one less chore. When you’re working full-time and caring for a family, it’s pretty easy to overlook watering your plants. Another advantage of owning a self-watering planter is that you don’t need someone to come over and water your plants when you’re on vacation. As long as the water reservoir is full, you won’t come home to dead plants. Additionally, some plants need to be watered from the bottom up. Watering plants from the bottom up with a traditional watering bucket is very tedious and time-consuming. A self-watering planter makes it a breeze. Before buying your first planter, you need to consider the product’s size, reservoir capacity, and design. To illustrate, there’s no point buying a planter that you need to refill every couple of days. While self-watering planters are more expensive than traditional planters, the extra price you pay is for the convenience.
We carried out extensive research and analyzed numerous products to help you find the best self-watering planters online. These planters excel in quality, longevity, and are highly-reviewed on Amazon. We came up with the top three self-watering planters along with seven other honorable mentions. Both the reviews and product guide will help you find the number one planter for you.
Top Three Self-Watering Plants
After reviewing pages of self-watering planters, we handpicked the top three that stood out from the rest. The factors considered included the price, variety, reviews, functionality, and design. Just because a particular pot was cute and cheap doesn’t mean it made the list. Only products with designs optimized to suit plants the best made the final round.
1. Window Garden Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter
The designers of this self-watering planter are Lisa and Frank, two horticulture enthusiasts based out of Connecticut. Their company, Window Garden, has an expansive collection of plant products. You can tell that the two of them are very passionate about their products and that they truly care about the wellbeing of plants. With over 270 reviews, their 7” aquaphobic self-watering planter is one of their most popular products. The planter makes an adorable home for small succulents, flowers, and herbs. One thing that makes this pot stand out from the others is that it is available in eight different colors, ranging from purple matte to blue gloss. Every one of these colors will brighten up your home and add a touch of flair. Priced at less than $18, this is one of the more affordable self-watering planters available on Amazon. Reviewers claim that with this planter, they’ve seen their plants reach new heights and they now dub them as “impossible to kill.”
Equipped with a small reservoir and tiny fibers that carry the water upwards, this aquaphobic planter hydrates the plant at just the right times. You won’t have to worry about overwatering or forgetting to water your plant. Not only will you get the planter, but you’ll also get two quarts of fiber soil. Unlike standard potting soil, fiber soil is very porous and doesn’t leave the roots stuck one place. The fiber soil will help the water spread throughout the soil to fully hydrate and nourish the plant. To make things even more convenient, there’s a water level indicator that tells you exactly how much water is in the reservoir. You won’t have to worry about overflowing the reservoir or having to the shake the planter to see if you can hear water inside. The planter is made out of polyresin, a durable material that holds color well. Compared to other self-watering planters, this product comes in a huge variety of colors, making it a breeze to pick out one that will look good in your space. With an average rating of 4.6 stars out of five, this planter is one of the highest rated on Amazon.
- Over eight different colors to choose from
- Comes with two quarts of fiber soil
- Designed to hold herbs, flowers, succulents, and more
- No warranty information listed on Amazon
- Does not come with an attached plant light
- Has a relatively small water reservoir
2. Wallygro Self Watering Vertical Gardening System
Second place on our list is the Wallygro self-watering vertical gardening system. Wallygro is an online retailer that specializes in vertical hanging planters. Based out of the Midwest, the retailer focuses on using sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials. Their vertical gardening planters actually come in a pack of four and are priced at under $60. The planters are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and are made with 100% recycled plastics. Another notable thing about this product is that it’s made in the United States. Shipping times will never be a problem and it is completely free of harmful materials. While this item doesn’t have as many reviews as the Window Garden Aquaphoric self-watering planter, all of its reviews are positive. Customers rave about the planter’s sturdiness and how easy it is to set up. The pack of four only comes in grey and white, however, Wallygro does have some other colors sold individually.
Whether you’re growing Devil’s ivy or small jade plants, this planter can hold it. In fact, this product can hold up to 30lbs – much more than competing self-watering planters. You don’t have to be a handyman to set it up either. All you do is mount a hook on the wall or fence and hang the planter on it. When it’s time to bring the plant inside for the winter, this pot will also stand on a table top as well. As mentioned, this product is made with ultra-safe materials (more specifically HDPE2 recycled milk jugs). This type of plastic is one of the safest when it comes to growing vegetables and fruit – there’s no risk of contamination. Designed with a one-liter water reservoir, your plants will have enough water for up to two weeks at a time. Like all self-watering systems, the resivour is situated at the base of the planter and waters the plant from the bottom up. To prevent water drainage from the bottom, Wallygro designed the planter with breathable sides. In addition to preventing drainage, the breathable sides help the plants to have stronger roots and also helps to combat overwatering. Given that this is a package of four and that the planters have breathable sides (which isn’t particularly common), this product towers over some of its competitors.
- Comes with four planters
- Manufactured with 100% HDPE2 recycled milk jugs
- Designed with sides that let the roots grow and prevent water build up
- Not available in many different colors
- No warranty information listed on Amazon
Higher price point than other self-watering planters
3. Santino Self Watering Planter
The last product to make our top three list is the Santino self-watering planter. Santino is an innovative company that focuses on self-watering systems that make caring for plants more convenient. According to their website, they produce more than ten million pots per year and develop 25 new products on average. This particular product is a middle-of-the-road 7.1 to 12.6” planter that comes in nine different colors. You can get your hands on the largest planter for just under $27 and the smallest one for roughly $9. This product boasts over 260 reviews, with the majority of them being positive. Santino notes that the planter stimulates fast growth and is a great option for those who lead busy lives. While there is no warranty information on the Amazon listing, Santino does have a page on their website for you to contact them if needed.
Since this product comes in a range of sizes, the dimensions will differ depending on which one you buy. To illustrate, the 10.6” planter has a 27-ounce water reservoir and the planter itself holds up to 2.5 gallons. The large water reservoir means you can keep the plant’s roots watered for up to four weeks without having to refill it. Moreover, the planter is designed with an air circulation system that lets the roots breathe and keeps the plant from rotting. The pot makes a perfect addition to any bedroom, kitchen, living room, or outdoor patio. Santino manufactures this plot with lacquer-coated plastic. The plus side of having a lacquer coat is that it gives off a glossy look and makes the pot UV-resistant. Santino recommends that you add a small layer of gravel before planting a plant, however, no gravel or soil is included with the purchase. This product made our list because it is a solid planter that’s sold by one of the pioneering companies of the self-watering planter industry. Not only are we completely confident in this product’s quality, but we are also confident in Santino’s ability to develop more innovative products in the future.
- Available in several different colors
- Made with lacquer-coated plastic that gives off a glossy look
- Keeps the plant watered for up to four weeks at a time
- No gravel or soil is included with the purchase
- No warranty information listed on Amazon
- Some reviewers weren’t pleased with the plastic look of the planter
Other Self-Watering Planters to Consider
There are a handful of other self-watering planters that didn’t make our top three list but are still worth mentioning. In fact, most of these planters are the same brands as the top three, just different styles. To make our honorable mentions, these products had to have higher than average reviews, competitive prices, and designs that stood out against other self-watering planters.
Gardener’s Supply Company Self-Watering Planter box
Measuring 39” in length, this is one of the largest self-watering pots on our list and is perfect for a window. The planter box boasts a water-level indictor and a five-quart water resivour that will keep your plants watered for weeks. With an adjustable steel mounting bracket, you can put the box on either a wall or along your deck rail. Gardener’s Supply sells four different colors: white, red, and bronze. Compared to some of the other planters sold on Amazon, the color options are limited. Priced at less than $40, this planter a good deal for the money.
Window Garden Self Watering Container
Another honorable mention is this 11” self-watering planter by Window Garden. This large pot can hold a variety of different plants and you can use it both inside and outside. It’s available in both a sleek black and ivory matte that are sure to add a modern touch to your house. In addition to the container, you’ll get a ten-quart bag of fiber soil. The plant also boasts a water-level reader, so you can easily tell when the resivour needs refilled. Although this product has mostly positive reviews, a few customers mentioned that the container overflows with water during the rain.
Window Garden Aquaphoric Herb Garden Tub
Similar to the product by Gardener’s Supply, Window Garden also sells a planter box that is suitable for windows. With a length of only 14in, this herb garden tub has a more compact design. Despite its size, many reviewers acclaimed that it turned out bigger than they expected. Like the other products by Window Garden, this tub comes in either a glossy white or black matte. For only $40, this herb garden tub is a good bang for your buck. The only minor disadvantage to this product is that a very small handful of customers reported seeing mildew.
Santino Self Watering Window Box Planter
This 15.6” window box planter is sold by Santino and comes in a graphite, jade, and grey color. The pot itself has a capacity of 1.8 gallons and a water reservoir of 30 ounces. Since the planter is made of UV-resistant material, you can use it both inside and outside. Given its length, this is a rather compact planter, but can still hold a variety of different plants. The water reservoir draws water up and keeps the plant hydrated for up to four weeks at a time. This planter just barely missed the top three list because some customers said the directions were hard to follow.
Mkono Self Watering Flower Pot
Sold by a brand named Mkono, this is a package of three self-watering flower pots that comes in three different sizes. The reservoir has the capacity to keep the plant watered for up to ten days and the pot is made of polypropylene (PP) plastic which is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Instead of using tubes, this product has cotton strings that hang down into the reservoir to suck up water. This pot is only available in white; however, it does have a very modern look. The only downside to this product is that customers said it didn’t hold as much soil as they hoped.
Santino Self Watering Planter Pot
Another product sold by Santino is this self-water pot that comes in three different sizes and a variety of different colors. According to the product listing, this planter is designed with an air circulation system that helps the plant grow faster. Depending on the size of the pot, the water reservoir ranges from 6 to 18 ounces. This planter also has a lacquer coating to keep it safe in the sun. The water reservoir will keep the plants watered for up to four weeks. Some reviewers noted that only certain colors had a window to see the water level.
Santino Self Watering Plant Pot
The last self-watering plant pot to consider is this Latina planter by Santino. This planter has a southwestern look to it and comes in a variety of colors including terracotta, graphite, and jade. Depending on the size you buy, the water reservoir ranges from 10 to 37 ounces. Like the other products by Santino, this pot is also made with lacquer-coated plastic for UV protection. The reservoir adjusts the moisture level for up to four weeks and has a drainage cartridge. While almost all the reviews are positive, a few customers mentioned that the pot was very light and blew over easily.
General Information about the Self-Watering Planters
Unless you’re a plant expert, you’ve probably had a plant die on you because you gave it too much or too little water. This is where self-watering planters come into play. With their advanced technology, these planters either sense when the soil needs moisture or use a wet/dry system where the plant determines when it needs water. Since the water reservoir can keep the plant hydrated for several weeks at a time, self-watering planters are a good investment for those who travel frequently or those who just have busy lives. The great thing about these planters is that they support all kinds of plants and you can use them both inside and outside.
How Self-Watering Planters Work
Almost all self-watering planters work the same way. The pot boasts a hollow platform at the bottom that functions as a reservoir. At the top of the platform, there are a few holes that allow the moisture in the soil to drain back into the reservoir. Fitted between the reservoir and the soil are wicking chambers that bring moisture back out into the soil through a process called the capillary action. Capillary action is when a liquid actually flows against gravity while it is trapped in a narrow space. The process of capillary action usually keeps the soil from getting too much moisture.
Where You Can Use Self-Watering Planters
The good news is, you can use most self-watering planters both inside and outside. As mentioned in the product reviews, many of the planters have a coating that is resistant to UV rays. This is important because when regular plastic is out in the sun too long, the UV rays can degrade the plastic by their effect on the polymer structure. Since most self-watering planters are made out of plastic, you should reconsider buying one that isn’t UV-resistant. Another thing to consider before placing a pot outside is its weight. If the pot is too light, it can blow away or get knocked over in the wind. Make sure to read reviews carefully and note the weight of the plant. In most cases, there should be room to fill the bottom of the pot with stone to help it stay upright when it is windy.
Products That are Similar to Self-Watering Planters
Aside from self-watering planters, there are a few other products that plant owners use to achieve the same result. The most traditional of these alternatives are watering globes. Water globes have a bulb-shaped sphere at the top and a stem that you stick into the soil. As the soil dries, water drips down from the bulb and into the soil. These self-watering devices are made of either glass or plastic and have designs painted on them. In addition to the watering globe, there are also drip watering spikes that keep the plant hydrated while you’re away. Drip spikes are very affordable but aren’t as appealing to the eye. In order to use a drip spike, you have to attach it on to the end of a water bottle. Simply turn the water bottle upside down and you’re ready to go. While both of these products keep plants watered, they both noticeably stick out of the soil and may attract unwanted attention.
Self-Watering Planters Buying Guide
Just like plants, self-watering planters come in an array of styles and colors. While most of them have the same function, a few may have features unique to their particular brand. Here’s a look at some of the main characteristics and features you should consider before buying a self-watering planter:
The reservoir size is a very important component of a self-watering planter. After all, the whole point is reducing the time and labor it takes to water the plant, right? If you have a plant that needs to be watered daily, you should opt for a planter that has a bigger reservoir size. Keep in mind, the size of the planter is usually proportional to the planter itself. Small planters may only have a reservoir size of a few ounces whereas a commercial planter could hold up to 30 gallons of water.
Water Level Indicator
Knowing when you need to fill up the reservoir is certainly helpful. Many planters feature some sort of indicator that let you know what the water level is. Most water level indicators resemble a thermometer and actually dip down into the reservoir. Unfortunately, these indicators stick out of the soil and might not be the look you’re going for. For more of a discrete indicator, some manufacturers design planters with a small window that lets you see into the water tank. While it’s not as easy to get an accurate reading of the water level, this mechanism still lets you gauge how much water is left. Without a water level indicator, you may have to lift up the self-watering planter, so you can see if there is a noticeable difference in weight.
Depending on where you plan on putting your plant, the material of the planter could be a deal breaker. For example, plastic can easily fall over in the wind and could even be damaged by UV rays. If you want to put a plastic pot out on your back porch, you may have to put stones at the bottom to keep it from falling over. With that being said, there are some planters made of fancier materials like a stone that can withstand the outdoors better. When you shop for a pot, make sure to look carefully at the product’s weight and if the outside is coated with a material that is resistant to UV rays.
There are a few other features that might not be as important but could still cause you to buy one product over another. For some plant owners, the ability to hang the plant using a hook is vital. In this scenario, you should look for a planter that includes a hook. In addition to a wall hook, some planters are designed with an air circulation system. The purpose of the ventilation system is to cycle the air and keep the plant from rotting. Not only does the ventilation system combat nasty fungus and another build up, but it also helps keep your plant healthy.
Other Information about Self-Watering Planters.
Most people would look at a self-watering pot and assume it to be a design of the 21st century. The reality is, the self-watering planter was actually invented in the 1990’s by Fred W. Lishman, a geophysicist working with the federal government. Lishman got the idea to create self-watering pot after some of his plants died because he didn’t know how to water them. His specific invention used weight loss as a mechanism to know when the planter needed to activate.
There’s no doubt that self-watering planters themselves are very innovative. With just a simple design and the principles of gravity, you can replace the work of a human with a simple gadget. A few companies have taken this simple design and a put a futuristic twist on it. Instead of relying on the mechanism discovered by Lishman, a group of engineers designed a self-watering planter that actually has sensors that tend to the plant. The sensors around the plant are able to “adapt” to its natural life-cycle and water it as necessary. And wait, there’s more. These planters are equipped a Bluetooth device that lets you track your plant while you’re gone. In addition, the application gives you tips on how to better take care of your plant. You can view the temperature, light, and soil level all from your cell phone. While some people might see this as going overboard, it may be the perfect tool for some plant lovers.
Did you know that businesses use self-watering planters too? Yes, that’s right, there are a few companies that manufacture large-scale planters for shopping malls, office, and even amusement parks. Earth Planter is the biggest manufacturer of commercial planters and some of their previous clients include the city of Louisville, Kentucky, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Houghton College. The reason many businesses have started to use self-watering planters is because it helps them cut down on their labor costs. According to Earth Planter’s website, their planters help save roughly 80% of “labor, fuel, water usage, and on-going plant maintenance costs.” So, you might be wondering, how big is the water reservoir on commercial planters? Their metropolitan tapered square model can hold up to 30 gallons of water! With more business purchasing these products each year, it’s possible that they could replace traditional planters in the distance future.
Living with the Product
Remember, self-watering planters are not completely self-sufficient. You still have to take proper care of them (just like a traditional planter) to ensure that they work long-term and don’t harm your plant in any way. More than anything, you should know how to properly clean your planter and keep mosquitos from infesting the reservoir. Fortunately, both of these are easy to do and require very little effort.
Cleaning a Self-Watering Planter
Just like traditional pots, it’s important to keep your self-watering planter clean. With that said, it’s especially vital to keep the planter clean if you plan on using it outside. If water builds up in the reservoir and doesn’t seem to be moving much, your plant could end up with diseases. Emptying and cleaning out the reservoir is also a good routine to avoid algae build up. Avoid using harmful chemicals to clean the pot because they can damage your plants. A good way to clean a self-watering planter is to let it soak in a vinegar bath for a few days. If you live somewhere with hard water, the vinegar will help get rid of limestone that has accumulated in the reservoir. While it’s not easy to clean a pot when you already have a plant in it, you should definitely do it if you plan on reusing a pot. Keeping the planter clean its one of the best ways to keep your plant healthy.
Getting Rid of Mosquitos
Mosquitos – probably the worst part of the summertime. Everyone hates these pesky little bugs that bite you left and right. Unless you’re from Antarctica, you probably know that a mosquito’s best friend is water. By now you’ve probably put two and two together. Water and mosquitos don’t mix very well together. On the bright side, a few creative gardeners have come up with a way to keep the pesky mosquitos away.
You’ll need mesh, oil, and mosquito dunk. After you’ve gathered the materials, you need to cover the area of the reservoir accessible to mosquitos with a very fine mesh. The next step is to drop a little bit of oil in the water to keep mosquitos from laying their eggs there. After you put the oil in the water, place the mosquito dunk in it as well. If you aren’t familiar with them, mosquito dunks are a pesticide that you can buy in almost any major store. The dunk kills mosquito larvae but won’t harm your plant. Note: since mosquito dunks are a pesticide, you should not use them around plants you are planning to eat. Once the dunk is in, your self-watering planter should be ready to go. If the planter is completely infested with mosquitos, it might be worth it to bring it inside and completely clean out the reservoir.
A Final Glance at Self-Watering Planters
Whether you’re an avid gardener or just like having a few succulents on your windowsill, owning a self-watering planter can make your life a whole lot easier. Since it takes a smart eye to really be able to tell if a plant needs water, using one of these pots will keep you from killing your plant by either drowning it in water or not giving it enough water. On the other hand, some people might just be busy and simply don’t have the time to water their plants every day. Regardless of your lifestyle, owning a self-watering planter is worth the investment. While it might sound like an ultra-expensive purchase, these pots are relatively inexpensive and come in many shapes, colors, and styles. Moreover, there are many planters made with 100% recycled material for those who are environmentally-conscious. When you’re ready to buy a self-watering planter, you should definitely consider purchasing one of the top three on Amazon. These pots have hundreds of satisfied customers, are made of high-quality material, and are a great deal for the price. Before you go, take one final glance at the best self-watering planters.
The Top Three Self-Watering Planters on Amazon
Window Garden Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter
This 7” Aquaphoric self-watering planter comes in seven different colors and is the perfect size for a dresser, coffee table, or kitchen counter. With its handy water level indicator, you’ll be able to tell when the resivour is short on water. Going on a vacation? No problem – this planter can hold water for a few weeks at a time without needing to be refilled. Hundreds of customers vouch that this pot has a great design and good instructions. For less than $18, it’s a steal.
Wallygro Self Watering Vertical Gardening System
Sold by the popular brand Wallygro, this is a set of four self-watering plants that hold up to 30lbs. Not only are the planters made in the USA, but they are also made from 100% recyclable material. You can easily put up a wall hook to hang these planters or set it on a flat surface. According to Wallygro, this product is designed for both the indoors and outdoors. While this product doesn’t have as many reviews as its counterparts, all of the reviews on Amazon are positive. If you’re looking for a pack of a few different planters, this product is worth a look.
Santino Self Watering Planter
The last of our top three products was the Santino self-watering planter. This planter comes in five different sizes and multiple colors that are sure to brighten up your room. Designed with lacquer plastic, this planter is built to withstand the sun’s powerful rays. Santino mentions that this pot has optimal air circulation in the roots, meaning your plant will stay healthy and strong. Since the water reservoir has a clear view, it’s easy to tell when you need to fill up the water again. Many customers claim that this pot did wonders for them in just a matter of a few weeks. For a planter that will get the job done, the Santino pot is definitely worth checking out.
No matter what self-watering planter you end up buying, you can be confident that your plants will look better than ever. Say goodbye to rotted leaves or dead branches falling to the ground. With a self-watering planter, owning plants has never been so easy.