Different kinds of plants require a different quantity of water. If you’re unsure about the quantity of water your houseplants need, or you simply travel a lot or have a busy work schedule, you should explore and learn how to use self-watering pots.
If you’re a plant lover like me and you own a nice collection of plants, you know how satisfying it is coming home after a long day at work and enjoying your green paradise.
The beautiful colours of plants and the wonderful smell of flowers will make you calm and relaxed.
That’s why you should keep them in good shape, and one of the most crucial things to do so is the proper amount of water.
The self-watering pots are a great choice since they’re going to keep your plants moist and healthy whether you keep them indoors or outdoors.
What’s A Self-Watering Pot?
A self-watering planter is a pot that will hold the water in the reservoir and make sure the plants stay moist with the amount of water they need.
It’s a practical way of growing plants because it will take care of the watering for you and make the gardening easier and more enjoyable.
There are many different types of self-watering pots on the market – they all have different designs and come in various shapes and sizes. You should choose a self-watering container according to the needs of the plant that you’re going to keep in it.
While they seem different, they all function thanks to the water reservoir that’s almost always placed underneath the plant.
This tank should be filled with water or other solutions for better growth every couple of days, depending on your plant’s requirements.
How To Use Self-Watering Pots
Although the types may vary, the majority of self-watering pots is used in the same way. Firstly, you should place the water tank on the bottom of the container. Then place the divider that will stop the soil from getting into the water.
These dividers usually have depressions where the soil will absorb the water and spread it through the potting mixture.
Add the planter and start planting the flowers, vegetables etc. Add the other parts of the pot according to the instructions (such as fill tube).
Be sure to pack the mixture well into those holes. The planter will allow the soil mix to be in constant contact with the solution in the reservoir so it will always provide the right amount of water as soon as the roots absorb it.
Place your plant as you normally would. Keep in mind that the potting mixture should already be moist because dry soil won’t take the water from the tank.
That’s why you should be careful not to let the soil dry out while in the self-watering pot.
Almost every self-watering planter has an indicator that shows the level of water. This is really convenient because you’ll know when to add more. If you exaggerate with the water, don’t worry – the majority of models have an overflow hole that will get rid of the excess.
The previously mentioned fill tube is a great feature because it’s so much more convenient to add the water in this way.
It’s especially important if the pot is in a place where the watering may be a little tricky, such as the balcony.
You can even find the hanging self-watering baskets which is great considering that they can usually be very difficult to water so in this way you won’t have to do it as often as with the regular hanging baskets.
Some of them have a little space between the water reservoir and the planter. These types are better to keep at home where you can add the water easily and effortlessly since the opening for the water is small.
Advantages Of Using Self-Watering Pot
- The soil will always be moist – The potting mixture will absorb water from the tank as soon as it loses its moist, which will keep the roots in contact with water as much as they need to be. I love using self-watering planters because I’m always sure that there won’t be under or overwatering.
- No fungus – Another reason to use it is the fact that the water will go directly to the roots of the plant and there won’t be a risk of fungus that can be caused by wet leaves of the plant – which is almost inevitable if you water it from the top.
- Water saving – If you’re looking for a way to save a lot of water, these pots are great because the tank will keep the water from evaporating easily, which happens when you water your plants from the top. This is great when you need to keep the leaves dry, like for example with tomato.
- Stress-free travelling – If you need to go for a longer trip and you don’t want to worry about your houseplants and garden being dry and ruined, the self-watering pot will keep them in an optimal state while you’re away. It’s also great if you’re forgetful or don’t have time to water the plants on a daily basis.
Types Of Self-Watering Pots
As said, according to the plants you want to grow, you’ll need to do research and choose the best self-watering container. You can choose between a decorative self-watering pot and the utilitarian one.
If you want to grow fruits and vegetables, the second type should be your choice because it’s usually simpler and more practical.
They are also quite large which can be very important if you’re planning to grow a tree in it.
Decorative ones are great if you need to grow houseplants or simply choose a nice planter that will look beautiful in your garden.
Choose the size of the planter and water reservoir according to the watering needs of the houseplant.
Keep in mind that some plants such as cactus grow better in dry soil, so the self-watering containers aren’t the best choice for those plants. Choose the regular pots for these plants.
DIY Self-Watering Pots
If you have a lot of empty pots that you would like to transform into the self-watering ones, you can easily purchase conversion kits or look for DIY tutorials online if you want to make one yourself. The benefits of a self-watering pot are multiple, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to be functional.
These DIY pots are very useful for gardening or growing fruits and vegetables when the aesthetic isn’t the most important thing. And if you want something stylish and good looking, buy the conversion kits and transform the pots you own.
Cleaning And Maintaining
Maintaining a self-watering pot is easy, and it doesn’t require a lot of work.
However, it is very important to clean the self-watering pots at least once a year because the roots of the plants are going to grow towards the reservoir.
If you want to avoid the overwatering that could happen if the roots are being in constant contact with water, you need to clean the pot every year.
Don’t forget to change the size of the pot as the plant grows because a container that’s too small may cause the death of the plant as it won’t have enough nutrients or space for its root.
During cold seasons you should consider bringing the pots inside because the water in the reservoir could freeze.
If that’s not possible, you should change the pot and use the conventional one or at least drain the reservoir and water the plan regularly.
This is important because a frozen tank won’t provide the plant with the water it needs.
Self-watering pots are one of my favourite ways to keep the soil of my plants always moist and with the right amount of water. This allows me to take care of them without stress and make the gardening experience more enjoyable.
It has helped me a lot with my vegetables, especially tomatoes because they adore receiving water directly from the roots and grow their best with dry leaves. It is also great because it allows you to use water with fertilizers and other solutions since the holes on the bottom of the planter won’t get stuck.
For now, I have only purchased the complete self-watering pots, I still haven’t tried to make one by myself. Which is your preferred DIY trick? Do you manage to make them look stylish anyway? What are your experiences with self-watering pots, and do you find them difficult to use?