Although we find great satisfaction and a mindful escape in carrying out plant care tasks we'll never turn down the chance to save a bit of time, so we love self-watering planters for their simplicity. Read on for a round up of the benefits of self-watering your houseplants, our pick of self-watering products as well as a selection of plants that benefit most from being in self-watering pots.

What is self-watering?

Self-watering is the method of watering where a plant has access to a constant water source (a water reservoir) and takes up as much water as it needs at the rate that it requires.

A self-watering planter has an outer pot that is used to hold the water reservoir below an inner pot where the plant sits in its substrate.

A wick (usually a piece of cotton) sits with its bottom end in the water reservoir and its top end in the plant's substrate. This wick soaks up water from the water reservoir and passes it into the substrate, where the plant's roots then take up the as much moisture as it needs.

Self-watering in action

Benefits of self-watering planters for houseplants

1. Prevent overwatering and underwatering - the plant takes up as much water as it needs, when it needs it. This means it is not reliant on the plant owner to decide when the plant needs water and reduces the risk of over or under watering.

2. Optimum moisture levels for thirsty plants - some plants such as Ferns, Calathea and Alocasia like to have soil consistently damp (not sodden) so rather than having to remember to water on a very frequent basis self watering planters will keep the soil at it's optimum level of moisture. Just remember to keep the reservoir topped up.

3. A constant water source if you can't water regularly - if you are unable to water plants as often as they need, perhaps because you are going away for an extended period, or are physically unable to water as often as your plants need, then self-watering planters are a great option as the water reservoir will need topping up less frequently compared to traditional watering methods.

4. Reduce water wastage - there is likely to be less water wastage with self-watering planters as with traditional watering method (particularly if running the plant under a tap) it is likely more water will be used than is needed by the plant.

It is worth noting that from time to time it is a good idea to water from above this will flush out a build up of mineral deposits from the tap water.

Our pick of self-watering pots and products

Flo Hang Self-watering planter in sea green
Flo Hang Self-watering planter in sea green from Cornwall based Frond

Beautiful and useful hanging self-watering planter, available in multiple colours and finishes, also in standing and mounted versions. We love Frond's sleek design, their self watering planters have recently been announced as a finalist for the RHS sustainable product of the year 2023.

Transparent self-watering pot with celery cord
Transparent self-watering pot with celery cord from Potr

Available in multiple options of size and colour, the Potr pots also come flat-packed to reduce packaging and carbon emissions. Follow the simple instructions to fold your planter into shape and add your chosen plant!

Bat Guano Organic Soil Fertiliser
Bat Guano Organic Soil Fertiliser & Enhancer from Stem & Co.

It is not recommended to add liquid fertiliser to the water reservoir, so it's a great idea to add some additional fertiliser into the plant's substrate when repotting. This bat poo is certified by the Control Union and ensures the guano is harvested sustainably and in the most planet friendly way.

Galvanised Steel Indoor Watering Can
Galvanised Steel Indoor Watering Can from Forest

This watering can has a long slim spout, perfect for topping up the water reservoir in your self-watering pots and hanging planters. This watering can doesn't need to be hidden away as it's not only useful but a good-looking addition to your indoor decor too!

Perfect plants for self-watering pots and planters

We hope you enjoyed these self-watering tips. Happy plant parenting!