The 14 Best Self-Watering Planters to Help Your Plants Thrive

Growing-plants-at-home.-Young-chili-plants-grown-from-a-seed

Keeping houseplants healthy can be challenging.

For some people, forgetfulness is the problem. Others are always too busy to water plants. For others, going on holiday means returning home to parched and dead plants.

Not any more! With the best self-watering planters, you’ll keep all your plants, flowers, and herbs healthy with nutrients and moisture delivered on demand, and the roots getting the oxygen they need, too.

The other advantage of using a self-watering planter is that your plants will also be protected from overwatering, something that can be as damaging as not giving your plants enough moisture.

Self-watering planters also help to reduce wastage when watering to an absolute minimum. Aside from water evaporating, you won’t be squandering any water, and your plants won’t pay the price for this eco-friendly approach to watering either.

These planters come in all shapes and sized, some purely utilitarian and others far more decorative. The more functional and less attractive planters are usually designed for vegetable gardening, where aesthetics are not as crucial as in a window garden or a windowsill garden.

You’ll find self-watering planters ideal for use both indoors and outdoors, and we review plenty of both today. Drain plug and overflow systems are vital if you plan to use your planter outdoors and you live somewhere with lots of rainfall. By removing the drain plug when you’re using the planter outside, all excess water can run off without the roots of your plants getting waterlogged. When you’re using the planter indoors, you can leave the drain plug in. Planters without drain plugs should be reserved for indoor use.

So, if you choose to invest in a self-watering planter, you’ll be giving your plants and flowers the controlled moisture and nutrients they need to grow healthily without too much or too little moisture, both of which can spoil and even kill your plants.

If you have no idea what you’re looking for when you’re comparing planters with a self-watering functions, pay attention to the following elements on the buying trail:

  • Material: Look for a planter that’s made of a robust and hardwearing material. If you plan to keep your planter outdoors, look for UV-resistant plastic. You should also ensure that any plastic is free of toxins, so no chemicals leach into your plants. You can find some ceramic planters, but these are more expensive and more prone to breakage
  • Size of planter: You should first establish that you have room to accommodate any planters on your shortlist. This is particularly important with indoor planters or planters you plan to use on a balcony or windowsill. Beyond this, you should choose a pot sized to suit the plants or flowers you’ll ben growing. If the pot is either too big or too small, you can expect problems. We review planters of all shapes and sizes today so there is something for everyone
  • Water reservoir capacity: You should think about the water requirements of the plants you’ll be raising in the planter. Not all plants need the same amount of water each week. If you need a planter to take up the slack when you’re away on vacation, look for one with a larger water tank. Maybe, though, you’re looking to raise plants that prefer dry soil. If so, look for a planter with a small or mid-sized reservoir
  • Proper oxygen circulation: Look for a planter that allows the roots of your plants to get the air they need to grow properly
  • Ease of use: You should make certain that all the self-watering planters on your shortlist are easy to use. It’s senseless investing in any labor-saving device if you end up struggling to use it, and we draw your attention throughout our reviews to any issues with ease of use.

Right, if you consider all of these pointers, you should find it super-simple to compare our selection of the best self-watering planters like-for-like.

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I. The 14 Best Self-Watering Planters

1. Our #1 Pick: Lechuza Self-Watering Garden Planter

Lechuza-15222-Cubico-Cottage-30-Self-Watering-Garden-Planter-for-Indoor-and-Outdoor-Use

Features

  • Height: 30 inches
  • Weight: 11.79 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.81 x 11.81 x 22.05 inches

First up and our overall favorite self-watering planter comes from Lechuza. As you’ll soon see, this brand has a heavy presence in this vertical with a variety of efficient pots that help you to cut down on the amount of work you need to do looking after your plants and herbs.

This planter is perfect for use indoors or outdoors. If you’re keeping plants outdoors, you’ll appreciate the drainage plug that allows any excess rainwater to escape rather than flooding your plants.

Planting couldn’t be easier with the Lechuza. The liner is easy to remove and the traditional cube style of the planter should slot in almost anywhere.

Choose from three colors all finished in a rugged but attractive plastic. The effect looks more like wicker or rattan, but you’ll get a much lengthier lifespan with this UV-resistant and frost-resistant plastic.

With the self-watering system baked in, you’ll ensure the roots of your plants get the level of moisture they need, and you won’t have to lift a finger to achieve this.

While most user reviews of this planter are positive, we can’t say the same for consumer attitudes toward the customer service arm of this company. Overall, though, you’re getting one of the best self-watering planters out there, and it’s also one of the most versatile.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Ideal indoors or outdoors
  • Resistant to frost and UV rays
  • Water level indicator
  • Customer service issues flagged

2. HBServices USA Self-Watering Garden Pot

8

Features

  • Height: 8 inches
  • Weight: 0.63 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 7.25 inches

Next up comes a compact self-watering planter that makes a great choice if you live in an apartment and have a windowsill garden.

This 8-inch pot is best for smaller plants and herbs. Choose from a wide palette of colors to mesh with your design scheme and introduce a pot that enhances the area, delivering more than just functional ease. If this size doesn’t make the right fit, there are other options available, both larger and smaller.

Once your plants are started off – you’ll typically need to water plants by hand for at least the first three weeks – you can leave them for up to two weeks without watering them and let this nifty container do it for you.

So, whether you’re heading off for a couple of weeks in the sun or you just have a black thumb and a busy schedule, you’ll have one less job to worry out with your plants watered automatically.

The patented design of this planter puts the self-watering function in the body of the planter. The reservoir is substantial enough to keep your plants going for up to 14 days.

At the bottom of the planter, slats encourage air to flow freely, properly circulating through your soil. Studded underneath, you won’t find this planter staining the floor either.

Although this planter could be more robust, it delivers in terms of its core functionality and saves you from watering all your plants by hand.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great for windowsill gardens
  • Floor standing
  • Self-aerating pot
  • Flimsy plastic build

3. Bloem Ariana Self-Watering Planter

Bloem-Ariana-Self-Watering-Planter

Features

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Weight: 2.75oz
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 x 5.1 inches

Next in line we have another compact self-watering planter, but one featuring a deceptively large planting area. What do you get for your money here, then?

Ideal for use both indoors and outdoors, this pot has a rolled rim in the traditional style, helping to maximize the planting area.

The centerpiece of this model is the self-watering disc. This will store water that can be absorbed by your plants on demand, saving you from constantly tending your plants, and also meaning you don’t need to worry about them when you’re away from home.

The container comes with optional drain holes you can punch out if desired. Most manufacturers offer all or nothing here, so it’s nice to get the choice.

The UV-stabilized plastic is built to withstand the elements, making this a neat outdoor pot as well as a great addition to windowsill gardens or indoor gardens. The matt finish not only looks great, but it also inhibits scratches and fingerprint smears.

Save yourself a job and let this efficient self-watering planter do all the hard yards for you. Just sit back and enjoy your flowers as they bloom.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Rolled rim
  • Generous planting area
  • Made from UV-resistant plastic
  • A few complaints about broken packages

4. GardenBasix Store Elongated Self-Watering Planter

Elongated-Self-Watering-Planter-Pots-Window-Box-5.5-x-16-inch

Features

  • Height: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 16 x 5.5 inches

GardenBasix delivers on the promise of their brand name with a deep bench of great garden accessories like this self-watering planter that are also priced keenly. If you fancy grabbing yourself a bargain, read on.

This is the smaller of the two planters on offer, measuring up at 16 x 5.5 inches. The rectangular container is finished in a lacquered plastic that makes a striking visual statement while ensuring you of a lengthy lifespan.

With drain holes punched into the bottom, you can comfortably use this planter indoors or outdoors. It also make a smart bet for windowsill or rooftop gardens.

You get some coconut coir soil thrown in with this planter. This might be a good option if you want to get going right out the box, but several disgruntled customers complain about the quality of this soil. When you add water to the coconut coir disc, it fluffs up into 1 quart of fibrous material. The lack of nutrients in coir means you should consider adding some nutrients so your plants thrive.

You can keep your eye on how much moisture your plants are getting with the water level indicator.

Almost all customer reviews praise the overall construction and planter itself. The complaints we found all center on the self-watering function, so if this is your primary reason for purchase, we would suggest exploring some of the models we review above and below.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Coconut coir soil included
  • Contains drain holes
  • Sleek aesthetics
  • Some complaints about self-watering feature

5. Hydrofarm Garden Planting Grow System

Hydrofarm-GCTR-10-Gal-Tomato-Garden-Planting-Grow-System

Features

  • Height: 30 inches
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 29.9 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches

Next up we have a slightly different slant on self-watering planters with this grow system with trellis wheels. If you grow lots of climbing plants like tomatoes, peas, and beans, you’ll find this all-in-one self-watering system makes your life much easier, while helping your plants to flourish.

The plastic planter comes on wheels to make it easier for you to shift it around the garden. While intended for use indoors or outdoors, the size and scale of this thing means it makes a better fit out in the yard.

The pot is substantial, with a 10-gallon capacity allowing you to grow copious quantities of climbing plants without needing to worry too much about watering them.

If you top up the user-friendly reservoir on this planter, your climbing plants will get all the water and nutrients they need delivered from below. You’ll sidestep the issues of overwatering and underwatering plants if you leave the distribution to this planter.

Take advantage of the three trellis sections to get some plants climbing next growing season, and do so without being chained to the watering can.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Lightweight trellis perfect for climbing plants
  • User-friendly reservoir system
  • Holds 10 gallons of material
  • Reasonably flimsy

6. Lechuza Balconera Self-Watering Garden Planter

Lechuza-15680-Balconera-Color-80-Self-Watering-Garden-Planter

Features

  • Height: 80 inches
  • Weight: 10.07 pounds
  • Dimensions: 31.1 x 7.48 x 7.48 inches

Another entry from the inimitable Lechuza is up next with this self-watering planter that’s perfect for use out on a balcony or windowsill. The low-slung design and spacious capacity makes this a superb option for apartment dwellers looking to streamline plant maintenance.

Choose from a handful of colors to brighten up your outside space. The container is made from a hard-wearing plastic that’s scratch-resistant and also capable of withstanding the elements.

Use the invisible brackets to mount this planter while maintaining a seamless look.

When you top up the reservoir on this planter, your plants will get the moisture and the nutrients they need delivered slowly. You won’t find them flooded with too much water, and you’ll never notice them parched and crying out for H20 either.

As with all self-watering plants, you should always get your plants started by watering them manually for at least two or three weeks. With this stage out of the way, you can then comfortably hand over the baton to a self-watering planter.

A water level indicator lets you keep your eye on moisture levels at a glance and completes a winning package from a brand you can trust.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Spacious planter
  • For use indoors or outdoors
  • Invisible support brackets
  • You need to water plants manually for 3 weeks

7. Santino Self-Watering Planter

Santino-10.6-Inch-Self-Watering-Planter-Asti-in-Grey/White

Features

  • Height: 10.6 inches
  • Weight: 14.4oz
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.6 x 7 inches

As we hit the midpoint of our self-watering planter reviews, we have a mid-sized model from Santino. How does this stack up, then?

You’ll first need to choose from a range of colors, so there’s something for everyone here. Whatever the colorway, you’ll get a planter that’s built to last. Made of hardwearing plastic treated with an attractive lacquered finish, this planter won’t let you down after a season or two.

If you’re not happy with the dimensions of this 10.6-inch planter, choose from multiple other sizes to suit.

This is a hanging planter, so you’ll need to mount it somewhere suitable.

Drainage holes in the inner pot encourage the air to circulate and help to nourish the roots of your plants.

A transparent viewing strip let you keep your eye on the water level without needing to open the planter.

The planter is made from a UV-stabilized material that’s suitable for outdoor use, so you have no niggling concerns if you choose to pick up this fine example of a self-watering planter.

Outperforming most other self-watering planters, this model promises to keep the roots of your plants moist for up to one month. We wouldn’t recommend going for this long without intervening and checking on your plants, but you’re getting a no-nonsense approach to plant care few other planters can rival.

Most user reviews of this planter are overwhelmingly positive, but we found several complaints about the fact you cannot remove the inner liner.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Broad array of colors
  • Lacquered finish
  • Promotes optimum air circulation
  • Cannot remove inner pot

8. Lechuza Cubico Self-Watering Garden Planter

Lechuza-Cubico-Color-30--(22-inches-Tall)-Self-Watering-Garden-Planter

Features

  • Height: 22 inches
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 22 inches

We have yet another entry from the Lechuza stable next with this highly effective self-watering planter.

The space-spacing cube shape of this planter allows you to place it in cramped areas without compromising on planting area.

The planting depth you’ll get with this model is 9 inches, so this should be more than enough for most purposes.

Finished in a matte plastic, you’ll get a hardwearing planter that works well indoors or outdoors without showing premature signs of wear.

There is a water level indicator baked in, so you’ll remove all the guesswork from caring for your plants, and you’ll be sure not to let them run dry of moisture.

As with all the best self-watering planters, this unit ensures that water and nutrients are delivered to your plants, right down to the roots, in a controlled and continuous fashion rather than flooding them through overwatering.

The liner on this planter is easy to remove, making every aspect of this model user-friendly and ideal if you’re just starting out on your gardening journey. The only real gripes we could find concerning this planter are centered on quality control issues, so check the contents of your delivery closely.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Easily removable liner
  • Understated design
  • Simple to use reservoir
  • Quality control concerns

9. Mkono Self-Watering Planter

Mkono-3-Pack-Self-Watering-Planter-African-Violet-Pots-Plastic-White-Flower-Plant-Pot

Features

  • Height: 7 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 7.8 inches

If you’re looking to streamline the watering of your house plants, Mkono offer one of the most versatile self-watering planters you’ll find to help you achieve this.

With this model, you can leave your plants for a straight ten days, and the self-watering system will drip-feed them the nutrients, water, and oxygen they need to thrive.

You can choose from this Large pot, or a Medium model. This variant stands 7 inches high, so it makes a wise bet if you have smaller plants you want contained and irrigated hands-free.

The twin-layered design of the pot allows water to be stored up and delivered to your plants through the wick rope it saturates.

Most users seem satisfied with this planter, but we found several complaints from customers stating the planter they received looked radically different to the photo in the product listing. We would suggest you do your due diligence here.

The manufacturer recommends not filling this planter to a depth of more than half an inch to prevent overwatering your plants. This can be just as dangerous as not giving them enough moisture, so get the balance right and let this planter take care of the rest.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Waters plants for up to 10 days
  • Double-layered
  • Ideal for displaying plants
  • Images in listing are misleading

10. Aquaphoric Self-Watering Planter

Aquaphoric-Self-Watering-Planter-(5”)

Features

  • Height: 5 inches
  • Weight: 11.3oz
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 5.25 x 5 inches

Next in line is a compact self-watering planter from Aquaphoric that gives you a budget approach to seamless gardening.

While this brand has a deep bench of planters of all varieties, this model is designed for use indoors as part of a window garden.

Choose from a wide selection of colors to mesh with your design scheme. The plastic has a matte finish and is designed to blend in rather than dominating your indoor garden.

This planter comes with some soil included, allowing you to get going right out the box, even if you’re a complete beginner just starting out on your planting journey. The soil bundled works wonderfully with fickle plants like succulents.

The planter comes from a company that sprang into life when the founders started growing plants indoors themselves. All their expertise comes to bear on equipment to make your life as easy as possible while growing plants indoors, and also ensuring those plants come out strong and healthy.

Keep your eye on the moisture level with the water indicator and you can rest easy that your plants won’t end up either parched or overwatered. We found some complaints about the accuracy of this indicator, though. This is about the extent of blowback concerning this model, with most user testimony pretty positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great for indoor gardens
  • Water level indicator
  • Fiber soil included
  • Indicator accuracy issues

11. Gardenix Self-Watering Planter

Gardenix-Decor-7''-Self-Watering-planters-for-Indoor-Plants

Features

  • Height: 7 inches
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.36 x 7.17 x 7.17 inches

Gardenix has a wide range of highly effective accessories for your garden and planting endeavors, including this self-watering planter for any of you out there with black thumbs.

As with all self-watering planters, you should first establish your plants by watering them manually for three weeks or so. After this stage, you can allow a system like this to take over. You can expect this system to water your plants for up to ten days without any supervision or intervention.

Made of polypropylene that’s built to cope with the elements, you can choose from several vibrant colors to add a splash of brightness to your garden.

The nested design lifts your plants up out of the water. Giving the roots too much moisture is just as harmful as not giving them enough moisture.

This planter comes with some organic coconut shell, ideal as a planting medium and allowing you to get going right out the box. All you’ll need is your preferred plants and you’re good to go. Ideally, you should combine the coconut coir with some regular soil to keep your soil’s pH levels in check.

Overall, this is a no-nonsense self-watering planter giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Several vibrant colors
  • Hardwearing polypropylene build
  • Doesn’t overwater your plants
  • Inner pot eats up lots of space

12. Vencer Self-Watering Planter

Vencer-11-Inch-Plastic-Round-Self-Watering-Planter

Features

  • Height: 11 inches
  • Weight: 1.46 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 5.1 inches

As we near the end of our collection of the best self-watering planters, we have a great example from Vencer that allows you to leave plants for up to 12 weeks without further watering.

If you’re shopping for this type of planter with self-watering uppermost in mind, this is arguably your best bet in a very crowded market segment.

You can see clearly how the plants are faring for moisture thanks to the water level indicator baked in.

Choose between a white or pale blue plastic if you’re looking for a way to grow plants indoors without eating up too much of your time tending them.

As with all the most effective planters in this class, you can sit back while the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients your plants need are delivered continuously and in a controlled fashion, meaning you won’t need to be chained to the watering can year-round.

The freestanding nature of this pot makes it a great choice for offices as well as homes, and gives you the chance to take all the sting out of caring for plants, enjoying the benefits without the hard work. As with all plants, though, you’ll need to water them by hand for a few weeks first until they take start growing.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Waters plants for 12 weeks
  • Water level indicator
  • Ideal for use indoors
  • Tray is slightly shallow

13. Glowpear Self-Watering Mini Bench Planter

Glowpear-Self-Watering-Mini-Bench-Planter

Features

  • Height: 24 inches
  • Weight: 7.48 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.6 x 8.8 x 10.1 inches

As we edge to the end of our self-watering planter reviews, we have a bench-style arrangement from Glowpear that’s well worth popping on your shortlist.

The size and nature of this planter means it works best used outdoors. The rugged polyethylene build should return years of faithful service without getting damaged by the elements.

Whether you’re looking to grow herbs, fruits, or veggies, this planter lets you cram in a variety of plants without needing to continually water them.

The simple but efficient irrigation system built into this unit delivers your plants all the nutrients and moisture they need without overwhelming them. Whether you’re going on vacation or you have a busy lifestyle and want to minimize the jobs you need to take care of in the garden, investing in this self-watering system is a cheap and cheerful way to get around tasky garden maintenance without your plants paying the price.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great for herbs, fruits, and veggies
  • Rugged build
  • Water level indicator
  • Some snags with indicators

14. GardenBasix Self-Watering Planter

GardenBasix-7-inch-Self-Watering-Planter-with-Coco-Potting-Soil-Indoor-Outdoor-Home-Garden

Features

  • Height: 7 inches
  • Weight: 3.36 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 6.3 inches

To round out our search for the best self-watering planters, we have another offering from the ever-reliable GardenBasix stable. How does this planter shape up, then?

Made from a long-lasting PP plastic finished in a choice of bright colors, these pots are sleek and minimalist, allowing your plants to take center stage.

The round floor-standing pots stand 7 inches tall, while providing a generous planting area inside for all your favorite blooms.

Due to the compact form factor of these planters, you’ll only fit enough water inside to keep your plants happy and hydrated for a week. If you need more performance from a self-watering planter, we review several models that will keep plants refreshed for weeks on end, perfect if you frequently take lengthy trips.

You get some coconut coir included with this planter. This medium works well for planting a wide range of flowers, veggies, and seedlings.

You’ll find it easy to keep your eye on water levels thanks to the handy indicator baked in, so there’s absolutely no excuse for not giving your plants all the water and nutrients they need. Sit back and let this planter do it all for you.

If you’re looking to raise small plants indoors the easy way, this is one of the best self-watering planters for that purpose.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Choice of colors
  • Optional soil package
  • Floor standing pot
  • Not good for bigger plants

II. FAQs

1) Are self-watering planters any good?

If you often forget to water indoor plants and end up with parched or dead plants, one of these devices is invaluable. Anyone who spend lots of time away from home, whether on vacation or business trips, would also likely benefit from a self-watering planter. Beyond that, anyone who enjoys plants and herbs but hates looking after them would also likely appreciate the helping hand extended by the best self-watering planters.

2) How does a self-watering planter work?

For at least a few weeks, but ideally a few months, you should water your plants by hand from above. This allows the roots the chance to properly establish themselves. After this point, you’ll be free to top up the reservoir on your self-watering planter and allow it to take over. Water, nutrients, and oxygen are drawn in by the roots as required, avoiding the issues of both underwatering and overwatering, while making your life easier along the way.

3) Which plants benefit most from a self-watering planter?

All plants that need frequent watering would benefit strongly from a self-watering planter. Basil and parsley are both thirsty herbs that respond well to being hydrated with a self-watering system.

4) Is it possible for a self-watering planters to rot the roots of a plant?

Sometimes, self-watering plants cause issues with the roots rotting. This occurs with plants that need the potting soil dried out between watering sessions. This applies to most cacti, succulents, and orchids, as well as many common indoor houseplants.

5) How long will a self-watering planter take care of my plants for?

This varies from a few days to a few weeks, and in some cases even a few months.

6) Which potting mix works best in a self-watering planter?

Vermiculite and perlite both work well, as does coir fiber, organic compost, and all-purpose fertilizer. Experiment until you find the best fit for the plants and flowers you’re growing.


III. Conclusion

We trust today’s comprehensive guide to the best self-watering planters has given you plenty of options ideal for both indoor and outdoor gardens.

We included planters in a range of different sizes to suit, and we have highlighted the drawbacks of these planters rather than only focusing on what they do well. Stick with any of the planters we review today and you’re in safe hands, able to buy with your eyes open.

You may end up running across a self-watering planter we didn’t review. If this happens, we hope you find our buying guide makes it easier for you to evaluate it.

Now, we have a very busy content calendar as summer turns into fall. We update our content daily, too, so make sure you bookmark Wild River Country and pop back very soon!

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