Gardening Guides

25 Self Watering Plants Ideas [Easy Guide for Beginners]

Self watering plants?! Have plants started fetching water for themselves now? (Imagine how much trouble that would save us.) Sadly, no. 

Gardeners still have to take care of the water needs of their plants. But if your water-forgetfulness or vacay plans often get in the way, we have just the solution for you—self watering plants.

These are simply smart planters and pots doing the watering work for you. They don’t just keep your plants topped up with the right amount of moisture but are also water-wise and easy to get started on.

self watering rectangular balcony planter
self watering rectangular balcony planter

This article lists the best self watering plants ideas for you. From fancy, modern planters to watering globes and wicks, you’ll find something that fits your space and style. 

For the DIYer in you, there’s a step-by-step guide to building a self watering system for your plants. 

Alright, let’s begin!

Self Watering Plants Explained

You might wonder what exactly self watering plants are and how they work.

Well, they’re planters and containers, but not the ordinary kind. They come with a reservoir that stores water for thirsty plants.

self watering plant pots
self watering plant pots

There are different types of planters that work on this system. Most come with double-layered pots, one to grow plants in, the other to store water.

You will also see some water globes that slowly drip water into the soil. And of course, the old-school wicking system that helps keep the soil moist. 

There’s truly no dearth of choice when it comes to self watering plants options.

Best Self Watering Plants Ideas

Whether you’re cursed with an awfully black thumb, or your vacay plans are often a threat to your plants, fret not.

self watering water planters
self watering water planters

These self watering planters are here to wipe that worry off your brow. Take a look.

1. Simple Water Planter

A smart planter with a raised bed is all you need to make your gardening journey smooth like butter.

self watering planter
self watering planter

It’s simple to use and assemble. It comes with a water reservoir to keep the soil moist and a water level indicator.

Not to forget that with the elevated bed, there’s no need for crouching or kneeling.

2. Watering Container

Do you spend weekends with friends and family, far from home? Well then, a watering container is for you. 

self watering containers
self watering containers

There’s a water reservoir at the bottom of the container, allowing the soil to draw moisture naturally. You can go without watering your plants for a week. 

Tip: The planter is compact. You can keep it indoors to add greenery to your living space.

3. Self Watering Pots

Here’s another great way to save time and energy on watering your plants every day. These pots store enough water for as many as 10 days.

white self watering pots
white self watering pots

They are light, portable, and attractive to look at. Ornamental and flowering houseplants will look lovely in these pots.

4. Watering Globe for Pots

If you don’t want to invest a lot in smart pots, watering globes can be the answer.

watering globe for plants
watering globe for plants

These globes are refillable, reusable, and quite fancy. They release water slowly into the soil so you don’t even have to worry about overwatering your plants.

5. Auto Watering Planters

Another way to keep your plants from withering is by using auto-watering planters. They come with a reservoir at their base to keep the soil moist. 

auto watering planters
auto watering planters

Tip: Go for varied pot sizes and colors for a quirky and eye-catching green corner.

6. Bottle Plant Waterer

As the name suggests, this self-watering solution looks like an upturned water bottle. It features a valve you can control to check the amount of water your plants get.

bottle plant waterer
bottle plant waterer

You can use it to water your houseplants, hanging baskets, railing planters, and more.

7. Self Watering Planter Boxes

Railing planters can add a punch of color to your patio or balcony. And now, you don’t even have to worry about the upkeep of your plants. Your planter will take care of it.

self watering planter boxes outdoor
self watering planter boxes outdoor

Simply mount your self watering planter over the railing and grow plants of your choice in it. You can make it ornamental with colorful blooms. Or you can grow herbs in it for your kitchen.

8. Self Watering Globes

Now here’s an inexpensive, easy-to-use, and cute self-watering plant idea. The tiny bird-shaped watering globes can store water for two weeks.

self watering globes
self watering globes

Simply fill the bulbs with water, insert them into the soil, and forget about your plants for weeks. 

Tip: Wrap the spout of the bulb with a cotton cloth to prevent clogging or water from flowing too fast.

9. Plain Terracotta Watering Spikes

You can also turn your old and useless bottles into self-watering plants. How? With terracotta watering spikes. They are designed to securely hold long-necked bottles. 

plain terracotta water spike with bottle
plain terracotta water spike with bottle

Fill the bottles with water, attach terracotta spikes on top, and push them into the soil. The spikes will provide a slow drip of water to the roots and keep the soil moist.

10. Self Watering Kitty Bulbs

These self watering bulbs shaped like adorable kitties are sure to catch the eye. They are easy-to-use and ideal for small house plants. Fill them with water and carefully insert them into your pots. That’s all. 

self watering bulbs
self watering bulbs

Feel free to leave your plants in the care of your kitties. They know exactly how much water the plants will need.

11. Self Watering Plants Wick Watering

Wick watering can let you off the hook if you forget to water your plants or go out of town often. But how does it work?

wick watering
wick watering

It’s quite simple. You’ll need to put one end of the cotton wick into your planter and the other into a water source. The wick will slowly suck water and keep your plants hydrated.

Good to know: The process is similar to capillary action, something that plants do naturally through their roots and stems.

12. Self Watering Hanging Planters

Hanging planters can dress up your fences, balcony roof, patio, and even indoors. Plus this time, you don’t have to worry about watering them. 

self watering hanging planter
self watering hanging planter

Opt for the ones that come with detachable water-storage trays, like in the image above. The planter will keep your plants well-watered and also prevent root rot.

13. Self Watering Hanging Baskets

Self-watering plants also come in the shape of attractive, double-layered baskets. The inner basket is a drainer that allows excess water to get through. The outer basket acts as a water reservoir. 

self watering hanging basket
self watering hanging basket

Idea: Plant trailers like pothos, spider plant, or string of pearls in your basket for a nice green waterfall effect.

14. Self Watering Indoor Planters

Here’s a sleek and modern self-watering planter idea for your house. The planter comes with a reservoir at its base for the roots to absorb water from. 

self watering indoor planter
self watering indoor planter

It also has a water-level indicator so you know exactly when your reservoir needs to be refilled. A blessing for the forgetful gardener, truly.

15. Self Watering Outdoor Planters

Looking for a classy self watering planter for your entryway, porch, or patio? Here’s one. 

self watering outdoor planter
self watering outdoor planter

The planter is quite versatile. You can use it for what it is—a self watering planter. Or you can keep small potted plants in it with the adjustable liner.

16. Terracotta Watering Spikes with Hose

An easy approach towards self-watering plants is using a watering spike with a hose. How does it work?

terracotta watering spikes with hose
terracotta watering spikes with hose

You’ll need to push the spike into the soil. Put the hose at the bottom of your water container. As the soil dries, the spike will gradually start drawing water as needed.

17. Self Watering Mushroom Bulbs

Seen mushrooms popping up in your planters? Don’t worry, they’re not wild or poisonous. They’re there to water your plants for you. 

self watering mushroom bulbs
self watering mushroom bulbs

These decorative, self-watering mushrooms are made of glass. Fill them with water, flip, and press them into the soil. Easy-breezy!

18. Self Watering Wicking Pots

Transparent pots that wick water upwards from a reservoir can be your go-to option for two reasons. 

wicking pots
wicking pots

One, wicking pots are perfect for finicky houseplants that need to be watered regularly. And two, you’ll be able to see the water level inside the glass pot. Win-win!

19. Self Watering Herb Planter

If you are a herb garden sort of a person but also find it difficult to keep your herbs alive, we have just the thing for you, a rectangular herb planter.

self watering herb planter
self watering herb planter

This self watering herb planter sits on top of a water storage box and absorbs water through a cotton rope. Simply plant your herbs in it, sit back, and watch them grow.

20. Wine Bottle Plant Waterer

Upcycle old wine bottles as self watering plants. It’s almost effortless and saves both time and money.

wine bottle plant waterer
wine bottle plant waterer

Fill the bottles with water, attach them to clay watering spikes and insert them in your potted plants.

Tip: Since clay watering spikes are fragile, better dig a hole in the soil before pushing them into the soil.

21. Large Self Watering Pots

For plants with a deep root system, it’s best to opt for large pots. And because you don’t want to fret over your plant’s upkeep, why not give a try to large self-watering planters?

large self watering pots
large self watering pots

They come with a built-in tray to keep your plants well-watered. Plus, you can keep them indoors without worrying about water leaking into the floor.

22. Self Watering Bottle Garden

In the mood for a DIY project? Create an easy-to-maintain, self watering container garden on your balcony, porch, or patio. You’ll need only some water bottles for the project. 

self watering bottle garden
self watering bottle garden

Punch a hole the size of a pea in the cap of the bottle. Then wrap a porous cloth around the hole to keep it from clogging and insert it in your planter. Or simply get a spike from your local garden center.

23. Self Watering Vertical Garden

For those short on gardening space, here’s a vertical self-watering planter idea for you. You can grow herbs, veggies, flowers, and much more in it. Just water the top portion and you’re done.

self watering vertical garden outside
self watering vertical garden outside

The planter comes with a water reservoir on each layer, plus, a bonus drip tray at the bottom. What more do you need?

24. Bottom Watering Planters

Looking for something easy and inconspicuous? Here’s one. The planter looks just like an ordinary ceramic plant pot but has an inbuilt reservoir for water.

bottom watering planter
bottom watering planter

No one will know your plants are self-watering. Plus, you don’t even have to worry about getting drips on the floor or carpet.

25. Watering Tray

Did you know seeds can water themselves, too? Well, yes they can, with watering trays like in the image below.

self watering tray
self watering tray

These come with matting to help retain water and also distribute it evenly to all seedlings. Grow seeds, transplant them, then reuse the tray for the next bunch!

Self Watering Plants DIY Guide

You can hope for your friendly neighbors to keep your plants watered when you’re out vacating.

Or, you can give a go to this easy water-wicking DIY, and rest assured your plants are enjoying your absence, too.

You’ll need a thick cotton string and a water container for this DIY.

Step 1 - Cut the String

How long or short? Depends on how far you keep the water reservoir from your plants. A decent length would be about 20cm.

Cut a string for each plant that needs watering.

Tip: Use thick cotton or nylon strings so that the water is easily absorbed. 

Step 2 - Place the String in Soil and Water

One end of the string will go several inches under the soil. The other end will be placed in the water container.

You can use one container for all your plants, or go for a separate one for each. 

Step 3 - Add Water

Fill the container with water and also water your plants to start the process.

Once the soil begins to dry, the cotton strings will automatically start absorbing water from the container to keep your plants hydrated.

Make sure you don’t forget to refill your container when the water level goes down.

Self Water Plants: Common Questions

Convenient, water-efficient, and time-saving. Yes, self-watering plants are all of that and more. There aren’t many reasons why you should run away from them. 

Sill, if you have your doubts, maybe these answers will help clear them. 

How do self watering plants work?

Self watering planters work on a simple reservoir system. The planters store water for when the soil starts getting dry and the plants thirsty. Slowly, the soil soaks up water from the reservoir, so long as it is filled.

How do you make your plants water themselves?

There are many ways to go about it. One, you can use double-layered planters that store water.

Two, opt for a simple water wicking system.

Three, you can also insert watering globes or bottles to make the plants water themselves.

How long can I go without watering my plants?

Depends on the size of the reservoir. Typically, if your reservoir is full, you can go for a week or so without having to water your plants.

It’s best to check the level of water left every once in a while. To stop worrying, you can get an efficient self watering reservoir.

What plants do well in self watering pots?

Container gardening is great for urban gardeners, but it’s also a bit limiting.

Grow houseplants, herbs, vines, and ornamental plants that don’t take up too much space.

Lilies, violets, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, etc. thrive in self watering pots.

Let Your Plants Look After Themselves!

Plant parents don’t have to babysit their little green babies day in and day out. Plants are now capable of looking after themselves. 

Self-watering plants are an easy solution for those who have trouble committing to a regular watering schedule. Or the frequent nomads who also have a penchant for gardening. 

self watering planters in the balcony
self watering planters in the balcony

But there are many more benefits of using self watering planters. You can save water, do without fertilizing your plants, and get gardening even if you’re space modest.

Time to get started on a self watering journey, for yourself and your plants. Got more questions about these awesome self-sufficient plants? We’re all ears. 

Happy carefree gardening!

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