Home & Garden Trees & Houseplants

What Are the Benefits of Self-Watering Planters?


    • One of the chief benefits of self-watering containers is convenience. For busy people who find it difficult to keep up with watering their container garden or houseplants, self-watering planters are the answer. With the reservoir full, gardeners can go several days without checking their plants. Self-watering planters are also an ideal way for people who travel to keep their container garden healthy, according to horticulturist Charlie Nardozzi and Dr. Leonard Perry, an extension professor at the University of Vermont.

    Healthy Plants

    • Consistent watering is essential to growing healthy plants in a planter. Drying out is one danger of conventional container gardens, but poor drainage is also an issue of concern in traditional planters because too much water and not enough oxygen around the roots can drown a plant. Self-watering planters offer improved drainage, taking the guesswork out of how much or often to water. Plants grown in this type of container have on-demand access to water and nutrients without the danger of root rot.

    Less Waste

    • Another advantage of self-watering containers is more efficient use of water and nutrients. Unlike traditional pots where the water drains out of the hole in the bottom of the pot and onto the ground, the reservoir in a self-watering container reserves the water and other added liquid nutrients until the plant is ready to use them. As that wasted water leaks out of a regular planter, it can cause damage and discoloration to decking or concrete patios.


    • How long you can go without adding water to the reservoir on your self-watering planter is largely dependent on the size of the reservoir and its location. A larger reservoir means it will hold more water and you will need to fill it less often. If your planter is located outside in a sunny area or a hot climate, you may need to fill the reservoir every few days. It is also dependent on the water requirements of the plants you grow and whether you add a layer of mulch to the surface of the potting mix to help limit the amount of water that evaporates away.

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