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One of the biggest hurdles to growing healthy plants is watering them correctly. The best self-watering planters can help both novice and experienced gardeners give their plants the water they need to thrive without overdoing it. When you’re shopping, look for pots with water reservoirs that are easy to fill and allow water to pass up to the plants’ roots. Also make note of the planters’ individual dimensions and double-check that they’re a suitable size for your plants, as photos can sometimes be misleading. If you’d prefer to take a fairly hands-off approach, you may want to try a high-tech indoor garden that self-regulates both the water and light, rather than a basic self-watering pot.
Standard self-watering planters typically feature two layers — an interior liner and an exterior pot. At the bottom of the exterior pot, you’ll find a water reservoir which steadily draws up water through the soil to the plants’ roots. One of the major perks of self-watering planters is that they distribute the water over time, which means you don’t have to water your plants as often. (This comes in handy when you’re away on vacation, for example.) Some planters come with watering ports and water-level indicators, which aren’t strictly necessary but can make watering easier and help you keep track of how full the reservoir is. Alternatively, you can add terra-cotta stakes to transform your existing planters or garden beds into self watering ones.
From a sleek automated grow system to pots of different shapes and sizes, here are the best self-watering planters you can snag on Amazon.
There’s a lot to love about this Santino self-watering pot, including that it comes in six sizes and eight colors, giving you plenty of options to suit your specific plant and decor needs. The pot is made of a UV-stable plastic you can use outside, too.
Each planter features a watering port to make refilling it easier — plus, the port shuts and blends into the body of the pot when not in use. Underneath the watering port is a small window so that you never have to worry about overfilling the reservoir. The 10-ounce reservoir can provide water for your plant for up to four weeks at a time. The planter comes with a drainage cartridge, which rests at the bottom of the interior pot and pulls moisture up from the reservoir.
Positive Amazon review: “I love this planter! Never had anything like it….and will never buy any other planter again. There is a little window at the bottom of the pot so I can see when it needs water. In addition it has a little slide open spout or whatever that makes watering soooo easy.”
- Dimensions of planter: 6.9 by 5.9 inches (diameter by height)
Growing plants from seeds can be a finicky process, but Click and Grow’s sleek Smart Garden 3 makes it practically effortless. This high-tech self-watering planter has a 40-ounce water reservoir and energy-efficient LED grow lights to provide your seedlings with the water and light they need. To set it up, just insert the plant pods, fill the water tank, and plug it in. Click and Grow offers more than 50 plant pods for you to choose from including basil, thyme, flowers, and kale. And if they don’t sell the kind of plant you’d like to grow, you can snag seedless soil pods, which you can use with any seeds you want. The Click and Grow is best for growing seedlings and small plants — since you may need to move plants to a larger pot if they outgrow their pods.
The Click and Grow comes with a 100% replacement warranty. This compact model weighs just 3.5 pounds, holds three plants at a time, and is ideal for small spaces. If you’re looking for a larger system, try the nine-pod AeroGarden Bounty Basic.
Positive Amazon review: “Amazingly easy to [set up] and use. Basil sprouted after only a couple days and my basil plants are huge now! Seriously well worth the money and ultra easy to use.”
- Dimensions of planter: 9 by 4.9 by 12.5 inches (length by width by height)
If you’re looking for a self-watering window box planter, this indoor/outdoor GardenBasix planter is a great choice. It comes with coconut coir disks, which absorb the water from the reservoir and slowly release it. Plus, the built-in water level indicator ensures that you’ll always know how full the reservoir is. The exterior of the planter has a matte finish and is available in black or white.
However, there’s also a smaller, more wallet-friendly option available. If you’re on a strict budget, check out this set of planters instead.
Positive Amazon review: “The GardenBasix self watering planter pot is made of quality materials, easy to assemble and makes watering plants convenient. […] The aesthetically pleasing design works with almost every style.”
- Dimensions of planter: 20 by 8 by 8 inches (length by width by height)
Upgrade your plain hanging planters with self-watering Foraineam planters. The exterior of the planter is made of durable plastic but looks just like rattan, according to reviewers, and adds a sweet touch to your home, porch, or patio. The chain measures 17.7 inches.
Unlike the other planters on this list, you have to fill this pot from the top (as with regular pots), but the inner pot has plenty of drainage to allow water to drip through to the reservoir below as you water it. And that’s all for the best — a hanging planter with a watering port would be difficult to fill without spilling.
Positive Amazon review: “This hanging pot is adorable. Looks more expensive than it is, and the bright white is exactly what I wanted. I keep the plug in the bottom so it self waters the plant all week, but you can open it for drainage if you want. These really look great from the street, and I’ve gotten lots of compliments from neighbors.”
- Dimensions of planter: 10.2 by 6.1 inches (diameter by height)
Don’t want to transplant existing plants into a new planter? You can turn a standard planter or garden bed into a self-watering one by adding some Plant Pals terra-cotta watering spikes. They’re really easy to use — just secure the stake in the soil, then gently flip an old wine bottle filled with water into it. The water will make its way through the terra-cotta and slowly release into the ground. While they might not be the cutest option, they are definitely an effective low-tech irrigation system. Use them in your outdoor garden beds or add them to indoor pots when you go on vacation.
Positive Amazon review: “Keep plants watered, whether on vacation or forgetful – or both, in my experience.”
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