Should You Use a Self-Watering Pot?

living color garden center self watering pot with plant on coffee table

Self-watering pots have become quite the trend lately. With an uptick of green thumbs and houseplant enthusiasts eager to keep their garden and plants in good condition, it’s no wonder that the green industry has responded with new tactics and inventions to keep plants healthy and thriving. But are self-watering pots worth the investment? Find out all of the pros and cons here to decide for yourself.

living color garden center self watering pots measuring device

How Do Self-Watering Pots Work?

When you purchase a self-watering pot, it will usually include a growing bed, water reservoir, potting soil, and a wicking system. Self-watering pots use this wicking system to distribute the perfect amount of water to keep your plants moist. The roots of the plants in the self-watering pot will absorb water, and once the roots have had enough, any additional water will be wicked up by the soil to maintain a consistent moisture level. This bottom-up watering system just requires you to keep the reservoir filled with water throughout the growing season.

Pro: They Are Extremely Convenient 

When looking at the pros and cons of self-watering pots or any gardening device, convenience tops the charts for importance. Between our generally busy lives and long gardening to-do lists, a self-watering pot can save you time and let you spend more time relaxing in your outdoor oasis.

Con: They Are Not Good for Very Thirsty Plants

Plenty of plants can do well in self-watering pots: vegetables, herbs, annuals, and perennials will be just fine and can even thrive within a self-watering system. One of the cons of self-watering pots is that plants that need very moist soil may struggle with the bottom-up watering system. Self-watering pots will never properly soak a thirsty aquatic plant like umbrella palm or fiber-optic plant. Choosing the right type of plant to go into your self-watering pot is key.

living color garden center self watering pots watering with soaker hose

Pro: They Are Environmentally Sustainable

Consider the environmental pros of self-watering pots. These devices are built to conserve water and distribute it in just the right amount at the right time. Using a self-watering pot will cut down on time using the sprinkler or hose. If you’re a chronic over-waterer, a self-watering pot will definitely be a great garden sidekick for you. 

Con: They Don’t Do Well in Wet or Humid Environments

One of the cons to consider with self-watering pots is that they cannot detect the weather or environmental factors. Self-watering pots release water to the plants no matter how humid it is or how much rain is in the forecast. If you live in a very humid area or have a particularly rainy season, you’ll need to keep an eye on your self-watering pot to ensure your plants don’t become water-logged and rotten. That’s one of the cons of self-watering pots: sometimes, humans are the pros!

living color garden center self watering pots planting in outdoor pot

Pro: Self-Watering Pots Come in a Variety of Styles

As self-watering pots become more trendy, manufacturers are finding new ways to help gardeners express their style. There are simple pots in black, white, or concrete, larger planter styles, or entire wall features or window boxes. Decide what plants you’ll be putting in self-watering pots and where you’d like to keep them, then pick out the perfect pot for the job.

Con: There’s a Higher Price Point

Of course, buying a standard pot or planter is the more economical option. Self-watering pots are more involved when it comes to initial set-up and require some extra parts to keep them running efficiently. Prices will completely depend on the size and style you choose. One way to look at it is this: self-watering pots can help save you money on your water bill and can prevent you from having to run to the store to replace parched or over-watered plants.

Pro: You Can Enjoy Your Vacation Without Worrying About Your Plants While You’re Gone

Rave reviews from vacationers proclaim how happy they were to leave their garden unattended for a few weeks, fearing for the worst. Lo and behold, the self-watering pots kept their flowers and vegetables well-watered and even thriving. Be sure the reservoir is filled before leaving, and if you’re feeling unsure, you can have a friend or neighbor check up on the self-watering pot over time.

living color garden center self watering pots homemade with bottle

Con: You Could Make It Yourself

While it’s not really a con, there are many ways to create your own self-watering system. If you’re a DIY-lover, you may opt to try your hand at making it yourself. With many tutorials online on how to build your own, you may find it a more economical and fun way to improve your garden.

Self-watering pots can be very helpful for the busy gardener. If you’ve got more questions about self-watering pots in Fort Lauderdale, contact us or come by our store so we can help you make the best decisions for your home and garden.

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