We’ve all been there.
Your newly-potted plants look so healthy in their planter, and you’re happily looking forward to enjoying the bounty of produce or blossoms.
Until the watering problems start. Maybe you forgot to give your plants a drink for too long, or perhaps you were a little overzealous in your watering.
Don’t feel bad! Pretty much anyone who’s grown a plant in their life (myself included!) has had at least a few horticultural fatalities along the way. And most commonly, improper watering is the primary cause of death.
So why not take some of the pressure off of yourself? With their clever construction that retains excess water and lets your plant absorb it at their own pace, self-watering pots can literally be a lifesaver.
Today, we’ll look at the details of 17 of the best self-watering planters. To make things a little easier, we’ll break them up into 4 main categories:
- Vegetable gardening
- Outdoor decor
- Hanging baskets
Let’s get started!
Houseplants are completely dependent on you to supply all the water they need to grow. And finding the right balance between enough water and too much can be tricky!
Or what about when you have to leave your plants while you’re gone on a trip? Maybe you’ve asked a neighbor or friend to take care of your plants while you’re gone, only to return to less-than-stellar results.
Self-watering planters can relieve all these stressors for you. Just fill the reservoir as needed, and your plants get the moisture they need when they need it.
It’s a win all around!
1. HBServices 6-Inch Self Watering + Self Aerating Planter
This option from HBServices is your standard planter with a couple of very smart design upgrades.
This planter features 3 pieces:
- An upper pot with elevated legs and a slatted bottom
- A lower water reservoir tray
- A clip-on watering attachment
The upper pot’s slatted bottom allows roots to grow downwards into the water, and the elevated legs prevent the soil from becoming water-logged.
If you need to travel or just want to reduce your watering chores, this planter is perfect: The reservoir tray can hold enough water to last up to 2 weeks!
A very helpful addition is the watering spout on the lower tray. This little piece snaps into place and allows you to easily add water without having to soak your soil or take the pot apart.
When it comes to color and size, you got options! Color choices are black (pictured), white, blue, green and plum. We’ve featured the 6-inch size here, but HBSerivces also offers this pot in 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch sizes.
One downside is the fairly large gap between the upper pot and the lower tray. Even though this gap serves to allow for healthy airflow, the look of it may be off-putting to some people.
2. Gardenix Decor 7-Inch Self Watering Planters
This set of three self-watering pots from Gardenix offers a strong combination: A clean, simple look and an effective design.
These pots have a two-piece construction that consists of an outer shell and an inner pot. The outer shell houses the reservoir, and the elevated inner pot keeps the bulk of your plant’s roots elevated above the water level. As a result, your plant stays properly hydrated without getting water-logged.
To refill your reservoir, either add water directly into the soil or lift the inner pot to pour water into the reservoir. But if you choose the latter option, you may struggle to remove the inner pot without jostling your plant.
Depending on your specific plant’s needs, this pot’s reservoir holds enough water for up to 10 days! What’s more, an upright water gauge gives you a clear view of the water level at all times.
Along with your planters, you also receive a hockey puck-like pellet of coconut coir. With the addition of a little water, this pellet morphs into a fluffy mass that transmits moisture to your plant’s roots while also providing healthy aeration.
Whether you prefer neutral colors or bolder shades, you should find one you like among 5 color options:
- Gray (pictured)
- Terra cotta
3. GardenBasix Elongated Self Watering Planter Pots
If you’re looking to go beyond the basic round planter, this rectangular option from GardenBasix offers a nice alternative. And the self-watering features are hard to beat!
The planter has a perforated inner pot that sits above the lower reservoir, letting the roots grow down into the water. Your planter also includes coconut coir potting mix, which wicks the water from the reservoir and into the soil.
Refilling your planter is a breeze with a water inlet port that leads directly to the reservoir. No need to disturb your plants or give too much water to species that prefer dry conditions! A handy water level indicator also lets you see at a glance if it’s time to refill.
At 16 inches long and 5.5 inches wide, you have enough space to plant a windowsill herb garden or have a nice array of small houseplants.
However, this planter is too small for plants that are larger or have extensive root systems.
4. Santino 11.8 Inch Self Watering Planter
This simple planter form Santino offers clean lines that complement a variety of plants as well as your household decor.
Using the standard two-piece construction of an elevated inner pot and an outer shell, this planter keeps your plant hydrated and healthy.
One feature we really like is the water level indicator on the lower edge. Instead of trying to remember when you last watered your plants and guessing at the water level, just take a glance at your planter!
Santino offers this pot in your choice of nine colors, and you can also decide if you want one large pot (like what we’ve featured here) or a set of three smaller ones.
And if you need more size options, don’t worry: This pot is available in sizes ranging from 7.1 inches to 12.6 inches.
One area that may present a problem is the refilling process. Once you’ve filled your inner pot with soil and a plant, it’s hard to remove it to put more water in the reservoir. This leaves you with the option of watering directly into the soil. This may be problematic for plants that prefer dry soil, like succulents, spider plants and orchids.
5. Vanavazon 6-Inch Self Watering Planter Pots
Not all plants appreciate their roots being exposed to pooled water all the time, and this set of three self-watering planters is the perfect solution!
These Vanavazon planters use a cotton rope as an on-demand water delivery mechanism. Only the rope stays in the water, and the absorbent material wicks water from the reservoir and transfers it into the soil.
Another clever feature is the water inlet port that makes refilling your planters a breeze. When fully filled, the reservoir holds enough water to sustain your plants for up to a week.
And you’ll never struggle to guess whether you need to add water thanks to the clear plastic reservoir!
The simple white upper pot looks clean and modern without being a distraction. And if you prefer, these planters are also available in dark gray.
The only downside we can point out is that the upper and lower compartments fit together very tightly and can be hard to separate. However, you’ll probably only run into this issue if you want to clean the reservoir.
6. Gardenix Decor 6-Inch Self-Watering Succulent Pots
The biggest danger to succulents of all types is not under-watering, but overwatering. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip the guesswork when it comes to watering just enough water to keep them healthy?
Now you can, with this set of Gardenix self-watering pots designed specifically with a succulent’s needs in mind.
The set includes:
- Three 6-inch pots with separate inner and outer layers
- Three water level indicators
- One coconut coir pellet (when hydrated, this pellet produces enough soil to fill all three pots)
Each inner layer sits on four legs that allow just the root tips to reach the water, putting your succulent in charge of how deciding how much water they need. Depending on your species, you may only need to fill the reservoir every couple of weeks!
We really like how Gardenix made it easy to refill this planter. The water level indicators sit in a slatted compartment that feeds into the reservoir. When the indicator shows a low water level, pour water directly through the upper slats and into the reservoir. Easy!
At 6 inches in diameter, these planters are a little too large for single baby succulents. Instead, use these planters for established, larger succulents or groupings of smaller ones.
RELATED: Wondering if your succulent is outgrowing their current planter? Visit our post on Repotting Succulents to learn about the key growth signs to look for and how to repot safely.
Best Self-Watering Planters for Vegetables
Edible plants are notorious for the massive amounts of water they require. And no wonder, considering how hard they have to work to produce vegetables and fruits!
But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to get out the hose or watering can multiple times a day. Instead, let these self-watering vegetable planters do some of the heavy work for you!
Just fill it and forget it (for a while anyway!)
7. KETER Urban Bloomer 12.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed
Keter offers a few options for large-scale self-watering planters, and this one has a great combination of stylish form and reliable function.
You’ll find the self-watering feature at the bottom of the planting tray, in the form of two long, narrow depressions. Water thoroughly through the soil, and the excess water collects in the reservoir, ready for your plants to soak up as needed.
Even though it may seem like you’re watering blindly, the helpful water level indicator provides you with some much-needed guidance. Shaped like a cute sprout, the indicator is green on the top and red on the bottom.
If you can see any of the red, you’ve added too much water, so open the drain plug and let some out. When your green sprout sinks low, it’s time to refill!
The generously sized planting box measures 32.3 inches long and 14.7 inches wide. This should give you enough room to fit several herb plants and a few larger ones like peppers or greens.
You also get a helpful seed-starting tray that easily lifts out when it’s time to transfer your seedlings into the deeper soil.
8. EarthBox Garden Kit
Speaking from personal experience, the EarthBox uses a multi-piece system to deliver outstanding results with a minimum of space.
Your EarthBox Kit includes:
- A 24- x 12.5-inch planting box with built-in overflow drainage
- An elevated aerating screen
- A watering tube
- Dolomite (mineral supplement)
- Caster wheels (optional to use)
- Black plastic covering
To assemble, fit the aeration screen into the planting box, and insert the watering tube into the round opening. Then fill your EarthBox with soil, amendments and plants according to the instruction sheet.
To fill the reservoir, add water through the black tube until you see water run out through the drainage hole in the lower front of the planting box. With this built-in overflow drainage, it’s impossible to overfill!
The reservoir holds 3 gallons, so it should last at least a few days even in hot temperatures.
The aeration screen serves the dual purpose of preventing the soil from becoming overly saturated and promoting healthy airflow to the roots. This encourages growth and bountiful production.
The only gripe we have is the lack of a water level indicator. But if you’re ever in doubt, just add water until you see it run out.
9. Emsco Easy Picker Raised Bed Grow Box
This planter uses a very similar self-watering system as the EarthBox that we just covered: Your plants rest on an aeration tray and you fill the reservoir through the water tube.
However, there are several notable differences between the EarthBox and the Easy Picker:
Height. The Easy Picker stands 30 inches tall, making it easy to tend to your plants without having to bend or stoop. This can make it much easier for seniors or those with a disability to enjoy gardening.
Portability. Emsco specifically designed the Easy Picker for use in small spaces. Four caster wheels roll easily over smooth surfaces to let you follow the sun throughout the day or move your planter around on a crowded patio.
(Even though the EarthBox does come with caster wheels, bending over to push the planter is a little more challenging.)
Also, the Easy Picker holds 2 gallons of water as opposed to the EarthBox’s 3-gallon capacity. If you’ll be rolling your planter around frequently, the lighter load will be easier to move.
Shape. At 24 inches long and 20 inches wide, the Easy Picker has more of a square shape than the EarthBox. This gives the elevated frame a greater degree of stability.
Built-in storage. The Easy Picker has a convenient lower storage shelf that keeps your garden essentials in easy reach.
One thing to be aware of: The caster wheels can be hard to use on rough terrain (like grass) and they may get jostled loose.
Best Outdoor Decor Self-Watering Planters
Although outdoor plants have the benefit of rain or dew to add moisture, it’s often not enough during those hot summer months.
These large-scale decorative planters with self-watering features enhance your landscape while also helping your plants stay healthy and happy.
RELATED: Need a good hose to refill those outdoor planters? Check out this list of 10 Best Garden Hoses!
10. Lechuza Cubico Self-Watering Garden Planter
If you’re looking for a spacious, bold planter for your mature plants, the Cubico from Lechuza may be your answer!
As one of the leading brands of self-watering planters, Lechuza relies on a dual system of an elevated platform and a specialized planting substrate.
This substrate contains ingredients that wick the moisture from the reservoir and deliver it to your plant’s roots. With your purchase of a Lechuza planter, you also receive enough substrate to fill your container.
The Cubico comes in three color choices: Slate (pictured), nutmeg and white. All three have an attractive matte finish that adds a touch of extra style.
Lechuza also offers the Cubico in three size options (we’re looking at the largest one here.) The reservoir is large enough to hold over 7 liters of water, and you could be looking at up to 12 weeks between refills.
However, since this planter has a tall profile, you may be looking at a tipping hazard if you pair it with a tall plant. This is especially true if you plan to use the planter in an area that gets a lot of wind.
11. Bloem 16-Inch Ariana Self Watering Planter
When all you want is a simple self-watering planter without all the extra bells and whistles, the Ariana pot from Bloem fills the bill!
And customers agree that this is one of the best self watering pots on the market! The Arianna has over 8,000 reviews on Amazon, with most people giving it high marks for performance and affordability.
Bloem uses a simple elevated platform to do the self-watering work, and set-up is a breeze. After placing the tray and filling the planter with potting mix and plants, water through the soil and let the excess water collect in the lower reservoir for later use.
One of the best aspects about the Ariana planter is the variety of sizes and colors to choose from. The one you see in the photo is the 16-inch size in the color peppercorn. Other sizes include:
There is a rainbow of color options, running the gamut from white to teal to bold orange. However, each size is only available in certain colors, so you may not be able to get your favorite shade in the size you need.
12. Glowpear Self-Watering Urban Garden Planter
A few things that immediately stand out about this planter are its modern, clean lines, angular shape and bright white color. But besides just good looks, this planter boasts convenient, plant-friendly features.
The large reservoir holds 3.5 gallons of water, and the clip-on overflow trays catch any extra water if you happen to overfill it a bit. You’ll know when it’s time to top off your reservoir thanks to a water level indicator that pops up from the planter wall.
Add water through the soil itself or use the water inlet port. The water port has a handy hinged opening that prevents soil from getting in the reservoir by accident.
At 29.5 inches long and just shy of 19 inches wide, you’ve got a nice amount of space for herbs, vegetable plants or flowers. And standing 19.7 inches tall, your plants are conveniently off the ground. Also, the legs offer excellent stability, so you don’t need to worry about your planter tipping over.
Although this is a stylish option with smart features, the high price point can be a potential drawback. The good news is that if you’re pressed for money or space, Glowpear also offers this same self-watering system in various smaller styles.
13. Jaxpety Raised Planter Box Garden Bed
Made from food-safe, recycled plastic, this planter set from Jaxpety offers eco-friendly function and a touch of style.
The self-watering feature is a reservoir system at the bottom of each planter. Water your plants through the soil, and the excess water drains down for your plants to soak up later.
Each planter measures 15 inches long, 15 inches wide and stands 16 inches tall. All told, you’re getting quite a bit of growing area!
One thing that we really love about this set is the modular construction. Place the planters individually around your yard, in a square shape or even stack one on top of another. Let your creativity run wild and tailor your garden to the space you have to work with.
Besides having a clever design, the dark brown color and rattan pattern also add a touch of style.
However, make sure to have a screwdriver and a little time on hand to attach the legs.
14. Lechuza Cube Cottage Self-Watering Garden Planter
Another Lechuza product, this planter offers a smart self-watering system that gets a little extra style boost from its shape and subtle pattern.
Like the Lechuza Cubico we looked at earlier, the Cube Cottage style uses a two-piece system, specialized planting substrate and a water level indicator.
But one thing that’s different with the Cube Cottage is that it also has a full-size inner layer with sturdy, easy-grasp handles. This can come in handy when it’s time to empty your planter at the end of the growing season.
With its stable square shape, you don’t have to worry about your plants tipping over, and the strong polypropylene plastic material can stand up to harsh sunlight and heat.
This planter comes in three color options:
- Granite (pictured)
All color options also have the same textured wicker pattern.
The Cube Cottage also comes in three sizes: 12-inch, 16-inch and 20-inch.
Depending on the plant you intend to place in this pot, you may not be able to take full advantage of the self-watering feature right away. Young plants with small root systems may not be long enough to reach the water reservoir, and you’ll have to water them from the top down for at least a few weeks.
Best Self Watering Hanging Planters
Whether it’s suspended from your house’s eaves or a decorative shepherd’s hook, nothing compares with a hanging basket for placing your beautiful blooms in easy sight.
Unfortunately, hanging baskets tend to dry out very quickly, and they can be hard to maintain over a long, hot summer. Self-watering systems are a perfect option to keep your hanging plants thriving all season long.
15. MyGift 7-Inch Wall Mountable Self Watering Planter Pots
A departure from the typical hanging basket, these little planters have a versatile design that looks great on any vertical surface.
Even though the pots appear to be round, they actually have a flat back panel. This allows them to lay perfectly flush against the wall, fence or wherever you want to place them. Thanks to sturdy plastic, you can use these pots indoors or outdoors.
These pots use a simple design that consists of an outer and an inner layer, with the outer layer housing the water reservoir.
The self-watering feature comes in the form of a cotton string that draws water up from the reservoir and feeds it into the soil. When it’s time to add water, lift the inner layer out to refill the reservoir in the outer pot.
This might sound like a finicky process, but the inner layer has a wide lip that makes it easy to lift out.
The inner pot has is 5.7 inches in diameter, so you should be able to fit a variety of small houseplants, large succulents or groupings of small succulents. However, you’ll need a more spacious planter for larger plants.
16. Foraineam 2-Pack Hanging Basket Planters
This set of 2 hanging baskets from Foraineam looks great and keeps you from having to water your dry plants multiple times per day.
The inner black basket is a separate piece, and it sits on three legs. This design allows excess water to pool at the base of the outer pot, saving it for later but also keeping your plant roots safely elevated.
One nice style touch is the attractive basketweave pattern, and the neutral silver-gray color looks great against any backdrop. You also have the option to use the included rubber drain plug if you want to hang your plants inside the house.
This set includes both a 10.2-inch and an 8.2-inch basket, and the hanging chains add an extra style upgrade from basic plastic. However, you’ll have to attach the chains to your baskets yourself, and the process can be a bit tricky at first.
17. Sungmor Self Watering Hanging Planters
These gleaming white hanging baskets from Sungmore have a clean, minimalist appeal that looks great with any plant foliage or blossoms.
Your hanging planter comes with an elevated insert piece that holds your plant safely above the waterline. Small holes in the insert let the roots reach down into the water, soaking it up as needed.
Each pot has a small hole in the side, about 3/4 of an inch above the bottom edge. Why? These holes actually serve a dual purpose:
- A direct-watering port
- An overflow escape
We love the concept of adding water through the port, but this will only work if you use a watering can with a very thin spout. This little watering can from Brilliest is a good option.
The overflow outlet is really helpful for preventing overwatering. Just make sure to use extra care to avoid a mess when watering your indoor plants!
A network of three 23-inch chains keeps your plants securely suspended and easy to see. Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust the chain length.
Water is a critical element to any plant’s health, and getting too little or too much is almost certain to end badly.
But that doesn’t have to happen to your plants! Options abound when it comes to choosing the best self-watering planters, both in terms of looks and function.
And what’s not to love about enjoying healthy, happy plants with less hassle and worry!
We want to hear from you! Have you run into problems with watering your plants properly in the past? Do you have any other self-watering planter suggestions to add to the list?
Let us know in the comments!