A self-watering container is something you need to buy if you are someone who forgets things easily, or you live in a hot and dry area. The container can also be of great help if you can’t use a water spigot where your container is placed.

It is also useful if the type of plant you are growing needs to stay wet always, or if the leaves of the plant are not to be wet. In the actual sense, the tool doesn’t work as the name implies; it does not have the ability to water itself.

However, it provides a source of water for the plant that is growing inside it and this helps you reduce the time you spend on watering plants. The way the self-watering tool is designed for each manufacturing company can be different, but the principle with which it works is the same.

The device has a reservoir for water and water is poured into it, then the water evaporates into the planting box that is above it.

Parts and Common Features of the Self-Watering Container

I have listed the parts of the self-watering device but it is not all the self-watering planter that will have the parts. However, most of them will have the parts. The device comes with a planting box, a wick for transferring water, a water level indicator, a water reservoir, and a drainage hole.

The section on top of the self-watering planter is where the potting mix and plant are placed, while the bottom of the planter is where the water is poured. The reservoir comes in different sizes; the size of the reservoir depends on the size of the container itself.

If we have a big container, then definitely we will have a big reservoir and vice versa. In a large container, the volume of the reservoir could be as much as 5 gallons of water while the smaller ones could have a gallon volume.

When you are choosing a reservoir, estimate the amount of water your plants will need and use the knowledge to buy the device. Also, you should buy a container that you don’t need to fill every day; it should be able to last for a few days.

The container comes with a fill tube and there is a hole in it; this is where it is filled with water. The position of the fill tube varies. There are some fill tubes that will be placed at a corner of the planter.

There are other fill tubes that have a cover; this is to prevent pests and dirt from entering the reservoir. Some planters come with a water level indicator; this shows you the amount of water left in the reservoir.

This will make the work easy for you because you will be able to tell when to fill the reservoir. All planters should have an overflow mechanism. This is a mechanism that will allow water to flow out of the reservoir when it is overfilled.

This will prevent the plants from growing above and sitting directly inside water. When a plant sits on the water, this causes the root to rot quickly. Overfilling of the reservoir could happen as a result of rain or a mistake from you while filling.

The planter also has a drainage hole; this is to allow water to drain out of the planter. You should always drain the water in the reservoir at the end of the season. This is to prevent the water inside the reservoir from freezing; you can also take it inside to prevent freezing.

How Does the Planter Work?

The self-watering planter transfers the water in the reservoir to the planter on top in two ways. This action is based on the principle of capillary action. If you have ever done this before, when you dip one end of a paper towel inside water, capillary action takes place in such a towel.

The water will be seen moving from the end that was dipped inside the water to the other end. Here are the two designs in the self-watering planter for the movement of water:

  • The first design is to place a wick in the reservoir; one end of the wick is placed in the reservoir and the other end inside the planter. The wick sucks water from the reservoir through capillary action, and the water is delivered to the planter above
  • The second design is the most common one that is often used in the self-watering planter. A small part of the planter above comes in contact with the reservoir below. The part in contact with water absorbs the water and, through capillary action, transfers it to the other part of the planter.

There is a third design for the self-watering planter, but it is not common. There will be some perforated holes between the planter above and the reservoir below. This design relies on evaporation to take water to the planter.

This is the least effective design of the self-watering planter because only a little water will be supplied to the planter.

Here are the benefits of the self-watering planter:

  • It reduces the time you spend watering your plant
  • Your plants will always have water to survive
  • It helps you manage your water
  • It prevents plant disease from affecting your plants

How to Use the Self-Watering Container

Here are the steps you need to follow to set up the device:

  • Insert all the parts into the container as shown in the manual book
  • Add some planting mix to the planter section above; you can get high-quality planting mix from some companies that produce it. Wet the planting mix before using it. If you use a dry one, it might not work
  • There is a depression in the planting box; this is where you should place the planting mix. Water coming from the reservoir below comes to this depression
  • Plant the crop you would like to grow in the planting mix; make sure it is firm with the soil
  • Add water to the planting mix from above; this is to remove air spaces and make the root settle down. This will be the only time you will water the planter from the top
  • Wait for the water to flow down the planter to the reservoir, then fill the reservoir with water
  • Always refill the reservoir when the water level goes down; don’t allow the soil to dry up completely. Whenever you are refilling the reservoir, make sure you moisten the mix first.


A self-watering planter is another way of making gardening practice easier. You won’t have to stress yourself to water the plant always; the device does the work for you.

Your plants will be wet always and they will have adequate water to grow. I recommend this product for your gardening practice. For visiting the said self-watering container please press the Image above.

Thank you so much for any further question about please leave your comment below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.

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