Best self-watering planters for busy gardeners

Keep your plants happy and healthy the easy way with these clever containers.

Best self watering planter

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Self-watering planters are an excellent idea for those who cherish their outdoor plants but often find themselves caught in the whirlwind of modern life. These ingenious devices are designed to provide a consistent water supply to your outdoor plants, ensuring they remain hydrated and thrive, even without regular manual watering. Self-watering planters bring peace of mind to garden enthusiasts, knowing their beloved green companions are well taken care of when they are on holiday or want to put their feet up in the evening.

The advantages of self-watering planters are invaluable for those who frequently travel, go away for the weekend, or are swamped with the demands of daily life; these small to large outdoor plant pots are a smart system you won't be able to live without once it's set up. Whether it's a spontaneous trip or the occasional forgetfulness, these planters ensure your plants remain vibrant and healthy, eliminating the worry of returning home to wilted or parched flowers or produce.

Best self-watering planters at a glance:

Best self-watering planter for herbs: Cole & Mason H105349 Burwell Self-Watering – View on Amazon UK
Best tall self-watering planter: Abram Self-Watering Tall Planter Box – View on Wayfair
Best for balconies: Lechuza Balconera – View on Amazon UK

From simple reservoir-based systems to advanced wick-based mechanisms, there's a self-watering planter tailored to every need. Self-watering planters work using a process known as capillary action. In all self-watering planters is a compartment containing a water reservoir where plants can draw up water. As the plant's roots absorb this water, the moisture in the soil will be kept at a consistent level as water is released from the plant's leaves, and then more water is drawn up by the roots to replace it.

So let's get into it. From minimalist designs to outdoor plant stands, these planters will ensure your plants receive the care they deserve, irrespective of your schedule.

Best self-watering planters

Best self-watering planter for herbs

Cole & Mason H105349 Burwell Self-Watering Potted Herb Saver
Price: $49.68

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh herbs, and with the Cole & Mason Self-Watering Triple Potted Herb Keeper, you can ensure your herbs flourish for longer. Without the need for repotting, nestle your potted herbs into the planter and allow the self-watering system to keep them vibrant. The hydro-felt pads, with an estimated lifespan of three months, intuitively provide water to your herbs. Plus, with pads included and a reassuring 2-year warranty, this keeper will last for years to come.

Customer review: "This is great. It saves you keep buying potted herbs. Even coriander lasts and regrows!! Well worth the price."

Pros

  • Designed to keep fresh herbs alive for longer
  • Comes with 12 hydro-felt pads for extended use
  • 2-year warranty coverage

Cons

  • Limited to holding three pots of specific diameter
  • Requires regular pad replacement

Best self-watering hanging basket

Lechuza NIDO Self Watering Hanging Plant PotsAmazon/ Lechuza

Rrp: $59.99

Price: $52.00

With a stylish rattan design available in a range of colours, these hanging flower pots ensure your plants are always satisfied. Suitable for indoor and outdoor plants, the Lechuza Nido hanging basket is equipped with a water reservoir to keep plants hydrated and a water level indicator so when water is running low, you'll be in the know to top it up. Made of UV and frost-resistant polypropylene, the pot is surprisingly lightweight yet durable and even comes with a potting mix and plant substrate included.

Customer review: "I love it! It’s a beautiful pot with a clear indicator for the self watering reservoir, it holds quite a large plant and is perfect for any indoor hanging plant. It also includes a valve at the bottom that you can leave open if you plan to hang it outdoors."

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Up to 12 weeks between watering
  • Pretty cottage-inspired rattan design

Cons

  • While it comes with potting soil and plant substrate, it's not enough to fill the pot so you'll need to have some more to hand

Best tall self-watering planter

Abram Self-Watering Tall Planter Box, Set of 2Wayfair/ Abram

This tall planter box is made in Canada from high-grade polypropylene. The planter promises resilience against the harshest climates, as you can expect from harsh Candian winters, and its self-watering feature ensures your plants thrive. With a sturdy and lightweight design, this Abram Self-Watering Tall Planter Box is an elegant addition to any garden.

Customer review: "Great planters - self watering feature worked well through the summer!"

Pros

  • Chic tall design
  • Made of high-grade polypropylene, it is resistant to weather-related issues
  • 5-year warranty against weather-related splitting and cracking

Cons

  • Requires space due to its tall design

Best for balconies

Lechuza BALCONERA
Price: $91.18

This Balconera Self Watering Planter will be a great addition to your space if you have a balcony or a small garden. Crafted in Germany from high-quality, UV-resistant plastic, this slate-coloured planter is durable and functional. Its integrated watering system, paired with a practical water level indicator, ensures your plants receive optimal care. Plus, the matte finish is available in various colours to complement any setting, be it indoors or outdoors.

Customer review: "Very impressed with the quality and design."

Pros

  • Integrated original Lechuza watering system
  • It is made of high-quality, UV and weather-resistant plastic
  • Available in various colours and sizes

Cons

  • Best for balconies or railings

Best aesthetic self-watering planter

Lechuza PURO Color 20 Self Watering Planter

Rrp: $59.99

Price: $39.99

The Lechuza Puro Color 20 is where design meets functionality. Its spherical form, both robust and tactile, accentuates the beauty of plants in any setting. With a self-watering system that ensures effortless care, this planter promises both aesthetics and ease. Also, it is UV-resistant and weatherproof, so whether it's placed indoors or out, your plants will flourish.

Customer review: "Love these planters, stylish design, take the guesswork out of watering, and you can go on holiday feeling confident your plants are watered."

Pros

  • Robust surface suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • It comes with a self-watering system and water level indicator
  • Includes planting instructions

Cons

  • Limited to specific plant sizes

Best indoor self-watering kit

Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit with Grow LightAmazon/ Click & Grow
Price: $209.59

This Scandinavian-inspired indoor herb garden kit is contemporary and powered by smart technology. The rectangular planter comes with three mini tomato, basil, and green lettuce pods so that you can grow produce free of any GMOs or harmful chemicals. Cooming in white, beige or grey, this is an ideal start for growing on patios, balconies or windowsills.

Customer review: "Cleverly packaged - the opening experience was on par with the excitement of receiving a new iPhone. Easy to set up, and now, four days later, the seed pods are springing into life. My household is now obsessed with progress and can’t wait for the fresh produce over the coming months. Thank you!"

Pros

  • Comes with three types of plant pods for immediate use
  • Growth Guarantee ensures replacement for non-germinating pods
  • Sleek design and three colours

Cons

  • Best under some form of shelter
  • Requires electricity for the grow light

Best sustainable self-watering planter

LSA Canopy Self-Watering PlanterAmazon/ LSA International
Price: $63.81

In collaboration with the Eden Project, LSA International offers up their Canopy range. Sustainable elegance this award-winning planter is crafted from mouth-blown recycled glass and mirrors the Eden Project's biospheres. Its self-watering mechanism, paired with a sustainably sourced cork bung, ensures your plants thrive. Encased in recyclable packaging with organic ink, this planter is an all-around winner in our books.

Customer review: "Beautiful and functional! Better than a plant pot."

Pros

  • Made of sustainably manufactured mouthblown recycled glass
  • Inspired by the Eden project's focus on sustainability
  • Comes with a sustainably sourced removable cork bung

Cons

  • Glass design may be fragile

Best self-watering tower planter

Recycled Self Watering Grow Pot TowerCrocus
Price: £30.59 (was £35.99)

www.crocus.co.uk

This grow pot tower is perfect for tomatoes, peppers, and more. Crafted from recycled, BPA-free plastic, this pot promises a generous 11-litre planting capacity. With a four-litre reservoir, paired with an easy-fill self-watering system, it ensures your plants remain hydrated. The unique float indicator and a sturdy aluminium support frame make this pot tower a blend of functionality and good for the environment.

Pros

  • Ideal for a variety of plants, including tomatoes and peppers
  • Made from recycled BPA-free plastic
  • Features a unique float indicator for water level checking

Cons

  • Central bamboo cane pictured not included

FAQs: Self-watering plants

How do self-watering planters work?

Self-watering planters are a marvel of convenience, featuring a built-in reservoir that allows plants to hydrate themselves through capillary action. It's a set-it-and-forget-it solution, perfect for the busy gardener. So by providing a consistent moisture level, these planters help by preventing common issues like over or under-watering, promoting healthier and happier plants.

Are self-watering planters suitable for all types of plants?

Whether you're nurturing delicate herbs or robust outdoor plants, these planters are versatile enough to support a wide range of greenery, ensuring they receive just the right amount of water.

Can I use self-watering planters indoors?

Yes, you can. These planters are designed to be mess-free and are ideal for keeping your indoor spaces green and vibrant without the hassle of daily watering.

What to read next:

Best plants for pots and containers all year round

Best large outdoor plant pots to give your plants space to thrive

Best plants for shade and north-facing gardens

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Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in sustainable living and health. She lives and breathes all things natural health, cooking and nature.

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