What are self-watering pots?

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Essentially what they are is a pot without drainage holes that actually holds a reservoir of water in the bottom. It has a wicking system that will take the water from the very bottom and go up into a secondary pot that sits in the reservoir. Then it will suck up all the water from the bottom and wick it all up to keep the roots nice and moist. It also keeps an even level of humidity for roots down there. This is fantastic for plant houses too! Self-watering pots really help to keep your plants healthy. A healthy plant is more likely to be pest free as well. So there is definitely a cascade of benefits when using a self-watering pot.

Why Use Them?

Why Use Them?

 Self-watering pots are really great for specific types of plants.   African Violets Peace Lilys and a plethora of other plants.  They are also great for specific types of humans. If you are the type of human that is very busy all the time; you always forget to water your plants,  can’t constantly keep up with them, or you live in an environment where the conditions make your plants dry out quite a bit then these pots can help. There are places that have conditions where the plants will dry out and you have to water every single day. This will stretch that to a couple of days for you and make less work.

How Long Between Watering?

How Long Between Watering?

How long you can go in between waterings with self-watering pots really depends on your environment, conditions, and the size of the water reservoir, as well as the type of plant. It can be anywhere from 3 days to 4 weeks depending on what you have going on. If you have a very hot, dry, environment that water is going to evaporate and be used up a lot faster than if you had a more humid environment for your plant.

 Also if your plant is having a growth spurt and is growing very quickly, it is going to use up that water more quickly.  Same thing if it is a fruiting plant. It is going to need to be refilled a little bit more often. So, there are a variety of conditions to take into consideration. Regardless, a self-watering pot is going to stretch that time for you and it is going to make it so you do not have to water your plants as often as you would have before.

Why Do They Work?

Why Do They Work?

 Self-watering pots work so well because they keep the humidity and the moisture and the water down at the base of the roots of the plant.  That way the roots can get those things right away. It also enables the plant to take up nutrients a lot easier.

A lot of your standard potting mixes will actually end up becoming hydrophobic when they are allowed to dry out. This type of pot will prevent that from happening. Hydrophobic soil will wick away moisture and will not absorb water. The plant will not get any water and the roots won’t be able to soak up that humidity, moisture, or those nutrients. If your plants dry out quite a bit, this is really fantastic and will prevent that from happening.

Where To Get Them?

Where To Get Them?

 There are a lot of different types of self-watering pots and almost every nursery will carry some. You can also find them in big box stores and a variety of places online. There are a variety of sizes out there. Sizes range from 3 inches up to 24 inches.

Be sure to match the size of the plant’s root ball to the pot with just a little room for growth. Too big of a pot will cause too much moisture and create the conditions for root rot thus ending your plant.

How To Setup a Self-Watering Pot

How To Setup a Self-Watering Pot

When you first get a self-watering pot take it all apart and fill the base with water. Fill to the fill line to not fill the entire base up with water. Your plant needs to wick up the moisture not sit in a pool. Keep the water below the top pot if it does not come with a fill line.

After you have put your water in, you want to go ahead and install the wick in the top pot. It is very easy. Just push the wick up through the bottom hole. Draw it partially through and feed it through the diagonal hole. This should make 2 strings like shoelaces hanging out of the bottom of the pot. This will draw the water up through the pot and allow the roots to absorb it through the potting media.

What Media To Use?

What Media To Use?

This pot design is perfect for a lot of different hydroponic media. Fantastic for pon, leca, stratum, and sphagnum moss. It also works really well for regular peat-based potting soil.

How To Water?

How To Water?

When watering your plant in a self-watering pot be careful not to overwater. You lift up the top pot and pour the water down into the reservoir. Be sure not to pass the fill line and overflow it. You can top water your plant as well if it is a plant that prefers it. This just makes it more difficult to tell if it is overfilled or not.

Set the top back on and place your plant back in its home and enjoy until you need to water it again.

Using a self-watering pot is very easy and very simple. It is almost like any other type of pot but with some added benefits such as keeping substrate moist longer and extending the time between waterings. Fantastic for specific plants and those busy plant parents.

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