Self Watering Planter

Last Updated: August 7, 2017

Definition - What does Self Watering Planter mean?

Traditionally, a self-watering planter is made up of an outer pot that holds water. The outer pot cradles an inner pot that holds the plant and soil. A wick usually joins the two pots together. The wick allows the plant’s roots and a process known as a capillary system to pull water into the soil from the water reservoir as needed.

Some gardeners also use self-watering planters to deliver liquid nutrients to the plant. A self-watering planter is highly beneficial if a gardener plans to be gone for a few days because the plant does not require daily watering but instead depends on the water-filled reservoir to supply its needs.

MaximumYield explains Self Watering Planter

Utilizing self-watering containers cut down on the amount of time that the gardener needs to water. Another benefit to utilizing a self-watering planter is that the plant’s roots and soil are held away from the water. The plant's roots and the capillary system of the pot work together to draw the water through the wick and into the soil when the soil dries out which keeps the soil moist but not overly wet. The soil never becomes waterlogged or smelly, which helps protect the plant’s roots from diseases and fungi.

However, the water reservoir and the potting soil can never be allowed to dry completely out. Once the soil dries out, the wick also dries and is no longer able to successfully pull the water from the reservoir to the roots of the plant.

Self-watering pots are commercially available and can also be handmade. Some hydroponic systems can also be considered self-watering systems, leading to a broader definition and use of the term, self-watering planters.

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