What is A Self Watering ...

What is A Self Watering Planter and How Does It Work?

Wondering how self watering pots work? Learn everything you need to know about self watering planters and how they can help your plants thrive.

What is a self-watering planter? It’s pretty simple actually – at least for you as a plant owner. Self-watering planters allow anyone, even serial plant killers, to take care of houseplants because they effectively water themselves. How? Through convenient, water-saving, and water-efficient containers designed to produce happier and healthier plants.

How Do Self-Watering Planters Work?

While they come in several different forms, self-watering planters mostly follow the same basic principles. Below the plant, there’s a water reservoir, which supplies the potting soil of your planter in order to absorb water through capillary action (the wicking system). The soil wicks up water to allow the roots to absorb the necessary amount of water it needs to stay hydrated and healthy. As the plant roots absorb water, the soil wicks up more to maintain a consistent level of moisture in the soil.

Capillary Action

What exactly is capillary action? It’s the mechanism behind how self-watering planters actually work. Capillary action is what allows a sponge to draw up liquid from a surface, and how plants, including even the tallest trees, can overcome gravity to draw water up from their roots to the very top of the plant. 

While it’s a bit technical, capillary action is caused by the molecular attraction force that exists between a liquid and the solid surfaces that surround it – in this case, the soil – with narrow tubes or small spaces within it. Capillary action ensures that the water that’s absorbed from the soil by the roots is constantly replaced within the soil, being fed from the reservoir by the capillary action of the wicking system at the bottom. This ensures the soil remains consistently moist but not overly wet.

The Basic Elements of A Self-Watering Pot

When it comes to self-watering planters, they all always have the following four basic elements:

  • Growing Bed – the upper part of the container that holds the potting soil and the plants.
  • Potting Soil – the mixture of nutrients to help the plant grow. 
  • Water Reservoir – where the water is stored to hydrate the soil and roots. 
  • Wicking System – what delivers water from the reservoir to the soil to the plant roots. The wicks must be made of absorbent material that is situated with one end in the water and the other in the soil.

Growing Bed

The growing bed is located on the upper part of the container, and it holds the potting soil and the plant.

Potting Soil

The Potting Soil is where the plant lives. For self-watering pots to function properly, they need potting soil that is both lightweight and absorbent. The key is to use something that will continuously wick up water while also providing plenty of oxygen to the roots of the plant.

easyplant uses a premium soil mix tailored to the exact needs of the plants and a self-watering system. This ensures each plant has the ideal growing conditions to really thrive.

Water Reservoir

The water reservoir is a key part of self-watering planters. It stores the water to hydrate your plant’s soil and roots, and it’s located beneath the growing bed. All water reservoirs require a way to be refilled – it can be a vertical pipe for pouring in water from above or an opening at the side of the container.

What Are The Benefits of Self-Watering Planters? 

There are several key benefits to choosing self-watering planters! From helping keep your plants healthy, to being extra easy to maintain, to being more environmentally sustainable, they are a game-changer for plant lovers. 

Improves Plant Health

The most common mistake plant owners make is overwatering. Unfortunately, doing so can wind up starving the plant of oxygen and lead to serious health problems. And the other side is equally problematic – underwatering deprives plants of the water they need to transport nutrients and carry out photosynthesis. 

That’s why having a self-watering system that takes the guesswork out of the watering can significantly enhance the health of plants. It ensures the plants receive the exact amount of water they need as they need it.

Convenient to Maintain 

Arguably the greatest selling point for self-watering planters is that they make plants a whole lot easier to maintain. Keeping an eye on each plant can be super time-consuming and stressful, especially if you have more than one. And given that the watering needs of plants vary according to seasonality, weather, the state of the potting soil, the size of the plant, and the plant’s stage of growth, a one-size fits all approach can be really risky. 

In contrast, with self-watering plants, there’s no need to try and monitor the soil or constantly make sure you’re supplying the right amount of water. Your plant simply gets the amount of water it needs, when it needs it, so you never have to worry about over- or under-watering. With self-watering pots, the soil is consistently kept moist, since the water gets delivered from the reservoir at the same rate that the plants use it. Additionally, with self-watering pots, you can rest assured that your plants are getting the water they need even while you are away from home or extra busy.


Self-watering planters are more sustainable and better for the environment because they reduce the amount of water that gets wasted. By regulating how much water is actually needed through capillary action, you’re less likely to waste water.

How To Maintain A Self-Watering Pot

Ready for some great news? Maintaining a self-watering easyplant is super easy. All you have to do is fill the entire reservoir with water, and then once a month, simply check the reservoir – if there's still water, wait a few days until it’s empty. Once there’s no water left, you can fill the reservoir again and repeat the same steps.

Get a Plant with a Self-Watering Pot with easyplant Today!

If you’re in search of a healthy plant that’s easy to maintain and better for the environment, it sounds like self-watering planters are calling your name. These plants have an effective system to stay hydrated and happy so that even people prone to overwatering or underwatering can grow thriving plants. 

Now the question remains, which one should you choose? If you’re looking for ultimate ease and beauty, easyplant is the way to go. Unlike many other self-watering planters, easyplants arrive at your doorstep fully assembled and in a premium quality self-watering pot with a soft matte finish. Handpicked by experienced industrial and interior designers, these self-watering plants are sure to instantly bring any space to life.

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