Self-watering pots are great for anyone who is a forgetful waterer. But they aren’t just for forgetful gardeners. Self-watering pots are also perfect for plants that don’t like being watered by hand.
So if you’ve got a sensitive succulent, a fickle fern, or a finicky fiddle leaf fig, this post has tips for you.
I’ve rounded up some of the best plants for self-watering pots, all of which I’ve successfully grown for years.
11 Plants that Thrive in Self-Watering Pot
1. African Violets (Saintpaulia)
African Violet is an indoor ornamental plant that blooms best when watered from its bottom-up. It is because the crown region of the plant can rot if we water it from top-to-bottom.
Using distilled water is also beneficial to improve the health of African Violets. However, we can occasionally spray water on African Violets’ leaves to remove dust particles and salt.
When we water African Violets, we have to use water at room temperature. As it is susceptible to rapid leaf cooling, it is always best to opt for self-watering pots. If we pour cold water below 55 degrees Fahrenheit on African Violets’ leaves, the leaves might have Ring Spots (a condition of discoloration of leaves).
2. Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
Peace Lilies or Spaths require watering once a week. I am someone who prefers self-watering pots for my Peace Lillies. The primary reason behind this is that a self-watering plant keeps the Peace Lillies hydrated.
Peace Lillies need moist soil and thrive better in humidity. A self-watering pot would provide the plant with the required amount of water and prevent chances of over-watering.
I often fill up to the top of the water reservoir so that my Peace Lilies would have enough water. Along with that, I will ensure that the soil is dry before refilling the pot.
3. Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)
Akin to other plants, Pothos also thrives well in a self-watering pot for many reasons. A self-watering planter can avoid root rots. It happens to Pothos either due to lack of water or over-watering.
When we over-water our Potho, it can lead to fungal infections and cause wilting of its leaves. It is best to opt for self-watering pots to overcome any such situations. With self-watering pots, always provide a drying period for the soil before refilling the reservoir. It is something that helps Pothos to acquire nutrients..
I often add fresh soil to my Pothos, especially in the gaps that arise. It is an excellent way to provide the required nutrients to the plant from time to time.
4. Fiber Optic Plant (Isolepis Cernua)
The Fiber Optic Plant which is also known as low bulrush is primarily a semi-aquatic plant. So, it needs a sufficient supply of water to keep this plant healthy. Most people grow their Fiber Optic Plants in water gardens. However, they can thrive in self-watering pots too.
Since it requires a lot of moisture, it is better to fill the reservoir to its top. Unlike Pothos and other plants, we cannot let a Fiber Optic Plant’s soil dry. It will lead to its wilting.
I have placed my Fiber Optic Plant in a self-watering pot in the presence of medium sunlight. It helps my plant to remain healthy in its self-watering pot./
5. Umbrella Palm (Cyperus Alternifolius)
Similar to Fiber Optic Plants, Umbrella Palms require plenty of water. It is also a semi-aquatic plant. An Umbrella Palm can grow well if we plant it in a self-watered pot.
Since it grows in water mostly, we have to fill the reservoir to its top and refill it regularly. Checking the pot from time to time and providing it with water can replenish the plant.
With an Umbrella Palm, we have to ensure that its roots remain wet and have moisture. If its roots are dry, it will affect the plant adversely. It causes dehydration in Umbrella Palms and results in brown spots on their leaf tips. When we have our Umbrella Palm planted in a self-watering pot, we can easily overcome this issue.
6. Ferns (Polypodiopsida)
Ferns grow better when we provide them with ample moisture, humidity and plant them in peaty soil. We can ensure the health of our Ferns by using water at room temperature.
In most cases, Ferns die either because of under-watering or over-watering. The leaves turn yellow and dry when Ferns confront the problem of under-watering. Whereas on the other hand, over-watering can cause rotting of the roots and yellowing of the leaves.
However, we can provide our Ferns with sufficient water by using self-watering pots. Along with that, we have to check the moisture requirements of the plant regularly.
Once we plant our Ferns in self-watering pots, we must avoid watering the plant from the top. However, once or twice every year, we can top-water our Ferns to clean their foot system.
Selaginella is a plant that needs high humidity. When there is a lack of moisture, these plants might wilt and die. Usually, a Selaginella plant perishes because of uprooting, which occurs because of dehydration.
When we provide the plant with a sufficient amount of water, it could regain its health. I have planted Selaginella plants in a self-watering pot to ensure their growth and to provide a steady supply of water,
8. Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia)
Pitcher Plants, akin to other carnivore plants, require special attention and care. For them, a proper drainage facility is essential for them to grow. Apart from that, we have to ensure that it receives an ample amount of water.
For that purpose, we can always rely upon self-watering pots, especially in warmer regions. In such places, we have to fill the reservoir every morning to ensure that the plant attains water properly. We can also arrange an automatic watering system for the self-watering container.
It is optimal to go for a 16 to 20 cm wide self-watering pot for a Pitcher Plant. Here, we have to fill four to six cm of water in the reservoir regularly.
9. Cherry Tomatoes Plant
Cherry Tomatoes thrive when we grow them in big pots. It is because it will provide more room for the soil to absorb water. They require a higher quantity of water to offer us with good yield.
Under-watering can cause blossom end rot and also split-tomatoes. Over-watering can also have similar results in the plant. So, it is essential to provide steady water and nutrients to the plant to ensure its health. Though the soil has to be moist, it does not mean that it has to be damp.
Opting for a self-watering container can assist us in providing our Cherry Tomatoes with ample water supply. We can also have an automatic system to water the plants.
10. Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)
Basil, popular for its culinary usage, requires optimal sunlight and warm temperatures. It grows best when the climate is hot and dry. When it is cold, the plant may not survive the condition.
We can avoid these problems by providing the plant with a favorable environment to grow. Growing a basil plant indoors, close to a windowsill, or under a fluorescent light can assist in its growth.
A self-watering pot can facilitate our Basil plants, especially those placed indoors, with the required amount of water. We can refill the reservoir once it is empty and the soil is dry.
11. Cilantro or Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum)
Cilantro needs a lot of moisture to survive. Most people plant them in water, especially in deep pots. However, we can also grow our Cilantro plants in soil using self-watering planters.
When we water Cilantro from a top-to-bottom approach, the leaves get wet. The dampness of leaves can cause powdering mildew. We can overcome this problem with self-watering pots, as they do not moisten the leaves.
Self-Watering Pot Tips
Do self-watering planters cause root rot?
Sometimes, self-watering planters could cause root rot. It happens when our pot does not have an overflowing system. Because of its absence, the container could flood and lead to the creation of fungal infections.
It can also decrease the growth of the plant. We can overcome the issue by relying upon high-quality self-watering pots. They can enhance the health of our plants.
Are self-watering pots good for succulents?
Succulents thrive when they have a proper drainage system and air circulation. They require dry soil to remain healthy. Whereas on the other hand, self-watering pots are best for growing plants that require lots of moisture content or water.
With succulents and other plants like cacti, an increase in moisture content could lead to root rot. However, if you opt to plant a succulent in a self-watering pot, try to avoid over-watering.
One benefit of using a self-watering pot for a succulent is that there is no need to be concerned about watering the plant frequently.
Can we grow herbs in self-watering containers?
Absolutely! Herbs require a lot of moisture to grow. With a self-watering plant, you can provide it with the optimal amount of water. It can also avoid chances of over-watering and under-watering.
When there is a lack of water, herbs might wilt and die. You can opt for self-watering containers for herbs like Mint, Rosemary, Thymes, etc. A self-watering pot will help in maintaining their water level.
Do self-watering pots attract mosquitoes?
There is a chance of facing mosquito infestation when we use self-watering pots. However, it often happens when we have them outdoors. We can reduce the problem associated with mosquitoes by taking the self-watering planter indoors. Along with that, covering the reservoir with a waterproof adhesive can also reduce mosquito infestations.