How To Pot A Plant In A Self Watering Pot?

A self watering pot sounds like something from the future, right? How can a pot water its plant without outside help? Once you have discovered all about how to pot a plant in a self watering pot, you will never look back!

How To Pot A Plant In A Self Watering Pot

How To Pot A Plant In A Self Watering Pot

Potting a plant in a self watering pot is fairly easy – it’s pretty much the same as planting a plant in any other type of pot!

  1. If your self watering pot has a separate reservoir, fill this then add soil to the pot as normal.
  2. If your pot has a soil foot system, place the soil foot and the gravel before you add the soil.
  3. Fill your pot to about half full with potting compost, ensuring you have the right type for the plant you are potting.
  4. Place the plant in the pot and cover it with more potting soil, firming it in gently and firmly.
  5. You will need to water the soil well at first, before the capillary action of the self watering pot is established.
  6. Fill the reservoir as needed after this, keeping an eye on the soil to ensure it is staying evenly moist.
  7. Your plant should grow happily and healthily, with very little input needed from you other than filling the reservoir now and then.

Other than the watering system, planting in a self watering pot is just the same process as planting in a standard pot.

This video takes you through how to pot into your self watering pots:

What Do You Put At The Bottom Of A Self Watering Pot?

Often, we put small rocks or coarse gravel at the bottom of our pots, to encourage drainage for the plant’s roots.

However, this is not necessary with a self watering planter! In fact, placing anything at the bottom of your self watering planter can inhibit the entire process.

Many self watering pots have a reservoir with a wick, so the water at the potting soil are completely separate.

Other types have a permeable layer with the water underneath – in this case the soil is closer to the water, but it still remains separate.

If you place anything in the bottom of a wicking self waterer you will affect the water uptake so it is not recommended.

Putting anything in the bottom of a self waterer with a permeable layer can affect the layer itself, thus ruining the whole idea.

Basically, don’t tamper with the design of your self watering pot! Just put your plant in, fill the reservoir, and let it do its job. You won’t regret it.

How Does A Self Watering Plant Pot Work?

These nifty little inventions are great for those of us who struggle to get around to watering our plants on a schedule.

A self watering pot works in a similar way to the action of a trees’ roots sucking up water from the soil.

This clever system uses a wicking, or capillary action, to draw the water into the soil, even opposing gravity.

These pots have a growing bed – this is the part which holds the potting soil as well as the plants.

The water reservoir is another important part of the pot – it is where the water is stored that will keep the plant moist.

A pipe is needed in order to refill the water reservoir – this is usually a vertical one, which can run from above or in through the side of the pot, into the reservoir.

And in order for water to be effectively transferred, a wicking system is used – these are usually absorbent material which go between the reservoir and the soil.

Some self watering pots use the wicking system, while others have a reservoir of water separated from the soil by a permeable barrier of some sort.

Both types will need filling regularly, and both types will make your plant watering career far easier!

Here is a good, comprehensive article telling you just about everything about self watering pots.

How Often Do You Fill Self-Watering Pots?

The amount of times you have to refill your self watering pots depends on a number of factors – weather conditions and plant water requirements are the biggest factors.

As a general rule, you should be filling your self watering pots every three weeks or so, to ensure that they are running smoothly.

It is always worth keeping an eye on the soil however, and if it looks like it is drying out then you might need to refill it more often.

Simply filling the pots may not be the only thing you need to do to keep your plants healthy, however.

The plant will not be able to absorb water or photosynthesize well if they are clogged up with dust – misting the plant occasionally will help it enormously.

Do Self Watering Pots Cause Root Rot?

Do Self Watering Pots Cause Root Rot

There are a lot of benefits to self watering pots – they’re convenient, efficient, and can help to improve the health of your plant.

But do they cause any problems? The last thing you want is to have your plants’ roots rotting, so this is a consideration.

Actually, self watering pots do the opposite of causing root rot – it turns out they can help your plants to avoid it!

Overwatering is what causes root rot; letting the plant’s roots sit around in waterlogged soil is what makes the roots mushy and weak.

Self watering pots only provide the amount of water the plant actually needs, rather than just watering it as and when.

Self watering pots can also improve root health by encouraging the roots to reach downwards rather than gathering around the surface, where most of the moisture sits.

Final Words

So there you have it – everything you ever needed to know about self watering pots and how to use them!

They are a great invention – easy to use, simple and self explanatory, and they can help give your plants the best life. If you’re interested in other self watering systems, check out this guide about watering globes.

2 thoughts on “How To Pot A Plant In A Self Watering Pot?”

    • These pots are quite specialist, so can’t pick up a bundle for a few pounds at a supermarket as you can with regular pots. A self watering pot will set you back a few pennies – but then if you have a plant that is worth it, why not splash out?


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Plants & House

6022 S Drexel Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Amazon Disclaimer

Plants & House is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Plants & House does not intend to provide any health advice. We try to help our visitors better understand their plants; however, the content on this blog is not a substitute for medical guidance. For more information, please read our PRIVACY POLICY.