If you’ve been into growing (house)plants for a while, you’ve probably heard of the concept of a self watering planters. Watering sporadically but still seeing your plants thrive sounds pretty good, but do these planters actually do what they advertise?

The answer is YES – if the self-watering planter in question is well-designed, that is. There are many out there that do little more than drip water all over your floor, or become clogged and leave your plants to dry out.

To make it a little easier to choose between the dozens of brands out there, we rounded up 12 of the best self-watering planters for this self watering planter review. We’ll be judging them based on function, style, durability and all of the other elements that set a planter apart from a great planter.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links and if you decide to buy through any of the links found here, we receive a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only suggest products we tested ourselves or products found on our wish list, nothing else. Thank you for your support!

self watering planter - classico matte

Lechuza Classico Color 21 Self Watering Planter

8'' self watering and aerating planter

8" Self Watering + Self Aerating Planter

7'' self watering planters with fiber soil

7 inch Self Watering Planter with Fiber Soil

12. Cole & Mason Self-Watering Herb Keeper: Triple

  • Advantages: Easily refilled with handy pour spout, neutral design, space for three pots, easy view of water level
  • Brand: Cole & Mason
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 4.5/5

We love the Cole & Mason self-watering planter for its simple design and the way it fits into the fridge to help us keep fresh herbs usable for much longer. Now, the only thing better than a good self watering planter is three self watering planters in one, which is why we’ve included the triple Herb Keeper in this review.

This rectangular planter has room for three plants. It was designed to grow herbs, but the smart design will work for any other (house)plant as well. The nifty felt pads that separate the water container from the plants make sure they won’t drown and can absorb water as required.

self watering herb keeper cole mason

11. Glowpear Urban Garden Self-Watering Mini Bench Planter

  • Advantages: Wall mount possible, modular design, fits into almost any décor
  • Brand: Glowpear
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Our Score: 4.7/5

Another elongated option for those that would like to grow multiple plants at once is the Glowpear Bench Planter. This elegant white planter is available in three versions: the standard variety with a 29.5” length, its 23.5” mini cousin and a handy wall planter. We especially love the wall planter, which fits perfectly into the tiny living trend and allows you to do some gardening on even the smallest balcony.

The Glowpear Bench Planter was designed with edible plants in mind, although it’ll work well for any type of greenery that requires plenty of water. The display allows you to easily see if it’s time to top off the water level, while its built-in drip tray protects your floor from stains.

Mini bench planter

10. Santino Self Watering Planter Latina 6.9

  • Advantages: Attractive price, various colors and sizes available
  • Brand: Santino
  • Material: UV resistant plastic
  • Our Score: 4/5

If you’re on a budget but still looking for a high-quality self watering planter, you’ll like the Latina self watering planter by Santino. Available in multiple sizes ranging between 6.9” to 13.8”, there’s a Latina for pretty much every plant aside from the absolute largest specimens. Additionally, the range includes multiple colors: from a natural cream to a bright pink.

The Santino Latina self watering planter is made from a UV resistant plastic material, which makes it a good option for both indoor and outdoor use. Its system allows you to ‘set and forget’ your plants for up to 4 weeks.

self watering pot by santino

9. Cute Self Watering Planter 

  • Advantages: Fun gift idea, plant seeds included, three varieties to choose from
  • Brand: Peropon
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Our Score: 3/5

The adorable ‘drinking animal’ self watering planter is a great gift option for the gardening enthusiast in your life, or a fun project to take on with your children. Available in panda, cat, and dog varieties, these small ceramic planters were designed to absorb water from a dish over time by means of a cloth ‘tongue’.

Unlike the other self-watering planters on this list, the drinking animal planter comes with plant seeds included. What plant you’ll get depends on the animal you chose: the options included are wild strawberry (panda planter), clover (cat planter), and mint (dog planter). It’s as simple as filling the water dish (which comes included) with water, submerging the planter’s pink tongue and waiting for the first sprouts to pop up.

Keep in mind that although its design is fun, this isn’t the best self watering planter if you’re serious about growing (edible) plants. It’s more of a novelty gift idea!

cute animal planter for your home

8. Lechuza Classico Color 21 Planter

  • Advantages: Available in three colors, comes with special substrate, great for outdoor use
  • Brand: Lechuza
  • Material: UV resistant plastic
  • Our Score: 5/5

The German-made Lechuza brand produces an impressive range of self-watering planters, but our personal favorite is probably the Lechuza Classico. This variety is available in three stylish matte colors (a neutral nutmeg, white and a statement-making garnet) and with a width of 8” is the right size for most plants.

One big advantage of the Lechuza planters is that they come with Lechuza Pon, which is Lechuza’s way of making sure your plants don’t drown. The special substrate sits between the soil and the actual water reservoir, thereby delivering water to the plants evenly.

Classic self watering brown planter

7. Seven inch Self Watering Planter with Fiber Soil

  • Advantages: Comes with coco fiber, four different colors available
  • Brand: GardenBasix
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 4.5/5

If you’re on the hunt for a complete package for your plants, GardenBasix sells a self watering planter that comes with a package of coconut fiber included. That way you only have to add the plant and some water to get things started. Simply place the fiber block in water to make it expand, plant your greenery and fill the water reservoir to commence the growing fun.

These 7” pots are sold in sets of one or three and come in four different colors including a neutral white. They can store enough water for around a week, allowing you to see when the level gets low with a handy display.

Fiber soil indoor and outdoor self watering planter

6. Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter (7”) + Fiber Soil

  • Advantages: Many different colors available, comes with fiber blocks
  • Brand: Aquaphoric
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 4/5

Need options when it comes to colors? The 7” self watering planter by Aquaphoric is sold in 12(!) different shades, making sure it suits any home. Each planter includes coconut fiber blocks so you don’t have to worry about buying soil and comes with an easy to read indicator that shows you when it’s almost time to pour new water into the watering slot.

The Aquaphoric pot features a sleek design that’ll fit in anywhere, although you should keep in mind that it appears to have been designed for indoor use only.

black indoor planter by Aquaphoric

5. Transparent Self Watering Planter 7″

  • Advantages: Funky design, also comes in packs of 2
  • Brand: N/A
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 4.5/5

We love stylish homes for our plants and this planter definitely does the trick for us. Unlike other self-watering planters on this list it doesn’t hide its inner watering mechanisms behind opaque plastic: it shows you exactly how much water is left by means of a clear, square reservoir. The inner pot that sits inside this reservoir and holds the actual plant is white and suits pretty much any style.

Because this self watering planter is made of a durable plastic it can be used both in- and outdoors. The large variety is a relatively standard 7”, which will fit most small houseplants. You can also buy it in a pack of two that contains a small (4.3”) and medium (5”) pot instead.

transparent self-watering planter 17''

4. 8″ Self Watering + Self Aerating High Drainage Deep Reservoir Round Planter

  • Advantages: Four different sizes, five colors, extra aeration
  • Brand: HBServices USA
  • Material: BPA free, UV stabilized plastic
  • Our Score: 4.5/5

Self watering planters are occasionally associated with root rot and other problems, especially if they’re badly designed. HBServices sought to combat this problem with their self watering and self-aerating planter, which will work well for even the fussiest plants.

Unlike with similar planters, there is some room between the water container and the actual plant that air can flow through freely. Additionally, the underside of the plant pot has air slits that allow additional aeration.

Another advantage of this self watering planter is that it comes in four different sizes between a small 6” and a large 12”, the latter even having wheels to make it easier to manage. Their sleek design makes them quite stylish and with five different colors they should work in any home.

white self aerating planter

3. Aquaphoric Herb Garden Tub

  • Advantages: Large enough for multiple herbs, comes with soil
  • Brand: Aquaphoric
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 3.8/5

Don’t underestimate the advantages of a small herb garden placed by a sunny window or on your patio: cooking or even making tea using fresh herbs is so much better! An elongated, self watering planter is perfect for hassle-free growing of multiple herb species at once. The 15.75” long Aquaphoric Herb Garden is exactly this, making it a great option for thirsty herbs like basil and mint.

Like the aforementioned Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter, their Herb Garden includes enough fiber soil blocks to fill it up and start growing. It’s available in black and white and has a display to clearly show when your plants need more water.

self watering passive hydroponic planter

2. Vencer 11 Inch Plastic Round Self Watering Planter

  • Advantages: Available in uncommon shapes, affordable price
  • Brand: Vencer
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 3.5/5

The 11” round self watering planter by Vencer is one of the only shallower, wider planters we could find to include in this list. Certain plant species like Begonias have a shallow root system that tends to spread to the sides rather than grow downwards, making this plant a great choice if you’re looking to grow them successfully.

In addition to the round variety, this self watering planter is also sold in a rectangular shape. It features a clear indicator to show the current water level and is easy to refill. It can be used both indoors and outdoors and its simple design should fit most homes.

1. TABOR TOOLS 8.5″ Self-Watering Planter

  • Advantages: Rattan look, suitable for in- and outdoor use
  • Brand: Tabor Tools
  • Material: Plastic
  • Our Score: 3.8/5

With its stylish rattan look and three simple color options (black, white and coffee), the self-watering planter by Tabor Tools makes a great home for your plants. Its water reservoir can hold enough water to keep your plants hydrated for up to 28 days, showing clearly when the time has come to water by means of a clear indicator.

This self watering planter is available in two heights, 8.5” and 11”, making them suitable for pretty much any medium-sized indoor or outdoor plant. A drainage plug allows you to use it outdoors without having to worry about flash floods drowning your plants, while the easy-lift inner basket makes replanting easier than ever.

If you love the idea of keeping plants alive without too much hassle, check out Darren’s reviews of the best indoor herb garden kits.

They work pretty much the same way, the only difference being the extra grow light. Some budget models are similarly priced to high-end self-watering planters!

Our Favorite Runner-ups:

Cute panda planter

Cute Self Watering Planter

Cutest Design

transparent-Self-Watering-Planter

Transparent Self Watering Planter

Unique Design

self watering pot by santino

Santino Self Watering Planter

Best Price

The benefits of using self watering planters

It hurts our pride to admit, but no one is the perfect plant parent – not even us. If you grow a large (house)plant collection, sometimes plants just die. Some are taken by disease, others by freak weather occurrences, but probably the majority of greenery still passes away due to… uh… underwatering-related causes. Yes, we’re guilty of this as well.

If you’re notorious for forgetting to water your plants or tend to be out of town for days or even weeks at a time, it can seem impossible to build your urban jungle. That’s where, praise the heavens, self-watering planters come in.

Self-watering planters are designed differently, and some are better than others. However, their primary function remains the same: to reduce watering needs to as little as once per month!

This comes in especially handy for plants that really need their soil to be at least slightly moist at all times. Examples of these are herbs (notoriously thirsty!), outdoor flowers, African violets, and carnivorous plants, although the pots work well for basically any species aside from maybe succulents and orchids.

In addition to preventing underwatering, self-watering planters can also help prevent untimely plant deaths due to overwatering. Watering too much can quickly cause irreversible damage to your plant’s roots in the form of root rot or fungus. Once things progress too far, it can be impossible to fix.

well-designed self-watering planter prevents these issues. Because the soil absorbs just the right amount of water at all times, it isn’t up to you anymore to gauge how much liquid to add with every watering. That’s precisely why the planters are called ‘self-watering’: although you add water initially, the plant can then decide for itself how much it absorbs at any given moment.

How do self watering planters work?

As mentioned earlier, all self-watering planters feature slightly different designs. The essential concept stays the same, though: you add a large amount of water at once to the water container rather than smaller amounts every few days directly to the pot.

A delivery system then allows the soil to soak up as much moisture as it needs. What this delivery system consists of can vary, as you’ve likely gathered from this self-watering planter review list.

The Cole & Mason self-watering planter uses felt pads that connect to the bottom of the pots, while Lechuza has their Lechuza Pon that the plant’s roots can grow into to absorb moisture.

Self-watering planters are generally outfitted with some kind of display that shows the current water level, so you’ll know when you’ll have to add more. This display can be located either at the top or bottom of the planter and in some cases the entire outer container is translucent, so you can clearly see the water sitting inside.

Almost all self-watering planters are made of plastic. Although this material is generally considered a little less stylish than ceramic, manufacturers usually manage quite well to produce a stylish product.

The upside of plastic is that it’s very durable, and since some plastics are UV resistant, they make the planters suitable to use both indoors and in the garden.

Although some self-watering planters come with potting material, most don’t, which means you have to come up with your own mix. Because your plant will be having constant access to moisture, a regular potting soil is too heavy and will often become waterlogged. Instead, it’s a good idea to choose something a little lighter.

Peat is a traditionally popular option, although in recent days it has lost popularity since it’s not a renewable resource. Many plant growers have turned to coconut coir instead. This sustainable material is light enough to hold moisture well and allows plant roots to breathe.

If you’re still worried it’ll be too dense, you can also always mix in a few handfuls of perlite or pumice.

Verdict: our favorite self watering planter

Everything taken together, our favorite brand of self-watering planters is Lechuza. Well-established and known for its super durable German builds, the brand is a staple in the world of planters. As mentioned in the Lechuza self watering planter review above, their Classico Color planter is stylish, easy to use and suitable for growing plants both in- and outdoors. Additionally, it includes Lechuza’s signature ‘Pon’, a hydroponic substrate that helps optimize the growing environment for your plants.

When it comes to budget choices, our favorite option is the Santino’s Latina planter. As we discussed earlier in our Santino self watering planter review it’s simply the cheapest option we could find when it comes to self watering planters, and luckily its low price didn’t come with compromises in regard to quality. The Latina planters are available in various sizes and colors, and they can be used both indoors and outside.

About the Author - Marijke Puts

Hi! I’m Marijke, although I go by Mari.I’m a houseplant fanatic writer turned plant blogger with the launch of my houseplant-centered website Houseplant Central. Not surprising, since I grew up in a home that probably contained 50+ houseplants at all times! When I moved into my own first apartment I quickly realized something was missing, which marks the moment my personal obsession with greenery began.

SEND AN E-MAIL TO THE AUTHOR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *