Knowing how much water a plant needs can be a challenge but self-watering planters and plant pots can take a lot of that pressure away. Designed to allow plants to draw up water as and when they need it, self-watering planters are a great option to prevent overwatering, for when you go away or just want a little more peace of mind.
The amount of water a plant requires can vary considerably and depends on their country of origin and the environment they evolved in. And while knowing how to water house plants and the signs of over- or under-watering is always valuable, self-watering planters do have their uses.
We've included a range of outdoor and indoor self-watering planters and plant pots to help you find an option that suits the space or plants you have. These include vertical self-watering plant pots and herb keepers, along with raised flower beds and hanging baskets.
The selection below will, hopefully, show you the variety of shapes, sizes and styles on offer and is accompanied by a quick explanation of the ins and outs of self-watering planters and how they work.
For more advice on looking after house plants, read our guides to best watering cans, indoor plant pots and the best indoor greenhouses. To keep track of what you're growing, we also suggest investing in some plant labels.
How do self-watering planters work?
Self-watering planters work using a process called capillary action. Within all self-watering planters is a compartment containing a water reservoir from which plants can draw up water.
As the plant's roots absorb this water, the moisture in the soil will be kept at a consistent level. This is because as water is released from the plant's leaves, more water is drawn up by the roots to replace it.
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It is possible to set up your own self-watering system but investing in a more sophisticated, ready-made self-watering planter may be more helpful if you intend to use it often. Those from a retailer or garden centre often have extra features that can be useful, including a water level indicator, an overflow valve to allow excess water to escape and irrigation systems that can last up to 30 days.
Nine of the best self-watering planters and pots
Browse our pick of the best indoor and outdoor self-watering planters below.
Cole and Mason Fresh Herb Range Self-Watering Potted Herb Keeper
This triple herb keeper from Cole and Mason is designed to extend the life of any fresh potted herbs. Each plant rests on its own felt pad and draws up the water it needs. Nine replacement pads are also provided and can be washed and reused. The base features a lip to make it easier to fill without spillage.
Lechuza Balconera Self-Watering Planter
Available in four colours including slate, nutmeg and white, the Balconera planter from Lechuza features a removable planter liner, water level indicator and plant substrate. The pot is also UV and frost resistant.
Lechuza Trend Puro Textured Self-Watering Spherical Planter
This spherical planter is lightweight and recyclable. It has a water indicator to help prevent overwatering and an overflow valve allows excess rain water to escape. The inner plant liner is also removable to make planting fuss-free.
Freeport Park Mosaic Stone Plant Pot
Manufactured from composite, resin and fibreglass, this plant pot has a mosaic finish and is protected against UV and frost. It's best suited for outdoor use and has a capacity of 32 litres.
LSA International Canopy Self-Watering Planter
For a more modern, luxury feel, try this self-watering planter from LSA International. Water is drawn up the rope in the reservoir whenever plants need it. The transparent glass is not only a clean, bright option, but a rare opportunity to see the roots of your plants at work.
Symple Stuff Self-Watering Plant Pot
The Symple Stuff Self-Watering Plant Pot is a great option for those with limited floor space. It has a modular design so you can customise the height, colour and plant pot angle. Symple Stuff also promise that the plant pot's irrigation system has a range of more than 30 days.
Cubico Rattan Self-Watering Plant Pot
This tall, robust polyrattan pot from Cubico makes for a bold design statement. We think it would look fantastic by doors or arches when planted with bay or box.
Self-Watering Plant Pot Insert
These inserts are a brilliant idea, providing a self-watering mechanism for any pot. Simply pot your plants in the insert, and then add the insert back to your chosen pot. This will save you swapping all your pots for self-watering ones - a boon for house plant lovers.
Recycled Self-Watering Grow Pot Tower
Ideal for fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, this tower includes a self-watering pot with a 1.5m cane support frame. The pot has a 11-litre capacity, is made from recycled BPA-free plastic and is also supplied with a float indicator so you can check the water level quickly.
This Product Guide was last updated in June 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.