The Best Self-Watering Planters for Your Home, Deck or Patio

Take the work and worry out of watering flowers, veggies and herbs when you use a planter that gives plant roots the right amount of moisture.

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December 06, 2022

Watering your indoor and outdoor plants can be a chore when the weather is hot and dry. So is finding a neighbor to take care of them when you’re out of town for work or vacation. Self-watering planters can save your greenery — not just your plants, but also your hard-earned money wasted when water from a sprinkler or hose runs off or evaporates before it can soak in.

Self-watering planters typically use thick strings, wicks or a capillary material to move water from a water tank to your plant's roots. These pots and containers are available in many sizes, shapes and colors, and depending on what kind of plants you’re growing and your growing conditions, some can hold enough water to keep plants moist as long as two to four weeks. Check out our list of the best self-watering planters for your needs.


A big plant needs a big planter. When it’s time to water, Lechuza, the manufacturer of the CUBE Cottage, says their pot “puts the plant in control.” It comes with a special substrate that helps regulate how much water the roots receive, and a built-in water-level indicator tells you at a glance when it’s time to refill the water reservoir. Use it indoors or out; it’s made in Germany from frost- and UV-resistant polypropylene plastic. Lightweight and recyclable, the planter comes with a removable liner and drainage plug. It measures 20” x 20” x 20”.


Lechuza also makes the DELTINI Self-Watering Garden Planter. Available in white, pastel violet, taupe or charcoal, it has more than 1,100 five-star ratings on Amazon. Recommended for indoor use, this planter measures 6” x 6” x 8” and, like the CUBE Cottage, comes with a specially formulated substrate to help deliver the right amount of water to plant roots. It also has a water-level indicator, drainage plug and a liner that's easy to remove for planting or cleaning. The manufacturer says you may be able to go up to 12 weeks between waterings — again, depending on what you’re growing and your growing conditions.


Love to grow your own herbs? Keep cilantro, thyme and other fresh spices on hand in the Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit. It comes with an energy-efficient LED grow light, a built-in timer and three preplanted pods of basil seeds to get you started. More than 50 other kinds of seed pods are available so you can grow wild strawberries, lavender, chili peppers and other plants. The water tank holds enough water for a month and uses a float to signal when it’s time for a refill. The pods contain all the nutrients and minerals the plants need. At 9” x 4.9” x 12.5”, this compact cutie is like a plug-and-grow plant nursery. Harvest your herbs or transplant them when they outgrow it.


You may be able to quench your plants' thirst for up to a week with GardenBasix's Elongated Self-Watering Planter. Just place your plants in the inner pot, add water to the outer pot and lower the inner one into the outer one. A water-level indicator tips you off when the water level is low, and a special injection port makes refills easy. Made of plastic, the planter comes with 4 discs of coconut coir, a plant fiber that fluffs up when it gets wet. (The coir is low in nutrients, though, so you'll probably want to add fertilizer.) This 5.5" x 16" indoor/outdoor planter has a hole in the bottom so you can hang it from a hook (not included) as well as a drainage hole and plug. It makes a simple, stylish addition to a tabletop, windowsill, deck or balcony.


At 30.7" tall, 44.9" wide and 19.4" deep, the Kenyen One-Piece Elevated Garden Bed Planter lets you sit or stand to use it; it’s also great for kids or gardeners with aching backs or bad knees. Made by Latitude Run of high-quality plastic, this weather-resistant planter can hold houseplants indoors or veggies, flowers and herbs outside on a deck or patio. It features a 31.7-gallon capacity and holds 2.5 cubic feet of soil, the equivalent of about one bag. Use the included gauge to know when to add water and open or close the drainage tap as needed. Some assembly is required.


The sun and wind usually make plants in hanging baskets dry out faster than plants in the ground, so it can be challenging to keep them watered. VIVOSUN self-watering hanging baskets have built-in reservoirs to help keep plant roots hydrated. The baskets come in a set of two, one with a 10.2” diameter and one with an 8.3” diameter, and have drainage holes and plugs. Heavy-duty chain hangers measuring 17.7” long are included. Use the baskets, made of reinforced plastic to resist denting and fading, in your home or outside. Look for them in dark gray, brown, black or white.


Forget all that bending and stooping when you garden in CedarCraft’s self-watering elevated planter, which stands 32” high, 47" wide and 21” deep. It holds 4.8 cubic feet of soil and has a 6-gallon water reservoir, a water-level indicator and a handy fill tube for your garden hose. Wicks inside the planter draw water from eight wells in the bottom to irrigate the soil. After you roll the planter onto your deck or patio, use the two locking casters to keep it in place. Rustproof, powder-coated aluminum legs support the planter box, which is made from Canadian spruce.


Available in white, blue, green, black and plum, the HB Self-Watering Planter is a round container with a glossy finish for indoor or outdoor use. Its hollow legs reach down into a water tank and move water directly up into the soil. Slats on the bottom of the inner planting compartment allow good drainage and airflow. There's a removable watering attachment included; just clip it onto the planter to add more water to the reservoir. The planter sits on elevated "feet," which help keep water stains and spots from getting on surfaces. These budget-friendly pots measure 6", 8", 10" and 12" inches in diameter. The 12" size has wheels.


Window box planters really dress up your home, but it can be tricky to reach out far enough to add water when your plants dry out. The Anastasia Self-Watering Window Box Planter, by Winston Porter, has a hidden sub-irrigation system that gives roots a drink when they need it, and its wide top encourages good air circulation. Durable and sturdy, it's made of plastic polypropylene to resist cracking and weather extremes. It measures 10.8" high, 48" wide and 11" deep and comes partially assembled. Mounting brackets are included. While it has drainage holes, it doesn't come with plugs, but you'll use it outdoors, so water can drain freely anyway.


Tall, elegant and sophisticated. A self-watering container, like the Lark Manor Kentshire Self-Watering planter, can be attractive and efficient. The water reservoir goes halfway to the top, and there's a watering tray hidden inside for irrigation, so you won't need to add as much potting mix as you might think. Made in the U.S.A. from high-quality plastic, it's weather-, rot- and fade-resistant. The planter stands 32" high and 15.6" wide overall. The interior is 10.5" high by 10.5" wide and 28.5" deep. Use it indoors or out; drainage holes allow water to escape, so if it rains and you see water running out, or you fill it and it overflows, you'll know the reservoir is full. Available in white, black, espresso and graphite gray.

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