The 10 Best Self-Watering Planters of 2021

Save water and time with these self-watering planters

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The Rundown
We love the modern design of this planter, which consists of a terracotta planter nestled inside a larger glass reservoir.
These planters are perfect for planting herbs in front of a sunny window, and are available in clear, amber, or green glass.
Each beautiful handcrafted pot is made to order in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
If you’re interested in taking the hydroponic plunge, The Farmstand lets you grow anywhere from 12 to 36 plants.
Small but mighty, these affordable planters are a great way to get your garden started.
Plant your dream windowsill garden with these durable planter boxes.
Hanging baskets can be tricky to water, but VIVOSUN makes it easy with a self-watering reservoir.
Recreate one of those colorful container garden recipes with this roomy planter.
This is one of the largest self-watering planters on the market.
Perfect for succulents or fairy plants, these small pots are adorable.

Watering is one of the single most important parts of gardening when it comes to determining overall success. Even though it sounds simple, there are many things that can go wrong. The container might have bad drainage, leading to root rot or other problems, but probably most common of all is that you just forget to water your plant altogether. Don’t feel bad—this happens to even the best gardeners. This is exactly why self-watering planters are such a great solution! These containers will all help you have gorgeous plants with minimum effort.

There are many great reasons to use self-watering containers, and among them include water conservation, overall convenience, and even reducing the risk of plant disease. You could even make your own version of self-watering pots for years using a simple wine bottle. Most containers have really specific instructions as to how much water to use and will tell you when to add more, and the options are plentiful.

Here are the best self-watering planters on the market:

Best Overall: MoMA WetPot Self-Watering Pot

WetPot Self-Watering Pot

We love the plastic-free modern design of this planter, which consists of a terracotta planter nestled inside a larger glass reservoir. Fill the reservoir with water, and your plants roots will absorb just the right amount of water through the planter’s walls. The clear glass design makes it easy to see when it’s time to add more water. 

It’s available in three sizes, and can be used indoors or outdoors as long as the air temperature stays above freezing. If you have a favorite plant or flower that you’ve tried to grow in the past but haven’t succeeded, you might try again with a self-watering pot. It might be just the thing to help you make it work.

Best Recycled: Etsy Wine Bottle Self-Watering Planter

Self-Watering Recycled Wine Bottle Planter

If you’re crafty and have tools for cutting glass, this style of wine bottle planter is possible to DIY. Or you can get a simple upcycled planter from a maker on Esty, like this one based in New Jersey. These planters are perfect for planting herbs in front of a sunny window, and are available in clear, amber, or green glass. 

The self-watering rope is secured through the bottle’s cork, so virtually no part of the wine bottle goes unused. Each planter comes with as complementary soil and seeds to get you started.

Best Indoor: Etsy African Violet Self Watering Planter Pot

Handmade Self-Watering Planter

This beautiful handcrafted pot features four holes around the base of the planter, allowing your plant to draw water up from the outer dish as needed. Each ceramic pot in made-to-order by Etsy maker Angela in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. She also offers white, green, and deeper shades of blue. 

The pot stand about 7 inches wide x 4 inches tall, and may take two to four weeks to craft and ship. 

Best Hydroponic: Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Lettuce Grow Farmstand

If you’re interested in taking the hydroponic plunge, The Farmstand offers a flexible model that lets you grow anywhere from 12 to 36 plants. Available in five sizes, you can add or subtract stackable rings to accommodate your desired number of plants.

This planter is made from recycled plastic, and uses 95 percent less water than traditional gardening. It will need to be plugged in at all times to run the planter’s pump, and you may also want to consider adding a drip tray underneath it. For every 10 of these planters sold, one Farmstand is donated to schools, nonprofits and community organizations through a partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation. 

Best Budget: Laerjin Self Watering Pots

These small but mighty planters (available as a 5.5-inch pot or a 6.7-inch pot) are incredibly affordable and a great way to get started with self-watering. You add water into the reservoir at the bottom, which allows the plants to absorb what they need naturally. This is especially important for sensitive plants that might need extra care when establishing a strong root system.

These pots would be perfect to grow herbs indoors on a windowsill or for small houseplants.

Why so much plastic?

We don't love how many of the self-watering planters on the market are made from new plastic, but we hope that you'll use them for many years and save lots of energy and water during the planter's lifetime.

Best Windowsill: Amazing Creation Windowsill Herb Planter Box

Amazing Creation Windowsill Box

Have your dream windowsill garden with this planter box. The shape of the container is purposefully designed to give your plants more room to take root and grow bigger. This set of three boxes comes in three colors – coffee, orange, and green. All are around 10 inches long x 4 inches deep, giving you plenty of space for your favorite herbs.

The box material is sturdy, fade-free, crack-resistant, and safe for food. These would also make the perfect gift for a gardener in your life.

Best Hanging Baskets: VIVOSUN Self Watering Hanging Basket

Self watering hanging baskets

Hanging planters in general don’t tend to be the most efficient when it comes to watering. As soon as you water most hanging baskets, it drips out and you need to add more. This leads to a lot of watering—and honestly, a lot of forgetting, which can lead to wilt-y or dead plants. But you don’t have to worry about that with self-watering hanging baskets.

They are perfect to use inside or out, and you can finally go on vacation without needing someone to stop in and check on your plants. This particular design comes in a two pack and has four different colors to choose from. They are made from a durable plastic that shouldn't rust, peel, or fade.

Best for Container Recipes: Lechuza 15372 Cube Cottage Self-Watering Garden Planter

 Lechuza 15375 Cube Cottage

Are you looking for a container big enough to recreate one of those container recipes that you see at the garden center or online? This 12-inch cube will do it. It includes a liner, which you can lift out and in for easy planting. This also allows you to separate your plants from the water reservoir to aerate plant roots and give it room for optimal nutrition.

This planter also includes a drainage plug, so if excess water collects outside from rainwater, then you can easily drain it. The wicker-style design is perfect for the garden and comes in several color options. 

Best Large Capacity: Keter Easy Grow 31.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed

Keter Easy Grow Patio Garden Flower Plant Planter Raised Elevated Garden Bed, Brown

This is one of the largest self-watering planters on the market, sitting around 44 inches wide by nearly 20 inches deep. It has a water gauge that will tell you exactly when you need to add more water. It also has an added drainage system in case it rains more than your plants need.

Put this planter anywhere you want (the rattan design is weather resistant), and it’s especially popular on a deck or patio. It’s big enough to grow your favorite flowers, veggies, or herbs.

Best Miniature: GARDENIX DECOR Self-Watering Succulent Pots

These small pots are oh-so cute, sitting just under 4 inches wide and tall. They would be perfect for succulents, fairy plants, or other small houseplants. You could also grow some herbs in them. Even though they are small, they can last up to two weeks between waterings. Just keep an eye on the indicator, so you know when to add more.

Available in colors of white, grey, or teal, these little planters look really great grouped together. 

Final Verdict

Our top choice for a self-watering planter is the WetPot Self Watering Pot (available from 2modern.com). But if you’re in the market for a bigger container that can hold several different plants, we recommend the Keter Resin Elevated Garden (available at Amazon). 

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Author Stacy Tornio is an expert in garden topics. She's written award-winning books about nature and gardening, and published articles on gardening for over ten years.