I have been a victim of losing beautiful houseplants to poor watering techniques. I came across self watering pots which were indeed a lifesaver. I wrote this article to share with you some of the cool things about these planters.
So how do self-watering pots work? It is by absorbent or capillary action. Self-watering pots have a growing bed, potting soil and water reservoir as well as a moisture drainage system that puts the soil in contact with water.
The roots absorb water from the soil while the moisture drainage system extracts more to improve constant soil moisture. These self-watering pots save the plant owner from having to track soil moisture before watering.
Read on to learn more about how self-watering pots work. You will learn the reasons for its rapid growth in demand. The information also serves as inspiration to try out these innovative pots.
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Do self-watering pots really work?
Yes, self-watering pots make growing houseplants easier, regardless of individual skill and experience. These pots increase comfort, water efficiency and improve plant health.
The self-watering pots have a drainage system and a water reservoir to keep the soil constantly moist. Capillary action helps replace water taken up by the roots allowing the soil to absorb more from storage.
The mechanism is based on intermolecular forces in liquids and attractive forces between the surface of a material and the molecules of the liquid. These cohesive and adhesive forces ensure successful capillary action.
Self-watering pots provide the houseplant with topsoil water as needed. Because the plant loses water through the leaves, it takes up more water through the roots. Capillary action also replaces water lost through the roots and soil in the reservoir.
If you have a good potting mix and a wicking mechanism, the soil will stay moist at all times. These pots are suitable for indoor plant lovers planning a short vacation. Keep in mind that potting soil never gets soggy or wet.
How are self-watering pots installed?
Installing a self-watering planter is a simple task. It is inexpensive because you can use readily available materials.
But if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, there are several online plant stores to buy ready-made pots. Here are the steps to set up self-watering pots:
Step 1: Sub-irrigation insert and aeration stones
Place the watering insert on the ground in the planter. Make sure the equipment is in place and pour aeration over it until it is completely covered.
Step 2: Transplant the plant into the pot
Remove the houseplant from the existing pot very carefully. Do not remove soil from around plant roots. Place it in the self-watering pot.
Step 3: Fill with soil
Fill the pot with soil and tamp it down to secure the plant. Water the houseplant as needed and place the self-watering pot in the sauce tank.
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Advantages and disadvantages of self-watering pots
Self-watering pots have advantages and disadvantages. Trying out these innovative planters will help you make an informed long-term decision.
Advantages of self-watering pots
Constantly improve soil moisture
Self-watering pots ensure constant moisture in the soil around the plant. The planter takes all the guesswork out of watering and minimizes the risks associated with inconsistent watering habits.
Efficient use of water
The water reservoir helps reduce the rate of evaporation. This allows plant roots to make the most of the available water. It also minimizes water waste, as seen when sprayed directly on plants.
Improve plant health
Most houseplants are more vulnerable to problems with too much or too little water. These poor watering habits can damage your favorite plant. Self-watering pots allow water to run off the bottom to protect leaves from disease.
Different types and styles
Automatic watering comes in different types and styles. Each design is known to suit specific houseplants. The variety of options allows the plant owner to make a perfect choice.
go on vacation
Self-watering pots keep houseplants well-watered and thriving. It allows a plant owner to go on vacation without having to worry about their favorite plant. Make sure there is enough water in the tank.
Disadvantages of self-watering pots
Limited to certain plants.
The role of a self-watering pot is to ensure a constant level of humidity in the soil. But some plants thrive in drier conditions. Drought-tolerant plants may not benefit from self-watering pots.
Not ideal in rainy weather.
Self-watering pots can become soggy when applied in areas of heavy rainfall. The humid environment facilitates the emergence of root rot. Root disease inhibits capillary action and causes plant death.
It causes salt buildup.
Self-watering pots require the plant owner to use liquid fertilizer in the tank. The practice leads to an accumulation of salt in the water tank and in the soil. Over-fertilization usually causes plant leaves to turn brown and crunch.
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Basic characteristics of self-watering pots
DIY and ready-made self-watering planters should have the following essential components. These properties allow the pot to perform its function correctly.
This is the top of the pot where the plant grows in the potting soil. The section contains aeration stones and soil that will support the plant as it grows.
Self-watering pots don’t need regular garden soil. The soil is too heavy and dense to further damage the plant. Use a light potting mix to prevent future compaction.
Water storage comes in different sizes depending on the climate. But it is usually proportional to the seeder total. Always fill the tank when the water level is low.
Capillary action transports water from the reservoir to the soil and onto plant roots. The mechanism ensures that the potting soil comes into direct contact with the water in the tank.
Are self-watering pots good for houseplants?
Yes, self-watering pots are suitable for most indoor plants. These tropical plants need a constant supply of moisture to the soil. These planters make it easy.
Do self-watering pots cause root rot?
Yes, constant humidity increases the risk of root rot. This is one of the reasons self-watering containers are unsuitable for some houseplants.
How long do self-watering pots last?
About 2-3 years, depending on the quality of the material. But it is recommended to repot houseplants every 2-3 years to avoid root problems. Always use a new, sterilized self-basting container.
Do self-watering pots attract mosquitoes?
Yes, standing water in the tank naturally attracts mosquitoes. Adding a few drops of oil will help prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the tank.
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Self-watering containers work when used correctly. The seeder sucks the water from the tank into the soil and the roots of the plants by capillary action. The absorption system relies on cohesive and adhesive forces to achieve success.
What’s most exciting is that the benefits of self-watering pots usually outweigh their drawbacks. Choose a pot that matches your houseplant and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
If you’re going on vacation, consider self-watering pots. There are different types of pots on the market today. Think sustainable materials with a better water storage system. Please note that the water can stay in the tank for 3-4 weeks.