Choose the Right Plants for Your Self-Watering Containers

Indoor gardeners who are too busy or forgetful to water their plants regularly will appreciate the convenience of self-watering pots. If you are unfamiliar with which plants do well in self-watering pots and which do not, you may kill your plant due to improper watering.

Choose the Right Plants for Your Self-Watering Containers

Which plants do best in self-watering pots, and which do not? Like African violets, snake plants and tomatoes thrive in self-watering pots. However, succulents & fiber-optic plants tend to struggle in such containers.

Read this article first, then go out and get that self-watering planter. Read on for a complete rundown of which houseplants thrive in self-watering pots and which ones you should avoid at all costs.

Best Plants for Self-Watering Pots

Snake plants

While snake plants have earned a bad rep for being notoriously challenging to eliminate, this is not to say that they are invincible. An excess of water might hasten the mortality of the snake plant. When watering your plants, a self-watering pot can help you avoid damaging them by accidentally giving them too much water. This function will prove to be helpful.

Snake plants prefer slightly moist but not soggy soil. A self-watering planter is a perfect answer to this problem. After filling the self-watering pot with water, you can allow the plant to take care of itself while you go about your day.

African violets

African violets are the first plant species not require human assistance to maintain their moisture levels when grown in containers. The beautiful purple blossoms of this African (and Tanzanian) houseplant are well-known. The flowers can range from pastel lavender to a deep royal purple.

The African violet will not survive in damp conditions. Maintaining wet moisture in the container is ideal, but any standing water must be allowed to evaporate before more water is added. By adjusting the parameters of your self-watering pot, you should be able to give your African violet just the right amount of water.

Water is absorbed by the African violet’s roots rather than pooling on the surface, so the topsoil doesn’t get mushy. That’s the preferable choice. African violets don’t like water sitting in their soil, so they use the overflow hole in the pot.

In general, Herbs

Can you tell me whether you’re really into herbs? When you plant herbs in a pot that provides water, you can spend less time tending to the garden overall. It’s suggested that you choose herbs that don’t require pre-soaking in water and can withstand extended periods of sun. One example is the bay leaf, but other examples include sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Venus Flytraps 

Do you long to grow a Venus flytrap but find that you simply can’t make the time for it now? While you admire your flytrap in your indoor garden, you may rest certain that the self-watering pot provides the soil moisture it needs. You shouldn’t count on the Venus flytrap to eliminate every insect nuisance in your garden. A flytrap can survive for months on the prey it catches and digests.

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Peace Lily 

Many people who attempt indoor gardening are unsure of what conditions a peace lily needs to grow. If the soil is too damp or the watering recommendations are not followed attentively, the gorgeous fake white flower of the peace lily may not be seen.

If you’ve tried growing a peace lily before and drowned it, you should try using a self-watering pot this time. These containers will prevent the soil from drying up due to overwatering and prevent any puddles from forming. The blossoming of your peace lily, one of your most desired sights, could happen sooner than you think.


The hosta, a native of Northeast Asia, called giboshi, is a popular choice for indoor gardeners in areas with limited sunlight due to its ability to thrive in partial shadow.

It’s also a great option for a plant to grow in because it can regulate its moisture levels in the pot. Similar to the bulk of the other houseplants I’ve discussed thus far, the soil in which the hosta grows should be maintained wet but not soggy. Beginner indoor gardeners may find it difficult to continuously maintain the soil at this level of moisture. Because you have a self-watering pot, you don’t have to worry about this.

Japanese Irises

The Japanese iris, another Asian plant, is a great pick for a self-watering pot because it rarely has to be watered. Keep the moisture always moist if you want to keep the houseplant alive. Remember that your self-watering pot won’t offer the plant stagnant water, even though it may thrive in such conditions. Flowering Japanese irises produce tiny violet blooms that resemble African violets but are much smaller.


Does anybody know if the Monstera deliciosa, or Swiss cheese plant, can be grown in a self-watering pot? Yes! Monstera, often known as the snake plant, grows best in conditions similar to those preferred by the snake plant. Self-watering pots often feature an overwatering control mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about the Monstera’s soil becoming oversaturated with water. The fingertip test is the most reliable indicator. Hence it should be conducted regularly.

Various Orchids

Some orchids, like the boat orchid and the Cymbidium, thrive with a constant moisture supply. Thus, a self-watering pot would be ideal for these plants. Care for a boat orchid properly, and it will repay you with beautiful blooms. While most blossoms are pink or white, others have orange or yellow outer petals with red or pink inner cores. Make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to go because you’ll take many images.


I’ve saved the pothos for last because it’s the only plant on my list that needs to be kept alive by self-watering pots. Though pothos prefers a damp environment, it is important that the soil not get waterlogged. If you have pothos, solid green, or variegated leaves in shades of pink and white, this is one of the worst things that can happen to your plant. A pothos’s leaves will droop if it isn’t getting enough water, but this won’t happen if it’s in a self-watering pot.

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You may grow lettuce and peppers, in addition to tomatoes, with a plant that waters itself in the home. One other tasty alternative is carrots. You can save money on weekly food costs and treat yourself to more of what you want by growing some of your food rather than buying expensive stuff. Like tomatoes, carrots require around an inch and a half of water every seven days. As an alternative, you can ensure the soil around the plant is always moist, and you’ll soon get thick and juicy carrots.


After growing your tomatoes, you’ll never want to buy them from the store again. I have some encouraging news for you if you’ve ever worried that tending a houseplant with the potential to yield veggies would be too much work. Having a planter that can water itself is a huge burden.

It is sufficient to keep the soil moist around a tomato plant rather than worrying about giving it exactly an inch and a half of water per week. It’s crucial to keep the moisture consistently moist; your pot won’t have any trouble doing so because it can water itself.


You can utilize the herbs you have growing in self-watering pots to add flavor to any recipe in the future. To grow your indoor garden, why not plant some garlic bulbs?

Then you may make honey garlic sauce, real garlic bread, or aioli, which are excellent. Soil high in organic matter, with enough drainage, and kept at a medium moisture level is ideal for growing garlic. When using a self-watering container, the soil will never become overly saturated. Make sure the soil’s pH is between 6.0 and 7.0 if you wish to grow even one garlic plant successfully.

Worst Plants for Self-Watering Pots


Plants that need constant water, if not drenched, soil are the most common reason why indoor plants can’t be grown in self-watering pots. However, the scenario is completely reversed when talking about succulents. Soil that is too wet, even slightly, is too wet for succulents. Like the desert environment they originated, they thrive when the weather is dry. Cacti, Haworthia, and echeveria are all examples of succulents; their fleshy leaves are adapted to store enormous amounts of water.

Adding more water to a pot of succulents is only necessary until the plant’s leaves have received all the water, which could take many weeks. To do it before that point, though, would be a display of hurry and should be avoided. Growing succulents in a self-watering pot could seem like a nice idea, but the soil will become too wet, and the succulents will grow.

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Despite being known as “spike moss,” Selaginella, the sole genus of the Selaginellaceae family, is sometimes mistaken for a fern. They are known as “fern allies” by some. The Selaginella plant needs consistently damp soil, which a self-watering pot can’t deliver. Lack of water causes the leaves to shrivel into brown, ball-shaped structures. Dormancy is another possible condition to be in.

Fiber Optic Plant

The fiber optic plant is a type of sedge sometimes referred to as fiber optic grass. The inflorescences that form at the end of each “blade” of “grass” are what give this plant its name; they grow like tiny fiber optic cables. Put a saucer of water under the pot or container this plant is in to grow it moist and encourage growth. Another choice is a basin.

Umbrella Palm

It’s not a palm tree but Cyperus alternifolius, the semi-aquatic umbrella palm. This quality has given rise to its alternate names, “umbrella papyrus” and “umbrella sedge.” It belongs to the sedge family, which includes grasses, and has such relatives. Umbrella palms need a lot of humidity and moisture; thus, instead of a self-watering system, you should maintain a saucer under the pot the palm is in.