ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Self Watering Planters - Use or Build a Self Watering Container

Updated on July 5, 2017
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

To garden is to lose one's self in the earth while gifting yourself and your family with wholesome goodness from your own backyard.

Use a Self Watering Planter for Flowers, Vegetables or Herbs

Most vegetables do well with an inch or more of water per week during the peak of their growing season. During the hot part of the summer that can mean that you need to be watering several times a week. For many gardeners that is impractical, so a great alternative is to use a self watering planter. These planters have a built in reservoir that wicks into the root system to keep the moisture where it needs to be for optimum growth. One of the more popular uses is for self watering tomato planters to help with watering your tomatoes. Here is more on these ingenious planters.

Newly planted herbs in an EarthBox
Newly planted herbs in an EarthBox | Source

Self Watering Planters

Build or Buy Your Planter?

Despite what the name says, the typical self watering container does not actually do the full watering job itself. It would be more accurate to call it a planter with a built in water reservoir. You don't normally connect plumbing to one of these, but simply fill them with water and have it use the reservoir over an extended period of time. You do have to check them and learn the ample use time in between fillings, but after that, you will find these type of planters very useful. This is especially true if you travel or do not have time to tend to your plants every day.

The advantage to any container garden or planter is that you can put your flowers or vegetables in spots that are not typical gardens, like patios or even apartment balconies. But the big problem with most container grown plants is that they need to be watered on a regular basis, yet if they are not properly drained they can actually drown a plant if they are exposed to too much rainfall or just over watering by the gardener.

Self watering containers are a good way to address the watering problem. By making a planter that has a reservoir, along with some type of wicking system to feed the water as needed, you can go a much longer time between times that you have to actually water the container. It's really a life saver in some hotter parts of the country, which in months like July and August, tend to suck the life out of plants.

There are components to buy that make the job of building your own planter somewhat simpler if that's the route you want to take. Making one of these is not that difficult. You can do it with just a couple of five gallon containers, a few miscellaneous parts, a drill with hole saw - most things you have around the house.

Or just simply buying a self watering container is an option. You can find them starting at around fifteen dollars, and going up from there.

Build or buy a self watering planter, the choice is yours.

EarthBox 1010011 Garden Kit, Terra Cotta
EarthBox 1010011 Garden Kit, Terra Cotta

I grew basil in my boxes this year and have been making fresh pesto for months!


EarthBox Self Watering Planters

If you are interested in simply purchasing a self watering planter, one of the most popular is the Earth Box planter system. This is a fairly good size unit, that has an optional stand that makes it possible to grow vegetables and even climbing plants like vine beans and sweet corn. It includes a patented internal self-watering grid that makes it impossible to over water the plants or flowers you house in the EarthBox.

EarthBox Victories!

Leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce

Using Rain Barrels

Since your self watering containers will be outside, what better water source is there than Mother Nature's rain near by in a rain barrel.

Collecting rain with a rain barrel is easy and while the original investment may take a few years to make up, I believe the investment is at the least two-fold: 1) you are recycling a gift from the earth, and 2) nothing is better for your outdoor plants than what Mother Nature gives us.

In 2015, North Central Texas received a record number inches of rain in the spring. I didn't even need the water in our rain barrel. However, when the rain stopped, and the temperature climbed to the upper 90's, I used our collected rain for two weeks before using hose water. That is definitely $avings!

Build Your Own Self Watering Container

Perhaps you are skilled enough to create your own self watering container. This one would work well on the balcony.

What are Your Favorite Planters?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joanie Ruppel 

      4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @Heidi Vincent: Good Luck!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      Interesting idea, jsr54! I will try these when I plant my new set of vegetables.

    • lisln profile image


      5 years ago from Denver Colorado

      This does sure come in handy because I tend to forget to water my plants. Great lens!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile imageAUTHOR

      Joanie Ruppel 

      5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @Wayne Rasku: That's awesome, I wish you luck!!

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 

      5 years ago

      I created my own self watering container last week, but it was not nearly as easy as the one in your video. Now, I'm going to go try this method... just in time for spring. Thanks

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      7 years ago from Covington, LA

      I have several of these "self watering" pots. They work well when you also use water absorbing soil polymers in the potting soil.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)