How To Plant In A Self-Watering Planter

How To Plant In A Self-Watering Planter

How To Plant In A Self-Watering Planter

A self-watering planter is a great way to garden if you don’t have a lot of time or if you’re not very good at keeping plants alive.

They are also great for people who live in apartments and don’t have access to a yard but they work great outdoors too. In this blog post, we will teach you how to plant in a self-watering planter.

How To Plant In A Self-Watering Planter

If you’re using a self-watering planter for the first time, you might be wondering how to plant in it. The process is actually pretty simple and we’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of plants you want to grow. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s time to choose your self-watering planter.

There are a lot of different types and sizes of self-watering planters, so make sure to pick one that’s right for your space and needs.

I am using these DELF self-watering planters and am very happy with how they work. There are 6 in a set and they are 6.7 inches a good size for many vegetables.

DELF 6 Pack 6.7" Self-Watering Planters Flower Pots for Indoor Garden Devil's Ivy, African Violet, Ocean Spider Plant, Orchid, White Color

I like to use GroBuckets for larger plants like tomatoes or peppers. You can use smaller pots for herbs and most other vegetables.

strawberries in self-watering pots

Self-Watering Planter Growing Media

Once you have your self-watering planter, it’s time to fill it with soil. There are several choices.

When we talk about soil we are not talking about garden soil so don’t try to use it. It will compact too much and may have bugs or diseases.

You can use peat-based soil mixes, coco coir, or even hydroton in your self-watering container but garden soil is out.

You can use any type of potting mix, but if it’s heavy make sure to add some extra perlite to help with drainage.

If you use coco coir you can skip adding perlite and I really recommend coco because it has superior wicking properties.

However, unlike soil coco does not provide nutrients so you must fertilize it.

You can also use hydroton or even perlite in your planter. It works better for plants that need less water otherwise potting mix or coco coir is a better choice.

Once your planter is filled with soil, it’s time to plant your seeds or starts. It is better to use transplants because they already have an established root system.

You can direct sow in a self-watering container too. All seeds won’t germinate so sow more than you need and then thin them out.

To plant your seeds, simply make a small hole in the soil and drop them in. Gently cover them with soil and water well.

If you’re planting starts, dig a hole that’s big enough to fit the root ball and gently place the plant in the hole. Fill in around the plant with soil and water well.

You will top water only to start your seeds or settle in your transplants. After that bottom water only from your reservoir.

When you water you will want to add fertilizer to make a nutrient solution to feed your plants.

Any complete water-soluble fertilizer will work. Follow directions and don’t over-fertilize. I would try a half dose when trying any new fertilizer.

How To Water A Plant In A Self-Watering Planter

Now that you know how to plant in a self-watering planter, it’s time to learn how to water your plants. This part is actually pretty easy, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First of all, you’ll need to check the water level in the reservoir regularly and add more when it gets low. It’s important not to let the reservoir run dry, as this can damage your plants.

Secondly, make sure to use lukewarm water when filling up the reservoir. Hot or cold water can shock your plants and cause them harm.

And finally, don’t forget to have a way to catch any overflow after filling the reservoir if your self-watering planter has one. 

Fertilizer Tip For Coco Coir

If you decide to use coco coir it grows fantastic plants and roots but it is an inert hydroponic medium and needs to be fertilized before use.

CANNA Coco Brick 40l Expandable Natural Plant Medium Soil Substrate, 40 Liter Expanded - 8 Liter Dry, Reusable (1) Coco coir is available loose or in bricks. One thing that is different about coco coir is it needs extra calcium and magnesium often called CalMag. 

I prefer using the bricks and rehydrating them. They are easier to store and easy to rehydrate when needed.

General Hydroponics CALiMAGic 1-0-0, Concentrated Blend of Calcium & Magnesium, Secondary Nutrient Deficiencies Helps Prevent Blossom End Rot & Tip Burn, Clean, Soluble, 1-Quart I precharge my coco coir with CaliMagic. There are many brands but I found it is the best. I use it at 3 ml per gallon when I hydrate my bricks.

Once your plants are in the self-watering planter, all you need to do is keep an eye on the water level and add more when it gets low. Other than that, just sit back and watch your plants grow!

What Plants Do Best In Self-Watering Pots

Not all plants will do well in a self-watering planter. I would not use it for succulents or cacti because they like to dry out.

They work great for just about any vegetable, herbs, and even flowers.

How To Plant In A Self-Watering Planter Final Thoughts

While self-watering planters can be a great way to reduce the amount of time spent watering plants, they do require some special care when it comes to planting. Follow these steps for success:

• The first step is to choose a planter that is the appropriate size for the plant. 

• Once you have selected a pot, fill it with a moisture-retentive potting mix. Coco coir works great in self-watering pots.

• Make sure to wet the mix thoroughly before planting.

• When it comes time to plant, make a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of your transplant and place the plant in the hole.

• Be sure to firm the mix around the roots and water well.

• Self-watering planters are watered from the bottom up.

• Monitor the water level in the reservoir and add more when it gets low.

With proper care, self-watering planters can provide an easy way to keep plants healthy and avoid over or under-watering.