As the name implies, self-watering plants are not really able to water themselves. However, the pot in which the plants are placed is considered to be a consistent source of moisture for the plants growing inside of them. In this way, they require less water.
The basics through which these plants grow are the same, they need less water and are able to keep moisture alive. Although they may differ with the brands, planter styles, and containers. To water these plants, the water is poured directly into the water reservoir and then into the container above the reservoir that has plants in it.
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How Do Self-Watering Plants Work?
Self-watering plants are able to move the water from the reservoir and then into the planting container in two basic ways. Both these ways rely on the capillary action which is defined as the ability of a liquid to move from narrow spaces without any assistance of external force.
For instance, when the water touches one end of a tissue paper, it gradually creeps across the rest of the paper towel. Following are the two designs through which the self-watering system works:
- This is one of the most common systems. The container that holds plants is designed with the inclusion of a special section that is placed inside the water reservoir. This lets the potting mix have direct contact with the water. Through capillary action, the water from the wet potting mix creeps into the rest of the container of plants.
- A thing called ‘wick’ is placed inside the planting container. It has two ends, one is placed in the water reservoir and the other in the potting mix. This is done through the strip of the capillary mat which is an absorbent tube-shaped plug. It looks like a thick string. Through this string called wick, the water is sucked out from the reservoir and is delivered to the potting mix easily.
Another uncommon design system is considered to have a perforated separator between the plant’s container and the water reservoir. This denies the contact of the potting mix with the water. This leads to evaporation from the water reservoir to help moisten the soil at the container’s bottom.
Usually, the third system is not used because it is the least effective in keeping plants moisturized.
How Are Self Watering Plants Helpful?
Self-watering plants and containers are preferred by people because they offer consistent moisture and require less watering to be done by hand. During summers, the plants need to be watered twice a day. With self, watering planting systems, they can go a week between waterings even if the temperature is 100F+. This is consistency.
Ensure that plants such as cactus and succulents are not able to grow in self-watering containers. Also, it is considered that vegetables such as lettuce, beans, squash, and tomatoes provide a better yield if placed in self-watering containers.
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