15 Best Plants for Self-Watering Pots

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Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Tony Manhart

Self-watering pots can be a great option if you love to garden but live a busy lifestyle. We are sharing the best plants for self-watering pots that will make a great addition to your garden. No matter if you live in a house or apartment, using a self-watering pot can be beneficial.

There are plenty of plants that will flourish while growing in a self-watering pot, from flowers to vegetables. However, a self-watering pot is not suitable for all types of plants, so it is important to know the best choices for this type of unique pot.

What is a Self-Watering Pot?

A self-watering pot is a type of pot that has a reservoir system at the bottom to provide a steady supply of water to the plants. This allows your plants to get the right amount of water they need without you having to regularly water your plant.

With a self-watering pot, plants are watered from below instead of from the top. This allows the soil to maintain a consistent moisture level from the base of the pot, ensuring your plants get the water they need to grow.

While you still need to fill the reservoir for your self-watering plant, you will have to do it less than watering your plant as you would normally. It is a more natural way for plants to receive water, however, it is not ideal for every type of plant.

There are many benefits that come with using a self-watering plant. They are good for plant health and are good for the roots of the plants. In addition, they are eco-friendly as they help prevent over-watering. They are also a great option for anyone who is busy, as you don’t have to worry about watering as often.

Before buying one, it is important to know how to use self-watering pots. To use a self-watering plant, fill the top part of the pot with soil and then add your plant. Then, fill the bottom part of the pot, the reservoir, with water and place the top part of the pot on top.

Refill the reservoir as need be. Depending on what type of plant you are growing, you may need to fill it more often than for others. Be sure to read the instructions on your self-watering pot, as some may vary by the individual brand.

There are also different types of self-watering pots. In addition to the type where there is a water reservoir on the bottom, you can also buy a self-watering insert that you fill with water and put in your soil. The water will slowly release over time as your plant needs hydrating.


What Plants Do Well in Self-Watering Pots?

Fortunately, there are many great plants you can grow in a self-watering pot. Using a self-watering pot can give you the peace of mind that your plants are receiving the water they need without you having to worry about setting up a watering schedule.

Self-watering pots are versatile as they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Some of the best indoor plants for self-watering pots include peace lilies, basil, parsley, ferns, snake plants, and African Violets.


Tomatoes are one of the best plants you can grow, as they produce an abundance of vegetables and are typically easy to maintain. Tomatoes are a great candidate for growing in a self-watering pot.

Tomatoes prefer soil that is moist and benefits from around an inch to an inch and a half of water a week. Using a self-watering pot is a great option for meeting the water requirements of your tomato plants.


Spinach is a great plant to grow and is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. There are many different varieties of spinach you can grow. Spinach benefits from the soil being kept constantly moist, which can be provided with a self-waterer.

What Plants Do Well in Self-Watering Pots

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a versatile and delicious vegetable that is wonderful to grow in your home garden. They thrive in full sun and in moist, well-draining soil, making them a great candidate for growing in a self-watering pot.


Cucumbers are a popular vegetable with several different varieties you can grow. They thrive in warm weather, sunlight, and moist soil, coming in both bush and vine varieties. Bush varieties of cucumbers are a great option for growing in containers.


Carrots are one of the most popular varieties of vegetables and can be particularly fun to grow. While most people grow them in garden beds, you can also grow them in containers as well as long as they are big enough. Carrots prefer sunny locations and benefit from moist soil with frequent shallow waterings, which can be achieved with a self-watering pot.

Pole Beans

Pole beans can make a great addition to your garden and are often grown with trellises or other vertical supports. There are many great varieties you can grow and they will thrive in a sunny location of your garden. It is important to keep beans well-watered, as they need about two inches of water a week or else they will stop flowering.


Cilantro is a great herb that will take your dishes to the next level. It is a great herb to grow indoors, though you can also grow them in your garden bed as well. They do best in a location where they can receive afternoon shade and have moist soil.


Basil is a fragrant, flavorful herb that goes well with many different dishes. It is a great herb to grow indoors on a window sill where it can receive plenty of sunlight. Basil prefers to grow in soil that is consistently moist.


Parsley is an herb that pairs well with a variety of dishes. It enjoys plenty of water and like its soil moist, which you can provide with a self-watering pot. It is a great herb to grow either outdoors or indoors.


Irises are beautiful plants with vibrant flowers that come in a variety of different colors. The lovely flowers can grow in full sun or partial sun and should be watered consistently. You can grow irises in garden beds or containers.


Hostas are popular for their flashy leaves which makes them a great option for landscaping. They are hardy plants that do well in partial sun. While they can do well in a variety of conditions, they like moist soil which your self-planter can provide.

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are beautiful plants that are great for growing indoors. They have large, glossy, oval leaves and white flowers that are technically a special type of leaf. They prefer moist soil and humidity, which they can get with a water reservoir.

Boston Fern

Ferns make beautiful additions to your home and Boston ferns are no expectation. They like to grow in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. When grown indoors, they often need more frequent watering.

Snake Plants

Snake plants are beautiful, easy-to-care-for plants that are great to grow inside your home. It prefers soil that is slightly moist and can regulate water intake with a self-watering pot. They can thrive in bright, sunny areas or even dark corners of your home.

African Violets

African violets make beautiful plants to grow with their stunning flowers which are often purple but can come in a variety of colors. They are great houseplants and like to grow in areas that are bright with indirect sunlight. African violets like to grow in soil that is lightly moist.

Worst Plants for a Self-Watering Pot

While there are many different plants that grow well in self-watering pots, they are not the best option for every type of plant. For some dessert plants, they provide too much water, whereas for some tropical plants they don’t meet their water and humidity needs.

Succulents and Cacti

While snake plants can grow in a self-watering pot, most varieties of succulents and cacti do not do well in them. Most succulents and cacti don’t prefer moist soil and don’t need to be watered on a regular basis, so a self-watering plant will not provide ideal conditions and can even cause overwatering.

Umbrella Palm

Umbrella palms are semi-aquatic plants, meaning they need plenty of water to survive. Instead of a self-watering plant, they will do better in a saucer under the pot to provide more moisture.


Selaginella plants need lots of water, more than what your self-waterer can keep up with. If you do use a self-waterer, you will need to refill it more frequently than other plants.

The Best Plants for Self-Watering Pots

There are plenty of great plants that can thrive with a self-watering pot. From tomatoes to peace lilies and basil, there are a variety of plants that will benefit from receiving water from a reservoir underneath their roots. In addition, they are great for busy people, keep your plants healthy, and are eco-friendly, as you don’t have to worry about overwatering.

Do you have any questions regarding the best plants for self-watering pots? If so, please ask any questions regarding growing plants in self-watering pots in the comments below.

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