Watering plants is essential to maintain them in living conditions. When we start gardening, we either overwater or underwater and kill our plants. Watering globes, in my option, appeal to a sort of gift market niche – they do have a place in indoor pots and small plants, most likely when you go away for a few weeks.
Personally, I would only use them for this purpose. I have been gifted these sorts of things from time to time, and have a box somewhere in a cupboard in the garden where they lurk – largely unused. Based on my skepticism of these devices, this is a straightforward review of a few of the best watering globes that you could look at using.
Features Of The Best Watering Globes
The best watering globes for plants are those which have a small footprint and do not require a lot of space. The best watering globes are the ones that can be used in the garden and in other places where you need to water plants, such as the balcony. When choosing a watering globe for plants, it is important to consider the following points:
The size of the watering globe depends on the type of plant and how much water you need to supply it with. These globes typically provide a drip feed of water, so if you put a very big globe in a very small pot you will overwater your plant as bigger globes deliver more water per day.
Spheres have the most efficient volume-to-surface ratios for these applications. You can therefore choose between functionality and aesthetics.
Watering globes typically inform you of their flow rate – eg 250ml (a cup) over 5 days. If you have a plant that uses this much water in 5 days that is great. If you have a plant that needs less water, find a globe with a lower flow rate. Or more if your plant needs more.
I would only use a watering globe indoors. Outdoors the volumes they deliver to plants planted on the Earth are too low to be meaningful. Rather buy an irrigation timer system.
Make sure you get a globe that is made from high-quality materials. You don’t want to get a globe that is just a cheap plastic toy that will break easily.
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A Few Examples Of The Best Watering Globes
These mushroom Terracotta self-watering globes come in a set of three colors blue, green, and red. These globes are made of terracotta which is a clay-like ceramic the same material as pots. Terracotta is an organic material so the globes work best with your plants without damaging them.
Each globe holds up to 260 ml of water and will deliver this over 5 days. You don’t have to take it out to refill, you can use your watering can or hose to pour the water in.
I have not used a mushroom one, but I was given a few ones like that that look like bees. The principle of operation is that the water diffuses through the wall of the porous clay and then into the soil.
- It is durable – made of terracotta ceramic material
- Provides you with at least 5 days of watering
- Easy to refill without removing it from the soil
- I found that with time, the porous material they are made from clogs and they stop working (for my bee waterer, I assume it will happen with these too). To fix this, you can take them, and spray the inside with oven cleaner containing Sodium or Potassium hydroxide – this removes biofilms and makes them work again. Rinse well after cleaning, as plants do not like s hydroxide much. This product contains potassium hydroxide, hence any residues will be better for your plants.
The KikiHeim self-watering globes are made from clear glass and shaped like a bird. These are cute for anyone interested to have some beautiful globes in their pots or gardens. They are available in a set of two and are smaller than typical glass watering globes on the market today.
These globes are best for smaller pots and can supply your plants with water for the next 1-2 weeks delivering half a cup of water over this time. This is a really small amount of water if you think about it and probably limits you to using these for succulent plants. That is a flow rate of two teaspoons a day!!
I would expect that if you ram these into the soil without reading the instructions you will probably break the thing and cut your hand badly. Wear gloves.
- Transparent allowing you to monitor your watering process.
- Offers you 2 weeks of self-watering for plants that need very little water
- Are easy to set up – wear gloves to avoid cuts to hands if they break.
- They come in a pair.
- Very fragile, handle them with great care.
- The glass will develop algae with time and this will look terrible.
If you can get one of these to work reliably, then this is the system for you. Personally, I have not found a single place where there is any logical reason to use them other than to make the person that gave me the gift happy. As soon as they move out of town, the globe goes into my garden shed and never gets used again.
Again, there are many ways each of us is different and I know people who use watering globes and have amazing plants!! Try them out and see if they work for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are watering globes worth it?
No. They are a gimmick. That said there are a few places where they can be useful. Succulent plants that require very low rates of water application can benefit from these if you are a very forgetful person.
Are watering globes good for all plants?
No. They have different rates of water delivery, and you will have to measure your plants water consumption by watering by hand, and then calculate what globe you need for keeping your plant wet while you go away. As an example, if you find your plant needs a cup of water every week, and you give it a globe that delivers a cup over two weeks, you will need two globes.
Caroline is a gardener who loves to get down to the nitty–gritty of gardening. She proudly proclaims herself as a ‘dirt worshipper‘ and can often be found deep in the garden, covered in soil and singing to her plants. As a self–proclaimed ‘plant whisperer‘, Caroline believes that plants need love and attention just like any other living thing, and she loves to give them both. When she‘s not tending to her garden, you can often find her researching the latest gardening trends, or teaching others how to make their gardens thrive