5 Best Plants for Self-Watering Pots

The best plants for self-watering pots prefer moist soil and grow relatively quickly. Fast-growing plants are suitable for self-watering pots because they quickly develop complex roots to soak up moisture.

The 5 best plants for self-watering pots are:

  1. Pothos
  2. Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
  3. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  4. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list; there are hundreds of alternate options. Nonetheless, these are safe options that grow well in self-watering pots worth planting in.

Recommended Plants for Self-Watering Pots

1.   Pothos (All Varieties)

The different Pothos varieties are great for self-watering pots because they grow exceptionally quickly, even under little care.

The different types of Pothos include:

  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’)
  • Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’)
  • Neon Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’)

Most, if not all, Pothos plants can be grown in a vase of water alone, without soil. Their roots love water, and they grow bigger and bigger with sufficient sunlight.

Self-watering pots maintain the constant moisture that Pothos varieties love. A well-fed self-watering pot will satisfy the Pothos for weeks, making it an ideal plant for the busy individual.

The Pothos is flexible when it comes to watering. Even if left unattended for a few weeks, it will survive just fine. And in cases of accidental overwatering, it will absorb the moisture quickly as long as there’s plenty of indirect sunlight to support its growth.

Remember that a self-watering pot cannot prevent the Pothos from getting sunburnt, so avoid placing them under direct sunlight.

I have many Pothos around the house but I like to keep them in water-filled vases. But I have a few friends that grow them in self-watering pots because they’re often away from home for work.

2.   Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are popular houseplants and thrive in self-watering pots.

Like the Pothos, Peace lilies grow in a wide range of watering conditions but generally prefer slightly moist soil. This characteristic makes it suitable for self-watering pots because they’re designed to maintain soil moisture.

However, I recommend a soil mix with proper drainage to prevent the self-watering pot from creating a water-logged soil base. Otherwise, the wet soil will attract fungus gnats to your plants.

Peace lilies are quite telling when it’s lacking water. Their leaves will wilt sadly, and they will stand upright again once watered.

Hence, self-watering pots provide a great home for peace lilies. Simply refill the reservoir as needed; your peace lilies will grow lushly year-round.

3. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivies are vigorous growers and heavy drinkers, which makes them suitable for self-watering pots. The water contained in the reservoir feeds into the soil over time, allowing English Ivies to stay hydrated.

English Ivies are commonly used as home decorations due to their attractive foliage and trailing growth habits. To foster this growth, the plant needs a constant stream of nutrients to grow continually.

Another reason why self-watering pots are great for English Ivies is because they provide an even distribution of water moisture.

English Ivies are prone to waterlogged soils that lead to root rotting, so the self-watering pots are perfect for maintaining a balanced soil moisture level.

Here is an idea: English Ivies are great trailing plants to put on the bookshelf. They give a cascading effect that adds color and pattern to any dull shelf. 

4. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basils are great herbs to grow in the self-watering pot because they need consistent moisture to grow their foliage fully.

Basils emit a sweet and herbal scent that is peppery and minty. Many people choose to grow basils at home because they grow so easily under warm conditions.

Self-watering pots help reduce the need to water basil plants regularly. By filling in the reservoir, it keeps the soil moist throughout the week.

The ideal location to place the basil is somewhere exposed to at least 6-8 hours of sun. Placing it outside the balcony, backyard, or open space will allow basils to grow to their full potential.

Since basils require plenty of sunlight, basils planted in standard pots tend to dry out pretty quickly. This is where self-watering pots keep basils hydrated and looking fresh and green.

5.  Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

If you want to use a self-watering pot indoors, consider planting the Boston Fern.

Boston ferns grow best under indirect light with regular soil moisture. Self-watering pots do a great job of maintaining a healthy soil mix for these ferns.

Some self-watering pots have a moisture indicator, which tells you when the soil is about to dry out. This minimizes the risk of the Boston ferns drying out.

Boston ferns are pretty easy to grow. But with the assistance of self-watering pots, it makes taking care of these ferns even easier.

I recommend placing the Boston ferns near the window with plenty of air circulation. Under the right conditions, the Boston fern will reward you with arching fronds with pinnate leaflets that give a feathery grace.

Final Thoughts

When browsing plants for a self-watering pot, choosing one adapted to moist soil is important. Simply look at the tags in nursery plants or do some quick research on the plant you’re interested in to ensure it doesn’t mind getting its feet slightly wet.

One of the problems with self-watering pots is that it’s not a friendly home for all plants. The most obvious one is succulents, which generally prefer a desert-style soil base.

The other important point is to make sure that you have well-draining soil.

Self-watering pots are designed to keep the soil moist, so your soil mix must be porous to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Hope this article has helped, and good luck in your plant hunt!

Plantician Guy (Mike)

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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