Search Articles

Instructions for Planting in Self-Watering Containers


Step 1. Prepare your container. If you plan to use your container outdoors and it lacks a drainage hole, drill one to three holes in the bottom of your container to allow excess water to drain out during heavy rains or overwatering. Many containers have marked areas on the bottom or on the side to indicate where you can drill drainage holes. Some containers have removable plugs. Drainage is important to prevent plants from drowning. If your container is for indoor use only, you may omit this step.

Step 2. Assemble the Self-Watering Conversion Kit. Snap the Platform onto the Reservoir and place it into the pot. The Platform's wings will automatically adjust to the size of your planter.

Step 3. Place the Fill Tube into the round opening in the top of the Platform. The fill tube is notched so you can adjust it to the desired height. Position the tube so that the top and lid will be above the soil line after planting.

Step 4. Drop the Water-Level Indicator into the Fill Tube so that the float end rests on the bottom of the reservoir. With sharp scissors, trim the top of the Indicator stick so that it sits 2" below the top of the Fill Tube. Once the reservoir has been filled with water, the Indicator will rise to the top of the tube. When the water level gets low, the Indicator will sink, letting you know it's time to refill the reservoir.

Step 5. Close the Fill Tube Cap. Fill your container with pre-moistened soilless planting mix, such as Self-Watering Container Mix. This soilless blend of sphagnum peat, perlite, vermiculite and limestone is specially formulated for planters that wick moisture from a built-in reservoir. Mix in granular, slow-release fertilizer when you pre-moisten the mix, or add water-soluble fertilizer to the reservoir, diluted according to the package instructions.

Step 6. Water the soil, after planting, to settle the plant roots and to ensure the soil is moist throughout, and then fill the Reservoir with water through the Fill Tube. Monitor soil moisture for the first few weeks and water the soil as needed until the plant roots become well established and the mix remains moist on its own. Continue to add water through the Fill Tube to keep the Reservoir full.

Winter Care

In cold climates, soil and water can freeze and expand, causing your container to crack or split. To prevent damage, we recommend emptying, cleaning and storing your containers indoors or under cover before freezing weather sets in.

To overwinter hardy potted plants in self-watering containers, move the pot into a sheltered place that remains just above freezing. Water sparingly and do not fertilize until spring. Once warm weather arrives, re-pot the plants in fresh soil.

Share This Article

Sign Up for E-mail

Get the latest news, tips and gardening info!

Sign Up
Looking for Product Instructions?

Assembly instructions, diagrams and other types of product information are available on product pages. To find it, search for the product, go to the product page and click on the "How-To and Instructions" tab.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We stand by the quality of our products and our service. If for any reason you're not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it to us for an EXCHANGE, REFUND, or CREDIT.

Learn More

Learn and Share

Our website is packed with how-tos and inspiration, as well as opportunities to share with fellow gardeners. Check back often to view new articles, videos, blog posts and Facebook updates and join our online community.

Learn & Share

Good Works

Gardener's Supply is committed to improving the world through gardening. We support nonprofit gardening, hunger-relief and community organizations with volunteer time and donations of 8% of our pre-tax profits.

                    Learn More