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Watering a plant sounds easy in theory, but there’s a lot that can go wrong: You can underwater, overwater, or straight-up forget to water. Best case scenario, the leaves temporary wilt or brown; worst, your greenery is a goner. Even if you finally nail down the proper schedule, the rookie keeping your plants alive while you’re on vacation could erase your efforts in seconds. So we got to thinking: What if there was a universal solution to all our plant-watering problems? It didn’t take us long to discover there is. 

Self-watering planters do exactly as their name suggests: They keep your greenery hydrated and happy without you having to lift a finger (other than to fill the reservoir with water every few weeks). No, really, it’s that easy. Buy one of these clever autonomous pots and never unintentionally kill a houseplant again.

If your one-week trip just turned into a month…

Self-Watering Glass Planter, Terrain ($30)

This hourglass design looks like a watercooler you’d encounter at the office, but an infinitely chicer one. The glass piece features an extra-large reservoir that will gradually filter H2O to your plant when it’s ready for a sip. 


If you don’t want guests to get suspicious…

Geo H2O, Pikaplant ($46)

This handsome ceramic pot, handcrafted in Amsterdam, is so sleek no one will suspect you’re getting a little help with your plant-care routine. 

If you want to see the pot in action…

Self-Watering Pot, MoMa Design Store

The reason you see so many terracotta pots? The material is extremely porous. So while this one’s interior shell looks solid, your plant will actually be getting plenty to drink from the glass basin. Psst: It’s also dishwasher-safe. 

If you want to hang out under a plant canopy…

Sky Planter Ceramic, Boskke ($125)

This isn’t your typical hanging planter. Mesh netting and a locking disk help keep a full-size, nontrailing plant in place once it’s flipped over. Just grab a step stool once every two to three weeks and fill it up from the top. 

If you’ve got plans for an herb garden…

Tumbler – Genovese Basil & Parsley, Modern Sprout ($30)

This handy kit (the tumbler comes with basil and parsley seeds, plus potting materials) absorbs liquid through a stainless steel net situated between the roots and the reservoir.


If you’ve got more than one plant baby…

Cube Planter, Boskke ($56)

This transparent block lets you keep an eye on not one but three plants at once, so you won’t have to fret over whether or not it was your ZZ plant or bird’s-nest fern that needed a drink. 

If you’re constantly redecorating…

Northern – Oasis Plant Pot, Cannox ($73)

Made in Norway, this terracotta pot features two interlocking parts, making it easy to swap the bottom for a different color (there are three) when you want to refresh your space.

If you’re still not sold on the whole idea…

Cowpen Point Self Watering Planter, Navona ($100)

This handmade container also lets you have it both ways. When you want to use it as a regular planter, let the water trickle down through the soil into the attached base. If you’re heading out of town (or simply aren’t up to the task), fill the bottom portion with water—an interior cone will siphon water to the plant when it’s feeling parched.

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