A Planter With Automatic Watering For Houseplants

The most time-consuming process in caring for houseplants has always been watering. It takes up most of our energy and time and is the most common reason why we have to reduce our collection of plant darlings as a result of being too busy. Not everyone can take care of a dozen different species. All the problems connected with regular and frequent watering as well as the need for constant control of substrate humidity and its drying out between watering sessions can be solved by means of automatic watering buckets. It's not just a fashionable novelty on the market, but also a real innovation for both beginners and experienced flower-growers. © lechuza

Principles of operation of pots with automatic watering

If earlier the automatic watering was perceived as a luxury "toy", today pots equipped with automatic systems of regulation of humidity of substrate gradually turn into one of the basic variants of high-grade care for green darlings. And as such containers do not call - just pots with auto irrigation, automatic pots, smart pots - it does not change their simplicity from a technical point of view. An improved version of common containers solves the biggest problem and the most important task of full-fledged care of indoor plants, and does it in the easiest way possible.

Autopolis from a technical and technological point of view is a very simple device. In fact, it is a system of intra-soil, capillary watering. Such pots work on the principle of communicating vessels, one of which contains the water supply, while the second is designed for the plants themselves. In fact, it is a double, equipped with a special reservoir for plants or a pot with a barrier-separator.

The device of smart pots can be different. Some pots have a cone-shaped vessel for water, installed in the pot and connected to the tube protruding above the surface of the pot with an indicator. Others are made in the form of two vessels arranged one inside the other with or without a lateral reservoir-channel for water replenishment. Others are collapsible structures: a special barrier separator, indicator tube and a reservoir for filling the lower part of the pot with water are inserted into the pot (they are supplied separately in a disassembled form and installed independently before planting). In this case, pots with auto-irrigation can provide both bottom watering and water infiltration not only at the bottom, but also on the sides of the root ball. Indicator is a "float"-tube with marks of maximum and minimum water level, which is easy to orient.

A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
Image of a planter with automatic irrigation system. © lechuza

Some manufacturers along with containers and collapsible systems for auto irrigation, consisting of a special barrier for the pot, a tank for filling and a tube-indicator provides also a special drainage mixture, which provides an optimal water supply and its dosing. But most systems of automatic irrigation in pots works with the most common drainage, which is commonly used for indoor plants - gravel, vermiculite, expanded clay etc.

Saturating the substrate with moisture occurs at the capillary level, the water rises into the ground from the tank slowly and gradually, and most importantly - evenly. From the inner tank water penetrates into the substrate as it dries out, depending on the rate at which the plant consumes moisture.

The double pot with a water tank, from which the plant itself actually consumes as much moisture as it needs, provides very effective, balanced hydration of the substrate. Since the moistening process is regulated by the degree of moisture consumption and the needs of the plant in it, the risk of complete drying out of the substrate or, conversely, excessive moistening and stagnant water, souring of the soil is completely eliminated. And no mistakes, miscalculations, negligence, the influence of temporary factors can simply not be feared. Plants will not suffer even in your absence, if the air temperature changes sharply, etc.

A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
Canopies with auto irrigation system. © lechuza

The only nuance in the work of pots with auto irrigation, which can be classified as a disadvantage - the system starts to work only when the root system is sufficiently filled with soil, the plant roots reach the drainage layer and therefore can "draw" water from the tank. If you plant room plants with a small root system in such a container, filling most of it with "empty" soil, you will have to wait until the root system develops and begins to "draw" water itself at the capillary level.

In the case of young plants planted in large planters, you will have to wait about 2-3 months after transplanting. During this time, pots with auto-irrigation are used as ordinary pots and watered by the classical method. Therefore, it is desirable to use smart pots for adult plants and not to increase the diameter of the container too much compared to the previous one. But there are also models with smart watering systems, working already from the moment of planting (this parameter always clarify when buying).

Why do we need pots with automatic watering?

Do not consider the container with a special device for automatic watering of plants just one means to simplify care, a toy for the lazy florist. The most important thing in automatic watering is not simplicity, but optimization of the procedures themselves. Such containers allow to achieve an ideal degree of substrate moisture, corresponding to a particular period of plant development, the level of water consumption by the root system. Exactly full satisfaction of plants requirements and absolutely exact conformity of moisture supply to the requirements of cultures is the main and in fact unequalled advantage of pots with auto-irrigation. It is a clever answer to the problem of perfect watering answering the needs of today's growers and their green loved ones, saving energy, time, problems, and any problems caused by inappropriate moisture conditions. © lechuza

We got used to the fact that watering must be systematic, with an individual approach to each plant, regular, maintain stable conditions. And all of this needs to be controlled by the florist himself. Even experienced professionals can't always provide the plants with the attention they need. And the more crops in the collection, the more difficult it is to provide them with individual care. More than any other method pots with automatic irrigation for houseplants can make the care more personal, focusing on the characteristics and preferences of each individual plant. You don't have to constantly remember and strictly follow the individual requirements of each crop.

As all house plants are really unique and unrepeatable, even cultures from the same family with similar requirements can still have different care programs. Among the houseplants there are ficus plants that like constant humidity, humidity sensitive cultures like ferns and balsamines, cacti and other succulents that are afraid of any overwatering, orchids and cyclamens that need a special approach. And if the classic method of watering requires a different approach to each plant, the smart planters only need to care about the timely replenishment of water in the tank. They are equally suitable for the most sturdy and unpretentious houseplants, which require minimal attention, and for the most capricious houseplants, which should preferably be grown in a greenhouse.

As a universal and simple device, such fancy pots simplify the process of building a watering program to the maximum and let you forget about all the hassle associated with it. In particular about such nuances of watering as:

  • water temperature;
  • water penetration to the leaves or shoots;
  • need to drain water from the trays;
  • the risk of diseases associated with incorrect watering;
  • requirements to control the amount of water and drying level of the substrate in pots, etc.
A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
Orchid pots with automatic watering system. © lechuza

Smart planters completely eliminate any risks of improper watering and compensate all possible difficulties. Maximum efficiency, personalization, the possibility to create even specific conditions and observe all the requirements of the plants allow not to rely on intuition and subjective evaluation, completely forget about worries and worries, in fact negate the risk of failure in growing houseplants associated with watering.

The main advantages of pots with automatic watering for houseplants

  • can grow plants even if you lack time, you are often away on trips and can not give enough attention to a large collection Their selection, of course, cannot yet compare to the range of conventional flower pots. But in garden centers, flower shops, hardware stores along with classic pots you can almost always find several models and containers with auto-irrigation. Unfortunately the choice of pots in terms of style, material, color and even size is still quite modest.

    The growing demand is slowly changing the situation, the range of smart planters is expanding, new manufacturers appear. In addition, already presented on the market vessels with auto irrigation, as a rule, are designed for modern interiors and allow you to choose a container, perfectly combined with any decoration of the rooms. Of course, a stylistic variety is out of the question, but neutral universal forms allow to find an ideal solution for different plants, preferring higher or wider containers, for crops of different age and size.

    A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
    Canopies with automatic irrigation system. © lechuza

    All auto-irrigation containers are made of plastic, but sometimes they offer a choice not only between glossy and matte surfaces, but also imitate other materials. A classic, trendy acrylic color palette and pastel shades and imitations of different textures allow you to make a choice based on decorative qualities.

    The range of automatic watering pots includes both round, square or rectangular pots with a diameter of 13 to 45 cm. All large intelligent planters for large plants are equipped with wheels, which facilitate their movement and care.

    And the price of smart pots allows you to find both elite and more budget options. True, it is the price that still remains a big disadvantage: even the simplest smart pots cost several times more than conventional.

    A separate group of containers with auto irrigation are containers for windows and balconies, designed for planting summer plants. Balcony containers with special fasteners allow the use of smart irrigation systems even to decorate the facades of houses and balconies, terraces and recreation areas. In contrast to conventional containers, the compositions of summer and seasonal plants created in them are easy to care for, do not require daily watering. Outdoor containers are equipped with a valve for draining the excess water after precipitation.

    A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
    Canopies with auto irrigation system. © lechuza

    How to use pots with auto-irrigation?

    The use of a smart pot is virtually no different from using a regular pot. Plants in pots with auto-irrigation are planted according to the same rules and principles as in any other container for indoor crops. The laying of drainage is mandatory. The soil is selected individually for each plant.

    The lack of need for watering at once appears only in some models of pots. For most planters, however, after planting the soil is moistened by the classical method. But when the roots of the green favorites reach the drainage, watering by the classical method stops completely. In fact, instead of regular watering, you have to regularly replenish the water in a reservoir inside the planter itself.

    A planter with automatic watering for houseplants
    Image of a balcony planter with an automatic watering system. © lechuza

    Water is poured directly into the reservoir tube projecting above the wall of the pot. The procedure is very easy: You just have to add standing water, suitable for watering, up to the "Maximum" indicator. Fill much less frequently than conventional watering, even for cacti and other succulents. In normal double containers, all classic indoor plants need to be watered at a frequency of two weeks. And for moisture-loving species that need a steady medium humidity, the usual water refill frequency is 10 days. But there are smart pots for which the pause between waterings can be 8-10 weeks.

    Read the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations carefully. As with conventional watering, it is better to be guided not by a certain frequency, but by the rate at which plants consume moisture. Special, very handy indicators on the tube help keep an eye on the water level in the open container. As with any irrigation, auto irrigation systems use more water in hot conditions and less in cooler temperatures. The frequency of refilling the water level also varies depending on the season and stage of plant development (just as with conventional watering). © lechuza

    And one more important nuance. The first fertilizer when using containers with auto-irrigation can be used only 2 months after transplanting. Fertilizer is dissolved in water which is added to the tank.

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