Self watering indoor planters
The most time-consuming process in caring for indoor plants has always been and remains watering. It takes the most time and effort and is the most common reason that we are forced to reduce our pet collections as a result of being too busy. After all, not everyone can provide full-fledged care for a dozen different types. All the problems associated with regular frequent watering, as well as the need to constantly monitor the degree of humidity of the substrate and its drying between procedures allow you to solve the tanks with automatic irrigation. This is not just a fashionable novelty on the market, but also a real find for both beginners and experienced growers.
Principles of working with self-watering hanging planters
If earlier auto-filling was perceived as a luxury “toy”, today pots equipped with automatic systems for regulating the humidity of the substrate are slowly turning into one of the basic options for full-fledged care of green Pets. And as such containers are not called – just pots with automatic self-watering planters, automatic planters, smart pots-this does not change their simplicity from a technical point of view. The improved version of conventional containers solves the biggest problem and the most important task of full-fledged care of indoor plants and does it in the easiest way.
From a technical and technological point of view, automatic self watering hanging planters is a very simple device. In fact, it is a system of intra-soil, capillary irrigation. These pots work on the principle of communicating vessels, one of which contains water reserves, and the second is intended for planting the actual plants. In fact, this is a double pot equipped with a special tank for plants or a pot in which a barrier-separator is installed.
According to the device, self-watering planters can be different. In some pots, the water container is conical, installed in the pot and connected to a tube protruding above the surface of the pot with an indicator. Others are made in the form of two vessels located one in the other with or without a side reservoir-a channel for replenishing water. Still others are collapsible structures: a special barrier-separator, an indicator tube, and a tank for filling the lower part of the pot with water are inserted into the pot (they are served separately in disassembled form and installed independently before planting the plant). In this case, self watering indoor planters can provide for both lower watering and water seepage not only from the bottom, but also on the sides of the earthen lamp. The indicator is a “float” – a tube with marks of the maximum and minimum water level, which is easy to navigate.
Some manufacturers, along with tanks and collapsible systems for automatic irrigation, consisting of a special barrier for the pot, a tank for filling and an indicator tube, also provide a special drainage mixture that ensures optimal water supply and dosing. But most auto-watering systems in pots work with the most common drainage, which is usually used for indoor plants-gravel, vermiculite, expanded clay, etc.
Saturation of the substrate with moisture occurs at the capillary level, water rises into the ground from the reservoir slowly and gradually, and most importantly-evenly. From the internal container, water penetrates into the substrate as it dries, depending on the rate at which the plant consumes moisture.
A double pot with a water tank, from which the plant itself actually consumes as much moisture as it needs, provides a very effective, balanced hydration of the substrate. Since the humidification process is regulated by the degree of use of moisture and the needs of the plant in it, the risk of complete drying of the substrate or, conversely, excessive moisture and stagnation of water, acidification of the soil is completely excluded. And there are no mistakes, miscalculations, negligence, or the influence of time factors. Self watering indoor planters will not suffer in your absence, if the air temperature changes dramatically, etc.
The only nuance in the work of pots with automatic irrigation, which can be attributed to the disadvantages — the system begins to work only when the earthen lump is sufficiently filled with the root system, the roots of the plant reach the drainage layer and, accordingly, can “pull” water from the reservoir. If you plant indoor plants with a small root system in such a container, filling most of the “empty” soil, you will have to wait until the root system develops and begins to “pull” moisture at the capillary level. In the case of young plants planted in large self watering planters, you will have to wait about 2-3 months after transplanting. All this time, pots with automatic irrigation are used as usual and watering is carried out by the classical method. Therefore, it is advisable 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 irrigation systems that work from the moment of planting (this parameter is always specified when buying).
The main advantages of self watering indoor planters
* the ability to grow plants even if you do not have enough time, you are often on the road and can not pay enough attention to a large collection of indoor crops;
* they allow you to forget about problems with watering plants during vacations or long business trips;
* save time on caring for indoor plants;
* ensuring the ideal humidity level even in the absence of experience;
* eliminating the need to constantly check the degree of drying of the substrate between waterings;
* the ability to grow the most moisture-loving and capricious species without complex care;
* optimization of care and creation of an ideal regime, ensuring that the soil moisture level fully meets the needs of plants.
And a little about the range of containers themselves, equipped with a built-in automatic irrigation system. Their choice, of course, can not yet be compared with 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 automatic irrigation. Unfortunately, the choice of self watering indoor planters in style, materials, color, and even size is still quite modest. Growing demand is slowly changing the situation, the range of smart planters is expanding, new manufacturers are appearing. In addition, already available on the market containers with automatic irrigation, as a rule, are designed for modern interiors and allow you to choose a container that perfectly matches any design of rooms. Of course, there is no question of stylistic diversity, but neutral universal forms allow you to find the ideal solution for different plants that prefer higher or wider capacities, for crops of different ages and sizes.
All tanks with automatic irrigation are made of plastic, but sometimes they offer a choice not only between a glossy and matte surface, but also imitate other materials. Classic fashionable acrylic color palette and pastel shades, imitation of different textures allow you to make a choice based on decorative qualities.
Among the self-watering planters, there are both round and square or rectangular pots with a diameter from 13 to 45 cm. All smart large self watering planters for bulk plants are necessarily equipped with wheels that facilitate their movement and care.
A separate group of containers with auto-watering is made up of containers for Windows and balconies intended for planting summer birds. Balcony elongated containers with special mounts allow you to use smart watering systems even for decorating the facades of houses and balconies, terraces and recreation areas. Unlike conventional containers, the compositions created in them from summer and seasonal plants are easy to care for and do not require daily watering. Open-air containers are equipped with a valve for draining excess water after precipitation.
How to use self-watering planters?
Using a self-watering planters is actually no different from using a regular one. Plants in self-watering planters with automatic watering are planted according to the same rules and principles as in any other container for indoor crops. The drainage tab is mandatory. The soil is selected individually for each plant.
The lack of need for watering is immediately apparent only in some models of pots. For most planters, after planting, the soil is moistened with the classic method. But when the roots of green Pets reach drainage, watering according to the classical method completely stops. In fact, instead of regular watering, you should regularly replenish the water supply in the tank inside the pot itself.
Water is poured directly into the tube of the tank that protrudes above the wall of the pot. It is very easy to carry out the procedure: you just need to add water that is suitable for the water to the “Maximum” indicator. Add water much less often than regular watering is carried out, even for cacti and other succulents. In conventional double containers for all classic houseplants, water must be added with a frequency of 2 weeks. And for moisture-loving species that need a stable average humidity, the usual frequency of replenishment of the water level is 10 days. But there are smart pots for which the pause between watering can be 8-10 weeks. Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. As in the case of conventional irrigation, it is better to focus not on a certain frequency, but on the rate at which plants consume moisture. Special, very convenient indicators on the tube help to monitor the water level in an open container. As with any irrigation system, automatic irrigation systems use more water in hot conditions, less – at cool air temperatures. The frequency of replenishment of the water level also varies depending on the time of year and the stage of plant development (as well as with normal irrigation).
And one more important nuance. The first feeding when using tanks with automatic irrigation can be used only 2 months after transplantation. Fertilizers are dissolved in water, which is added to the tank.