Planter Projects How to Use a Self-Watering Insert


Have you ever wished that your potted plants could just…water themselves?  Southern Patio’s new Self-Watering Insert actually transforms most decorative planters into a hassle-free, low-maintenance container garden.

get started

Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started

Southern Patio’s Self-Watering Insert

Southern Patio’s 15 inch Caylo Planter in Irish Cream Glaze

– Potting Soil

– Indoor or outdoor plant of your choice

self-watering insert

About the Insert

Our Self-Watering Insert fits a range of planter sizes between 10 and 18 inches in diameter and 9 inches tall, at the very least. It was created with the “Busy Gardener” in mind – someone who loves to plant flowers and vegetables but who also doesn’t have a ton of time for daily maintenance. When used inside of a container garden, the removable Self-Watering Insert will reduce watering frequency. It includes an adjustable height refill tube and a water level indicator that floats when the insert is full. A rope wicks water into the soil from the insert’s reservoir that also allows roots to collect water as needed.

Southern Patio’s Self-Watering Insert is one of a kind in the gardening world with its abilities to distribute water while remaining hidden inside of the container.

caylo and self-watering insert

Choose Your Planter

We decided to use one of Southern Patio’s Caylo Planters in Irish Cream Glaze to re-pot a Peace Lily.  This particular planter is 15 inches in diameter and 11 inches tall.  Perfect to include our Self-Watering Insert!  The Caylo is also a light weight and durable alternative to traditional ceramic pots.  Unique and modern in style, this planter is easy to clean with its sleek, glossy finish. A perfect match for our beautiful Peace Lily!

prepare the self-watering insert

Prepare the Self-Watering Insert

Add a thin layer of potting soil to the bottom of your planter.  Set the Self-Watering Insert in the middle and adjust the water refill tube to match the height of the container,

soil and insert

Add More Soil

Add more potting soil around the edges of the Self-Watering Insert and on top – leaving enough room for the plant.

insert and plant

Add Plant

Remove the plant from the container you purchased it in.  Crumble away some of the plant’s soil before re-potting it next to the Self-Watering Insert.

Add more soil to cover the plant – about an inch from the top rim.

water indicator cap

Trim Water Indicator Cap

Adjust the water refill tube so that it barely peaks out of the soil.

Remove the water indicator cap and cut the tube to fit the length of the adjusted refill tube.  Replace the cap when you are done.

water from the top


Water from the top of the plant for the first week.  Follow up the next week by adding water into the reservoir until the indicator cap is visible.  This lets you know there is enough water in the container.