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Crew Plastic Self Watering Pot Kit - Medium
Give wick watering a go at home with the Crew Self Watering Pot Kit in this bigger size, ideal for everything from African Violets to all your small houseplants. Comes with the outer pot, cotton wick, and inner pot all included, but the outer pot happens to be a perfect size to fit most standard smaller nursery pots too, so can be used with the inner pot or your own pots.
I know these look fancier in the photos than the price suggests, so don't be fooled. They look like they might be made of delicate fluted glass, but looks are deceiving. They're actually made of plastic. Fluted, reeded or ribbed glass was big in the 20's, with a come-back in the 50's and 60's, and gives a little luxe feel to this simple solution to your watering woes, helping you avoid both over-watering and neglect.
I was pleasantly surprised when these arrived. At this price, for this size? I thought they couldn't possibly look anywhere near as good in real life as the photos - and sure, I'm definitely not talking perfection here, they are just plastic and have some minor imperfections - but hey, I'm happy. I've kept one for one of my African Violet girls (in the photos), and she's loving her new wick watered lifestyle.
The benefits of wick watering
Self watering pots save time and stress. The clear outer pot makes it easy to check the water level at a glance. They keep plants at the right moisture level for 2 to 4 times longer than manual watering. Very popular for African Violets and a long list of other houseplants, plus any plant who hates drying out. No more panic-stations when you realise you entirely forgot to water and your plant's suddenly on death's door. No over-watering either.
Each kit is actually two pots with wick included. The outer pot holds the water, and the removable inner pot holds your plant and substrate. The inner pot has drainage holes and two larger holes which the wick loops through. It's a very simple system.
The wick (included) is a nice thick cotton rope wick, which can (and should) be replaced over time. You can use other wick materials instead for less or more absorbency, just make sure it is absorbent enough to keep your plant happy.
What's the size?
Total size measures 11.5cm tall x 10cms wide. Inner pot measures 10cms wide x 6.5cms tall. Outer pot holds up to 700mLs of water. I love the taller height to keep delicate leaves off surfaces, like one of my African Violets (the one in the photos), who's determined to grow in the shape of a ball with leaves in all directions, which were getting damaged in a normal pot).
What substrate can you use?
Use with soil, bark, leca, vermiculite... any substrate that fits and matches your plant's needs. Best with a free-draining mix that provides a balance of absorption for moisture, and drainage for oxygen (such as a combo of potting mix, vermiculite and perlite). If you need to make your mix lighter, grab some of the Egmont Hydromix (a 50/50 blend of vermiculite and perlite). That's superb for adding to any potting mix to increase aeration and drainage.
How do you use a self watering pot?
Just loop the wick (supplied), through the hole in the bottom of the inner pot so about half the wick is in the pot, and half out. Pop your substrate and plant inside the inner pot. Add water to the bottom of the outer pot, until it's about 2cms below the bottom of the inner pot. Then pop your inner pot inside, double-checking the wick is in the water. Job done!
I highly recommend using fertiliser, even more important if your substrate is inorganic (like vermiculite) that doesn't retain or supply nutrients. My go-to is Dyna Gro Foliage Pro. Simply top up with fresh water and food when the water's low. Plant Runner is another popular choice.
How high should the water level be?
You want the water level in the outer pot to be slightly below the bottom of the inner pot, so the substrate and roots don't get 'wet feet' (the inner pot should never sit 'in' water). Maintain the water level about 2cms below the bottom of the inner pot.
How does wick watering work?
Roots absorb water from the substrate. As the substrate dries, it replenishes water through the wick, from the reservoir in the outer pot. Wick watering is a bit like a straw, giving your plant sips of water on-demand when they're thirsty. For a plant that might normally dry out in less than a week, these pots give you 2 to 4 weeks watering instead. There's no exact amount of time though, as the plant, substrate, conditions and time of year all factor in to how fast a plant uses up the water in the reservoir.
Wick watering's great for inconsistent schedules, frequent travelers, busy lives, and scary situations where you have to leave your plants in someone else's care, or when you don't want others to kill your plants with love by over-watering. Wick watering also helps prevent root rot from overwatering or oxygen deficiency, as the roots only take in what they need, when they need it, a little at a time.
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