Plant care

Making good use of your water reservoir

Post 15 November 2017

The concept of Papyrus built-in reservoir planters

These pots allow you to space-out waterings of your indoor plants. A welcome convenience for those who see the “watering round” as a pesky chore.

The false bottom acts as a water reservoir, with a perforated grid creating a separation with the soil. Water accumulated from waterings is restored to the plants through capillary action, irrigating the soil through a “chimney.” The reservoir water level can be read on a transparent gauge.

fonctionnement-reserve-eau-legende

  1. Soil
  2. Roots
  3. Water reservoir
  4. Overflow (outdoor use)
  5. Visible water level

How to plant in a self-watering flower pot

There is one thing to know about this type of planting. Given the integrated water storage system, there is no need to create a drainage layer in the bottom of the planter (clay beads, gravel, pieces of tile…) as often recommended. Another important point: the water does not flow from top to bottom due to gravity (as in traditional watering) moves from the bottom-up through capillary action. When planting, be sure to use a lightweight substrate (avoid peat as peat farming depletes the environment).

Advantages and disadvantages

It’s no secret, these planters are out of the ordinary. Topping the list of advantages is the autonomy they provide. The water reservoir makes a slip-of-the-mind forgivable. That being said, some types of plants such as ferns can really suffer from a day or two without watering. These pots are ideal for plants that thrive in constantly moist soil, for example spathiphyllums, monsteras and the ever-colorful nertera, or “coral bead plant.”
Disadvantages: they are not suited to all plant-types. Some plants like their soil to dry-out completely between waterings (ex: scheffleras, sansevierias and ornamental pepper varieties) which, though technically possible, is pretty hard to obtain with these pots… and your plants are likely to pay the price. Plants more often succumb to over-watering than to insufficient watering. Soil that is constantly saturated with water can cause the roots to rot.

reserve-d-eau-1 reserve-d-eau-2 

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