Weepingfig
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I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

So I have recently, 2 weeks ago, bought 2 indoor garden plants. I had intended to only get one but the other was SO cute. Both came in the standard, boring, black pots. This time around I thought it will be different as I have a new lighting system and a nice corner area to keep the plants from being bothered. Now, both were a touch root bound so I decided to move them into these new pots I have. They're supposed to be SW (self watering) pots, thing is there's 0 way to tell if there's any water collected in the underside or not because these are also a solid black. I have a black thumb most of the time and forget to water the plants.

I would love advice on what to do as I'm sure re-potting the plants so soon would be a very bad idea...or would it? I honestly don't know. Should I poke a hole in the bottom so water can drain or...? I've got photo's I'm going to attach and maybe someone can tell me what would be the best idea to prevent over watering and or under watering issues.
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imafan26
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

Well, I hate those self killing plants myself. I usually avoid them. Other people say they like them. I like true sips that have an air gap between the water reservoir and the soil. I get less rotting plants that way.
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Weepingfig
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

Should I re-pot the plants? That's what I'm thinking I should do.

imafan26
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

The pots are the right size, you just have to be careful about watering them. If I cannot avoid that type of pot, I remove the saucer and drill extra holes in the sides of the pot. Of course, my plants are not indoors so it may not be as practical for you to do.

Maybe someone who has had some success using them will chime in with some tips.
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applestar
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

I don’t recognize these pots. Where did you get them? Was there any instructions? Are there inner and outer containers? Are you saying there’s no way to tell how much water is in the bottom tray or reservoir? Is there a separate watering port, or are you supposed to just water from the top? Is there any kind of drainage hole(s)?

Simplest solution might be to drill a small (1/4 in) hole or two in the side of the pot — maybe 3/4 to 1inch from the base? Then put them on a tray and when water dribbles out from the holes, stop watering. You could push a tubing in the hole to drain from (or you could just use a straw — some straws are biodegradable and fall apart quickly... red one from one of the fast food chains doesn’t) Make the hole size according to OD (outer diameter) of what you plan to use.
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Weepingfig
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

They say they're "indoor/outdoor". They're supposed to have this section at the bottom where the water pools or whatever and the roots drink from it? Problem is as you can see there's no way to tell if there is any water in the bottom or not.

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applestar
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

If there is no drainage holes, I would think the water will “pool” until the entire thing is full and overflowing from the top.
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imafan26
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

Self watering pots have a built in saucer that acts as a reservoir but only has a small raised section in the center with a drain hole. The bottom of the pot is always wet. The pots are almost always made of plastic or resin as well so they do not breathe. There is no true air gap in that kind of pot.
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SQWIB
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

For filling, put a decorative saucer underneath, then when you water and the reservoir overflows it will trickle into the saucer and you will know the reservoir is full.
As far as telling if the plant needs water, you will have to do what we some of us do, check the soil an inch or so down to see if its moist.

The soil (or wicking material) needs to be in contact with the reservoir so it can wick. If it is not I would recommend either ditching the pot or coming up with a way to wick the water from the reservoir to the soil

imafan26
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Re: I dislike the "SW" pots I got for my plants...

This kind of pot is not suitable for anything that needs to dry between watering. Plants that tolerate boggy conditions may do better.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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