AquaPots® Lite Insert – Self-watering Container Insert

Searching for Self-Watering Container Inserts

I hate hot & humid weather. More specifically, I hate having to carry water around the yard to water plant containers when it’s 100F outside with a heat index of 110F. I’ve tried just waiting until the evening around sunset, but the humidity can still be unbearable. My clothes get soaked from sweat after carrying the watering can around the yard, whether it’s 7AM, noon, or 8PM. An AquaPots® Lite Insert may be the solution for my problem!

For landscape plants in the ground, I’ve installed irrigation lines. For containers, I’ve tried self-watering container products. Self-watering container inserts are innovative gardening solutions designed to provide a convenient and efficient way to water plants while also promoting healthy plant growth. These inserts are becoming increasingly popular among gardeners for the ability to minimize the hassle of frequent watering — especially during summer heat waves!

About Self-Watering Containers

At their core, self-watering containers consist of two main components: a water reservoir and a planting container. The water reservoir is usually located at the bottom of the insert and holds a significant amount of water, acting as a water bank for the plants. On top of the water reservoir sits the planting container, which houses the soil and the plants. The two components are connected through a wicking system, such as a wick or capillary mat, which allows water to be drawn up from the reservoir to the soil as needed.

As the soil dries out, it creates a moisture deficit that facilitates the movement of water from the reservoir to the soil. This continuous capillary action ensures that the plants receive a consistent and adequate water supply, preventing both overwatering and underwatering. Consequently, self-watering containers reduce the risk of root rot and other water-related issues, therefore promoting healthier root systems.

One significant advantage of self-watering container inserts is their water-saving capabilities. By providing a steady and measured supply of water directly to the plant’s roots, they eliminate the need for traditional watering methods that often lead to water wastage due to runoff and evaporation. This eco-friendly approach not only conserves water but also fosters sustainable gardening practices, making self-watering inserts an attractive option for environmentally conscious individuals.

Self-Watering Products I’ve Found

I’ve tried round disks that nestle into containers to hold water in the lower half and soil in the upper half. But these disks required plugging the bottom of the container to prevent water from draining, and I could never easily determine how much water was in the bottom of the pot. I’ve also debated purchasing expandable/resizable accordion-style self-watering inserts from mail order catalog companies, but many reviews complain about how the accordion-style inserts leak.

For years, I knew that AquaPots® were one of the best options available, but I could not justify the cost of replacing all my containers with these new expensive ceramic containers that cost hundreds of dollars each. A single container was still beyond my budget. Then, in Spring 2023, I heard news of a new product: AquaPots® Lite Insert. These inserts retrofit into existing containers (assuming the containers are large/wide enough) and are more reasonably priced for my budget at around $35-45 each. Because these were new products for 2023, the Proven Winners website kept teasing “coming soon!” and “check back again in July!”, but I was finally able to purchase a 4-pack of the inserts in mid-July 2023.

In anticipation of the arrival of these inserts, and knowing they are 13.5″ diameter, I purchased new ~$30 large planting containers from Sam’s Club because I was unsure if my existing containers were large enough. When the inserts were delivered in late July, I unpacked the box (it was exciting!) and assembled the inserts — “assembled”, meaning I pulled the water tube into place, and the insert was ready to use.

When researching the inserts, I had difficulty finding some important information like dimensions. Below, I share photos and dimensions for the AquaPots® Lite Insert.

Dimensions for the AquaPots® Lite Insert
The top of the reservoir is about 13.25″ diameter. The bottom of the reservoir is about 10″ diameter. The reservoir is about 7.5″ tall. The watering tube is about 13.5″ long, making the entire insert about 21″ tall from the bottom of the reservoir to the top of the watering tube. Each insert holds about 2.9 gallons of water.
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