Cache-pot with automatic watering for indoor plants
Watering has always been and remains the most time-consuming process in caring for indoor plants. It takes the most effort and time, is the most common reason that, as a result of too much employment, we are forced to reduce the collection of pets. After all, not everyone can provide complete care for a dozen different species. All the problems associated with regular frequent watering, as well as with the need to constantly monitor the degree of moisture of the substrate and its drying between the procedures, allow solving the problems with autowatering. This is not just a fashionable novelty on the market, but also a real find for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
Principles of work of a cache-pot with autowatering
If earlier automatic watering was perceived as a luxurious “toy”, today pots equipped with automatic systems for regulating the humidity of the substrate are slowly turning into one of the basic options for the full care of green pets. And how you do not call such containers - just pots with automatic irrigation, automatic pots, smart pots - this does not change their simplicity from a technical point of view. An improved version of conventional containers solves the biggest problem and the most important task of the full-fledged care of indoor plants, and makes this the easiest way.
Autowatering from a technical and technological point of view is a very simple device. In fact, it is a system of subsurface, capillary irrigation. Such pots work on the principle of communicating vessels, one of which contains water supplies, and the second is intended for planting the plants themselves. In fact, it is a double pot equipped with a special tank for plants or a pot in which a barrier separator is installed.
By design, smart planters can be different. In some pots, the water tank is cone-shaped, installed in the pot and connected to a tube with an indicator protruding above the surface of the planter. Others are made in the form of two vessels located in one another with a side reservoir channel for replenishing water or without it. Still others are collapsible constructions: a special separator barrier, an indicator tube and a tank for filling the bottom of the pot with water are inserted into the pot (they are supplied separately disassembled and installed independently before planting). At the same time, pots with automatic irrigation can provide for both lower watering and seepage of water not only from below, but also on the sides of the earthen coma. The indicator is a "float" tube with marks of the maximum and minimum water levels, which are easy to navigate.
Some manufacturers, along with containers and collapsible systems for automatic watering, consisting of a special barrier for the pot, a filling tank and an indicator tube, also provide a special drainage mixture that ensures optimal water supply and its dispensing. But most potted automatic irrigation systems work with the most common drainage, which is usually used for indoor plants - gravel, vermiculite, expanded clay, etc.
Saturation of the substrate with moisture occurs at the capillary level, water rises into the soil from the reservoir slowly and gradually, and most importantly - evenly. Water penetrates into the substrate from the inner tank as it dries, depending on how fast the plant consumes moisture.
A double pot with a water tank, from which the plant actually consumes as much moisture as it needs, provides a very effective, balanced hydration of the substrate. Since the moistening process is regulated by the degree of moisture consumption and the needs of the plant in it, the risk of complete drying of the substrate or, conversely, excessive moisture and stagnation of water, acidification of the soil is completely excluded. And you can simply not be afraid of any mistakes, miscalculations, negligence, the influence of temporary factors. Plants will not be affected even in your absence, if the air temperature changes sharply, etc.
The only nuance in the work of pots with automatic irrigation, which can be considered a drawback, is that the system starts working only when the earthen lump is sufficiently filled with the root system, the roots of the plant reach the drainage layer and, accordingly, can “draw” water from the tank. If you plant indoor plants with a small root system in such a container, filling most of the "empty" soil, you will have to wait until the root system has developed and begins to "draw" moisture on a capillary level. In the case of young plants planted in large pots, you will have to wait about 2-3 months after transplantation. All this time, pots with automatic watering are used as usual and watering is carried out by the classical method. Therefore, it is advisable to use smart pots for adult plants and not to increase the diameter of the container too much compared to the previous one. But there are also models with smart irrigation systems that have been working since planting (always check this parameter when buying).
Why do you need a pot with automatic watering?
Do not consider a container with a special device for automatic watering of plants as just one of the means to simplify care, a toy for a lazy grower. After all, the most important thing in autowatering is not at all simplicity, but optimization of the procedures themselves. Such containers make it possible to achieve the ideal degree of substrate moisture corresponding to a specific period of plant development, the level of water consumption by the root system. It is the complete satisfaction of plant requirements and the absolutely exact correspondence of the amount of incoming moisture to crop requirements that is the main and virtually unparalleled advantage of pots with automatic irrigation. This is a smart answer to the problems of modern gardeners and their green pets, the problem of perfect irrigation, which saves effort, time, eliminates problems and prevents any difficulties associated with improper humidity conditions.
We are used to the fact that watering should be systemic, with an individual approach to each plant, regular, and maintain stable conditions. And all this must be controlled by the grower himself. Even experienced professionals can not always provide the plants with the necessary attention. And the more cultures in the collection, the more difficult it is to provide them with individual care. Pots with automatic watering for indoor plants like no other method allow you to make care more personal, focused on the characteristics and preferences of each particular plant. Thanks to them, a special care system is created effortlessly, the need to constantly remember and strictly observe the individual characteristics of each culture disappears.
Since all indoor plants are truly unique and inimitable, even for those belonging to the same family, crops similar in their requirements to the care program can still be different. Among indoor plants there are also loving constant moisture crops, such as ficuses, and hygrophilous, depending on the degree of moisture of the crop such as ferns and balsamines, and cacti and other succulents that are afraid of any waterlogging, requiring orchids and cyclamens to take a special approach. And if with the classical method of watering each plant needs to find its own approach, then when using smart flower pots you just need to take care of the timely replenishment of water in the tank. They are equally suitable for the most persistent and unpretentious indoor plants that require minimal attention, and for the most capricious indoor pets, which are preferably grown in greenhouses.
Being a universal and simple device, such fashionable pots simplify the process of building an irrigation program as much as possible and allow you to forget about all the chores associated with it. Including such nuances of watering, such as:
- water temperature;
- water entering the leaves or base of the shoots;
- the need to drain water from pallets;
- the risk of developing diseases associated with improper watering;
- requirements to control the volume of water and the level of drying of the substrate in pots, etc.
Smart pots completely eliminate any risks of improper watering and compensate for all possible difficulties. Maximum efficiency, personality, the ability to create even specific conditions and to comply with all the requirements of plants allow you not to rely on intuition and subjective assessment, completely forget about anxieties and feelings, in fact negate the risk of failure to grow indoor plants due to irrigation.
The main advantages of pots with automatic watering for indoor plants
- the ability to grow plants even if you do not have enough time, you often travel and cannot pay enough attention to a large collection of indoor crops;
- they allow you to forget about the problems with watering plants during vacation or long trips;
- saving time on caring for indoor plants;
- providing the ideal level of humidity even in the absence of experience;
- elimination of the need to constantly check the degree of drying of the substrate between irrigation;
- the ability to grow the most moisture-loving and moody species without complicated care;
- optimization of care and creation of an ideal regimen, providing a degree of soil moisture that fully meets the needs of plants.
And a little about the assortment of containers themselves, equipped with an integrated automatic watering system. Their choice, of course, cannot yet be compared with the assortment of ordinary flower pots. But in garden centers, flower shops, hardware stores, along with classic pots, you can almost always find several models and containers with automatic irrigation. Unfortunately, the choice of pots in style, materials, color and even size is still quite modest. Growing demand is slowly changing the situation, the range of smart planters is expanding, new manufacturers are appearing. In addition, tanks with automatic irrigation already on the market, as a rule, are designed for modern interiors and allow you to choose a container that perfectly matches any room design. Of course, stylistic diversity is out of the question, but neutral universal forms make it possible to find the ideal solution for different plants that prefer higher or wider containers, for crops of different ages and sizes.
All containers with automatic irrigation are made of plastic, but sometimes they offer a choice not only between a glossy and matte surface, but also imitate other materials. The classic fashionable acrylic color palette and pastel shades, imitation of different textures allow you to make a choice based on decorative qualities.
Among containers with automatic irrigation, there are both round, and square or rectangular pots with a diameter of 13 to 45 cm. All smart large pots for large plants are necessarily equipped with wheels that facilitate their movement and care.
And at the price of smart pots allows you to find both elite and more budget options. True, it is the price that still remains a big drawback: even the simplest smart flowerpots are several times more expensive than ordinary ones.
A separate group of containers with automatic irrigation are containers for windows and balconies intended for planting pilots. Elongated balcony containers with special fittings allow the use of smart irrigation systems even to decorate the facades of houses and balconies, terraces and recreation areas. Unlike conventional containers, the compositions created by them from summers and seasonal plants are easy to maintain and do not require daily watering. Open air containers are equipped with a valve to drain excess water after precipitation.
How to use pots with autowatering?
Using a smart pot is virtually no different from using a regular pot. Plants in pots with automatic irrigation are planted according to the same rules and principles as in any other container for indoor crops. A drainage tab is required. The soil is selected individually for each plant.
The lack of need for watering immediately manifests itself only in some models of pots. For most pots, after planting, the soil is moistened with the classical method. But then, when the roots of the green favorites have reached drainage, watering according to the classical method completely stops. In fact, instead of the usual watering, you should regularly replenish the supply of water in the tank inside the planter itself.
Water is poured directly into the tube of the tank protruding above the wall of the pot. It’s very easy to carry out the procedure: you just have to add the standing water suitable for irrigation to the “Maximum” indicator. Water is added much less often than conventional irrigation, even for cacti and other succulents. In ordinary double containers for all classic indoor plants, water must be added at a frequency of 2 weeks. And for hygrophilous species that need stable average humidity, the usual frequency of replenishment of the water level is 10 days. But there are smart pots for which the pause between watering can be 8-10 weeks. Carefully read the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturers. As in the case with ordinary watering, it is better to focus not on a certain frequency, but on how fast the plants consume moisture. To monitor the water level in an open container, special, very convenient indicators on the tube help. As with any irrigation, automatic irrigation systems consume more water in hot conditions, less - at cool air temperatures. The frequency of replenishment of the water level also varies depending on the time of year and the stage of development of the plants (as well as during normal irrigation).
And one more important nuance. The first top dressing when using containers with automatic irrigation can be used only 2 months after transplantation. Fertilizers are dissolved in water, which is added to the tank.