Houseplants for Self Watering Pots

Many houseplants are compatible with self-watering pots and make life easier for gardeners. These houseplants are usually very hardy and forgiving of forgetful gardeners.

In general, self-watering pots are ideal for houseplants like African violets and ferns. Self-watering pots don’t work well with succulents, so you won’t see them on this list. This is a round-up of the best houseplants for self-watering pots in California.


Also known as the cast iron plant, Aspidistra is a genus of Asparagaceae. Its members are native to southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Japan, and China. These plants are known for their shiny, green, pointed leaves.

The leaves emerge from the soil and can grow to lengths of about 2’. Each leaf grows from a stem that can be separated from its roots.

The Aspidistra plant also produces small, purple flowers with a brown tint near its base.

Aspidistra is a shade plant that should be kept indoors to receive filtered light. Since the Aspidistra is a self-watering houseplant, soil quality is not a major concern.

Choose rich, fertile, well-draining soil for the best growth conditions. It is strongly suggested to clean the leaves using a soft sponge.

The plant thrives with nitrogenous fertilizers. You can also provide it with a fishbone meal to boost root development. Keeping the plant dust-free will go a long way in making it look attractive.

It is common to use Aspidistra plants as a ground cover under trees. You may also use them as a background plant in your flower bed.

Spider Plant

The endearing spider plant gets its name from its spider-like appearance. It also goes by other names, including ribbon plant and spider ivy.

These moisture-loving plants grow well in self-watering pots in California. Just make sure to keep them in bright to moderate sunlight.

Like most plants, spider plants don’t do well in direct, hot sunlight. Exposure to harsh sunlight can lead to browning and burning.

It is not necessary to fertilize spider plants, as they do well without them. Feed it with a balanced fertilizer blend if you wish to provide it with nutrients.

Starry Spike Moss

Spike moss is a species of spike moss from the family Selaginellaceae. It looks like moss but is more closely related to ferns.

They grow simple scale-like leaves on branching stems. Their horizontal aerials creep on the substratum.

Starry spike moss grows well in low light, with occasional bright light. However, it would be best if you kept them under shade at all times.          

Provide more indirect sunlight for dark-green foliage. These plants love to grow in a moist environment with high humidity.

They can be found along riverbanks and swamps. This explains why self-watering pots in California are excellent at growing Starry Spike Moss.

Eternal Flame Plant

The Eternal Flame Plant belongs to the Marantaceae family alongside 300 other species. The brightly colored leaves inspire a tropical feeling in homes and gardens.

It features bright yellow and orange flowers that look like a flame, hence the name. The plants grow on the top of stems and reach sizes of up to 3’.

Place the Eternal Flame Plant in an indoor environment receiving indirect sunlight for best growth. Don’t place it near a south-facing window because of exposure to the sun.

Instead, you can use an east- or west-facing window for ideal conditions. The flowers can last for 2 to 3 months.

It does require an even amount of water during the summer months.

African Violets

This beautiful houseplant features a cluster of flowers and has soft, velvety green leaves. A well-grown African Violet is a magnificent-looking plant.

It grows easily in self-watering pots with rounded leaves featuring scalloped edges on short stems. The undersides of the leaves have a red tint and are sometimes variegated.

The small jewel-like flowers surround the leaves in shades of bright white, purple, and red.

African violets are best kept in brightly lit rooms with indirect sunlight. It is best to avoid direct sunlight because it could damage the plants.

You can keep the plants a few feet away from south-facing windows. You may also plant them on east-facing windows to eliminate the risk of burning.

Most growers prefer to use artificial lighting to control the luminosity.


Also known as Devil’s Ivy, Pothos does reasonably well in self-watering pots in California. It also happens to be one of the easiest plants to grow.

The Pothos is virtually impossible to kill and thrive in just about every environment. This makes them well-suited to self-watering pots in California.

However, good drainage and not overwatering are essential for growing pothos.

Pothos is prized after its heart-shaped leaves that feature gold or yellow variegation. They are native to tropical French Islands.         

They are now available throughout the world. They do well in a hanging basket where the vines can trail over their sides

In their native habitats, pothos can grow to huge sizes. Their leaves can achieve a length of over one foot.  They tend to be smaller in indoor environments.

Nature leaves will grow to about 4 to 8 inches in size. The vine itself barely grows more than a few feet in ideal conditions.

Note that the pothos can be mildly toxic. It contains calcium oxalate that can act as a contact irritant. Ingesting the plants can lead to swelling and indigestion.

The plant is best kept away from curious children and small pets.

Umbrella Palm

Umbrella Palms sport slender, dark, oval-shaped leaves with bright green colors. The leaves gently droop from a central stalk, almost like an umbrella.

The leaves are so glossy that they look artificial and fake to the untrained eye. Umbrella palms are fairly low maintenance and can tolerate some drought.

Fully grown Umbrella Palms will have 12 to 16 leaflets growing from a single stalk. Juveniles are more likely to produce just four or six.

They grow well in a range of light conditions, except for direct sunlight. Exposure to harsh sunlight could burn the plant.        

Umbrella palms grow at a fast pace. They can add three feet per year to their size if planted outdoors.   

Indoor plants are more slow-growing, especially if kept in self-watering pots. It’s best to plant them in the fall or spring months when it’s not very hot.

All parts of the Umbrella Palm are toxic to humans and pets. Keep them out of reach from children and small animals.

Hearts on a String

This curiously named plant gets its name from the slender vines and delicate heart-shaped foliage.

Hearts on a String is a genus of Ceropegia native to Africa and Australia. The plant itself is relatively easy to grow.

It produces variegated heart-shaped leaves. The undersides have a purple color with extremely strong stems.

Hearts on a String is a trailing plant often used in hanging baskets. The vines can reach heights of up to two to three feet.

The leaves may produce small flowers that have a shade of brownish pink. The flowers may look like small vases with a rounded base and a narrow, long top.

It is strongly suggested to divide the rootball into large chunks. This ensures a high success rate and allows the plant to propagate quickly.

The best time to propagate the plant is in spring and summer. This is because they grow best in warmer months.

The plants start to root very quickly in under five days. New growth will occur in under four weeks.

Hearts on a String are best grown in indirect sunlight with lots of bright light.

Dainty Maidenhair Spleenwort

Ferns of any type grow well in self-watering pots. Among these, the dainty Maidenhair spleenwort is the most popular.

The ferns are prized after their wiry black stems with a cluster of fan-shaped leaves. These ferns also feature the smallest leaves of all ferns

Maidenhair ferns are extremely hardy plants and can grow just about anywhere. You can find them growing on walls, rocks, and walls that have water seepage..

Despite being slow-growing, their dramatic look makes them popular among growers. It can take nearly three years for these plants to reach maturity.

Try to mimic their natural habitat. In the wild, the plants are shaded by trees. They receive a mix of shade and partial sunlight.

Try to find spots in your home that receive indirect sunlight only. Always avoid harsh sunlight because it will lead to poor growth and sunburn.

Self-watering pots are ideal for ferns because they like to stay moist. Just be careful not to overwater them.

Swiss Cheese Plant

The Swiss Cheese Plant gets its name from its sprawling leaves that develop large holes.  The plant is relatively easy to care for and does well in a self-watering pot.

Just make sure to get a large, deep pot with plenty of drainages. A shallow self-watering pot would not be ideal for Swiss Cheese Pants. This is because they need a deep pot for growth.

Swiss Cheese Plants can grow under full sun. After all, they will grow on trees in the wild to bask under direct sunlight!

However, you can also keep them under partial trade. It thrives in well-drained, moist soil. Despite being incredibly easy to care for, the plant is susceptible to frost.

Bring the plant indoors in the winter months to prevent it from wilting.

They can grow to over 6’ tall and 6; wide. You may have to provide them with a stick for support eventually.

For the most part, Swiss Cheese plants won’t require much attention. They are easy to care for and generally pest-free.

Just make sure to prune it occasionally to keep the plant at your desired size.

Fiber Optic Plant

Fiber Optic Plants have a delicate look thanks to their slim grass-like sedges. Fully grown plants will also bloom year-round.

Tiny cone-shaped flowers bloom on the tip of the sedges. They appear in shades of white and silver, eventually turning brown or tan.

The plant needs an abundant supply of water to stay healthy. However, they do reasonably well in self-watering pots.

Since this plant needs moisture, Just make sure to fill the reservoir to its top. Do not allow the soil to get dry otherwise, the plant will wilt.

Fiber optic plants grow amazingly well in direct sunlight. They will also work well in shade, but the sedges will become lankier.

Peace Lilies

There’s a reason peace lilies are one of the most popular houseplants in California. They are a hardy plants with easy care instructions.

The plants feature dark emerald-green leaves that produce white flowers. Residing within the white petals of the flower is a small spike of yellow-green flowers.

This is also where the name ‘peace’ comes from. The flowers closely resemble white flags – a symbol of peace.

They grow well in self-watering pots; however, there are a few things to note. Self-watering pots won’t work with the plants until the roots have properly grown.

These pots provide evenly moist soil due to their self-watering mechanisms. Also, make sure that the soil is not waterlogged.

Pro tip: Find a self-water pot that is only slightly bigger than the plant. This will reduce the risk of overwatering the plant.

Do not keep peace lilies in an area that receives direct sunlight. Doing so could dry them out and lead to sunburn. It is recommended to keep peace lilies in an east-facing window.

Provide the plant with a liquid houseplant fertilizer in the spring and summer months. In general, Peace Iles can live for at least three years. Some plants are known to live five years.

Last Word

We hope this article has helped you pick houseplants for self-watering pots. Most of these plants are hardy and forgiving of forgetful gardeners.

Just make sure to learn all the care instructions related to each plant thoroughly.

You will also need to invest in a high-quality self-watering pot. Always keep an eye on the water reservoir and refill it as needed. 

Make sure that the planter has proper drainage. Check the soil moisture with a moisture meter to ensure your planter is properly functioning.

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