I’ve over-watered my share of temperamental plants into oblivion. This pot uses a simple method of providing the right amount of water and nutrients to a plant so you don’t forget and let it go dry or over-water the plant. There is a water reservoir below the plant pot that supplies water to the pot through a wick that is in the bottom of the pot and extends into the reservoir. Just add nutrient to the water (about a teaspoon of something like Miracle Grow in a gallon of water) and the plant takes care of the rest. Now I just have to remember to refill the reservoir every month or so, and our African violets grow and bloom with only rare attention from us.
We tried raising African violets with limited success, until one of our friends gave us this Wick Pot. The violets come with a long list of care and feeding instructions regarding watering schedules, humidity, temperature, and the like. This planter is a godsend to those of us with brown thumbs looking to grow non-native plants (we live in Houston). The pot obviously will not change ambient light or humidity levels, but using one means the plant requires almost no care and feeding whatsoever. The Wick Pot also lets you be much less precise about the amount of water you refill because you’re filling the reservoir as opposed to putting it directly into the pot.
There are other self-watering planters out there, but Volkmann’s provides a cheap option and they also have full kits available (includes feed fertilizer, wick pot and soil) that are very reasonably priced. Of course this method is so simple, if you wanted to you could also fabricate a pot for yourself by using a recycled plastic container, a potted plant and a short piece of wick placed between the pot and reservoir.