I Tried and LOVED Target’s Popular Self-Watering Planters (Starting at Just $1.50 Each!)

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These self-watering planters make plant care easy!

woman holding self-watering planters

These self-watering planters are giving me a green thumb! 🪴 

I’ll admit, I lack a gardening gene. I’ve even managed to kill a cactus before. 😳 However, I’m a firm believer in practice makes perfect. This year I decided to try my hand at gardening again. When I saw the low prices of these Room Essentials self-watering planters at Target, I figured these were just what I needed for success this time around, and I couldn’t pass up such a great deal!

selection of self-watering planters at target

I was pleasantly surprised at the selection, but I have a feeling these babies will fly off the shelf before summer is even in full swing. The planters are available in several different sizes from 4″ to 20″ and come in fun colors, like mint green and light pink.

Heads up that the 16″ & 20″ sizes appear limited stock in-store only. With that, the smaller sizes only ship with $35+ orders, so in-store pickup or curbside will definitely be the way to go!

Self watering pots from Target

4″ Indoor/Outdoor Self-Watering Planter, 2-Pack $3 — that’s just $1.50 per 4″ planter!

*Available in tan, black, white, dolphin blue, peach blush, terracotta, tomato red, and mindful mint.

8″ Indoor/Outdoor Self-Watering Planter $3

*Available in tan, black, white, dolphin blue, peach blush, terracotta, tomato red, and mindful mint.

12″ Indoor/Outdoor Self-Watering Planter $8

*Available in mint green, sun orange, black, or white.


Check out the other planter styles available, too!

Self Watering window box planter

2pack self watering planters

Room Essentials 2pk Indoor/Outdoor Half-Circle Self-Watering Wall Planters $10 — that’s just $5 each!

*Available in terracotta, black, or white.

hanging self watering plant


target self watering planters

I decided to go with black and white round pots for a modern look. I scooped up the 8″ and the 12″ sizes and ordered a few hardy plants to go with them. As I made my way back to my house, I was hopeful that the self-watering feature would make up for my busy schedule and lack of gardening skills.


What are self-watering planters?

inside of a self watering planter

I wasn’t exactly sure how the planters worked so I did a little research before purchasing. I learned that self-watering planters aim to deliver water directly to the roots of the plant using a sub-irrigation system. The planters come with a shallow water basin, or reservoir, at the bottom of the planter. Here is where you can refill the water or drain it if needed.

This means the gardener no longer has to guess how much or when to water the plants. Instead, the roots of the plant will drink from the reservoir, either directly or via the soil, whenever it needs nutrients. This process is called “capillary action” or “wicking.” — it’s like how a sponge soaks up water. Pretty cool, right?! 🤓


So, how does one use these self-watering planters?

potted indoor plant golden pothos

This may be common knowledge for some, but for a newbie like me, it is not. I wished the planters had come with some basic instructions or tips for success. Since they didn’t, I browsed the Target Q&A section for helpful hints. I followed Target expert John’s advice on how to re-pot my plants and keep the water refreshed. My husband, an avid gardener, agreed that this was a good approach. 👏

To get started, John advises:

“Self-watering planters are a great help if you don’t exactly have a green thumb. Set up the planter the same way as a typical planter. Water the soil thoroughly from the top the first time, and keep the reservoir filled via the port at the bottom. The roots will absorb water from the soil as needed.” 

pottted plants

My plants, a golden pothos and snake plant, took to their new pots well and the soil stayed wet for close to a week and a half. At that point, I used a watering can to pour additional water into the hole that leads to the basin. Aside from getting them enough sun, that is all I have had to do to get these plants to thrive!


What makes Room Essentials’ self-watering planters special?

target room essentials self watering planters

When I first handled the planters, I was taken aback by how light they were, just .12 lbs. If I’m being honest, I worried they might be cheap quality. Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to understand why being lightweight was actually a benefit to me. After putting in soil, these self-watering planters were still easy to move around. I could carry them outside and back indoors without exerting myself. 💪

target self watering planters outside

Plus, these polypropylene planters look as chic as the heavier and more expensive ceramic garden planters I bought my husband recently. I love their smooth, curved style that looks clean and modern, and these planters will add beauty to any home, patio, or windowsill.


All that said, I do have a few suggestions for improvement…

self watering planters from Target

There was a lot I enjoyed about these planters, and let’s face it, they’re a total steal starting at just $3! But there were a few things I thought needed improvement.

As I mentioned earlier, a few basic instructions or tips would have been helpful. I also felt the reservoir portion of the planter was difficult to screw on and off. If I ever need to remove it, I’ll need a second set of hands to help. Luckily, I can refill the water without ever removing the bottom saucer. I also loved the unique color options but some selections were only available for certain sized planters.

These cons are bummers, but certainly not deal-breakers!


All in all, these popular self-watering planters are a total win in my book! 🙌  

woman holding a planter outside

Say goodbye to black thumbs! I have only re-watered my plants once upon potting them and three weeks later, the soil is still wet to the touch. Meanwhile, my husband has watered our outdoor plants daily. Not to toot my own horn or anything 🎺🎵, but my self-watered plants look just as healthy and vibrant as our manually-watered ones. For this reason alone, I’m sold on these planters!

Even my Hip teammate Chelsey is a raving fan too!

I have a few of these planters and they are fantastic! I have them in white and the plastic easily wipes clean if you get dirt on it and you don’t have to worry about setting a saucer on it because of the self-watering saucer on the bottom. These would be so cute to pair with a plant as a gift for your kiddo’s teacher! Chelsey

Better yet, they are a steal of a deal. They cost less than some packs of gum and make plant care a lot easier. If you head over to Target soon, you can capitalize on the low price. Talk about gardening on a budget! If you do pick some up, let us know what you think!

Happy planting!  🌱


Need a plant that is simple to care for? Check out our list of the easiest indoor plants!


About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.


Join The Discussion

Comments 4

  1. Lisa

    We bought one of the long rectangle ones to hold all our can coozies on the patio table, if it rains ( or they get wet otherwise) the water drains out!

  2. Elizabeth

    Great pots! Your snake plant needs a much smaller pot though. They like to be root bound. Maybe a 4โ€ pot? Your other one looks super healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip with the snake plant, Elizabeth!๐Ÿค—

  3. Katie

    Mine have already changed color in the sun after two months ๐Ÿ™‚ I love them but Iโ€™m worried they will become brittle within a year..

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