I’m one of those gardeners who can grow just about anything – as long as it’s in the ground. But put a plant in a pot or container of any kind and I’ll kill it within a month. Why? Because I forget to water it! And, with most containers, you need to water frequently, even daily during the heat of the summer.
A self-watering planter solves that problem (for the most part – you still have to fill up the reservoir every now and then). The trick is finding one that’s stylish, tough, effective, and reasonably-priced. So I was excited to try one of the weather-resistant resin wicker self-watering planters from Lechuza.
I’ve been using the Lechuza Cilindro Cottage planter for about a year now and, overall, I’m very pleased with it. It comes in two sizes (9″ x 13″ and 13″ x 22″) and four colors (white, granite, mocha, and black). The one pictured here is the 13″ x 22″ mocha planter and costs $79.99 when bought online from Lechuza or through Amazon (affiliate link).
In the Box …
The planter came neatly packaged in a box that also contained
- a clear set of instructions (in easily-understood English – a seeming rarity these days),
- the “sub-irrigation system” (basically, this is the self-watering component of the planter), and
- enough LECHUZA-PON substrate (a mineral-based substance that looks like kitty litter and is made up of pumice, zeolites, lava, and fertilizer) to cover the bottom of the planter liner. This material helps with drainage and can also be used alone as an alternative to potting soil (you can buy more of it directly from Lechuza).
The Lechuza self-watering planter is easy to put together. The toughest part was figuring out how to put the water level indicator in the right spot – and that was because I didn’t bother to read the instructions… Take a quick look at the instructions first and you’ll be just fine.
UV-Resistant and Shatterproof
The plastic resin is UV-resistant and shatterproof. My planter sat outside in full sun all summer without fading, and stayed outside until the end of December where it weathered numerous nights well below freezing without showing any ill effects.
There’s a drainage plug in the bottom of the planter that allows you to use it both inside and out. When using it outside, simply leave the plug out so that any excess water (for example, from heavy rain) can easily drain out the bottom of the planter. If you use it inside, replace the plug.
While the plug is a nice feature, it’s not easy to insert. You’ll need a very large screwdriver and some elbow grease to screw it in. The plastic is a little soft so be careful as you do this or you may not be able to unscrew the plug later.
The Lechuza planter has an easy-to-read water level indicator that tells you when it’s time to water. The container has a large reservoir that sits right below the liner, meaning that you don’t need to water often.
One of the things I initially thought was a wonderful idea was the retractable handles on the liner. These can be used to easily lower the liner into the planter and (theoretically) lift the full liner out of the planter. This could come in handy when trying to remove the liner without having to remove everything that’s planted in it. However, there’s a bit of a design flaw with the handles – unless you lift directly upwards while holding each handle so that it’s angled slightly outward (away from the center of the pot), the mechanism that causes it to latch onto the liner rim doesn’t engage and, surprise!, the handles pop out of the container. At that point it’s pretty much impossible to remove the liner without turning the entire planter upside-down – which isn’t easy to do when there’s something planted in it!
All in all, in spite of issues with the drainage plug and handles, this is an excellent self-watering planter that I would strongly recommend. I plan to buy several more for myself!
Where to Buy It
The Lechuza planters can all be purchased through the Lechuza website or through Amazon (affiliate link). There are a range of different styles, sizes, and colors to choose from, all of which use the same self-watering system described in this review.
Disclosure: I received a free Lechuza planter from the company for my review. There was no expectation that I would write a favorable review.
Which self-watering planters have you used? Any you’d like us to review? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this review, please sign up for our monthly newsletter to get new reviews, special offers and giveaways.