Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Tips on Using Houseplant Watering Globes


Aqua Globe being used on houseplant

There are pros and cons on using watering globes, like Aqua Globes, on houseplants.

Do automatic houseplant watering globes, like Aqua Globes, really work?

Those pretty glass plant watering globes do serve a purpose in plant care, but the advertisements can be misleading if you aren’t paying attention. Water globes claim that by filling the globe and inserting it into the soil, your plant will receive a trickle of water for up to two weeks. But, depending on the soil, the water may not last nearly that long, and using water globes requires periodic cleaning.

While plant watering globes can be a good way to keep your plants steadily watered, they’re no substitute for taking the time to care of your plants. Keep in mind these tips about automatic plant watering globes:

How to Use Watering Globes for Houseplants

  • Water Globes Keep Plants Watered for Weeks: You have to refill the globes every week or two. I don’t know about you, but given the choice between cleaning and refilling glass globes and simply pouring some water into my plants, I’ll probably choose to water the plants by hand. The watering globes are not designed to save time, but to moderate the water plants receive. It won’t take care of your plants on that month-long vacation, and it won’t remove “houseplant care” from your to-do list.
  • Water Globes Keep Soil Moisture Constant: What the globes will do is administer a steady dose of water that is absorbed as your soil dries out. That means no more overflowing drainage trays or waterlogged plants. It also means that the rate of emptying depends on your soil – they may last two weeks in some soil and only a few days in different soil.
  • The water in watering globes can last up to two weeks

  • Water Globes for Sensitive Plants: While many houseplants can simply be watered once a week or so, some plants seem to suffer if they dry out even for a day. If your plants wilt too easily, the watering systems can help. However, keep in mind that wilting may be a sign that your plant needs to be repotted.
  • Cleaning Water Globes: The straw portion of the globe can easily clog with debris, and the inside can grow mold and algae over time. Cleaning the globes can be tricky – you may need a narrow pipe cleaner to clear the passageway.
  • Keeping Water Globe from Clogging: To prevent clogs, make a hole in the soil with a pencil or knife before inserting the globe. Simply shoving the point into the soil can force soil into the opening – it can also break the globe and cut your hand!
  • Inserting Water Globes in Soil: Full water globes are pretty top heavy. They work best in bigger pots with deeper plant roots, so that they can be planted deep enough to keep from falling over.


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13 Comments on “Tips on Using Houseplant Watering Globes”

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  1. Regina Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    What do I use to remove the mold/algae from inside the water globe? I tried vinegar and it didn’t work.

  2. Danielle Says:
    April 4th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I would try baking soda and lemon juice. Just sprinkle some baking soda into the globe then add some lemon juice. Shake the globe about a bit to get some scrubbing action.

  3. Kriste Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    How deep do the bulbs need to be in the pot? I pushed mine down pretty deep, does it matter?

  4. Eliza Says:
    June 26th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I tried one yesterday and not sure what (if anything) I did wrong. The soil had been freshly watered so it was wet and I filled a globe with water and inserted it into the soil. Within an hour the globe was empty, to the point that water was spilling out of the under plate. I really don’t understand how this is suppose to work.

  5. connie Says:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I want to fill my globe with rain water. what is the best way to do this? I have tried submersing it, a child’s medicine syringe, nothing worked, the hole is too small for a straw.

  6. Joyce Says:
    November 9th, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I have tried one for a week in my bird nest fern and it must have just right soil because it has worked beautifully keeping the fern damp so it will not dry out. I will get a few more watering bulbs and try in a few other small planters I have. Good to know how they work before you leave them alone in an empty house, by themselves, all alone and wondering! Lol do try before leaving them and see what it does for the plant. Thanks

  7. Pam gilleo Says:
    June 7th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    My basil plant loves the water globes.. Found a set at a yard sale for a buck! I love them

  8. Anne Says:
    July 16th, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I think they’re brilliant and use them just for when we’re away on holiday! We use both the large and small ones depending on the size of container. Leave the soil moist and add the full globes the day you leave and two weeks later you still have a complete of living plants! I should put our experience in context though, we get approx 150 days of rain each year, rain being described as more than 1 mm (approx 0.4 of an inch).

  9. Kyla Says:
    July 20th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I use empty wine bottles instead. They’re much easier to fill, not to mention less expensive. Not quite as pretty, but my tomatoes don’t seem to mind!

  10. Scot Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I have some water globes outside in some hot weather. Will the water, after it heats up, be bad for the plant? I’m sure the water gets quite hot so I’m a little concerned I’m not really helping my plant by having hot water being supplied to the root system. A little help?

  11. Lily Says:
    December 6th, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    We will be out of town for Christmas for nearly two weeks. I have a number of houseplants that I would like to at least survive until we get back. Do you think these would help keep the plants alive (even if they are not thriving) while we are gone?

  12. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    December 7th, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hi Lily,
    Yes, watering globes can definitely help keep your plants alive while you’re gone. Water each plant well first, then put full globes in each plant. Also, don’t turn your heat down too low while you’re out of town.

  13. Glenna Seeley Says:
    January 10th, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I am confused — do I thoroughly water the plant prior to inserting the globe stem? Or, do I place the globe stem into dry soil? thanks

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