Tips on Using Houseplant Watering Globes
By: Julie Day
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.
- 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.
- How to Water Houseplants (video)
- How to Repot Houseplants (article)
- Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Houseplants (article)