I’ve never had much luck with plants. I’ve overwatered cati, underwatered fiddle leaf figs, and somehow even managed to kill three snake plants. (Yes, the house plant that’s known for being resilient and nearly impossible to kill.) It’s not for lack of care: I always research the plants beforehand, choose ones with needs my apartment can meet, and keep a close eye on them. But after years of sadly scooping dead plants into my trash can, I came to terms with the fact that I just simply don’t have a green thumb.
A couple of months after saying goodbye to my last failed attempt at at-home botany—a snake plant I managed to keep alive for three months before a friend informed me it was, in fact, dead—I was given this ceramic self-watering planter. Naturally a bit of a skeptic, my expectations were very low, but I figured it was worth a shot. I walked a few blocks to a well-loved plant shop in my neighborhood, took my time perusing the shelves, and landed on a small pothos plant. Similar to snake plants, it has a reputation for being easy to care for. Plus, its flexible lighting needs—it thrives in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate medium-to-low indirect light—were a perfect match for my apartment. I walked back home, pothos in hand, plopped it into my new self-watering pot, set it on the corner of my dresser, and waited. Almost six months later, my pothos is still alive and well.
The magic of this ceramic self-watering planter is fairly simple and straightforward. A self-irrigation system at the bottom of the two-section planter allows the plant to drink the water it needs from its roots. That’s right, exactly how it would if it were still planted in nature. All you need to do is lift the top portion of the pot, pour enough water to fill the smaller, shallower bottom section, and let the roots do their thing. No more setting calendar reminders for when to water or accidentally overwatering—just lift check in on the bottom section of the pot every week or so to see if it needs a refill. It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
And nope, I haven’t killed a single plant since.
Do you have a green thumb? Let us know your best plant tips below!
Julia is Food52’s Commerce Editor and a freelance writer. She has written for Grub Street, Eater, PUNCH, Edible Brooklyn, and more. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.