Watering globes offer a simple and efficient method to keep potted plants hydrated. I have found that these hand-blown glass devices elegantly blend form and function; they not only water plants effectively but also add a touch of aesthetic appeal to the plant setup.

The science behind their operation is based on the creation of a vacuum and the natural soil absorption at the bottom of the globe. When placed into the moist soil of a plant pot, the water releases gradually due to the pressure difference, ensuring a steady supply of water straight to the roots.

fountain, water, globe

The practicality of watering globes shines when I’m away from home. They provide peace of mind, knowing my plants won’t go thirsty in my absence. To use them properly, I fill the globe with water, then make a small tunnel in the soil with a tool, like a pencil, before inserting the globe.

This preventative step is critical to avoid clogging the globe’s stem with soil. It’s important to ensure the soil is initially moist so that the water can seep out slowly. Caring for houseplants is easier when using watering globes, as they automate a part of the watering process and help me make sure my plants are not over or under-watered.

Choosing the Right Watering Globe

In choosing the right watering globe for your plants, it’s essential to consider the material and the size and shape that best fit your needs. Each factor plays a crucial role in ensuring efficient and effective watering for your greens.

Material Differences: Glass vs. Plastic

When selecting a watering globe, the material is the first factor to consider. I have found that glass globes are aesthetically pleasing with their artisanal look and can be quite durable. They add a touch of elegance to your plant display and the clear material allows you to see the water level easily. However, they can be heavier and more fragile compared to plastic versions. On the other hand, plastic globes are lightweight and less prone to breakage, making them a practical choice for households with pets or children. While they may not offer the same visual appeal as glass, they are often more affordable and equally functional.

Selecting the Appropriate Size and Shape

💥 Size and shape impact the watering globe’s performance.

For my plants, I consider the globe’s size and shape critical to meet the specific water needs of each plant. The size should be appropriate for the plant’s size and the pot’s capacity. A small globe would suffice for a tiny succulent, while larger plants will benefit more from a larger globe. I ensure the shape of the globe, especially the length of the neck, is compatible with the pot depth to provide adequate support. Watering globes with a long thin neck are ideal for deeper pots as they reach further into the soil, ensuring that water is delivered to the roots rather than just the surface. Additionally, make sure that the soil moisture level is already adequate before inserting the globe to achieve a gradual and steady water release.

Setting Up Your Watering Globes

When using watering globes for plant care, it’s critical to properly prepare the soil and the globe itself to ensure optimal irrigation while I’m away. Here’s how I set up my watering globes to maintain a consistent watering schedule.

Preparing the Soil for Installation

Before I even consider placing a watering globe, I make sure the soil in the pot is ready to prevent complications. Here’s how I get things set up:

  • Soil Moisture: First, I check that the soil is already moist to prevent the globe from draining too quickly. If the soil is dry, I water the plant normally and wait for the soil to absorb the moisture.
  • Making a Path: To avoid pushing soil into the globe’s stem, potentially clogging it, I create a hole for the globe using a pencil or a stick, mirroring its stem’s width and length. This step ensures a smooth insertion process.
⚠️ A Warning

Do not force the globe into the soil without pre-made guidance as it may cause the globe to break or become clogged.

Filling and Inserting Water Globes Correctly

A proper refill technique is crucial for the function of watering globes. Here’s the process I follow:

  • Cleaning: I always rinse the new globe before its first use to remove any dust or particles.
  • Filling the Globe: I carefully fill the globe with water to avoid air bubbles, which can impact water flow. For globes with narrow openings, using a funnel aids in this step.
  • Inserting the Globe: Grasping the globe, I gently insert it into the pre-made hole in the soil. The vacuum that forms inside the globe will regulate the water release based on the soil’s dryness and the atmosphere’s humidity.

The soil type affects how quickly the water is released. Clay soils, which hold water, may slow down the process, while sandy soils might require refills more frequently. I keep in mind that environmental factors and the plant’s unique water needs can vary, making each globe’s duration last from around 7 to 14 days before needing a refill.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Water globes require routine maintenance to function properly. Ensuring cleanliness and a clear path for water flow are vital for their operation.

Cleaning and Preventing Algae or Mold

I find periodic cleaning essential to prevent the growth of algae or mold. This is especially true if the water globe is placed in direct sunlight. I mix a solution of vinegar and water, or lemon juice for a more pleasant scent, and use it to clean the globe thoroughly.

A soft brush or a pipe cleaner can be used for hard-to-reach areas. After scrubbing, rinse the globe well to ensure that no cleaning solution remains as it might harm the plants.

Dealing With Clogs and Ensuring Proper Water Flow

I’ve encountered clogs in the watering stem of water globes from time to time. These clogs can prevent water from seeping out at the correct pace, which is detrimental to plant health.

💥 To maintain proper water flow, I inspect the stem of the globe for debris and use a pipe cleaner to gently remove any blockage.

It’s also important to ensure that the globe is inserted correctly into moist soil. If the soil is too dry or too compact, water flow may be restricted. I often check the soil moisture before inserting the globe to maintain a consistent flow that meets the plant’s needs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Water Globes

💥 Quick Answer

Self-watering globes can offer a convenient watering solution for your potted plants, providing steadier moisture without the risk of overwatering.

From my experience, plant watering globes can be beneficial to gardeners. They slowly release water into the soil, creating a more consistent moisture level, which is often better for plant health than sporadic watering.


  • Consistent Moisture: The slow and steady water release ensures that plants receive a constant supply of moisture.
  • Convenience: I appreciate not having to water my plants every day, making water globes especially handy during travel.
  • Overwatering Prevention: Water globes help prevent the common problem of overwatering, as they only release the amount of water the soil can absorb.

Yet, they are not without their disadvantages. If not set up properly, they can dispense water inadequately, either providing too little or too much, depending on the absorbency of the soil and the plant’s requirements.


💥 Disadvantages include:

  • Inconsistency: Different soil types and plant needs may make it hard to gauge the correct watering volume, leading to under or overwatering.
  • Physical Limitations: Water globes may not be suitable for all pot sizes; larger pots require more water than a globe can provide, while smaller ones can become unstable.

Furthermore, some plants requiring dry soil periods may not thrive with the continuous moisture water globes provide. Therefore, I always recommend assessing whether a water globe is appropriate for the species of plant you are tending to.

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