autopot 1pot

Throughout my growing journey, I've tried all sorts of irrigation systems. From Blumats to a drip system, flood and drain, all the way to AutoPot Watering Systems (which I'm going to talk about in-depth later on in this article), I have tested them all!

What makes AutoPots unique is that they give soil gardeners the efficiency of a hydroponic garden, as well as many of the associated benefits, such as faster growth, without the risk of a power outage or the nutrient and pH imbalances that can really be detrimental to a hydroponic system. AutoPots allow you to get bigger rewards without as much risk.

In this article, we will explain how these irrigation systems work, the different types, the benefits you can expect, and how you can use these irrigation principles in your own setup.

What Are AutoPots?

AutoPots are essentially automatic watering systems designed to make caring for your plants easy. They consist primarily of pots, trays, and a critical component known as the AquaValve. Unlike conventional watering methods, AutoPots operate on a self-regulating, gravity-fed mechanism.

Simply put, this means that you store water in a reservoir above the pots, and water flows down into them to supply your plants with water.

This design eliminates the need for manual watering schedules and reduces the risks associated with over or underwatering.

Autpots save time and money by automating your watering

How Do AutoPots Work?

Now that you understand what Autpot systems are let's talk about how they work. An AutoPot hydroponic system is based on its ability to deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant roots.

This process is facilitated by the AquaValve, which is designed to control the flow of water from a connected reservoir based on the water level in the tray. As plants consume water, the AquaValve responds by replenishing the tray to a predetermined level, ensuring a consistent supply of water and nutrients.

This approach not only conserves water but also promotes a healthier root environment. By providing a stable and adequate supply of moisture, AutoPots encourage the development of robust root systems, leading to healthier overall plant growth.

In summary, AutoPots stand out in the gardening world for their automated, efficient, and root-focused approach, offering a practical solution for gardeners seeking to streamline plant care.

What Are the Different Types of AutoPot Systems?

AutoPot systems are versatile for both hydroponic and traditional gardening, offering several types tailored to different needs:

  1. XL Systems

These AutoPot systems are suitable for large plants. They provide options for single or linked setups with large water supply reservoirs. This type of system is generally very popular for growing large cannabis and other plants.

  1. Spring Pot Systems

On the other hand, these systems feature fabric pots for better root growth and air exchange, promoting healthy plant development. They are employed because they are reusable and easy to clean.

  1. Easy2Grow Systems

These Autopot systems are ideal for growing a range of plants. They are typically low-maintenance and can be expanded to link multiple pots to a single reservoir.

  1. 1Pot Systems

This design utilizes the AutoPot AquaValve for automated wet and dry cycles, making them more suitable for soil or hydroponic growing mediums. Check out the One Pot System here.

  1. Tray Systems

These AutoPots are designed for commercial growers, allowing for the irrigation of multiple pots in a single tray assembly, which can help to save space and reduce maintenance.

  1. AQUAbox Kits

If you are looking for self-watering solutions for raised beds or conventional beds, then this is the one to go for. AQUAbox kits use capillary action and AQUAvalve technology.

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Setting Up Your AutoPot System

Installing an AutoPot system might seem daunting. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fairly straightforward process that can significantly streamline your gardening routine. Plus, it takes about 20 minutes to set up! [1] Here's a guide to get you started:

  1. Position the Trays

Begin by placing the trays in your desired location and then ensure that they are level for uniform water distribution.

  1. Connect the Piping

Next, attach the tubing from your water reservoir to the trays. Remember, the AutoPot is a gravity-fed system, so the reservoir should be placed higher than the trays.

  1. Install the AquaValve

Once this has been completed, place the AquaValve in the tray. This valve is crucial as it controls the water flow to the plants based on their needs.

  1. Prepare the Pots

Line the bottom of the pots with a suitable material, like pea gravel, perlite, or clay balls. Then, fill the pots with a mix of your choice. We prefer bioFlower by bio365 as it works well from start to finish. However, something like a 50/50 blend of coco coir and perlite or soil mix works, too.

  1. Transplant Your Plants

Carefully transplant your plants into the pots. It’s advisable to water them outside of the tray first and let them drain before placing them in the AutoPot tray.

  1. Initial Watering

Then, for the first 7-10 days, water or feed your plants by hand until they develop a solid root structure. After this, you can turn the system on for convenient automatic watering.

  1. Turn On the System

Once your plants are ready to go, you can turn on the AutoPot system. It will take over the watering process.

Tips for First-Time Users

Starting out can be challenging if you don't know what you're doing. Here are a few tips to help you reap the benefits of AutoPot watering systems:

Thriving seedlings in autopots.

  • Hand Water Initially : Hand water your plants for the first couple of weeks to help establish the root system before allowing the AutoPot system to take over.

  • Choose the Right Growing Media : A mix that’s light and fluffy, like a combination of coco coir and perlite, is ideal as it ensures effective nutrient delivery.

  • Proper Reservoir Placement : Ensure your reservoir is at least six inches higher than your first AquaValve to maintain the required gravity pressure.

  • Organic Nutrients : To prevent clogging of the feed lines, use light, mineral-based nutrients rather than organic ones. If you are going to use organic nutrients, we recommend top-dressing your pots with something like Gaia Green Amendments.

  • Regular Maintenance : Keep the reservoir clean to avoid algae growth, and periodically check the lines and valves for blockages.

  • Periodic Flushing : Regularly flush out the system to prevent salt and mineral buildup, ensuring optimal nutrient absorption by the plants.

By following these steps and tips, you can efficiently set up and optimize your AutoPot system, ensuring healthy plant growth with minimal manual intervention.

Why They’re Awesome

There's no doubt that the AutoPot watering system offers several advantages that make it an attractive choice for gardeners and cultivators ranging from hobbyists to commercial growers. Let's take a look at some of the benefits you can expect with this kind of system:

Water and Nutrient Efficiency

One of the most significant perks of the AutoPot system is its efficient use of water and nutrients. The gravity-fed system ensures that plants receive exactly what they need. This reduces waste and conserves resources. The efficiency you will enjoy not only helps you save on water and nutrient costs but also aligns with environmentally friendly gardening practices.

Little to No Maintenance Required

The AutoPot system is designed to minimize the need for constant supervision and maintenance. Once set up, the system automatically waters the plants, reducing the labor and time involved in manual watering. This feature is particularly beneficial if you are someone with a busy schedule or someone who likes to enjoy the occasional vacation.

Flexibility and Scalability

In addition, this system is highly adaptable and can be expanded or altered to suit various gardening needs and spaces. Whether you're growing a single plant or managing a large cultivation space, the AutoPot system can be tailored to fit the scale of your gardening project.

Energy Efficient

Unlike some hydroponic systems that require electric pumps, the AutoPot system operates entirely on gravity alone, requiring no energy inputs. This eliminates the need for electricity , which not only makes it more sustainable but also reduces operational costs. No air pump or water pumps are necessary.

Suitable for a Variety of Plants

AutoPots can be used for a wide range of plants, including vegetables, herbs, flowers, and cannabis plants, among others.

Healthy Plants and Better Yields

The consistent and tailored watering and nutrient delivery will lead to healthy plants and, potentially, higher yields. Plants in an AutoPot system are less likely to experience stress from over or underwatering, ensuring a more reliable and consistent yield.

Reduced Human Error

Since the system automates the watering process, it reduces the chances of human error, such as forgetting to water the plants or overwatering them. This benefit is huge when working in a large cannabis grow.

Work Well for Indoor Growing

If you are hoping to set up a self-watering system indoors, then AutoPots are a fantastic option to consider. They also work well outdoors, offering flexibility.

Autopot system in a huge setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  How does the AutoPot watering system work?

AutoPot systems are a gravity-fed, self-watering setup. They consist of a reservoir connected to pots via tubing. The central component is the AquaValve, which is designed to control the water flow based on the plant's needs. This ensures that there is a consistent water level in the tray.

  1.  Is AutoPot considered a hydroponic system?

While typically not considered hydroponic when used with soil, the AutoPot system can be classified as hydroponic if used with coco coir, a hydroponic growing medium.

  1.  Can AutoPots increase plant yield?

Yes, AutoPots can potentially increase yield because plants consistently receive water and nutrients, promoting healthier growth. [2]

  1.  Can you use soil in AutoPots?

Soil can be used in these systems but should be mixed 50/50 with perlite for better oxygenation and drainage. Coco coir is generally recommended for its consistent moisture retention.

  1.  Can you use just clay pebbles in AutoPots?

No, clay pebbles alone are not recommended as they don’t wick enough water. A mix with soil or coco is preferable.

  1.  Are AutoPots worth the investment?

AutoPots can be particularly beneficial for those who are often away or have busy schedules, as they reduce the need for regular watering, so they are definitely worth the investment. [3]

Troubleshooting Tips

AquaValve Issues (e.g., stuck open) :

  • Check all plastic parts for wear and tear.

  • Inspect the float valve to ensure it's operating correctly.

  • Clean the valve with bleach if necessary and ensure no debris is obstructing its movement.

  • In some cases, swapping small components within the valve assembly can resolve issues.

Preventing Algae Growth in the Reservoir :

Regularly clean the reservoir to prevent algae and maintain cleanliness.

Avoiding Clogged Feed Lines :

Use light, mineral-based nutrients instead of organic ones, as organic nutrients can lead to clogs.

Ensuring Proper Gravity Pressure :

The reservoir should be positioned at least six inches higher than the first AquaValve for optimal flow.

Regular System Flushing :

Flush the system every two weeks to prevent buildup in the pipes.

Cleaning Post-Harvest :

Clean all components of the system thoroughly after each harvest cycle.


If you are hoping to optimize plant care with minimal effort, then the AutoPot system offers a practical, efficient, and flexible solution. Its combination of resource efficiency, low maintenance, and adaptability makes it the perfect choice for a wide range of gardening applications.

And if you're looking to purchase an AutoPot system, you can check them out here!

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Author | Chris McDonald

With two decades of expertise, Chris leads Happy Hydro in redefining sustainable gardening and delights in backpacking adventures, mind-expanding journeys, and creating memories with his loved ones.

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