Is AutoPot Technology Right For Your Indoor Garden? - Happy Hydro

Autopots are self-watering systems that utilize gravity pressure to fill basins with water/fertilizer solution. They have a float valve that allows the basins to refill automatically when they become dry. The plants sit over the top of these basins in pots that help draw water up from the basin and into the plant roots, thus watering and feeding the plant with little effort required from the grower and no tubing or electricity required.


The Advantages of AutoPot Technology


One of the advantages of using autopots is that they water from the bottom, encouraging root development and growth. This is opposed to top watering systems, which might induce root rot and promote fungus development.


AutoPot technology is also beneficial because it can be used with airbases and airdomes. AirBases are structures that sit underneath your plants and create airspace. This airspace allows the plant to draw in more oxygen, which benefits photosynthesis and overall plant health. If electricity is an option, AirDomes connect to an air pump and allow you to pump oxygen directly into the root zone.

When used in conjunction with AutoPots, they provide an ideal environment for your plants.


Topdressing with AutoPots is a simple process that can restore nutrients to your soil. First, poke some broom holes in the substrate and funnel the "top" dressing down, and the top dressing will naturally absorb and provide your plants with the nutrients they need.


Seedlings are naturally sensitive to saturated soil, but it IS possible to start a plant in the Autopot without overwatering and killing them. When starting a seedling, fill the Autopot basin with water and soil up to the top of the potting hole. Insert the seedling into the potting hole and cover it with soil. The seedling will then be able to take up water as needed from the basin. If you’re new to growing, we recommend starting in a smaller pot or solo cup with holes at the bottom to avoid overwatering and potentially stunting your plants.


Are AutoPots Expandable?


These systems are expandable, so if you go with a 4Pot system and later decide to upgrade your area and now need an 8Pot system, you can add four 1Pot modules and some fittings to accommodate the larger space. Consider upgrading your reservoir depending on how many more pots you add to the original system. *The Auto3, Auto5, Auto8, and Auto9 tray systems are not expandable in the above scenario.


Which AutoPot System is right for me?


Once you decide that AutoPots are suitable for you and your application, selecting which system you need can be a little confusing and contribute to analysis paralysis. Below we will talk about the main types of AutoPots and how they are different from one another. Pot size is directly correlated to plant size, so if you’re tight on space and want more plants, stick to the 1Pot Systems, and if you’re trying to grow some monsters, go with 1PotXL. A perfect in-between is the SpringPot Systems which allow you to use the included fabric pots, which have many benefits like preventing root circling, oxygen uptake, and root-temperature stability.

Areas That Could Be Improved


Autopots are traditionally the easiest to set up and use, but they can get pricey. You aren’t left searching for which size reservoir to use with your system, DIY instructions, and what pots are best. Autopots make it easy. These things all play a part when considering purchasing a ready-to-go watering system.


Large commercial growers may choose to avoid Autopot systems because there may be dozens of reservoirs that need to be refilled with different nutrients. This could be alleviated by using larger reservoirs hooked up to a central water source. There are a LOT of commercial facilities that love the simplicity of AutoPots and enjoy having the peace of mind they’re not over or underwatering their plants.


The last issue is minor. The flood-and-drain systems take a shotgun approach to irrigation, meaning it will always be supplying nutrients and water to your plants, making it difficult to know exactly how much is to be delivered at any one time.




Autopots are ideal for small to medium-sized grows, but they might be the best economic investment for commercial growers who could instead invest in a drip irrigation system. With drip irrigation comes its own set of challenges, and only you can determine which approach works best for your needs. 


It is important to remember that autopots must be used in conjunction with plants that have already established root systems. The plants need to take up the nutrients properly for the autopots to be effective. Once the plants have been established and are healthy, you can rely on the autopots to provide them with the precise water and nutrients they need.


Shop our collection of Autopot systems to find the best setup for your indoor garden!

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