How To Use Your Naked
Root Planter

Naked Root watering instructions


Naked Root planters require a dry cycle.
It is NOT a self-watering planter that keeps the soil constantly moist.

Naked Root planters work differently than standard planters. To grow healthier plants, You must allow your planter's reservoir to sit empty for 1-3 weeks before refilling. But don't stress it-- just follow these simple instructions, and your plants will thrive!

How to add water to your Naked Root

Simply add water through the watering hole until the reservoir is filled to just below the hole.

(Yes, it is a lot of water! But don't worry, your plant will absorb it rapidly and you won't drown your plant.)

Typical watering schedule

Planter size
21 days
14 days
7 days

Calculate your ideal watering schedule

Fill your reservoir completely with water and make a note on your calendar so you don't forget.

Check the reservoir periodically and count how many days it takes for the reservoir to empty

Add 7 to 21 "Dry Cycle" days to the days it took for the reservoir to empty. This is how often you'll need to refill your reservoir.

Never Forget To Water On Time!

Once you've confirmed your watering schedule, simply set a notification on your phone and fill the reservoir on the right day. There's no need to test your soil or guess when it's time to water.

Sample Watering Schedules:

These are examples of possible watering schedules for these plants, NOT a recommended schedule. You must run the 3-step observation process above to calculate your watering schedule that accounts for your growing environment.

Thirsty Plant

ex. Maidenhair Fern

Reservoir Filled: Day 1
Days to Empty: Day 7
Dry Cycle Days: 7 Days
7 + 7 = 14 days
Watering Schedule = once every 14 days

Average Houseplant

ex. Monstera Deliciosa

Reservoir Filled: Day 1
Days to Empty: Day 5
Dry Cycle Days: 14 Days
5 + 14 = 19 days
Watering Schedule = once every 19 days

Dry-Loving Plant

ex. Snake Plant

Reservoir Filled: Day 1
Days to Empty: Day 3
Dry Cycle Days: 21 Days
3 + 21 = 24 days
Watering Schedule = once every 24 days

Other things to look out for:

Inspect your plants periodically to identify potential issues, including under-watering. If you notice drooping leaves, it's a sure sign that you need to shorten your dry cycle.

Seasonality and age impact the water needs of your plants. To ensure healthy plants and roots, redo the observation period seasonally to adapt your schedule to your plant's changing needs!

Naked Root Planting instructions

Naked Root works great with potting soil mixes and most growth substrates, including LECA, bark, coco coir, PON, and more. Follow these simple steps for healthy plants:

Fill the bottom 1/3 of the inner planter with soil or planting media. Take extra care to fill the corner wicking zones.
Place your plant into the planter. If needed, remove some soil around roots to help it fit without crowding.
Fill the inner planter to the top with your soil or substrate, taking care not to damage the roots.
Ensure the soil is dense enough to support your plant upright, but be careful not to pack the soil.
Thoroughly soak the soil from top to bottom. Some soil will escape through the aeration holes.*
Place the inner planter inside the outer planter and then follow the watering instructions above to fill the reservoir.

*Some soil will continue to escape through the watering holes for the first few waterings. Simply remove the inner pot and rinse the outer pot.

Learn how to care for your favorite plants

To learn more about your plant type and its estimated watering interval, visit our lant care guide for detailed information on dozens of popular houseplants.

Visit the plant care guide


How is Naked Root different from other self-watering planters?

Most self-watering planters use a large reservoir of water below the plant that's absorbed from the bottom-up, slowly over time. Water is translocated to the soil by either a cotton rope or a narrow column of soil. If there is always water in your planter, your soil can stay wet and without oxygen (anaerobic) for weeks, risking root rot.

So Naked Root acts more like a fabric grow bag, suspending the soil in the air. Ventilation slits allow water to penetrate to all roots (not just the bottom ones) so water is absorbed more quickly. Once water is absorbed, oxygen rushes in to facilitate a water-oxygen exchange, replicating the process that happens in nature.

Does soil fall out of the aeration slots?

A little at first. When potting up your plant for the first time, some soil will fall through. And for the first few waterings, a small amount of soil will continue to spill into the outer pot. Simply rinse out the outer pot to clean it. After the first few waterings, the soil will settle in and will stay in place.

How often do I need to water my plant?

Most indoor houseplants will need to be watered about every 2 weeks with the Naked Root planter. You simply fill up the reservoir and let the planter do the work. Some plant types (like succulents) will need water less frequently. Check out our how-to-use directions for detailed watering instructions for specific plant types.