6 Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask About Plant-Watering Bulbs

If you have houseplants, there’s probably been a time you’ve wondered “Can I help keep my plants watered everyday without having to remember?” Lucky for you, there is a way to be sure your plants are watered regularly. Watering globes might be just the thing you’ve been looking for! Watering globes, also called aqua globes or watering spikes, are small bulbs with a long stemmed bottom that are inserted into the soil of a potted plant to help water the plant’s roots. Watering globes are available in a few different materials and styles. There are globes made entirely of glass in one piece, and there are globes made with a glass top and clay stem. Watering globes also have colorful designs to add a decorative touch to any plant stand or planter indoors or outdoors.

If you’ve ever wondered how these wondrous things work, whether they’re truly beneficial for plants, and how to use and care for them, you’ve come to the right place! 

blue mosaic glass watering globe in flowers

How Do Plant-Watering Bulbs Work?

First, let’s discuss how watering globes work. They are a smart, efficient solution for keeping your plants watered consistently, and the design is simple, making them easy for anyone to use. As the soil dries out around the stem of the globe, it creates a vacuum inside the globe, pulling water from it and delivering it directly to the plant’s roots. The soil is what controls the amount of water and how frequently it is released. Water can only be released into the soil when air is able to take the place of water inside the globe, which occurs when the soil dries. The automated self-watering system ensures that your plants receive the right amount of moisture, promoting healthy growth. 

person wondering how to save a dead plant

Are Plant-Watering Bulbs Good For Plants?

To answer simply, yes, watering globes are good for plants. Plant watering bulbs are a great addition to any gardener’s supplies. They prevent overwatering because the water is gradually released only when the soil becomes dry. These tools also keep your plants from drying out. Since water is released when dry soil is detected, you won’t have to worry about your plants thirsting for long.

fern in an indoor planter

What Types of Plants Should I Water with Bulbs?

Although aqua bulbs are great for plants, you should know that they aren’t designed to be used with all types of plants. Plant watering bulbs can be used for a variety of plants, grown both indoors and outdoors in medium to large sized pots, hanging baskets, or container gardens. However, only use watering globes with plants that require regular, consistent watering to grow. Plants that don’t like wet soil or need to have completely dry soil between waterings, like succulents or cacti, should not be watered with a watering globe. Instead, use them to hydrate peace lilies, spider plants, pothos, geraniums, petunias, herbs, or ferns to name a few. Remember, watering globes are not meant to replace your plant’s regular watering schedule completely. They are designed to keep plants hydrated while you’re away for a few days or as a supplement to a routine watering regimen.

How Do I Use a Plant-Watering Bulb?

Now that you know what kind of plants watering bulbs can be used with, you might be wondering how it can be used. Using plant watering bulbs is easy! There are a couple different styles of watering bulbs, one piece and two piece bulbs. Check out this short video to see how to use a two piece watering globe.

How to Use Single Piece Watering Globes

1: Fill the watering bulb with clean water. Add liquid fertilizer to the water if your plants require regular feeding. 

2: Insert the stem of the bulb at an angle gently into the soil near the roots. It may be useful to poke a small hole with a pencil for the stem to rest before inserting the stem into the soil.

3: Monitor the water levels in the bulb and refill it when the water is low or gone.

Watering globe being filled with water

How to Use a Globe with 2 Pieces

1: Insert the stem of the bulb gently into the soil near the roots. It may be useful to carve out a small hole for the stem to rest with a spade before inserting the stem into the soil.

2: Twist the globe onto the stem and fill the watering bulb with clean water. Add liquid fertilizer to the water if your plants require regular feeding. 

3: Monitor the water levels in the bulb and refill it when the water is low or gone.

How Long Will a Bulb Water my Plants? 

The watering duration of a bulb depends on its size, the plant’s water requirements, and the moisture in the soil. Smaller bulbs usually hold enough water to sustain plants for about a week. Larger bulbs hold enough water for about 2 weeks. Remember to regularly check the soil and water levels in the bulbs to gauge how often it should be refilled. While watering bulbs are helpful for keeping your plants hydrated, they should not be the only source of hydration your plants receive. 

indoor plant with watering globe

How Do I Clean a Plant-Watering Bulb? 

Keeping watering globes clean is important and helps protect plants from mold, algae, or fungus that can grow in watering globes over time. To clean watering bulbs, first empty out any water that remains in the bulb or stem. Use a pipe cleaner or drinking straw brush to scrub inside the stem. Rinse it with water and assess if further cleaning is needed. If algae or mold has begun growing, try one of these methods to help clean it out.

1: Put a bit of baking soda, lemon juice, or white vinegar respectively in the globe. Swirl the mixture around and then rinse it out after a minute. Let the globe air dry completely before use.

2: Use fine sand and water to clean out the globe. Pour in sand until the globe is about a quarter of the way full. Cover the end of the stem with your hand and shake the globe. Empty the globe and rinse with water. Let the globe air dry completely before using it in a potted plant again.

3: Pour a small amount of bleach and water into the globe. Let that sit for about 10 minutes and then drain the globe and rinse it thoroughly. Remember to let it dry completely before using it.


Plant watering globes are easy to use and are perfect for keeping your plants lush and growing without the constant worry of watering. Whether you’re planning a vacation or just want to simplify your gardening routine, give plant watering bulbs a try. For more tips on watering potted plants, check out our blog. Happy gardening!


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