Watering one’s plants is a critical part of keeping them alive and thriving. The heavy-handed hose, or the broad-spraying sprinkler, however, are not always sufficient watering solutions. Delicate seedlings in a garden require a gentle spray of water. Some plants, like the African violet, cannot tolerate water on their leaves. Indoor plants, potted plants outside, and hanging plants all need to be individually watered.
At times like these, a watering can is often a useful tool. Invented in the 17th century, the watering can has been a gardening staple for 3 centuries. There is a reason for its longevity: It is a convenient, and useful, tool for keeping plants well watered.
Buying a watering can isn’t just a matter of picking up the first item you find at the store, though. Watering cans come in many different shapes and sizes, with many different features. To help you find the right can for your needs, we have put together this buying guide. Read on to learn more about the best watering cans on the market today and some things to consider before you buy one.
Top 8 Best Watering Cans for 2020
|OXO Good Grips Pour & Store||
|Cado Watering Can||
|Bloem Aqua Rite||
|Bosmere Haws Deluxe||
|Imeaa Stainless Steel||
While there are hundreds of watering cans on the market, there are only a few that really stand out. Here is a look at the 8 best watering cans for 2020.
1. OXO Good Grips Pour & Store – Best Overall
The Pour & Store watering can from OXO is creatively designed with a spout that swivels and can be pulled out for watering and pushed up against the can for more compact storage. This flexibility improves not just storage but the ease with which you can reach the plants you wish to water.
This 2.11 gallon watering can is made of plastic but still receives reports from consumers for its durability. Consumers regularly report that the can lasts years, even when stored outside in a shed or on a patio. As a result, it is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
This durability makes the Pour & Store not just convenient but also a good value. The long, slender spout with a curve at the end is perfect for reaching houseplants and hanging plants, and is also useful for reaching into garden beds outdoors. The rose, or sprinkler head, comes off and stores on the back of the can for versatility in water flow.
The only downside to this can is a tendency to leak at the gasket that allows the spout to swivel and flex up and down.
- Swivel spout
- Durable even with outdoor use
- Long, slender spout
- Removable sprinkler head
- Spout gasket may leak
2. Cado Watering Can – Best Product For Budget
The Cado watering can is an inexpensive, but smartly-designed tool for watering your plants. The blow-mold plastic body features a large tulip on each side to give it a pretty look, and it comes in at least two colors (Yellow and dark green).
This watering can’s value, however, does not lie in its appealing appearance. It lies in the combination of low price and intelligently incorporated features. For example, it comes with two handles: One on the top and one on the back. These two handles make it easier to balance the can when removing it from the faucet after filling it, and they make it easier to carry the generous two gallons of water that the can holds.
In addition the 1.5-inch fill hole sits in the back of this watering can. As a result, the handles do not get in the way of filling the watering can, which makes it faster and more convenient to fill the can, which consumers claim usually needs to be done at least once when watering multiple plants.
The rose, or sprinkler head, on the can is removable. The only downside to this sprinkler head is that some consumers report a slow flow of water that makes it difficult to quickly water plants that do not require a very gentle flow of water. As a result, and because of its plastic design, this watering can is best for indoor use.
While receiving points for durability, this watering can does receive some criticism for not having a longer spout that would make it easier to use for hanging plants and certain other plants.
- Balanced handles
- Large capacity
- Fill hole in back
- Short spout
- Slow water flow
3. Haws Original Watering Can – Best Premium Product
Haws’ original watering can is a classic, durable, outdoor watering can. This large-capacity (2.4 gallon) can is made of steel galvanized with a powder coat finish. As a result, it is durable enough to last, in some cases, for decades.
Its large size and sturdy steel construction are not its only positive features, however, this smartly designed watering can features two well-balanced handles that make it easy to carry and use, even when full. In order to provide versatility in water flow, the rosette is removable, and comes with a filter at the bottom to prevent blockage. A high neck also helps to prevent leaking when the watering can is tipped.
While designed primarily for outdoor use, the Haws original watering can is sometimes used successfully for large indoor watering jobs and greenhouse watering jobs. The only downside to this superior watering can is the relatively high price.
- Heavy gauge, galvanized steel construction
- Two handles
- Filter on removable rosette
- Removable rosette
- High neck to prevent leakage
This steel watering can from Behrens is a large (2.5 gallon) capacity watering can made of hot-dipped steel. Hot-dipped is simply a term used to refer to a galvanization process by which the steel is dipped into liquid zinc to coat the outside and prevent rust.
This process makes the watering can rust-resistant while giving it a distinctive, vintage appearance. The can is also recyclable, for an added, eco-friendly advantage.
This can is intended for outdoor use, which is why the rosette produces a broad sprinkle rather than a more focused flow. Thanks to its hot-dipped steel construction, it is rodent-proof and durable, even with outside use and storage and even when water is accidentally left inside it.
This watering can does have some downsides. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the fact that the rosette is not removable, which means you cannot adjust the flow of the water through any means other than the angle at which you hold the can when watering.
In addition, consumers report that the plastic handle grip tends to fall off and that water escapes from the top of the can during watering when it is completely full.
- Large capacity
- Hot-dipped steel body
- Vintage appearance
- Rust resistant
- Non-removable rosette
- Potential leakage when full
- Poor quality plastic handle grip
The Aqua Rite watering can from Bloem is a small, compact tool ideal for watering a few indoor houseplants or office plants. Because it only holds 36 ounces (4.5 cups), it is not intended or ideal for outdoor or heavy watering.
When used for smaller watering jobs, however, this watering can offers consumers a number of appealing features. Its single-piece plastic design makes it durable enough to last for years without leaking. In addition, its long, slender spout is ideal for reaching houseplants, hanging plants, and self-watering plants with a satisfactory flow of water.
The handle extends from the top to the back of the can, making it easy to carry and balance the watering can. It is small enough to fit under bathroom faucets for easy filling, making it a good choice for indoor use.
- Leak proof
- Long spout
- Very small and not appropriate for outdoor use
The Rainmaker watering can is a heavy-duty plastic watering can intended for outdoor use. It holds a massive 3.2 gallons of water to make it more convenient to complete even larger watering jobs.
Its size is only one of its positive features. This watering can also comes with a removable rosette. The rosette can sit on top of a post on the watering can and you can enjoy a faster flow of water from the spout. This versatility makes this watering can a good choice for multiple kinds of watering jobs.
In addition, this watering can boasts two handles for easier carrying and measuring lines on the back of the can so you can tell more easily how much water you have in your can. The small fill opening is intended to cut down on splashing when carrying the can from place to place. However, consumers do report that this fill hole is a little too small to conveniently fit a hose inside.
Other downsides to this watering can include heaviness when full (due to the large capacity) and occasional problems with leaking.
- Huge capacity
- Removable rosette
- Rosette storage
- Two handles
- Heavy when full
- Occasional leakage
- Small fill hole
This plastic watering can from Haws is smaller, and less expensive, than its metal counterpart. However, it maintains the durable and well-balanced design of the original with two handles for easy, one-handed carrying.
In addition, this 1.3 gallon watering can features a removable spout extension that directs water down for easy watering of potted plants. The removable bras rosette also provides versatility and ease of use for watering indoor and outdoor plants of all kinds.
Downsides to this product include more of a tendency to leak than the original, as well as missing details, link finger grips along the handles.
- Durable plastic
- Good balance
- Removable downspout
- Removable rosette
- Tendency to leak
- Missing finger grips on handles
The 30-ounce stainless steel watering can from Imeea is a stylish way to water indoor plants. Made of polished stainless steel, it is tough enough to maintain its smooth finish over the long term.
This watering can is not just stylish, however. It is also well-designed, with a long spout for easy reaching of plants and a semi-open fill hole that prevents leakage. A set of smaller, matching watering cans can make watering a family affair.
The only downside to this product is its small size, which may make it unsuitable for certain watering jobs.
- Long spout
- Semi-open fill hole
Types of Watering Cans
As you may have noticed from reading about the best watering cans above, there isn’t just one type. In fact, there are multiple types of watering cans to consider before you make your purchase. Here are some of the most common:
1. Metal vs. Plastic
While some ceramic watering cans exist, the vast majority of watering cans are made of either plastic or metal (usually steel). Here is a look at the pros and cons of each type.
- Less durable than metal
- May leach chemicals into the water and then into the plantS
- May rust
- Heavier than plastic
- Prone to leaking
2. Indoor vs. Outdoor
Watering cans are also made for either indoor outdoor use. In general, those made for indoor use are plastic, smaller, with long, curved spouts.
Watering cans made for the outdoors are generally larger, with broad rosette sprinkler heads and durable construction.
The type you choose will depend upon your needs and preferences. Just make sure you understand the pros and cons of metal vs. plastic and indoor vs. outdoor before you buy.
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are many features to consider when buying a watering can. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of these choices, however. Consider these important elements of a watering can in order to ensure that you purchase the best product for your watering job.
Watering cans can hold a few cups of water or multiple gallons. The capacity you need depends upon the job you are trying to complete. For small indoor jobs, you may only need a small can that holds 3 or 4 cups of water. Larger outdoor jobs, on the other hand, will probably require a 2 or 3 gallon capacity.
Before purchasing a watering can for its capacity, however, take into consideration the weight of the water. You should be confident in your ability to carry 2 or 3 gallons of water at once before you commit to purchasing a larger watering can.
One of the factors that can make a large watering can easier to carry is its ergonomic design. In particular, the position of the handle can make all the difference in enabling you to carry and pour the watering can without dropping the can or spilling any water.
The best watering cans have two handles: One on top and one on the back. This ergonomic design makes it easy to grip the watering can wherever you need in order to balance it, carry it, and pour it effectively.
Other features, such as the overall design of the can, can also affect its balance. Choose a can that is known for its lightweight construction and ergonomic design in order to make carrying even heavy loads of water easier.
3. Versatile Water Flow
While it may not seem like it, the flow of water from the watering can is an important consideration. A light flow may not be appropriate for watering larger or well-established plants, while a strong and sudden flow of water might damage smaller plants and tender seedlings.
To that end, look for a watering can that provides a versatile water flow. Usually, this versatility comes in the form of a removable rosette. The rosette provides a gentle shower of water, while the spout underneath provides the stronger flow of water appropriate for stronger plants.
4. Spout Design
The spout is probably one of the most important design features of a watering can. A long, curved spout makes it easier to reach underneath plants, like African violets, that do not tolerate water on their leaves very well. It can also make it easier to reach hanging plants.
Look for a long spout that makes it easier to reach the kind of plants you want to water. Additional features, like a removable spout or a spout that swivels, are added bonuses because of the flexibility they give you to use the same watering can for multiple watering jobs.
A watering can is an indispensable addition to your garden tool collection, even if all you own are a few houseplants. The right watering can comes in the size and design you need, with versatile water flow and a long neck. The next time you need a watering can, consider one of the 8 best watering cans on our list and enjoy the process of keeping your plants watered and happy.