9 best watering cans: Choose from brass, modern or steel designs

Richard Hood and Nick Moyle
·5-min read
Don't let your plants perish during the warmer months  (The Independent/iStock)
Don't let your plants perish during the warmer months (The Independent/iStock)

After one of the hottest springs on record, gardeners across the country have been eager to keep on top of watering chores to help keep their plants quenched, a consequence of which has seen demand for watering cans soar in line with the mercury in a barometer.

Most gardeners will prefer to water their plants with a can rather than relying on the gushing extravagance of a hose – watering cans afford a degree of control and precision, and the liquid within can easily be mixed with plant fertiliser should you need to dish out extra nourishment.

We’ve tested our way through some of the best watering cans on the market.

When considering our cans, we were looking for well-balanced vessels that were easy to pour and capable of delivering steady, regulated refreshment to parched plants.

We’ve also considered the plight of poor, wilting houseplants, so the following selection includes cans suitable for indoor use.

Don’t be left high and dry when the next heatwave strikes.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Haws green watering can

Capacity: 1l

When serious plant drenching is the order of the day, you’ll want to reach for this top of the range, professional unit from can kings Haws. It’s constructed from galvanized steel and covered with a powder coated paint job, and while a full can weighs in a shade under 10kg, its geometry and weight distribution makes it a joy to use.

The extra long spout makes it easy to reach thirsty plants at the back of deep flower beds and borders with water delivered in a fine, arcing spray through the engineered rose head.

Buy now £39.99, Amazon

Alessi diva indoor watering can

Capacity: 1.5l

This curvy contoured can hails from Italian design gurus Alessi and will do a fine job of dousing your houseplants whilst looking achingly cool in the process. Its bulbous circular handle is nice and tactile to grapple, and the perky nozzle delivers a good strong flow of water.

Sit the can back on your kitchen shelf – post watering – and there’s definitely a “Usain Bolt victory pose” vibe about the way it carries itself, as if pleased with a job well done.

Buy now £35.00, Amazon

Screwfix galavanised watering can

Capacity: 12l

For a traditional, no-nonsense can, look no further than this shiny offering from Screwfix. It’s the type you’ll see haunting allotments up and down the country – a bomb-proof can fashioned from galvanized steel, riveted and welded together for strength.

It’s quite heavy in use – especially when full to the brim – but the rose delivers a wide, consistent spray with minimum fuss.

Buy now £11.99, Screwfix

Duck watering can

Capacity: 1l

This web-footed vessel doubles as a garden ornament and handy watering can. It looks great perched on a patio amongst potted plants, and will happily help sate your plants when filled with water which will spew forth through its galvanized beak.

Its build is strong and sturdy, but is light enough for small children to wield should you wish to task them with a spot of pot watering. The can’s moderate, concentrated flow will ensure they won’t make too much of a splash.

Buy now £19.99, Getting Personal

Rhino easi-can

Capacity: 10l

Staying on the animal theme, Rhino's rugged offering is a great knockabout choice for hand-held irrigation down on an arid allotment or parched vegetable patch. While it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing can on test, its sleek profile and plastic construction make it light and extremely portable.

We like the fact that its plastic rose detaches and fits over the fill hole, preventing snails crawling inside and clogging your spout when not in use.

Buy now £7.99, Crocus

Wilko watering can

Capacity: 10l

Wilco’s entry level watering can is a great budget choice for tight-pursed gardeners.

We found that the wraparound handle afforded a good degree of control during prolonged allotment watering, and like the protruding pommel above the spout that gives you somewhere to stick your rose when not required.

The plastic moulding join on the underside of the handle felt a bit rough on the can we tested, but it certainly wasn't a deal breaker at this price point.

Buy now £5.00, Wilko

Burgon & Ball waterfall watering can

Capacity: 5l

This lightweight, Art Deco-inspired can turn the chore of watering into a joyful, irrigation celebration. We like the wide, easy-to-fill opening – lipped to prevent wet legs when sloshing back and forth from the water tap. Its rose – sealed with a plastic washer to prevent unwanted leakage – delivers a wide spray, and is easily unscrewed to deliver a forceful gush when required.

Also of note is the super-comfy, roll-edged handle that slides pleasingly through your hand as the can empties itself onto your prized blooms. This can is available in three colours – British racing green, slate and stone (as pictured above).

Buy now £34.99, Amazon

Burgon & Ball indoor watering can

Capacity: 1l

There’s a romantic waterways vibe to this handsome floral can – it’s the kind of object that would look at home atop a barge, bobbing on the canal. Its elegant, circular handle and arching spout ensures a good, balanced pour so that your delicate houseplants receive a watering in a measured fashion.

These cans come in a variety of floral designs, but our favourite is this vibrant dahlia and peony number.

Buy now £20.95, Amazon

Brass mist sprayer

Capacity: 0.3l

Some houseplants require high humidity to thrive, and will benefit from a squirt with a fine spray in the morning along with their daily glug of water.

This vintage-looking brass mister will see you right, delivering a fine misty spray with just a couple of finger pumps on the top plunger.

It looks resplendent in its polished brass finish, but keep your Brasso handy as it will tend to tarnish quite quickly.

Buy now £15.00, Farrar Tanner

The verdict: Watering cans

For professional gardeners and for those who have large plots to manage, the Haws green watering can is peerless. Allotment holders after a cheaper alternative should reach for a Rhino can to fulfil their irrigation needs.