Tag Archives: self-watering

Parrot Pot – A Connected Plant Care Device (Product Review)

I was very excited when I received an email about the new Parrot Pot – a plant pot with an inbuilt self-watering and regulating system that you connect to through a mobile app. I love new technology and seeing how the internet can help with everyday functions.

I was kindly sent one to review, here’s how I got on…

Just planted, but I’d forgotten to add the base!

It arrived nicely packaged but was quite a bit bigger than I’d been expected – the pot itself is about 32cm high when stood in its base but I suppose it needs to be that tall to house its 2.2-litre water reservoir.

The instructions were all pretty simple to follow and I soon had my plant potted and downloaded the app. Again, it was all nice and simple – I was guided through the set-up, I actually didn’t know the type of plant so I wasn’t able to make use of the installed directory – I believe that if matched with one of those it provides plant-specific care based on the data it has. The pot connected to the app without any issues.

After the first few days of set-up, it was great to see how the plant was being watered regularly and how the soil moisture was changing – the plant I’d used was quite a bushy headed one which meant it was difficult to water from above – part of the reason I’d chosen it for the pot, I’d clearly been under-watering it as it quite quickly used up the first 2 litres from the reservoir.

Plant is noticeably thriving

I’ve had it set up about a week now and I have to say that my plant is looking better than ever, it’s started spreading and growing down over the sides of the pot – it’s clearly very happy. It’s been super interesting monitoring progress through the app. There are graphs of watering, sunshine and temperature if you really want to geek out. I’ve had a couple of instances when the app has told me system maintenance was required and the app simply tests the water jets and then asked me to tamp down the soil and then it was all back to normal, not sure if this is because the plant is overhanging and partially covering the sensor. This morning I noticed some leakage on the window sill – the base which catches run-off from watering was full, not sure if this is a design flaw or because the plant has been over-watered, maybe because we don’t know what type of plant it is so that it can adjust to the plant’s specific requirements.

Getting geeky with graphs

So what do I think? I like it, I really love the technology and can see this having a place in the modern home. My only concern would be the price – it’s retailing at £129.99, although it’s currently on offer at £79.99. I have a LOT of plants indoors and most of them weren’t expensive purchases, just a few ££ each, so to pay that kind of money for enough pots to look after my plants would be seriously prohibitive. I’m sure because this is new technology, like all things, ways will be found to bring down the manufacture costs and once that’s been achieved (it’d need to be by quite some amount for me to purchase one, unfortunately), then I can see it as a much more viable product for the home. I guess if you had really rare or exotic plants then this could be a good investment. The pots have been built to be used indoors or outdoors so it could be worthwhile for more expensive outdoor plants that might benefit from regular watering and monitoring.

PS if anyone knows what type of plant this is please do let me know and I can update the app!

I’m really excited to see how this kind of technology develops.

You can find out more about Parrot Pot here on their website.

 

Self-watering Hanging Basket – Review

I’ve been looking at various slow-watering watering methods on Pinterest recently, many involve sticking a plastic bottle with pierced holes into the soil – a nice, thrifty idea, however, a bottle can take up quite a bit of room so when Stewart Gardens asked if I’d like to trial one of their self-watering hanging baskets I was keen to see how it works.

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It’s actually really simple and very clever – there’s a plastic disc that sits above the bottom of the basket with a fibre mat, that dips into the well below that continually sucks up moisture from below into the soil. The water is added via a tube inserted into the plastic disc.

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It’s good design in action, the watering tube takes up very little room and the basket is a decent size. You only need to fill the water reserve every 7-10 days – ideal if it’s hot weather and you’re planning on going away, or just to save precious watering time during more clement weather.

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I’ve potted mine up with a beautiful Heliotrope in the centre surrounded by white Surfinia. It looks ok just now but once the Surfinia starts to grow and trail I’m hoping this will a quite lovely display.

I’ll definitely be getting some more of these, so much better than the others I’ve tried so far and at £5.99 a bit of a bargain too.

www.stewart-garden.co.uk

@stewartgarden