Clever gadget makes it (near) impossible to kill your houseplants

SmartyPlants will also help you learn to become an expert indoor gardener.  SmartyPlants

It’s estimated that American adults kill around 190 million houseplants each year, which is enough to make many people give up this pastime completely.

SmartyPlants – bonus points for the name – aims to change all that. Its smart sensors designed just for houseplants monitor light, humidity and temperature, as well as soil moisture and nutrients. It sends this information to an accompanying smartphone app, which takes all the guesswork out of keeping plants healthy.

This little device is essentially your new smart green thumb.  SmartyPlants

“SmartyPlants focuses on helping the 48% of houseplant owners who have accidentally killed five or more plants over the last 18 years,” said Ben Beavers, Founder and CEO of SmartyPlants. “No judgment – we understand that it can be hard to know what to do!

“We want you to enjoy your plants stress-free, and with our technology, we can make sure they’re looked after,” added Beavers, who has a background in biology and tech, as well as a partner who he describes as a “serial plant-killer”.

The London startup has launched SmartyPlants on Kickstarter – and it has quickly found an audience, raising more than 10 times its benchmark target of £5,000 (US$6,315). Within four days, the campaign had more than 500 backers, which suggests there are a whole lot of people desperate for happy plants.

It’s essentially ‘plug and play’, with the sensor spiked into the soil of the plant, but it does much more than let you know if you’re overwatering or there’s not enough light. The sensor can analyze a room and recommend you types of plants that best suit the environment. It has smart-home integration, so you can even set up automatic watering systems over Wifi.


It will also keep a history of issues with any plant, and allow you to track growth through AI image analysis. It’s personalized to the specific plant’s needs, too, and covers the full spectrum of indoor foliage, from succulents to ferns – which can be notoriously tricky to keep alive inside.

The app also lets you name your plants, so you’ll be able to check on how Dave or Shirley is doing, instead of needing to remember species. And yes, you’ll get notifications if “Dave needs a drink,” for example.

Once set up, SmartyPlants will send easy-to-understand insights and learnings, and you’ll receive notifications if anything looks to be going awry, which makes any mistakes easy to correct before it’s too late. It also doesn’t just measure light intensity, but looks at the light spectrum to maximize all-important photosynthesis.


The device is powered by a rechargeable battery that has about six months of life before needing a charge, and the app is Android and iOS compatible.

About the only thing it can’t do is protect your houseplants from hungry pets.

SmartyPlants campaign video

On Kickstarter (so the usual crowdfunding caveats apply), you can pick up a single sensor at a 15% earlybird discount (£34, approximately $43) or a monster pack of 20 (£479, approximately $605), which is 40% off. This seems like a very worthy investment, given the cost of replacing houseplants that have not fared so well in the house.

Source: Kickstarter  View gallery – 7 images


Not interested unless it can detect and exterminate spider mites for me. Those were the bane of my houseplants.

Jimmy the Geek
Just more egregiously overpriced gadgetry. No thanks, I can kill and replace many many plants for a fraction of the cost.


this makes the same for multiple plants. not digital, just natural ceramics do the job. A lot more cost effective, just not nerdy.

Treon Verdery
Anyone who would like their housplants to thrive is enouraged to use a levo-circular polarization filter on a double illumination lumens output growlight. The circular polarizing filter lets about 40-49% of the light to pass through it, and Levo-circularly polarized light is published as causing peas and lentils to grow 37-149+% taller. I think that also might mean they grow their mass, and maybe even their number of leaves faster. Because there are lots and lots of plants not yet characterized as to levo-circularly polarized light you will be contributing new data for everybody to utilize.

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