Not all of us are blessed with the particular blend of plant knowledge and intuition that helps gardens grow to their fullest potential. So-called “green thumbs” manage to maintain houses full of lush indoor plants with a sense of breezy effortlessness, while the “black thumbs” of the world can barely keep a single air plant alive. If you fall into the latter camp, there’s hope for you yet — no complex or expensive electronic gadgets required.
High-tech plant nannies are undeniably cool. Some of them simply offer plant lights and water level tracking, like the soil-free Botanium. Others, like the NATEDE by Clairy, pair houseplants with state-of-the-art technology to improve the air quality in your home. The fun HEXA robotic planter even crawls around to follow the sunlight to make sure your plants are always happy. But perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the new “Plant Hero” is the fact that there are no electronic components involved. No plug, no wires, no sensors, and no lights.
Easy? Check. Moderately attractive? Check. Cuts down utility bills? Yet another check.
So how can it possibly prevent “sad plants” as it claims? The Plant Hero focuses on the three main causes of early houseplant death and solves them with a no-brainer setup that couldn’t be easier to use. If you’ve ever tried and failed to keep houseplants, you probably overwatered them, dehydrated them, or failed to provide the right nutrients for them. The Plant Hero consists of three transparent volumes, all of them filled with special plant-boosting materials to make maintenance virtually foolproof.
First of all, it’s self-watering, with the water held in one volume always slowly seeping out into the pebble-filled tray. Instead of using soil, the Plant Hero implements a special ceramic growing medium that’s pH neutral, disease-resistant, and pest-resistant (eliminating a host of other potential plant problems). This medium retains water extremely well, sucking it up out of the tray only when the plant needs it. Finally, a “multi-vitamin pill” containing probiotics and essential plant nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium keeps your healthy and strong.
You’ll still need to determine how much sunlight your particular plants require and place them at a proper distance from a window, but since the rest of the work is basically being done for you, that doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. The water tank only needs to be refilled about once a month, and the pebbles in the tray prevent mosquitoes from using it for a breeding bonanza. Other than succulents, most indoor plants are suitable for use with the Plant Hero. Its creators note that you should keep the planter out of direct sunlight to avoid the growth of algae in the water.
Designed by a startup based in Singapore, the Plant Hero made its debut on Kickstarter this summer to resounding success. Pre-orders are still open to the public, and kits that include the plant holder, water reservoir, tray, clay medium, pebbles, and plant booster start at just $33 plus shipping. The planters can be shipped anywhere in the world, with deliveries estimated to start arriving in April 2019.