It’s frustrating to return from holiday to find that the weather seems to have been better at home than where you were – so much so that your plants have keeled over from sunstroke and lack of water.
Plantpal offers a range of products which automatically water your plants while you’re away (or perhaps just doing something more interesting).
The Plantpal Watering System works using a capillary tip which is buried beneath the soil surface in a large pot, with just the filler neck and a clever indicator ‘bubble’ visible above the soil level. The Plantpal is slightly curved to enable it to fit along the side of a rounded pot, but would be equally effective in other pot shapes.
The instructions do not specify a suitable size or type of pot, other than one of approximately the same height as the Plantpal. Most medium sized pots/tubs with a depth of 230mm/9 inches would fit the bill.
The Plantpal should be filled up with water, then placed in the side of the pot, either on a layer of compost, or standing on the bottom of the pot to make sure it’s at the right depth, before adding the plant(s). Then the pot can be filled/planted up as normal.
The user can see that the Plantpal needs refilling when the blue indicator in the indicator bubble disappears. Plantpal is not specific about the expected length of time between the need for refills of this product. This time period will clearly depend on the size, material and location of the container, the type of plant(s), soil and the weather conditions.
My pot of Busy Lizzies and Geraniums, planted up to test this Plantpal, situated in full sun for several hours per day, endured some extreme weather, several days above 30C, and torrential rain (OK – a British Summer). 14 days on from potting up, the Plantpal’s blue indicator is still just visible, indicating that it still holds some water. The plants have flourished – Busy Lizzies – usually very quick to show dryness are rampant. So, while it’s impossible to determine how much assistance it’s had from the rain, Plantpal has done its job in keeping the pot adequately watered for a fortnight, and still has more in the tank.