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This Shelf Automatically Waters Your Plants

Far too many thirsty plants die from the neglect of their distracted owners. To spare both plant lives and human hassle, Amsterdam-based startup Pikaplant has designed a shelf that automatically waters flowers, perennials, and ferns, so you don’t have to.

The steel frame of this low-maintenance indoor garden is topped with a glass reservoir. It’s electricity-free: All it requires to work is a monthly topping up of the shelf’s reservoir with several liters of water. The water is distributed by gravity through discreet plastic tubing toward capillary mats on the shelves’ surfaces. When placed on the mats, plants suck up the water through their roots, via a process called capillary action. The shelf mimics the natural wet-dry cycle of groundwater–a mat refills only when it’s been dry for several days–providing plants with exactly the right amount of hydration.


The startup’s other products include Pikaplant Jars, billed as “no-maintenance” indoor plants, from trumpet pitchers to coffea arabica, which survive on nutrient-packed air inside hermetically sealed mason jars. Flowers and foliage do more than just liven up a room: There’s evidence that being around plants makes people more productive. So if the only roadblock between you and a house full of leafy friends is the fear that you’ll unintentionally murder them, Pikaplant’s new design offers a low-maintenance solution.

Pikaplant One is available here (prices upon request).

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