Okay so I'm admittedly a bit of a black thumb. For starters, my apartment—like most in New York City—has windows that directly face the brick exterior of a neighboring apartment, which means natural sunlight is, well, reserved for time outdoors. Throw a busy schedule and life in the mix and remembering to water your succulents is not as easy as it sounds . So although it's upsetting that I can't even keep an air plant alive, it's not terribly surprising. Miraculously, I've managed to maintain one single, healthy houseplant that was gifted to me a few months ago. However, even that requires weekly phone reminders to water and sweet talk—which I often still forget to do. Suffice to say, a green thumb I am not.
Enter: The Parrot Pot
The Parrot Pot is a wireless "smart" flowerpot that synchronizes your plant (and its unique needs) straight to your phone . Four built-in sensors help monitor your plant around the clock, while a self-watering system automatically waters your plants for you for up to a month. It's arguably the future of successful gardening or at the very least, a promising solution for forgetful plant owners and urban apartment dwellers.
Parrot Pot Smart Connected Flower Pot, $149.99 on Amazon
The pot was delivered to me with a heartleaf plant, soil, and four AA batteries already installed. It's not the most attractive plant pot I've ever seen (i.e. it's big and plastic), but it could easily be slipped inside a larger, prettier vessel. As for the physical setup, I only had to add about a half gallon of water to fill up the built-in reservoir (which is done via a water filter on the back side of the vase). I set it in my brightest window (which isn't saying much) and was surprised about how simple it looks despite being so high tech.
Next, and most importantly was setting up the "flower power" app in my smartphone so I could regulate my new Parrot Pot and plant. This called for enabling Bluetooth, downloading the phone application (for free in the app store), and then locating the type of plant (heartleaf philodendron) in their database. Once I uploaded an image of the plant and synchronized it to my phone (literally with one touch of a button) my Parrot Pot was ready to go, err, grow.
The first thing I tried was a manual watering, which was complete after one touch of the "water" button. Next, I decided to set up the "perfect drop feature" which, unlike the "Manual" watering mode, automatically waters your plant for you to achieve its optimal growth. For safe measure, I checked my sunlight, temperature, and fertilizer levels and then double-checked my water levels, too. Less than an hour after receiving my Parrot Pot—with no real effort on my part other than installing the app on my phone and pouring in the water—my heartleaf plant was "good" (save for the inescapable lack of sunlight) for the next month, at least. Unbelievable.
Two Weeks In, Watering Feels Like a Burden Now
Two weeks have passed and I'm loving (and appreciating) my Parrot Pot more and more every day. I check its levels almost every other day on the app and except for the lack of sunlight, my heartleaf seems to be doing just fine without me. When my water tank got too low, (after an accidental manual watering when I was playing with the app) I got a cute little notification sent to my phone and tended to it immediately. If I'm curious about how it's doing while I'm say, out to brunch, I can pull up a graph of its weekly vitals right from the table. And most importantly, whether I'm out of town for a few weeks or just too busy to remember, I don't have to worry that my plant won't be taken care of. The only thing you can't do, because it's Bluetooth-enabled, is manually water your plant from a distance. However, that really shouldn't make much of a difference once you've set your pot to an automatic watering mode. The only work you really ever have to do with the Parrot Pot is add water to the reservoir every couple of weeks and eventually, change the batteries.
I mean, it's a plant pot with an automatic irrigation system! I don't even have to think about caring for my plant until my phone tells me to.
It definitely feels like the future of plant keeping. Avid gardeners can use a Parrot Pot to better tend to fragile plants and black thumbs can finally have a houseplant that survives.
This one is really subjective. Considering the fact that this pot actually waters your plants for you, $149.99 could seem like a steal to some. That being said, $150 is a big chunk of change to drop on something that's not quite a necessity.
Final Grade: 9
I would totally recommend the Parrot Pot to any of my fellow, urban-dwelling friends and black thumbs that have a little extra money to spend on something special. However, it does eliminate a lot of the "hands-on" fun of gardening, which would definitely be deal breaker for many of my green-thumbed friends.