Plant Health Spikes

I’m a terrible gardener; in fact, I think I’ve inherited my mother’s black thumb. I think I’m about to kill my second rosemary plant.

Rosemary seems to grow easily in Seattle. In Ballard, and in Capitol Hill, I see rosemary bush after rosemary bush, healthy and full, and in some cases thriving despite neglect. Clearly my own neglect of our rosemary is not so benign. (I suspect that the smaller, younger plants I’ve bought are less robust than full-grown bushes.)

What I really want is a spike I can stick in the soil, and indicate whether the soil is too moist or too dry—and also whether the plant is catching too much sunlight, or not enough. An advanced sensor might be able to determine whether the temperature is appropriate, though that would be more useful for indoor plants. Ideally, the spike could indicate appropriate plant conditions with red/yellow/green LEDs.

Such a spike would be specific to rosemary, or another specified plant, as even a black thumb such as myself knows that the light and water levels required for various plants differ substantially. Either the spikes could come in packs, containing one or more single-species spikes, or as a programmable unit that can be customized for different plants.

Oh, scientists, won’t you turn my black thumb green?