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A team of horticulturists believes it has reverse-engineered the best way to grow a plant indoors. After years of tinkering with the way plants are fed and watered, they’ve devised Terraplanter – a pot where all the action happens on the outside.
Outside is the new inside
Over the years, all sorts of attempts at rethinking the way plants are grown indoors have been attempted, including hydroponic systems that dispense with water altogether, and self-watering solutions that are immune to the failings of forgetful housemates. Terraplanter goes one step further, providing a living, breathing product by placing the plant, roots, and even the water on the outside.
Externalizing the growth in this manner provides a fascinating reveal of the way in which plants grow, and the meandering paths their roots take. That’s not the reason why Terraplanter’s architects designed their planter this way, though. Rather, the indoor planter is intended to prevent two of the biggest killers of house plants: underwatering and overwatering. Terraplanter solves this by using a solid yet porous material. Water gently diffuses through it and is held in place by the external cells. Planting seeds is as simple as smearing them on the cells, after which Terraplanter takes care of the rest.
“It took me three years of research and testing with dozens of materials to create the optimal smart structure of the Terraplanter,” explains lead product designer Eran Zarhi. “The exterior surface contains 1,400 cells for seeds, while water is contained inside the vessel and is diffused through the material and into the cells.”
“Roots have constant access to both water and air at all times, allowing the plant to drink and breathe naturally.”
Easy seeds and greener grass
Terraplanter’s designers have suggested using the product to grow edible grasses such as chia or ornamental ferns, though the planter is suitable for housing an array of popular indoor plants. Because the membrane drips through water when the plant requires it, it’s impossible to overwater it. Terraplanter also saves you the trouble of having to persuade a neighbor to water your plants when you’re on vacation.
Although at first glance Terraplanter sounds unorthodox, from a scientific perspective, it’s rooted in firm ground. The micro-texture on the exterior provides extra grip for roots, while exposing them to the optimum amount of water and air to flourish. Ferns and grasses will grow out of the tiny holes with little persuasion, while climber plants can be wrapped in place, and a rubber band used to hold them there until their roots have gripped onto the planter.
Terraplanter’s designers are running a Kickstarter to bring their concept to life and to prove that we’ve been growing plants wrong for years. If they’re successful, sowing seeds outside of the planter will become the new normal.
For more information about this unique planter, check out Terraplanter's website.