It may soon be the case that if you get a text message or email from Rose saying ‘I fancy a drink’, it might not be from the girl you’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to ask out, but from your houseplant.
An Israeli plant physiologist and an earth scientist have developed a system whereby plants and trees can send a text message or an email when they are thirsty.
Sensors in the stems of plants monitor moisture levels and if these get too low, an alert is sent out. The two scientists have been working on the project for seven years as a means of reducing irrigation costs in Israel by up to 50%. However, the system is also being prepared for international commercial markets.
No more coming back from holiday to find your mate has forgotten to water the plants, he will have been reminded by the plants themselves. The system could even be taken a stage further by combining the alerts with a timed-drip irrigation system, another Israeli invention.
In the first instance, though, the system is designed for use in the huge Israeli fruit orchards to regulate water consumption and avoid over-irrigation.