Indoor gardening is a major trend in these days as urbanization becomes more and more popular, the world population grows and available space decreases. Healthy food is more important than ever, but ideally organic and environmentally friendly. Hydroponics is a great way of achieving that goal. Pioneering company Plantui from Finland believes that everyone deserves a garden. They’ve developed a smart garden with innovative and smart technologies and functions. As I’m open minded for new technologies, I bought a smart garden. And I was so positively amazed that just a few weeks later I bought a second and then third one. Here is my complete and honest review.

Plantui Smart Gardens

Plantui is a Finnish company specialized in smart gardening. They offer a wide range of different smart garden products. They’re all based on two different base models: The Plantui 3e for three plants and the Plantui 6 for six plants can be bought in white, grey and red color. But there are also more choices. Let’s first have a look at all Plantui Smart Gardens:

Plantui 6
Plantui 3e
Moomin Garden
Naked Big
Naked Small
Smart Microgreens

What comes with a Plantui Smart Garden? And what about the starter kits?

Accessories in Plantui Smart Gardens

Each Plantui Smart Garden includes the following parts:

  • Plantui Smart Garden (your chosen version)
  • two regular height blocks
  • power cord
  • maunal for building, cleaning and maintenance
Differences between Plantui Small and Big Smart Gardens
Plantui SmallPlantui Big
3 plants6 plants (regular)
or 4 microgreen areas
or 12 plants for pre-grow
1 liter water reservior3 liters water reservoir
1,36 kg (without plants and water)2,45 kg (without plants and water)
diameter of 19 cmdiameter of 29 cm (35 cm with handles)
height of 24 cm during germination phase + around 8 cm for each height block (maximum 4 height blocks)height of 21 cm during germination phase + around 8 cm for each height block (maximum 4 height blocks)
60 kWh per year (same)60 kWh per year (same)

They look beautiful, don’t they? And so they also do in reality. It’s proven by some photos I’ve taken by myself. Have a look at some of my plants in my Plantui 6 and my Moomin Garden:

Hydroponic System

Plantui Smart Gardens are based on a hydroponic system. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution. There are a some major advantages as I discovered:

  • The roots of the plants are in direct contact with the nutrient solution while also having access to oxygen which are both essential for proper growth of the plant.
  • Plants can grow much faster and produce a lot more than the same plants grown in soil.
  • I haven’t seen any insects because there will be no insects as you don’t use soil as a growing medium.

Plantui offers nutrients to buy. They can be mixed with warm tap water to completely dissolve in the water. Here are a some useful tips for you:

  • Each pack of plants capsules comes with a pack of nutrients. That’s enough for your plants so you (usually) don’t have to buy extra nutrients.
  • You may be thinking about buying nutrients itself. However, I recommend you to spending a few cents more and go for the experimental kit as that also concludes a package of nutrients but also comes with empty capsules.

Smart Functions

Sleep Timer

The LEDs of the Plantui Smart Gardens are quite bright. But also plants need to recover for around eight hours per 24 hours. Therefore, the first smart function I want to introduce is the sleep timer. I recommend to start the sleep timer at around 11:00 PM to it wakes up again at 07:00 AM. That’s during the night and ensures dark light.

Place your hand respectively press the button for three seconds and the light will turn on/off. The light will blink two times and then go off.

Lights On/Off

You can manually turn on and turn off the light. This will not effect the sleep mode. Although I don’t use this function regularly (the light is too pretty), it’s still a nice thing to have.

Place your hand respectively press the button for one seconds and the light will turn on/off.

Holiday Pause

Are you going to holiday? Then you can use the holiday pause in order to get your Plantui Smart Garden work autonomously for up to two weeks! Your plants will use less water and the lights will turn pink.

Place your hand respectively press the button for ten seconds and the light will turn pink. The light will blink two times during the process.

Lights & Water

Depending on the current growth phase of your plants, Plantui adjusts the amount of water as well as the light spectrum to fit the specific needs of the plants. Without any height block installed, the light will be violet. It will change together with the watering cycle as soon as you install the first height block.

Low Water Indicator

Lights will automatically blink in blue light if there’s not enough water for the water pump to probably work.

However, as of my experience, this indication is not very reliable. Better double-check the water every few days in order to ensure always enough water being in place. You should do this as a precaution not to damage your water pump.

Cleaning Mode

For cleaning your Plantui Smart Garden you should use citric aid. In order to squeeze it into every corner of the smart garden, you can use the cleaning mode.

Place your hand respectively press the button for fifteen seconds and the light will turn blue (Plantui Big) or green (Plantui Small). The water pump will turn on for a few minutes. The light will blink during the process.

Putting green into urban life. Everyone deserves a garden.

Plantui

Salad, Herbs, Flowers and Microgreens

Plantui offers a wide range of plants which are delivered in capsules – a business model that reminds me on Nespresso. Simply insert a plant capsule in Plantui and get great results. And it works surprisingly easy!

Plants can be bought in different categories:

  • Flowers
  • Herbs
  • Microgreens
  • Salads
  • Selections (packages of best sellers)

Each package cost between 5 to 9 Euros and contains nutrients and 3 capsules which result in three amazing plants (have a look at my photos). Although the price seems to be relatively high at first impression, it’s definitely worth it: I enjoy the growth process of my own, fresh herbs and salads very much!

My favorite plant capsules are Basil, Chili Demon Red, Wild Rocket and Mint. Especially with basil, you’ll have a lot of fun as it’s growing super fast. It’s super tasty and you can use it in many ways, e.g. for pizza, pasta, dessert and salad.

Every plant capsule bought at Plantui.com also comes with a growth guarantee: If your seed won’t sproud, then you’ll get a replacement for free. For more information, have a look at my FAQ section of this review.

Packages of plants from Plantui.com are labelled with different colors representing the growth time of the plants for your orientation:

  • 3-5 weeks – light green
  • 5-8 weeks – turquoise
  • 8-12 weeks – purple
  • more than 12 weeks – black

It’s recommended to use plants with the same growth time. That makes sure that every plant gets the right amount of light and has the correct distance to the light unit on top of the Plantui Smart Garden. However, I haven’t really payed a lot of attention to it and my plants grew and grow amazingly. That might also be the case because I bought a Boosting Light Height Block to give the plants a few more light – especially for the small ones between bigger plants.

Additionally, you can also use your own seeds. For example, if you have a favorite, local shop from where to buy seeds, you can do that by using the experimental kit which comes with three empty capsules and a package of nutrients. I’ve tested it with a few plants and it worked out very well. I can especially recommend rocket salad and basil. I don’t recommend using the plastic from old capsules and fill it with rockwool with your own plants though. You’ll not only miss the correct nutrients but also the correct size and stability of rockwool.

The Best Accessories

Plantui offers a wide range of useful assessories. Some are for replacement or changing the colour of your water bowl, but some are also here to speed up the growth process of your plants. I can highly recommend the two special height blocks as my plants started to grow faster and better due to the fact that every plant – the small ones but also the big ones – get enough light.

Boosting Light Height Block

As your plants grow bigger, the small(er) plants at the bottom may not receive optimal light anymore (although the lights at the light unit on top are quite bright). You can add the Boosting Light Height Block in order to provide your plants with optimal light for every growth stadium. This is especially something you may want to use for chili or other big plants. The height block also stimulates horizontal growth of the plants. Please note that you can use maximum two light height blocks and four height blocks in general.

Blooming Light Height Block

Do you grow chili or flowers? Then you probably want to use the Blooming Light Height Block. It ensures the perfect light to make your plants flower optimally. Please note that you can use maximum two light height blocks and four height blocks in general.

Experimental Kit

The Experimental Kit contains three empty capsules (no seeds) and one package of nutrients. You can experiment with your own seeds which may not be officially available at the Plantui.com store.

I can recommend to use between three to ten seeds per capsule depending on the size of the plant. I definitely encourage you to try out some experimental seeds as it’s really amazing to see your own plants grow.

Maintenance

Cleaning with Citric Acid

Cleaning the Plantui isn’t very complicated at all. There is an automated cleaning mode as a smart function as mentioned above. I recommend to follow the following steps:

  1. Remove all your plants first before using the cleaning mode!
  2. Drain the used water from your plantui. To do this, simply detach the light unit (pulling) and the water pump (twisting) and here you go.
  3. Add warm, fresh water to your water bowl.
  4. Add citric aid to your water. For the Plantui Smart Gardens with six plants, use 1 tablespoon (15ml). For the Plantui Smart Gardens with three plants, use 1 teaspoon (5ml).
  5. Mount everything again and use the smart cleaning mode by placing your hand on the top respectively pressing the button for fifteen seconds. The lights will turn blue and the water pump makes sure that every part of your smart garden is getting cleaned.
  6. Detach everything and drain the water. Clean the parts with a dish towel or – if you want to clean your smart garden very well – put all non-electrical parts into the dishwasher (max. 50° Celsius).
  7. Now you can fill it with fresh water and continue using your Plantui Smart Garden.

You can also use regular citric acid like this one from Amazon.de which is slightly cheaper.

Changing Water

I recommend to change the water every two weeks. If you read about hydroponic systems in the internet, people sometimes use the water for just a few days whereas others use it for multiple months. I decided to change the water regularly (about every two weeks) which has several advantages:

  • Changing the water always is a good opportunity to check the health of your plants (check the colour of the roots which have to be white).
  • It also comes with the opportunity to clean the system as mentioned above.
  • Changing the water regulary prevents mould and algae which can harm your plants.
  • Maintaining your water pump according to this video.

Mould & Algae

It might happen that mould or algae occur while using the Plantui Smart Garden. In any case, I highly recommend to clean the entire system as mentioned above and including the use of the dishwasher. That makes sure that no residue remains.

Additionally, I recommend using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide especially in case of mould. It’s a substance that fights mould but doesn’t harm the plants if you’re using the correct dose of 3ml per 1 Liter. Simply add it to your existing nutrients solution.

SmartGrow App

Plantui has entered into a partnership with German company BOSCH. They carry selected products under their own brand „SmartGrow“. These products are 100% compatible as they’re just a re-labeled version from the original version of Plantui.

Another advantage is the BOSCH SmartGrow Application which is also available in English language. As Plantui has no application, it’s a great addition to your smart garden. With the app, you can easily control the growth of your plants. Additionally, it sends you helpful reminders to change the water, harvest your plants or buy new capsules. All in all, it’s a must-have. And it’s for free!

If you think further, you may want to have some real-time information about water temperature and the current lighting situation on your phone. That, however, isn’t part of the application as it won’t ever be – the Plantui Smart Garden isn’t „smart enough“ for these functions as there are simply no temperature sensors or WiFi modules in place.

Additionally, BOSCH does offer one product (available soon) which is not available from Plantui: It’s the SmartGrow VarioTray which allows you to grow three plants and Microgreens at the same time in the Plantui Big Smart Garden for six plants.

Conclusion & Discount Code

Indoor gardening has never been so easy: Plantui offers a smart garden, with which you always have fresh herbs, salads and microgreens in your kitchen. Smart functions, intelligent modes and a clever watering and LED system make the Plantui Smart Garden a real miracle of technology. But the extraordinary design is also a real eye-catcher and a highlight for every visit of friends and family.

In spite of the relatively high initial price, I think it’s worth buying: It is simply fun to watch the plants grow. Every day the plants grow and develop a few centimeters more. After a while you actually have to shop less because you have all the herbs at home – and not only very fresh, but also without dirt and grown with love.

Are you also in love? Then you can use my discount code to get 25% off your order.

Discount code for 25% discount: EVERYONEDESERVESAGARDEN

Do you have any questions about the Plantui Smart Garden? Then please write a comment. And don’t forget to check out my gallery of amazing photos at the end of this page.

FAQ

There are some nice videos how to maintain your Plantui Smart Garden:

My seeds don’t sproud.

Sometimes, seeds fall into dormancy, especially if they’ve been stored in a too warm location. This makes them wait for winter, and for spring after that, and only then will they sprout. Therefore, seeds should be stored in a cool and dry place, such as a fridge.

Additionally, check if the water is able to reach the capsules. This is important if your Plantui Smart Garden is not placed on an even surface.

If nothing helps, remember the growth guarantee from Plantui. You can contact them here.

When should I add the first height block?

Sometimes, the first leaves of the plants open up right at the surface of the capsule. Even if the plants are that low, you should add the first height block as soon as most of the plants have opened their first leaves. Then the small plants will grow a bit faster as they reach for the light.

There are three different height blocks available: The regular one and the one for boosting and blooming.

How can I get rid of algae or mould?

It might happen that mould or algae occur while using the Plantui Smart Garden. In any case, I highly recommend to clean the entire system as mentioned above and including the use of the dishwasher. That makes sure that no residue remains.

Additionally, I recommend using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide especially in case of mould. It’s a substance that fights mould but doesn’t harm the plants if you’re using the correct dose of 3ml per 1 Liter. Simply add it to your existing nutrients solution.

For additional questions, I can highly you the following website for more FAQs:

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