Make Your Cactus Bionic With Bionic Cactus

The closest some of us at Hackaday get to a green thumb comes when we are painting, so for us and other folks not gifted in the gardening department Bionic Cactus might help. It’s a neatly designed water and light control system, built around an ESP8266. You can control the system through a web interface, setting a schedule for water and light and seeing how much water is left in the reservoir. There is also a soil moisture sensor and it will even email you when it is running low on water. As creator [SamsonKing] notes, if you combine this with a 3D-printed plant pot and light holder, and you’ve got a complete system from growing herbs and spices in the middle of winter.

[SamsonKing] created the system using PlatformIO, a neat open source Internet of Things development platform that means you could probably switch the system over to run on other low-power platforms if you had them lying around. But with an ESP8266 typically costing no more than a few bucks, it’s a neat and low-cost way to keep your plants fed and watered.

Automated gardening has featured many times here at Hackaday, just one of many is this indoor hydroponic lettuce factory.

6 thoughts on “Make Your Cactus Bionic With Bionic Cactus

      1. They need their dormant time, but done properly, they can drink up a lot of water.

        For decades my mother had tiny cactuses, she was always worried that the roots would go bad, so she barely watered them.

        But then I took them over about a decade ago, and there is massive growth. I did buy one, and kill it, but I rushed things. Once they get big, they want the water, so I assume they become safer. They became not just big, but new buds growing. One tried really hard to reproduce, but wouldn’t let go of the new growth.

        Remember in the desert they can get quite big. That only comes from water, and getting old enough.


    1. It might be nice for some living stone plants like Lithops, or Pleiospilos nelii, which seem to hate water. Water at the wrong time, or even slightly too much or too little, and the darn things just die.

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