Do you struggle to keep your plants alive? Looking to get started with an IoT project? Why not have your plants text you when they need watering?

This simple project combines a capacitive soil sensor, the WiFi-enabled Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 board, Adafruit IO, and IFTTT to set up a system that will text you when your plant's soil gets too dry. It makes a great intermediate-level Arduino project, or a good introduction to Internet of Things-style projects.

Materials list

Skills required

  • Soldering
  • Breadboarding
  • Basic Arduino programming

This first appeared as a class co-taught by Bonnie Eisenman and Maya Kutz at NYC Resistor. For future iterations of the class, keep an eye on our Eventbrite listings.

Step 1: Install Arduino IDE, USB Drivers, and ESP8266 Board Package

There's a bunch of software you'll want to install for this to work. Let's get started!

Install the Arduino IDE.

Install the required USB drivers.

Install the ESP8266 board package for Arduino. You can do this by opening the Arduino IDE's preferences menu (in version 1.6.4 or above - update the IDE if necessary), then adding the URL:


into the field Additional Board Manager URLs. (See photo above.)

Then go to Tools -> Board -> Board Manager, and search for "esp8266". Install the ESP8266 package.

Restart the Arduino IDE.

<p>Great project, Bonnie! I bet the class it loads of fun, would love to TA next time. =]</p>
<p>Awesome project! Will the same code work on an <a href="https://www.adafruit.com/products/3010" rel="nofollow">Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi - ATSAMD21 + ATWINC1500</a>?</p>
<p>sir what is the main purpose of this?</p>
<p>to get a text message informing you abt the humidity of the soil of yr plant</p>
ahhh ,.sir? can i used this for my proposal ?i am 3rd year student taking up BS-ELECTRONICS if its ok to you?:)
<p>The license on this Instructable is here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/</p>
<p>It is not mine to say, I did not write the instructable. </p><p>you have to ask the author</p>
<p>Well done. just a tio.. after installing a library through library manager, I understand it is not necessary to restart the IDE</p>
Very cool feature for plants!

About This Instructable




Bio: Software engineer at Twitter, based in NYC. Member of NYC Resistor. I do stuff with Arduino, musical programming, and lasers. See more of my projects ... More »
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