Introduction: Pot2

Picture of Pot2

hello world,

pot2 is an open source smart pot. it can alarm you on the phone/tablet and by changing colors when thirsty, cold, sleeping etc. please support our mission;

our goal is to bring together nature & technology in a simple, non harmful way. costs only $20 and a weekend to build - same technology in pot2 can be implemented in a greenhouse or smart home automation project - now with blynk app and 3D printable body.!!

- open source hardware + software

- solder-free, non toxic

- suitable for any age group, plug&play

pot2 is an all around educational tool. once completed the end user will know how to build circuits, program and end up with a finished device that can teach them how to garden. no prior electronics or gardening experience needed.!!

here is a list of what we will be using;

1x wifi nodemcu board (arduino)

1x usb rechargable battery pack

1x breadboard

1x RGB led

1x temperature & humidity sensor

1x light sensor

1x water sensor

16x jumper wires

4x magnets


-- project kits available --


let's build..>

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

our first step is to 3D print pot2 - you can reach the design files on

included are ready to print STL and sketchup files.

it is designed to be able to print without any support to speed up the print process, at fast print should take about 8-10hrs

Step 2: Updates

Picture of Updates

the older design was for CNC and laser cutters. realizing these machines are not easily available to the public, we updated the plant pot with a 3D printable frame.


more than double the soil capacity compared to the old model. also more room in the electronics compartment


edge lit smartLED alarm system gives it a more natural feeling.


pot2 is equipped with nodemcu wifi board. a much stronger computer with better and easier to program wifi capability.


blynk phone app ready, now you can easily keep an eye on (and control) your garden from anywhere in the world.!!


**this is an update to the plant pot research project - world's first stand alone smart plant pot

Step 3: Circuit

Picture of Circuit

using the jumper cables and the breadboard, slowly connect the circuit together.


double check all connections BEFORE powering up the board.!!

Step 4: Temperature & Humidity Sensor

Picture of Temperature & Humidity Sensor

pot2 can be equipped with both dht11 and the newer model dht22 digital temperature & humidity sensor. temperature is displayed in C and humidity in %.

DHT11 is 20-80% humidity readings with 5% accuracy and 0-50°C temperature readings ±2°C accuracy.

DHT22 is 0-100% humidity readings with 2-5% accuracy and -40 to 80°C temperature readings ±0.5°C accuracy


place it with the back side down as shown in the picture, revealing the connection pins upwards. bend the pins one at a time to desired angle if necessary.

Step 5: Light Sensor

Picture of Light Sensor

the tiny solar panel looking part of the light sensor sits flush with the door cover. it has to be able to pick up the light levels, so make sure it's not covered by the cover or wall & other obstacles in the room


light sensor is digital, it only sends 0 or 1 as data. the sensitivity can be adjusted using the tiny little blue screw on the sensor - without the need to reprogram arduino.

Step 6: Water Sensor

Picture of Water Sensor

water sensor is analog and can read data from 0-1023 and alarm you when this value is between 0-300 - you will see this value in the code, it can be adjusted for different plants.


it goes through the body and into the soil. when the soil dries out, the number mentioned above drops due to low conductivity.

Step 7: Edge Lit Notification System

Picture of Edge Lit Notification System

this is a very exciting update. the light are now much more visible and stylish compared to the older model.


for this step you will need 40 x 116mm wide clear acrylic at 0.25" thickness. you can also 3D print this part as well using clean filament.!! this piece sits nicely on the ceiling of the electronics compartment.


using hot glue secure the neopixel smartLED in the middle of the plastic bar. the clear plastic will nicely carry the light across the side.

Step 8: Blynk Setup

Picture of Blynk Setup

we'll first start with getting the blynk app ready on phone/tablet.

zoom here;


- download blynk app on device

- start new project, name it, choose board: esp8266, email yourself AUTH TOKEN

- add widget > value display m > name: water, input V4 0-1023 > read freq: 11sec

- add widget > value display m > name: light, input V3 0-1 > read freq: 11sec

- add widget > value display m > name: temp c, input V1 0-45 > read freq: push

- add widget > value display m > name: humid %, input V2 0-100 > read freq: push

- add widget > button > name: blue led, output GP2, mode: switch //onboard led 1

- add widget > button > name: red led, output GP16, mode: switch //onboard led 2

- add widget > history graph > data to show: V1, V2, V3, V4

- add widget > email

Step 9: Arduino Code

Picture of Arduino Code

to program pot2 we must first follow few one time only quick download/install steps. ask in comments if you are stuck.

- install the little computer's driver on laptop

- install arduino software on laptop

- install neopixel library

- install adafruit unified sensor driver

- install blynk library to arduino software

- get arduino software ready for the little computer

- restart computer before going any further.!!


here is the code,
make sure to carefully read lines 1-26 and make necessary changes in your code before upload.!!

you must copy & paste the code above to the arduino software on your computer.

- open arduino software

- clear the text in the box, and paste the code from above

- plug in pot2 to laptop

- go to files > tools > boards > scroll down to choose "nodemcu 1.0"

- go to files > tools > port > scroll down to choose the correct port associated with nodemcu board

- after changing the wifi & blynk credentials in the code, now go to sketch > upload. after it compiles for errors, upload will begin and pot2 will be online shortly after

Step 10: Gardening

Picture of Gardening

it's time to get dirty - fill up your pot with soil.!!


bury some seeds at the top;

or transplant a grown plant;


welcome to the wonderful world of plants :)

Step 11: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

we hope this instructable will help get your project started, and maybe it will interest you into electronics, programming or even gardening.!! remember to ask for help in the comments. for other gardening instruments, check out;


thank you for your interest. please follow, favorite & share



Akin Yildiz (author)2016-10-04

My name is Akin Yildiz. I am an inventor/entrepreneur. Just over two years ago I started an online plants & electronics research project, the Plant Doctor - Plant Care Instruments.

I have recently launched a small scale crowdfunding campaign to bring more awareness to the overall project. We offer DIY kits that teach you how to program, build circuits and garden.

I would truly appreciate it if you could take a look at the campaign and hopefully support & share with friends and family;

love & peace


babuls1 (author)2017-07-07

how to add <SimpleTimer.h>

Akin Yildiz (author)babuls12017-07-14

it comes with blynk library, when you install blynk it should have it all..

alejandro.puglielli (author)2017-04-24

Hi Akin , nice proyect , one question about code structure why you do

void temp_humid()

void water_light()

void setup()

And then only two lines in the loop ?

Also , this lines are working ?

timer.setInterval(5000, water_light);

timer.setInterval(1000, temp_humid);

Is the pot reading 3 times a day with this lines ?

Thank you very much Akin .

so sad i just saw this, instructables does not notify me anymore consistently :(
two lines in loop because i believe blynk runs smoother that way. just create functions as mentioned above and call them with timer. and yes the timersetinterval lines do work, the code and hardware works, i use it daily. no it takes a reading every 5-10 seconds i believe, which is unnecessary, it should only take 1-3 readings/day and save battery..
hope this helps, you can mail me

Tech Boy (author)2017-01-08

No such file or directory

I found the file on my computer. Why is it not working. The file BlynkSimpleEsp8266.h is on my computer. NEED HELP!

Akin Yildiz (author)Tech Boy2017-01-13

sounds like you extracted the library to a wrong location. where is the file located.? it needs to be in C:/program files/arduino/libraries, extracted in libraries folder. check this out, it may help; -
sorry for the late response, instructables never emailed me about this comment :(

OG Bread (author)2016-12-24

Do I have to put a 10K resistor between the Vcc pin and the Digital Out Pin on the temperature sensor (DHT11) ? Because I did all test I can and I'm beginning to think my DHT11 isnt working at all.

Akin Yildiz (author)OG Bread2017-01-07

do you have the same exact DHT11 i am using in the post above.? if so no you do not need a resistor. if you are using a DHT11 sensor without plug and play module, as is, then yes you do need a resistor. can you share a picture of your dht11 sensor please.?! sorry for the long response, instructables never emailed me about this comment :(

Tech Boy (author)2016-11-27

I don't understand the quick download steps. I clicked every step and downloaded it and I cannot find the board in the Arduino software. Please Help!

Akin Yildiz (author)Tech Boy2016-12-04

you do not download anything for this step "- get arduino software ready for the little computer" instead you go to this link and follow the steps.. and then you will see the board in arduino software; please read again

Tech Boy (author)2016-11-27

You could have made is a little more easy!

How do you include all of the files???

Tech Boy (author)2016-11-27


Tech Boy (author)2016-11-27

So many ERRORS!

smunk (author)2016-11-16

I've bought the 25$ Plant Doctor Gift Pack on Indiegogo with water soil sensor and rgb led included. But I just can't get the RGB-led to work.

The sensor is working just fine and with blynk and also the buttons to switch off the light on the arduino board work just fine.

Am i missing something?

Akin Yildiz (author)smunk2016-11-17

hmm, the code above should make the LED turn blue when thirsty.. and green otherwise
did you install the adafruit neopixel library.? i highly doubt the led is broken, we are overseeing something.
im sure you've checked the wiring on the light to be sure :)
on the back of the light, did i solder it to the correct pin, wires from arduino should go into Din, 3V (or Vin) and GND..
in the code, lines 74 and 80 tells it to turn blue and red. (0, 0, 0, 250) means, 0 led - 1st one, i want 0 red, 0 green but 250 blue - full brightness
can you please take 3 clear pictures from different angles on your wiring and post here so i can see.. im glad you got the sensor and wifi working with blynk, that part is much harder :)

smunk (author)Akin Yildiz2016-11-18

2 pictures og the wiring of NeoPixel. I also have the NeoPixel library installed.

Akin Yildiz (author)smunk2016-11-18

weird, everything looks good. let's do a neopixel only test. open arduino software, go to files > examples > arduino neopixel > simple - a new screen with the example code will open up. change the lines;

#define PIN 6 to #define PIN 14

#define NUMPIXELS 16 to #define NUMPIXELS 1

upload. after upload the LED should turn green. do this and let me know.!

smunk (author)Akin Yildiz2016-11-19

Well, still nothing :-(

Maybe the neopixel is dead or something

Akin Yildiz (author)smunk2016-11-20

:( looking back at the soldering on neopixel, i see that + leg seems a bit weird and almost touching (circled on the picture below). can you check that solder and see if the leg separates when you push on it. The only other explanation would be the code, but if you copy and past it from above, it should be working. Line 33; #define PIN 14 //D5 means connected to physical pin D5 which translates to PIN 14 in code. in your picture it's D5 i can see clearly

I will send you 2 neopixels tomorrow, no worries :) Denmark right ?

smunk (author)Akin Yildiz2016-11-22

Hi again Akin.

I have checked the soldering on the + leg and everything seems fine. It can not seperate when touching and the soldering seems good enough.

I have also tried different pins, by changing the code above.
(D6 = PIN12, D7 = PIN13) nothing happens.

And double checked that + and GND from the NODEMCU board was working as well.

And yes you're rigt I'm from Denmark ;-)

Akin Yildiz (author)smunk2016-11-22

please check your email with the subject line "indiegogo order - plant doctor"

sagieo (author)2016-09-28

Hi , Awesome project . I do have a question, how long before the water sensor get corroded ?

Past experience shows they corrode quite fast.

and also what would be the benefit of a temp/humidity sensor ? for the plants I mean.

Akin Yildiz (author)sagieo2016-09-29

hello sagieo, good question. corrosion of the water sensor is an issue, but there are ways around it. best approach is to check for water level only 2 times/day instead of every 5 seconds. it will corrode only while electricity is going thru. and plants won't die instantly as soon as they are thirsty. so even checking the water level once a day is still enough. this would make it last much longer. +6 months probably.
Luckily the sensor we are using is only 60cents and very easy to replace. you just slide the old one out and the new one in.
Plants are very reactive to heat and humidity. It can heavily effect their growth rate. With this sensor in place, pot2 can alarm you when the sensor readings are above/below a certain temp&humid level, preventing a possible delay on growth.

sagieo (author)Akin Yildiz2016-09-29

Thank you very much, after reading the part about plant sensitivity for humidity and temp, I am throwing some ideas...

1. 3d printed quick release for water sensor .. I wonder if one can tell the corrosion level from reading the sensor itself.

2. Plant Type Customization.. maybe some database which sets the

temp, humidity, and watering schedule & alerting.

3. this is far fetched but infrared sensor for soil density....

Again thank you very much Akin.

Akin Yildiz (author)sagieo2016-09-29

do you have programming background. idea 2 with the database has been on the list for me. such a database actually does exist online. however its just an old text style webpage, the info would have to be downloaded and a web server with excel database must be created, which is down the road but is necessary for this project eventually..

sagieo (author)Akin Yildiz2016-10-01

There was a project called , But it never took on.

But What I do like about it.. though its very lacking. its data format
And I am thinking that instead of downloading and creating excel files, making a web service. It be more beneficial to treat it as an api.. So the Unit itself would pull the right info from the web.

Sadly, My capabilities are very low in the programming zone.
Right now trying to learn a bit of micropython on esp8266.

what is the online resource you mentioned ? maybe it does have an api ? or maybe we can try to scrape the data instead ?

Akin Yildiz (author)sagieo2016-10-02

there are webpages such as we just need to be able to have pot2 connect here and choose any plant really.. and adjust itself the new values. this is totally possible, and should be fairly easy to an expert :)

Razanur (author)Akin Yildiz2016-10-01

Thank you for this awesome project. Actually the water sensor was my biggest concern, too. There are a few nice, cheap capacitive (non coroding) water sensors around. Might be worth to check those out.

Soner Güler (author)2016-09-29

Good job. Keep doing this project.

One80Bits (author)2016-09-27

This is one of the most incredible things I've seen! Innovative, educational and addressing a human issue... I don't garden as I forget to water etc, even starting off with something like this would build education and habits that would get me past that initial reluctance. Spectacular work!

Akin Yildiz (author)One80Bits2016-09-28

very inspirational words, thank you for your interest. glad you like it, and hope that you will give it a try one day :)

laith mohamed (author)2016-09-27

I am appreciate the project , Go on .

thank you for your interest.!!

Skorekaj (author)2016-09-27

This is great, we should collaborate and take this up a level with the addition of the automatic watering system ;) :

Akin Yildiz (author)Skorekaj2016-09-27

thank you for your interest. nice post yourself. automated watering in such a small space i feel like is unnecessary. reminding the gardener when to water seems like a more proper solution. after all you are going to have to refill the water tank, you might as well just water the plant.

BUT have you seen the plant box; this will have both hydroponics and soil+watering options. and i haven't gotten that far yet, it's done on paper. just not in reality yet :) you have access to a CNC or laser machine.?

Skorekaj (author)Akin Yildiz2016-09-27

Ok, no worries. No i don't have access to a CNC and Laster unfortunately, i would love that though.

snoop911 (author)2016-09-25

Great project!

I'm wondering though about the blynk cloud portion.. is there a way to do it such that the data doesn't rely on any one company?

I backed a similar product on Inidegogo (Wimoto motes) but that didn't work out.. I then got the koubachi plant sensor, which is awesome, but the company is closing up shop, so future support will be gone.

So I love these kinds of projects but would be nice to pack up the data and easily move across cloud platforms!

Akin Yildiz (author)snoop9112016-09-25

good point. this is exactly why pot2 is open source. so it can't fail :) there is no company to fail, it's just an online research/educational database, giving the end user the tools & information so they can just create a solution to their specific problems. in this case automated gardening..

i suggest ordering the parts and giving it a go. especially if you haven't gotten into arduino yet. blynk has achieved great popularity and support. their team is very responsive and knowledgeable. and i believe you can export the data collected from their server to an excel file.

AndréW109 (author)Akin Yildiz2016-09-26

You don't need to use Blynks servers.

All you need is a pc for example a raspberry pi and run the serverprogram:

About This Instructable




Bio: Please support & share our mission; . the Plant Doctor is a non-profit, open source online research laboratory specializing in electronics+plants. Our vision is ... More »
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