Introduction: Self Sustaining Plant Using Arduino

This project will walk you through making a self sustaining plant using an arduino to ensure that the plant is receiving adequate amounts of water and light. This will be done through the use of a light sensor and a moisture sensor. Depending on how much light the light sensor is detecting, a certain number of lights will turn on. Similarly, if the value the moisture sensor is determining is below the recommended amount, a water pump will turn on and spray water into the plant until the moisture level of the soil has reached that amount.

Step 1: Gather Materials

This project will require the following materials:

  • 1 computer with arduino software
  • 1 arduino board with usb cord
  • 1 bread board
  • 1 12v battery
  • 1 water pump (motor)
  • 2 nails or 1 moisture sensor
  • 1 transistor
  • 10 LED's
  • 1 LDR (light dependent resistor)
  • 2 10k ohm resistors
  • 16 black male to male wires
  • 11 yellow male to male wires
  • 6 red male to male wires
  • 1 green male to male wire
  • 1 purple male to male wire
  • 1 blue male to male wire
  • 2 pipes
  • 1 water container (containing water)
  • Tape
  • 1 potted plant
  • 13 black alligator clips
  • 2 red alligator clips
  • 1 blue alligator clips
  • 10 yellow alligator clips
  • 1 sheet of yellow paper
  • 1 box of cardboard (30 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm)

Note: The colors of the wires are not essential but help both in the wiring and checking of the wires by keeping a level of organization.

Step 2: Wire the Arduino and Bread Boards

Following the attached file, wire the arduino and bread boards. Ensure to plug the wires into the correct slots in both boards. While some slots may serve the same purpose, you will need to edit the code with to work with different slots. The diagram also shows a moisture sensor, but the same thing could be done using any two conductive materials. For example, using nails, attach one wire to one nail and the other to the other nail and push the nails into the soil. For the motor, battery, moisture sensor, and LED's, which are not in the breadboard, wire one end of the wire into the other end (not connected to the materials listed above), and the other two a alligator clip of the same color. Attach the other end of the alligator clip to the appropriate terminal of the materials listed above.

Step 3: Code

After plugging in the USB cable to the arduino board and your computer, open the file containing code to your board by clicking the right arrow button. This will give instructions to the board as well as supply power.

Step 4: Setup and Adding Aesthetic Appeal

Now your circuit knows what to do and how to do it, but it still needs to be implemented into a plant. First, place the moisture sensor or nails into the soil near the plant. Next, tape the led's to a wall such that they are pointing to the plant. If you like, you can tape the yellow paper on top of the LED's, making it look more like the sun. Then, attach the two pipes to the ends on water pump and tape the pipe taking in water into the bucket of water and the other pipe to the pot so it points directly into the soil. Finally, create a box using the following instructions to both hide the boards and keep them dry form splashing water.

  1. Take a large cardboard cube (with 4 sides) with minimum length per side of 30 centimetersIf the cube has less than 4 sides, you will have to get another piece of cardboard to have 4 sides.
  2. If there are more than 4 sides, cut of cardboard side until there are 4 sides left.
  3. Cover it with thick sheets of black paper in order to aesthetic appeal. Cut the paper as necessary and then use a glue stick to glue it on.
  4. Also put the paper on one more cut of side to create a removable fifth side of the cube.

Step 5: Enjoy and Relax!

Now, your plant will take car of itself! Kick back and watch as your plant tends to its own needs!