Adele Chong

BOTANICALLS: Allows your plants to call you!

by , 03/05/07

Botanicalls, plant watering system, automatic plant watering, interactive plants, interactive botanicals, ITP School, NYU Interactive Telecommunications, Talk to your plants with Botanicalls, phone your plants

If you’re a greenthumb in spirit but just can’t keep your favorite leafy pets alive, fret not – the answer to your problems has arrived in a clever new human/plant communication project. Four students from NYU’s infamous ITP program – Robert Faludi, Kate Hartman, Kati London and Rebecca Bray – have recently devised a brilliant solution to keep you from throwing in the trowel on gardening altogether. Dubbed Botanicalls, the innovative concept establishes a way for thirsty plants to effectively communicate their needs to humans – by placing phone calls to their owners.


Utilizing moisture sensors – which are attached to the plants – as well as an open-source telephony application called Asterisk, the programmed software triggers Asterisk to call a designated number whenever a plant needs watering. Upon answering the call, the plant owner is treated to an audio file – or the so-called ‘voice of the plant’ – which describes exactly what it needs. Botanicalls opens a new channel of communication between plants and humans, in an effort to promote successful inter-species cohabitation and understanding. At the moment, the Botanicalls project is being experimentally conducted on 10 plants. To talk to the plants yourself call Botanicalls at 212. 202. 8348.

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10 Comments

  1. nv1z October 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I do not mind my plants calling me as long as they do not call during dinner LOL!

    Here is a plant babysitter almost anyone can make for next to nothing out of virtually any plastic bottle with plastic cap:

    http://www.kahnlandscaping.com/blog.html#watering

  2. Plant Varja August 20, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    YEAH FOR HUMAN PLANT COMMUNICATION IN ANY FORM IT SHOWS UP!
    BOTH SPECIES NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET.
    SO, SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PLANT PLANT WORLD FOR THEIR PLANT TEACHERS (google it);
    AND THANKS TO THE TECHIES FOR EXTERNALIZING THE REALITY OF HUMAN PLANT CONNECTION,
    AND THANKS TO THE BLACK MADONNA WHO VISITED ME IN A VISION, INJUNCTING “HUMAN PLANT COMMUNION” (google it).

  3. BARBEI August 9, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    AS A FORMER HIGHSCHOOL AGRICULTURE/ ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES TEACHER ( WHO CHOOSES TO OWN A FLOWERSHOP & BRING STUDENTS IN AS EMPLOYEES RATHER THAN CONFINE THEM IN A CLASSROOM SETTING) I FINE THIS A CREATICE WAY TO EXCITE PEOPLE ABOUT TECHNOLOGY. I AGREE THAT THERE ARE MANY OTHER THINGS THAT NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON BUT EVERY NOW AND AGAIN WE NEED TO HAVE SOMETHING TO EXCITE AND BE IRREVENT TO ENCOURAGE THE PRESENT & NEXT GENERATION OF RESEARCHERS TO OPEN THEIR MIND AND THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

  4. Celeste March 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I’m with David: this is ridiculous. How about if all the creative minds who came up with this spent their creativity and rationaltiy trying to figure out how to get clean drinking water to people instead? My god, if you can’t figure out how to water plants, don’t have them!

  5. Staci Levenson March 8, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I am impressed with your modern solution to a problem that all plant lovers have experienced at some time or another…..can you make one that works for my relationships too???

  6. david March 7, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    This is really upsetting, a technological invasion of an otherwise magical and healthful interaction. here’s my way of knowing when to water the houseplants that do so much for me: i pay attention to them.

  7. Guido March 7, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Oh Great, let’s hope the green friends are able to reach us in time.
    Otherwise it might be possible i guess, they (our little green friends) will call the firedept. for WATER..!!!!!

  8. ker March 6, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Is anyone else thinking “Feed me, Seymour”???

  9. germi March 6, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I’m so glad great minds have come together to find a simple solution to such a perplexing problem … it is amazing that houseplants have survived so long without a voice, let alone without the ability to place telephone calls. I’m hoping that eventually every plant in my garden can have a cell phone.

  10. Sam March 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t mind the plant telling me when it’s thirsty, but I think I would grow to resent a plant that called me all the time.

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