Pod Plants, as this innovative vertical garden is called, was designed and created by Chris Wilkins from Australia. He spent eight years developing it, working closely with Sydney University, and the concept finally got the recognition it deserves when it won the 2014 Australian Innovation Challenge for its unique solution to indoor vertical gardens and green spaces.
Pod Plants is both beneficial and beautiful. Each unit is freestanding and stabilized by a reservoir of water, which is located in the bottom of each unit. Due to its simplicity of design, it can be place in front of any existing wall, while it can also be used to separate off sections of a larger room. The only requirement for stationing a unit is that it has to be plugged into an electric outlet, while no other hookups, such as pipes, drainage or wall fasteners are needed.
The outer shell of each unit is made from recycled ABS plastic that is both highly impact resistant and very thin. The units are 7.9 feet (2.4 m) tall and weigh 44 lb (20 kg), so they are easy to transport. The specially designed Pod Plants hyper aeroponics system is used to water the plants. This innovative design takes care of several problems, including bacterial infection of the roots, which is unfortunately quite common in vertical gardens.
The solution involves having bare roots of the plants hanging inside the unit, and circulating tiny droplets of water through the air of the root zone part of the unit. Apart from stopping the bacterial infection, this solution also means that very little electricity is needed to run the entire Pod Plants system. According to the designer, the system has to move less than a liter of water per hour. To compare, conventional systems need to move several liters per minute. The system also does not rely on pumps, filters or nozzles.
Pod Plants certainly brings a fresh take on the vertical garden, which I’m sure will have many looking toward this solution. Being virtually freestanding and self sufficient, it could also be a great solution for tiny home dwellers, who wish to grow their own greens, or simply have some plants inside their homes.