It’s not uncommon for River Hill Garden Center customers to ask how they can water their plants while on vacation. The answer is a simple terracotta stake designed to hydrate their greenery with the precise amount of moisture, says Nicole Klein, River Hill garden center general manager.

Plant Nanny’s 5-inch stakes are placed into moist soil and fitted with an inverted wine or plastic bottle. After the bottle is attached to a drip-free adapter, water is drawn through the terracotta, with the stakes automatically releasing moisture deep into a plant’s root system over time.

“It boils down to convenience,” Klein says. “The [product] simplifies watering and makes sure your plants are taken care of while you’re away.”

Filled wine bottles will last seven to 10 days depending on plant size, soil type and environmental conditions. A typical 12-ounce plastic bottle, meanwhile, will quench your houseplant’s thirst from five to 10 days. Tack another week onto that figure if you’re using a 2-liter plastic soda container.

Plant Nanny’s usability has made it a much-loved product at the Clarksville, Md., garden store. Patrons can buy stakes individually or in packs of four.


“Customers who know it, love it,” says Klein. “The perceived value is very good. Plant Nanny makes for a great gift, too.”

The plant saver’s straightforwardness trickles down to a merchandising standpoint as well. Plant Nanny comes in cardboard packaging that retailers simply place on a shelf.

“It’s easy for us to carry without any extra work on our end,” Klein says. “With garden centers, you’re always going from sitting to running. If you can’t get a product out when you’re running, you’ve lost out completely.”

Ultimately, keeping plants healthy calls for an easy solution, one which Plant Nanny has answered.

“There needs to be options for people to satisfy issues like watering,” says Klein. “Offering customers another way to solve that problem is good for everyone.”