How Plant Nanny Products Work

The heart of our technology: controlled-flow stakes

Controlled-Flow Stakes

Water moves through the wall of our ceramic stakes until it reaches the stake’s outer surface. This water wets the soil mass which transfers the moisture outward from the stake. The plant’s root system not only uptakes this water, but over time grows toward the stake.  Wetting below the soil surface promotes deeper and hardier root growth.

To understand why our products are recognized as the best of their kind, click here to read about the quality control that ensures each stake works the way it should for you.

Water Release

Plant Nanny products use two strategies which are described below.

Closed containers

Water flows into the stake from the reservoir. When water inside the stake covers the discharge port of the reservoir the flow of water stops until water seeps through the wall of the stake. Water in the reservoir is held in place due to a slight vacuum above the water.

Open containers

Plant Nanny Easy Fill stakes utilize a unique stake design with an integral adapter that forms a single watertight unit with a plastic bottle reservoir. No vacuum is needed above the water to keep it from draining out quickly. This allows the end user to cut plastic bottles so that they may be filled quickly with a hose or watering can.

Effective Designs

Each Plant Nanny has its shape for functional reasons. Following is a list of design requirements that each stake shape needed to fulfill:

Avoiding root damage during insertion

This is why all of our stakes are “V” shaped at the bottom. This shape helps push the roots away. The stakes are all faceted to also help push soil and roots back as the stake is inserted. Rotating the stake slowly as it is inserted helps the facets do this better.

Stability is an issue

Water is heavy. If the stake is not substantial enough in size there is a possibility the reservoir could tip the stake out of the soil. The comparison chart gives suggestions on the optimum size of reservoirs to use for each stake and plant.

You can help avoid this problem by being careful that your stake is set vertically. Another thing you can do is to make sure the soil is compacted around the stake

Connecting a reservoir

We have developed a number of effective ways to make a good, watertight seal. We have received a US patent for some of this engineering.

  • Thread-fit adapters using a silicone washer
  • Quick-Connect friction fit adapters that do not require a thread fit
  • Adjustable “Click and Set” adapters that also use a “Quick-Connect” friction fit
  • Easy-Fill stakes that have a Quick-Connect adapter built directly into the stake shape. This feature allows the use of open topped reservoirs made from recycled plastic bottles which can be filled directly with either a watering can or a hose.
  • Spiral Fluted globes have a long stem to make a secure connection to the stake. They are designed with a port at the end of the stem that is wide enough for rapid refilling.

Our design decisions are guided by the belief that the appearance of Plant Nanny products must harmonize with, not interfere with, the natural beauty of plants.

Quality Control is Worth It

Our stakes are made of terracotta, a very common clay found all over the world.

What makes Plant Nanny stakes better are the manufacturing controls we use at every stage of the forming and firing processes. We use specially designed kilns that provide even temperature throughout the firing.

The rate at which water flows through the stakes depends on the extent to which the clay is fused in the firing process. Care is taken to keep the final firing temperature within a specific, narrow range. After each firing the achieved temperature throughout the kiln is confirmed with very precise temperature recording disks. All of this ensures that each Plant Nanny stake releases water into the soil optimally.