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Picture of Internet of Dirt: A Texting Plant

Do you struggle to keep your plants alive? Looking to get started with an IoT project? Why not have your plants text you when they need watering?

This simple project combines a capacitive soil sensor, the WiFi-enabled Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 board, Adafruit IO, and IFTTT to set up a system that will text you when your plant's soil gets too dry. It makes a great intermediate-level Arduino project, or a good introduction to Internet of Things-style projects.

Materials list

Skills required

  • Soldering
  • Breadboarding
  • Basic Arduino programming

This first appeared as a class co-taught by Bonnie Eisenman and Maya Kutz at NYC Resistor. For future iterations of the class, keep an eye on our Eventbrite listings.

Step 1: Install Arduino IDE, USB drivers, and ESP8266 board package

Picture of Install Arduino IDE, USB drivers, and ESP8266 board package

There's a bunch of software you'll want to install for this to work. Let's get started!

Install the Arduino IDE.

Install the required USB drivers.

Install the ESP8266 board package for Arduino. You can do this by opening the Arduino IDE's preferences menu (in version 1.6.4 or above - update the IDE if necessary), then adding the URL:

into the field Additional Board Manager URLs. (See photo above.)

Then go to Tools -> Board -> Board Manager, and search for "esp8266". Install the ESP8266 package.

Restart the Arduino IDE.

JaimeF111 year ago

which arduino version are you using for uploading the file, because i get an error at the begining, then I remove the "#include" and i get the second error

error 1.pngerror 2.png
This code is an example, It's not good enough. You can replace the "#include" with this.

#include "WiFiClient.h"
#include "WiFi.h"
One of the awesome post thank you for sharing
Hello,my name is sudais.Am from Nigeria,jigawa state,dutse capital and I am 15 years old.
Here is a pic of my helicopter
The world of modern innovations is improving every day. This project is something unbelievable!
this is awesome! thanks for sharing
bekathwia2 years ago

Great project, Bonnie! I bet the class it loads of fun, would love to TA next time. =]

JacobF692 years ago

Awesome project! Will the same code work on an Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi - ATSAMD21 + ATWINC1500?

jonesbalbes2 years ago

sir what is the main purpose of this?

to get a text message informing you abt the humidity of the soil of yr plant

sir do you have papers or black diagram?

I am not the author, I only answered a question, ask the author

ahhh ,.sir? can i used this for my proposal ?i am 3rd year student taking up BS-ELECTRONICS if its ok to you?:)
bonniee (author)  jonesbalbes2 years ago

The license on this Instructable is here:

It is not mine to say, I did not write the instructable.

you have to ask the author

jonesbalbes2 years ago
sir do you have papers of this?
diy_bloke2 years ago

Well done. just a tio.. after installing a library through library manager, I understand it is not necessary to restart the IDE

Very cool feature for plants!