Tableau waters your plants as nature intended

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Dutch design start-up Pikaplant based the Tableau irrigation system based on nature's own method for keeping plants healthy and happy

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Many of us like to have houseplants in our homes, bringing a little of the outside inside. The problem is remembering to water them on a regular basis. Tableau is a new take on an automatic watering system for houseplants that aims to make it easy to avoid either over- or under watering these fussy lodgers.

Dutch design start-up Pikaplant based the Tableau irrigation system based on nature's own method for keeping plants healthy and happy. In contrast to other "self-watering" products we've seen, it attempts to mimic the wet-dry cycle in which the roots of a plant absorb water for a period of time before drying out once again. Ad infinitum.

All you need do is ensure there is water present in the reservoir, and Tableau cleverly does the rest. The water flows from the reservoir into the base, and is then sucked up from below by the roots of the plants via absorbent fabric using capillary action. The bi-valve in the reservoir shuts off water flow when the base is full. Once the plants have used up all the water, the system stays dry for a few days to allow the roots to dry out before the watering cycle automatically begins again.

The reservoir lifts off the base so you can fill it from a tap. Once full, the creators say it should hold enough water to feed three plants for four to six weeks.

Tableau is designed to work with "leafy greens, bright florals, and tasty herbs" and features a minimalist design aesthetic – it's only available in black or white. There is no electricity required, as Tableau's bi-valve system controls the flow of water based on humidity and pressure. This, along with the removable water reservoir, means you can position Tableau wherever you want in your house.

The production of Tableau is currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign, with Pikaplant seeking to raise €80,000 (US$90,000) to move from prototype to production phase. A pledge of €125 ($140) will get you one Tableau if and when Pikaplant delivers on its promises. Pikaplant will ship anywhere in the world, but the cost of doing so isn't included in the price.

If all goes according to plan, Tableau is expected to retail for around €195 ($220).

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