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Problem solving

How do you care for indoor plants during the winter?

Trying to design a product which would ensure plants don't dry up during the winter period. Especially in homes where the heating is turned up very high.

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punkdoc

Who are you?

Is this a commercial product?

I'm a design engineering student.

It's research for a final year project, if we can come up with something good then it will be put up on kickstarter.

I have just completed the survey altho whether it is of use to man or beast I couldn't possibly comment.

Don't know what kickstarter is but I'd seriously think about a bit of a rejig before putting it anywhere unless you are prepared for a lot of adverse comments.

I didn't notice anything which related to design, engineering or indeed any plant knowledge

Me neither phillipa, I did it, and where it said where is the best place for a plant pot, I put "in a pot", found if very amatourish.  I dont turn up the heating "very high" not a millionaire! We have it comfortable for us, plants like most of you on here, will be in situations temp, etc that suite them.

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Obelixx

Where and how you keep a plant and how often you feed and water differ form plant to plant and season to season.   Lots of info out there in books and on Google.  Just look up what your plant needs and treat it accordingly.

Simples!  

Not a very clever question or questionnaire I'm afraid.

Dont be afriad Obelixx it was rubbish, guess  the student is about 4.

Hostafan1

vicki,, I don't know what you're studying for, but I'd ask for my tuition fees back if that's how you've been taught. 

Totally pointless. I just read the questions and decided it was a waste of time.

Does anyone grow "vegetables" indoors in UK?

What useful information do you think you can extrapolate from the answers to those questions?

nutcutlet

'How old are you? a rather irrelevant opening question.

Thanks for the comments Philippa, I will try to rejig the survey so that its a bit more robust but it's just a first round of research to start coming up with some ideas. Also Kickstarter is a place where students can present ideas and potentially get funding to create them into a commercial product.

In reply to your comment Nanny, would checkboxes (with a few examples of ideas of where exactly around a room a pot would be kept) be better? e.g. on a windowsill, on a desk, in the bathroom, on the floor in the corner of a room. 

Just for more information, we are trying to find out if there are any specific problems people have with gardening indoors and if there is anything that could be designed to solve them. Unfortunately we don't have much knowledge of plants ourselves so posted on here as a means of finding out any thoughts.

We were considering whether having indoor heating may cause plants to dry out over the winter (potentially more fragile or tropical plants) and whether this is actually an issue for people, or maybe there is something else that is more important?

Borderline

I completed the form, but immediately could see the issues. Your survey tries to lump all indoor plants into two to three categories. There are so many plants with totally different needs, often quite complex and some very challenging to grow, which is why indoor plants are not easy for many. I certainly couldn't cope because it's too fussy for me.

In order to grow most indoor plants well, do research on the plant's original surroundings, which is usually outdoors in far flung places. Therefore extremely difficult to solve in one survey.

Thanks for completing the form Borderline and for the feedback. Gauging from your response I suppose that we should direct research into a few different plants which are particularly challenging to grow and see what issues they have concerned? So that a specific needs based solution can be identified.

nutcutlet

most people don't grow plants that are  too challenging, it's not very rewarding if they look sick or dying. What people grow is what you find in all the garden centres and supermarkets, the reliable ones. 

Obelixx

Vicki - some plants, both indoors and outdoors, need direct sun, dappled shade, light but no direct sun.  That depends on how robust are their leaves which can range form papery thin and delicate t very thick and with a waxy coating and all forms in between.  Some leaves are adapted to cope with wind burn, sunburn and so on.  All part of their engineering.   Colour also plays a huge part.

I can't see the point of trying to design a product to acre for bog standard supermarket and garden centre plants as they are so relatively cheap people will chuck them and replace them.   The more esoteric, difficult plants are likely to be bought by people who know what they're doing and don't need helpful gadgets or by people who don't know and care little that plants have different needs.

No point investing energy on a product no-one will buy.

I suggest you find something you know about and use yourself and then think about how to improve its use or care.    

Borderline

Not at all. I just felt that the survey only looked into watering and drying out and light levels. It didn't take into consideration soils and feeding.

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People who are growing 'challenging' plants will generally know what is required to keep them healthy at different times of year, so that is unlikely to be a profitable market.  As others have said, almost every plant will require different conditions at different times so putting a number of different plants into a single container of some kind is unlikely to work either.

If people don't know how to grow certain plants , then why buy them in the first place ?

Secondly , why would anyone want their heating set on 'Very High' ?

Hostafan1

vicki says

"So that a specific needs based solution can be identified." ( hideous jargon IMHO )

vicki, we don't need a solution" specific needs based" or otherwise.

Obs has pretty much nailed it . Folk don't grow stuff which is going to give them a problem. 

No problem = no solution required.

Hostafan1

Damned right !!!