Plants under their own care
For consumers who want a low-commitment pet of sorts, plants benefit from the same dynamic as easy-bake ovens and sous vide machines—they require just enough effort that it feels like an accomplishment, but not so much that it’s a chore.
In fact, some consumers even find live plants to be too much work: discussion, searches, and sales of faux plants are all growing faster than for live plants. And Whole Foods, which sells plants, dedicates a page on their site to teaching customers “How to Not Kill Your Succulent”. It’s a strong indicator of the changing dynamics given that succulents are among the easiest plants to keep alive.
But if growing plants wasn’t already an easy way to feel responsible for something, Leca balls – a pebble-like alternative to soil – make it even easier. Many users say that using Leca balls is like putting the plant in charge of its own care.
When using soil as the growing medium, plant owners water when the soil feels dry or the plant looks dull. With Leca balls, plant owners only water when there is no water left in the pot.
Watering frequency is ranked as the top question plant stores get, and often the reason many plants die, so a product that solves for this has a big market.