Grow plants without dirt in this Alexa-shaped, hydroponic planter

Terraplanter doesn't need dirt, and it can keep watering plants for up to 15 days without your help.

Molly Price Former Editor
3 min read

The Terraplanter is a Kickstarter campaign to reimagine indoor gardening.

Terraplanter/Adama Design

I'll admit I don't have a green thumb. I love the idea of having a house full of plants, but I've shied away from the dirt and the uncertainty of plant ownership. Until this Kickstarter campaign came through my inbox. Adama Design recently launched Terraplanter, a no-soil, inside-out, hydroponic planter. 

The company light-heartedly refers to the design as "Alexa-shaped," and for good reason. There's certainly a hint of smart speaker in the form of this porous planter. However, that design isn't just for looks. Not only does this planter eliminate the need for soil, it also acts as a water bank, storing and distributing water so you don't have to continually remember to water your plants.  

Read more: 11 plant delivery services and garden subscriptions compared: Bloomscape, The Sill, My Garden Box and more 


Terraplanter can grow and house a variety of plants.

Terraplanter/Adama Design

Plants grow along the pot's all-natural, porous exterior. Because the pot is hydroponic (no soil or dirt needed), water goes in the middle of the pot. The porous ceramic slowly diffuses water to tiny cells on the outside of the planter, where over time, seeds soak up that water and roots take shape. The Terraplanter has 1,400 cells with a micro-textured surface providing grip for plant roots. As the roots grow, they follow the pattern layout of the Terraplanter.

These cells hold just the right amount of water for plants to get a drink. 

Terraplanter/Adama Design

The design of the Terraplanter was inspired by the way plants grow in the rain forests and other humid environments. In those places, roots are exposed above ground, clinging to a moist structure for access to both water and air. Because the planter has an inside out design, you'll be able to see the entire plant grow, roots and all. 

Terraplanter doesn't come with seeds or any special packets. You can buy seeds or small plant starters from your local nursery. Seeds are spread on the planters textured surface or small plants can be secured onto the planter with a tie to get growing started. 

You won't be able to grow common kitchen herbs, as those require deep roots. But the Terraplanter team say you will be able to grow edible sprout plants like chia, buckwheat, sinapis, flax and watercress. When you're done growing, you can peel off the plant to harvest.

Terraplanter is easily harvested. 

Terraplanter/Adama Design

Many houseplants traditionally grown in a pot will also grow on a Terraplanter, especially those native to wet areas like jungles and rainforests. On the company's Kickstarter, they offer orchids, ferns, begonias, hoyas, moss, carnivorous plants or dischidia as a few examples of good candidates for the planter.

As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies -- in this case, Kickstarter -- to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.

Since launching on Kickstarter May 5, Terraplanter has received more than $3.5 million in backing. Early bird pricing is set at $59 with a full retail of $80 and an estimated delivery date of Q4 2020.

Facial recognition for cows: Drones on the farm

See all photos

More gardening on CNET

Why knowing your USDA hardiness zone is crucial for keeping plants alive

The best indoor plants for cleaner air

Robots are changing the future of farming