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Blossom Smart Watering Controller review: Blossom's smart sprinkler gets lost among its competition

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The Good Blossom's easy-to-use app helps you set a schedule for your sprinklers. Blossom watches the weather and adapts the schedule accordingly so you're not running your sprinklers in the rain.

The Bad Blossom gets the smart sprinkler basics right but lacks the detailed customization of its competitors. It's not weatherproof, it doesn't have onboard controls, and it doesn't work with many other smart-home gadgets.

The Bottom Line Whether you're looking for the best smart sprinkler or you're looking for a bargain, you can find a better option than the Blossom Smart Watering Controller.

6.7 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 7
  • Design 7
  • Performance 7

The Blossom Smart Watering Controller is one of the best products I've ever tested that I don't recommend to anyone. If it was unique, I'd love it, as it competently provides a truly useful service. Blossom replaces your existing sprinkler controller and lets you control your sprinklers with your phone via the Blossom app. Better yet, Blossom monitors the weather and helps you schedule your sprinklers to avoid running them when it rains.

If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, I recommend investing in a smart sprinkler controller as it'll not only make your life easier, but it could also save you money over time by helping you conserve water. Even though it works well enough, I can't recommend the $150 Blossom Smart Watering Controller as you have better options. Both the $200 Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller and the $100 Orbit B-Hyve offer more advanced smarts and scheduling options than Blossom.

The many faces of Blossom

Blossom is hard to recommend mainly because it gets caught in the middle ground between the most budget-friendly smart sprinkler (B-Hyve) and the smartest (Rachio). Like the competition, Blossom connects to your home Wi-Fi network and works with the EPA WaterSense rebate program. If you're interested in a smart sprinkler, head here to see if you qualify for a rebate.

Unlike the competition, Blossom doesn't have anything that helps it stands out from an increasingly competitive smart sprinkler field. B-Hyve is appealing because of its price, and it has a great app that balances depth of options with ease of use. Rachio has a similarly great app and has the most scheduling flexibility of the field. It also works with the most other smart-home platforms so you can tie your sprinklers into your larger smart-home setup.

Blossom lets you schedule your sprinklers in relation to sunset or sunrise. Otherwise, it does what you'd expect and nothing more. That wasn't always the case. Blossom was one of the first smart sprinklers to hit the market, and it was initially priced and designed to compete directly with Rachio.

The original Blossom was $180 for 12 zones of control to undercut Rachio's $200 for eight or $250 for 16 zone system. Blossom was waterproof and Rachio wasn't. Blossom also supplemented Wi-Fi with power line networking. Essentially, if your sprinkler controller was located in a spot with a bad signal, Blossom could communicate with your router using the wiring in your home.

The startup behind the sprinkler controller -- also called Blossom -- later announced a cheaper model called the Blossom 8, which it offered in addition to the original as a $130 alternative if you didn't need power line communication or waterproofing.

Now, the original Blossom is no longer available. The Blossom 8 was redubbed the Blossom 7 (to reflect that you need to use a different type of connection for the eighth zone), then just Blossom again. The price has gone up to $150. It doesn't have power line networking and it's not waterproof. Ironically, Rachio now offers a waterproof case. Plus, Blossom isn't just competing with Rachio anymore, and the cheaper $100 B-Hyve includes a waterproof case as well.

Get gardening with Blossom

Blossom still does plenty of things well. $150 isn't an unreasonable price, and if you can find it on sale, it's worth your consideration. You can buy Blossom on the company's site, or head to Amazon to look for a deal. Right now, it's only available in the US.

Installing Blossom is pretty easy -- you need to attach a wire for each of your zones and plug it in. If you can install a thermostat, you can install Blossom. You'll use the app to create an account and connect the controller to your Wi-Fi network, then the app walks you through the rest and sets up your zones.

blossom-smart-sprinkler-controller-product-photos-2
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Attach the wires for your zones to get Blossom up and running. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You determine the schedule -- you can water on fixed days of the week, after an interval of days, or on odd or even days. You also tell Blossom what time you'd like watering to start on the days you choose. In addition to setting a specific time, you have the option to set your start time in relation to sunrise or sunset (so you can start your sprinklers an hour before sunrise, and Blossom will adapt the time each day based on when the sun will rise in your area).

Finally, you can decide how long you'd like your sprinklers to run each time, or you can turn on the sprinkler's smarts. If you pick the latter, you'll want to tell Blossom about each zone you're watering -- it asks you for the type of plant in the zone, the type of sprinkler you use, and whether the zone gets rainfall.

With smart scheduling, Blossom will determine how long to run the sprinklers based on your schedule and yard info, and it'll adapt your schedule based on local weather forecasts. You can turn push notifications on in the settings, too, so you'll know if Blossom is cancelling a watering session.

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