REVIEW – Do you have a green thumb or a black one? Do you love plants but don’t want to subject them to a slow torturous death? Then the PICO Garden might be just the thing for you.
What is it?
PICO is a small pot with a built-in grow light that is powered by USB-C. It has a magnetic base and the ability to daisy chain multiple PICO pots together so that you only need one port to power the grow lights.
What’s in the box?
- Watering funnel (x2)
- USB-C short daisy chain cable
- USB-C long power cable
- Mounting hardware
- Spare watering wicks and tips
- Grow light pole stabilizer
- Cable stabilizer
- User manual
Design and features
PICO is available in white (as you see above), bronze, and black. My first advice is to probably go with a color other than white because it’s difficult to clean this tiny little pot once it’s filled with dirt and a plant.
When I say that the PICO is tiny, I’m not exaggerating. It is small enough to fit in your hand. I like tiny things, but the issue is that you can’t expect to grow a huge plant due to the size of the pot.
The back of the PICO comes with a removable module that has magnets that allow you to stick the PICO on your fridge or another steel surface.
If you don’t have a steel surface that you want to use and prefer to mount it with a nail or even Velcro, you have that option since alternative mounting hardware is included in the package.
PICO Garden has a built-in grow light that at first glance looks like a lid for the pot. This “lid” has two USB-C pots. One on each side of the “lid”. The two ports allow you to daisy chain multiple PICOs with 12-inch USB-C cables. A short cable is included with each PICO along with 1 long USB-C power cable.
The lid of the PICO swivels open to reveal the inside of the flower pot. As you can see, it’s not very large. The bottom of the pot is a water wick and there are 2 drainage holes on the sides as well as holes around the top edge that are used to fill the water reservoir.
The grow light is attached to a telescoping pole that you can extend or retract to the height needed for the plants.
The max height of the grow light is about 12 inches.
There’s a heat sink built into the top of the light.
On the base of the PICO you’ll find a removable watering funnel that you can use to fill the PICO’s water reservoir.
The funnel snaps into the water holes along the top edge of the pot.
Although it’s not easy to see in the image above, there are MIN and MAX fill lines on the front of the pot. The plastic is semi-transparent so that you can see the water level, but I have to say that I found it really hard to see. I think plastic should be clear.
Note, that the PICO does not come with soil or any plants/seeds. It’s up to you to buy those things on your own.
Once you have the soil and seeds or small plants (I used some tiny cacti in mine), you’re ready to mount the PICO and power it up. I attached mine to my homemade metal bulletin board here at Gadgeteer HQ (aka my basement office).
The grow light has different colored LEDs, but the orange plastic around the light makes the light look kind of red or pink.
In order to simulate sunlight, you can also get the optional PICO timer which is a small USB module that you plug between the PICO’s USB-C power cable and power. The timer automates the grow light so that it is on for 16hrs and off for 8hrs to simulate day and night. The timer turns on the grow lights at 0600h and turns them off at 2200h every day.
What I like
- Automated lighting
- Cute way to get some nature into your home or office
What I’d change
- Make it easier to see the water line
I think the PICO miniature garden is cute. I don’t know how practical it is though compared to just getting a regular flower pot, planting a plant in it, putting it near a window, and watering it regularly. The only features that make the PICO stand out from a traditional pot is the ability to stick to a fridge or filing cabinet, connect to other PICOs, and the built-in grow light. The biggest problem with plants is the watering aspect and with the PICO, there’s nothing to tell you when the plant needs to be watered other than you paying attention to the level (if you can see it) and manually adding water. If this issue doesn’t bother you and you’d love to stick some tiny plants to your fridge or other places, then have at it and have fun!