Water your plants with a Raspberry Pi

Watering Pi

© Lead Image © agor2012, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © agor2012, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 267/2023

With a Pi Zero and a few components, you can build an inexpensive and reliable automatic watering system for your plants in next to no time.

Whether in an apartment, on a balcony, in a greenhouse, or in a garden, if you are not at home and want to water your plants remotely, an automated system is your only option. In this article, I show you how to harness the power of a Raspberry Pi Zero as a reliable helper to manage the watering system.


Automatic irrigation is nothing new. These systems not only exist on a large scale in agriculture and horticulture but have also been available for many years for domestic use. Some providers attach their systems directly to the water supply. In this project, I'll instead draw water from a 200-liter tank reservoir with a supply that will last for a couple of dry days (Figure 1). The advantage of a tank is that you do not have to deal with a pressure line and you do not lose an uncontrolled amount of water in the event of an accident. The aim is to create a robust solution that you can tailor entirely to your own needs, thanks to the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi and your own hardware and software.

The storage tank for just a room can be much smaller; in fact, a water bucket is all you need, with a submersible pump and a riser to deliver the irrigation water. Two pipes supply water to plants through a branch distributor. The whole thing can be controlled on demand by solenoid valves. The project design also uses two moisture sensors to check that the water reaches the plants. (See the "Parts List" box.)


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