Watching carnivorous plants eat bugs is strangely therapeutic

There is just something unexplainably awesome about carnivorous plants eating things. It's like nature's revenge mixed with some alien imagination, like if these plants were grown from a different planet. Watch these carnivorous plants grow and chomp at bugs in this wonderful time lapse. » 11/18/14 2:02am Tuesday 2:02am

Shelving That Automatically Waters Your Plants, Even When You Forget

It might not be as heartbreaking as saying goodbye to a pet, but no one wants to see their plants die—it's a sign of failure. And since using a device that reminds you to water them is useless if you're never home, this simple set of shelving will serve as your horticultural assistant, keeping your plants watered—and… » 9/29/14 4:06pm 9/29/14 4:06pm

Scientists Are Reinventing Photosynthesis to Grow More Food

What if we could grow rice and wheat with the same amount of water and fertilizer but end up with 50 percent more food? Sound like magic? Bad accounting? No, just some chemistry and genetic engineering. Scientists have recently figured out the second of three steps to make photosynthesis a whole lot more efficient in… » 9/17/14 3:17pm 9/17/14 3:17pm

This Topsy Turvy Flower Pot Can Rotate Around to Follow the Sun

Green stuff is going to grow towards the sun. When your at-home plants start edging their way to the window, it's a good idea to rotate them once-a-week-ish to keep leaves, stems, and tendrils from becoming crazy lopsided. These lovely Voltasol pots are angled at the bottom into a gentle point, making for a quick and… » 9/02/14 8:15pm 9/02/14 8:15pm

The Newest Weapon in the Fight Against Land Mines Could Be...Plants

Land mines are not only explosive but also poisonous, leaking toxins into the soil that make plants sick. That's unfortunate for the plants but fortunate for us—if we can figure out how to look for sick plants as harbingers of land mines. Airplanes equipped with a low-cost sensor that captures non-visible light might… » 8/15/14 5:44pm 8/15/14 5:44pm

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen

If humanity hopes to realize its dreams of exploring the stars, we're going to need to find ways to recreate life on Earth aboard a spaceship. Simply stockpiling enough vital supplies isn't going to cut it, which is what led Julian Melchiorri, a student at the Royal College of Art, to create an artificial biological… » 7/29/14 10:44am 7/29/14 10:44am

These Plantable Pencils Grow Fresh Herbs From Your Failed Lit Ambitions

There are times—dark, frustrating times—when you put pencil to paper and nothing's there. No inspiration. No life. So you scribble and scratch and sharpen until all that's left is a bitty wooden nub reminding you of the barren wasteland that is your brain. You could toss that useless end bit in the trash. Or! If… » 5/28/14 5:00pm 5/28/14 5:00pm

NASA's New Orbiter Will Watch Plants Photosynthesize from Space

For the last 25 years, scientists have been able to monitor the "greenness" of trees from space and use that as a tool for evaluating plant health. The problem is that greenness isn't a good indicator for stresses—such as drought—because some trees (think pines) continue to be a lovely green until they're dead.… » 5/06/14 9:23am 5/06/14 9:23am

A Screw-On Cloud That Turns Plastic Bottles Into Watering Cans

When it comes to watering, there's nothing stopping you from simply dumping a bottle of H2O onto the plants on your balcony, as long as you're cool with possibly damaging them and splashing wet dirt all over the place. A gentler approach is a better idea, and Animi Causa's new Rainmaker—which emulates a gentle summer… » 1/29/14 6:40pm 1/29/14 6:40pm