Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plant Climate Protection System


How many of you have lost that precious plant you should have kept in the greenhouse during cold spells?. Or if you have no greenhouse and intended moving your tender container plant to the garage but forgot and one nights frost was one too many. Maybe the container was too large to move, was forgotten or you were away that weekend.
Together with Swedish company, Living Plant, MyPlant® has been working on this problem for a few years . To cut a long story short, after years of research, visits to the testing centre at the University of Agriculture Alnarp, Sweden with more on site testing here in Ireland, a solution for a number of levels of cold tolerances has been developed. Out of this work has come our PlantinPod strategy. The advantages of the shared knowledge of such a wide temperature range and how such temperatures affect various plant species has been invaluable. This cold protection system for plants is not just a product its a group of different elements and knowledge brought together to deliver the PlantInPod system. This simple system is for people who love gardening on the edge of their climate zone or for home owners with a flair for the best plants the world has to offer. PlantInPod brings more opportunity to maintain those plants which you always want to have but fear your climate zone will kill. Now you can stylishly and professionally create the climate zone your plants need in their own safety pod for those periods they will be at risk. With the decorative finish and an light we have also created a night time garden feature giving a magical glow through the frost laden environment.
All plants are sensitive to cold of a certain extreme or other. Some plants immediately die at a temperature below -1 to -3 degrees Celsius while others can tolerate a few short spells of cold. With our PlantInPod system such plants can survive temperatures down to -20 degrees C. The system has a built in control which ensures that the warming starts before the critical damage temperature is reached. This creates a "micro climate" which can give the plant a comfortable temperature of around plus 5 degrees Celcius for the entire cold period. Also with our customisable root insulation material plant roots are protected from over heating against the direct drying and burning summer heat of clay pots. The protection system is efficient for plants permanently in your garden border as well as your container plants.
As we container plant enthusiasts know plants have two main parts that need protection, roots and shoots. No roots no shoots, you can protect the shoots all you like but if those roots get killed its curtains for the shoots. Many perennial plants can survive dessication of the top growth and re-grow but for most plants survival from year to year depends on maintaining the stems, branches and foliage through the winter.
The new PlantInPod system consists of three different parts which can be used independently of each other. In the most severe weather conditions all three parts used together will protect a very wide range of plants in the most extreme weather conditions. As I write this blog piece I know all you experienced plants people out there might be of immense help to give some initial critique. Am I crazy? Is this system going to be of use to you in a meaningful and practical way? Has anyone been looking for this kind of one stop system? Any comments help or advice will be welcome! I am hopeful that this system will also be useful to botanic gardens and other specialist institutions so please feel free to spread the word about this work we have done.
In the first weeks of 2010 I will be doing a follow up blog article before the launch of the PlantInPod system. I am working on some alternative uses I am testing for the soil and air heater. I will post data from our final pre-launch winter testing. The first public and trade viewing of the system will be at IPM Essen 2010 Our stand number at IPM is Hall 2 Stand 509.
I look forward to any comments you might have or even seeing you at IPM 2010. If you would like to buy a system from us they areavailable in limited numbers fo European delivery. You can Contact me through our FitzGerald nurseries website


  1. wow... sounds really interesting! but this info came a bit too late, alas - all my phormiums (including even 'Black Adder') and astelias have been blasted by the frigid temps we had over the past weeks here in Germany. I think even my three Wollemia nobilis are dead - even though they survived the last severe winter without protection!

    Where can I get these PlantPods??

  2. Thanks for your comment Garry. Its something I have been working on for a few years and I am targeting winter 2010 but it will be available to buy at IPM 2010. I am finalizing the last details and the CE safety tests etc have been completed earlier in 2009 by my Swedish colleagues. I will email once we have the full package put together next week.


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