Taking Your Gardening Dollar

It’s come to this: I’m spying on my plants


This has been sitting in a box in an upstairs room for about a year and a half.  You know how that happens. I finally took the PlantCam out and set it up (very easy). As some of you know, this device takes pictures at set intervals for as long as an entire growing season. It then stitches them together to create a timelapse video. You put in the batteries, set the clock, set the intervals, and switch to auto. That's all.

It's in a sturdy plastic shell, so it can be used outside in any weather. For my purposes, though, I thought I could get some quick results by documenting these hyacinths, the last to emerge from the root cellar. When I bring the tulips up next week, I’ll document them as well. 

PlantCam comes from the people (Wingscapes) who make the arguably more exciting BirdCam. And you have to wonder how useful either of these innocent devices would be for surveillance of other types. Hmmm.

Posted by on January 30, 2011 at 7:14 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.
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15 responses to “It’s come to this: I’m spying on my plants”

  1. Hmm… that would actually make for a really cool time-lapse progress video of a landscape installation. I’d set it to snap pics each day after the guys leave, though. There’s the privacy issue, but then there’s also the “wow, Jim scratches himself a lot” issue that I’d hate to save for posterity.

  2. That’s hilarious! Hope the video is worth the wait…

  3. Ha (Dave).
    Very cool. I looked it up and it’s only $79.95, but I would have to see the results before I put it on my wish list. I hope you’ll share yours soon (I’m imagining multi-colored floral popcorn).

  4. PlantCam… love it! Time-lapsed videos are pretty awesome!! I am going to have to look in to getting one of these. 🙂

  5. Jupiter says:

    Huh. Interesting! I could use that for surveillance. I bet I’d catch mostly stupid snails,though.

  6. Susan says:

    Elizabeth, I just got one for Christmas from my husband, and I can’t wait for spring! I’m a plant collector, so my plan is to move it around the beds, focusing on one of the more unique specimens, and document birth, life and death. Time-lapse photograph has fascinated me all my life, and I’m really looking forward to this.

  7. Derek says:

    I *love* my PlantCam and have really enjoyed making videos of my plants. Here’s the latest one of an Amaryllis opening: http://plantgasm.com/archives/3325

    Lots more here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraying/tags/plantcam/

  8. eliz says:

    Wow that is really cool Derek. What time interval did you use?

  9. Derek says:


    If you set it to medium quality and every 10 minutes, it can go for about a week before the batteries run our or the card fills. But that’s only good for slow moving stuff. For the Amaryllis bloom, I set it to one photo every 5 minutes, and I emptied the card every night.

    Here’s another favorite, of a banana leaf unfurling: http://plantgasm.com/archives/2723

  10. Derek says:

    One more? This is 11 days of an Amaryllis spike in one minute: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraying/5400152105/

  11. meemsnyc says:

    Oooh, what an absolutely fun toy!!

  12. melissa says:

    oh jealous!! I want one of these.

  13. How fun!! I would love to set one of those up since we’re not at the Schoolhouse all the time. I could see if my grape vines are sprouting (my husband says they will but they look pretty dead to me).

  14. Benjamin says:

    I’ve been using this since this summer, one pic per day in the mornign of the garden (it’s 0 outside right now). Only once did I cathc myselfblurrily crossing the camera image. Hope to make a 365 day vid with it.

  15. You have given me incentive to dig mine out of the box and get it set up –