Madison (WKOW) -- To test AquaGlobes, we went to a place where it's always 80 degrees, humid, and sunny.
Welcome to the greenhouse in the heart of the cold and snowy UW-Madison campus.
The greenhouse's director, Dr. Mo Fayyaz, nurtures the 1,000+ species of plants here. He's been here for 25 years and knows a thing or two about plants and the strange products people buy to take care of them.
"Some people love AquaGlobes. Some people hate them," said Dr. Fayyaz.
AquaGlobes promises to water plants for up to 2 weeks. It's a $15 slender glass tube connected to an apple-sized globe you fill with water.
The cable TV ads claim the product works naturally. After you insert the tube into plant soil, air from the soil enters the tube and forces water into the soil. AquaGlobe's TV ads say soil only releases air when it is dry, so the exact amount of water should enter the plant.
Dr. Fayyaz says this is true.
So, he confirmed AquaGlobes will work for many common household plants.
27 News wanted to test for ourselves.
27 News consumer reporter Dan Cassuto bought two common household plants and put an AquaGlobe in one of them. Two weeks later, the test plant survived and looked healthy. The water in the AquaGlobe gradually disappeared. However, the plant we watered ourselves grew a bit taller.
Dr. Fayyaz cautions AquaGlobes won't work for every plant. He says it's not a good idea for cacti, desert plants, or plants with large, mulch-like soil or rock-like soil. There's too much air in that soil, so the water will spill out of the AquaGlobe right away.
27 News gives AquaGlobes 3.5 stars out of 5.0. Our test plant lived, but it didn't grow as tall as the control plant we watered. We deducted one-half star for that. Also, the product package doesn't say anything about the plants that should not be used with AquaGlobes. We think product packaging should be accurate, detailed, and specific, so we deducted one star.
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You can reach Dan Cassuto at firstname.lastname@example.org.