Frequently Asked Questions

What does a very high or a very low temperature do to a plant?2017-05-15T19:07:02+00:00
  • Both can force the plant into dormancy.

Dormancy is when the plant stops growing. The plant will slowly recover when the appropriate temperature conditions are regained.

  • A very high temperature can cause excessive dehydration resulting in a wilting plant.
  • A very low temperature can cause plants to freeze to death overnight.
What does temperature do to plants?2017-05-15T19:00:53+00:00

A suitable temperature allows the plant to grow perfectly without worry.

The optimum growth temperature is different for plants with different origins. Tropical and subtropical plants need temperatures of 25-30°C, while plants originating from temperate zones need temperatures of 10-15°C.

GreenFingers indicates that the temperature is too low, what will happen to the plant if no measures are taken?2017-05-15T18:59:06+00:00

The long-term effect of low temperature is poor plant growth, while extremely low temperatures can cause plants to wilt overnight. GreenFingers sets the tolerable temperature range for different plants

What are the highest and lowest temperatures that GreenFingers can measure?2017-05-15T18:56:41+00:00

The highest is 50°C, while the lowest is -10°C.

Upon moving GreenFingers to places of different temperatures, there was no change in the temperature measure. Why is this?2017-05-15T18:55:56+00:00

GreenFingers needs a short transition time to sense change in the environment. Please wait 5-10 minutes before checking again.

What happens when a root breaks?2017-05-15T18:54:11+00:00

An accidentally cut-off root can be self-repaired. However, this requires well-controlled and adequate watering to reduce the incidence of disease.

Do roots need to breathe?2017-05-15T18:51:19+00:00

Roots need oxygen for energy. Not all plants are hydroponic, which rely on the leaf to transport oxygen to the roots. So plant roots will need ventilation and prefer not to be waterlogged.

How are root hairs damaged?2017-05-15T18:48:12+00:00

A suddenly dry and suddenly wet soil can damage root hairs. As a result, this will also affect the absorption of water and nutrients adversely.

Which part of the roots absorb water?2017-05-15T18:43:33+00:00

Root hairs concentrate at the bottom of the pot. Consequently, this is where most water absorption takes place.

How much water should I give to the plant when watering?2017-05-15T18:40:33+00:00

Plants live in soil and need both water and air. Therefore, the amount of water (absorbed amount) at a time should account for about 50% of the pot soil.

Is the quality of the water important?2017-05-15T18:39:23+00:00

Most plants prefer acidic soil, with pH value between 5.0 and 6.8. Therefore, avoid watering plants using alkaline (high pH) water.

At what time of day should I water my plants?2017-05-15T18:38:28+00:00

Early morning watering works the best. Avoid watering plants at noon under direct sunlight, unless the plant is dried out or dying.

Can hydroponic growing systems use GreenFingers?2017-05-15T18:33:20+00:00

Certainly. Hold GreenFingers device such as to immerse the black sensing section into the water of your system. In this case, the sensor will indicate a high moisture level around 100%. Ignore the alert for high moisture and monitor all other parameters.

The soil in the pot is very wet, but why does GreenFingers indicate that soil moisture is low?2017-05-15T18:32:26+00:00
  • Ensure that the granularity of the soil does not exceed 30%.

Soil that is too granular results in inaccurate moisture measurements.

  • Ensure that the soil is adequately compacted around the GreenFingers sensor.

Loose soil results in a small sensing contact area and causes low moisture measurements. Measure moisture again once soil has been compacted.

After watering thoroughly, GreenFingers shows that the moisture level in the plant is too high, what can I do?2017-05-15T18:25:51+00:00

GreenFingers’ good moisture range is the most suitable for the plant. If a plant has been over-watered, place the plant in a well-ventilated area. Wait until the moisture level is low to water again.

Will watering be needed when GreenFingers does not indicate a low moisture level?2017-05-15T18:21:38+00:00

Ensure that you have inserted the GreenFingers device correctly. If the moisture value is below 30%, consider watering the plant again. Otherwise, it is not necessary to water the plant. Too much watering may lead to plant root rot.

How do I water the plant when the soil is completely dry?2017-05-15T18:20:27+00:00

When the soil is completely dry, it is best to use the pot immersion method to water the soil.

The pot immersion method:
  • Place the pot in a container,
  • Fill the container with water until the water level is at about 1/3 of the height of the pot,
  • Wait until the surface soil is wet (±5 mins) and
  • Remove the pot from the container.
It is summer and noon and my plants look like they are drying out and about to die, what should I do?2017-05-15T18:18:35+00:00

Water the plants with water that is at the same temperature as the current ambient temperature of the environment. After 2-3 hours, the plants will slowly recover.

Under normal circumstances, avoid watering at noon in summer when the temperature is high. Rather water in the morning when temperatures are slightly lower.

How do I water the plant while away on a short trip?2017-05-15T18:16:40+00:00
  • Water the plant well before leaving.
  • Find a friend to water plants while you are away
  • Else you can make a siphon pot.

To make a siphon pot, insert a cotton string into the plant’s soil through the bottom of the pot. Then, place the pot in a container that is just bigger than the pot, such that the bottom of the pot does not touch the bottom of the container, when the pot is placed inside the container. Let the cotton string hang below the plant so as to touch the bottom of the container. Fill the container with water until just below, but not touching, the bottom of the pot.

How do I ensure that the plants are watered adequately?2017-05-15T18:14:42+00:00

Water plants uniformly.

If there is a hole in the pot:

Water plants until water permeates gradually out of the pot at the bottom.

If there is no hole in the pot:

Water plants until the soil is wet and stop before water overflows over the side of the pot.

How often should I water my plant?2017-05-15T18:11:37+00:00

There is no definite answer. The watering interval depends on the plant species, soil characteristics, potting conditions and other seasonal conditions.

Normally, you should water your plant when GreenFingers moisture indication is lower than 20%. Also, adequately water plants before leaving on holiday.

GreenFingers serves as a reminder to water at the lowest recommended moisture point.

What are the symptoms of a nutrient deficiency?2017-05-15T18:06:54+00:00
  • Dwarf and weak plant;
  • Small and few branches;
  • Small and thin leaves;
  • Many of the older leaves turn yellow;
  • Slow growth in budding;
  • Foliage discolouration or distortion.
Why do plants need nutrients?2017-05-15T18:05:08+00:00

Plants require 16 essential elements for their growth in addition to a large number of elements and trace elements. Plant growth will not take place without the presence of a sufficient amount of the 16 essential elements.

How do I apply fertilizer to plants?2017-05-15T18:04:10+00:00
Soil fertilization methods:
  • Mix solid fertilizer into the soil, but avoid direct contact with the roots, or
  • Dilute liquid fertilizer to the correct concentration and apply to plants when watering.
Foliar fertilization methods:
  • Spray a dilution of liquid fertilizer  evenly on plant leaves when there is poor root growth or to provide supplementation of trace elements from time to time.
How concentrated should the fertilizer be?2017-05-15T17:58:27+00:00

It is important to follow the dilution instructions of concentrated fertilizers closely. Frequent fertilization using a dilution, which has a concentration that is too high, can result in root burn.

What types of fertilizer are available?2017-05-15T17:57:07+00:00

There are two main type of fertilizer: solid slow-release fertilizer and liquid fertilizer.

Both have advantages and disadvantages and can be used in combination, where a slow-release fertilizer is used as the base fertilizer and the liquid fertilizer is used as a supplement of nutrients when required.

When should I fertilize my plants?2017-05-15T17:55:33+00:00

Adequate fertilization is needed during the entire growth period: from the leaf development stage, flowering period, to the fading of flowers.

It is best to avoid fertilizing plants while they are in direct sunlight, such as at noon.

Can hydroponic systems use GreenFingers to monitor fertilizer levels?2017-05-15T17:54:15+00:00

Certainly. GreenFingers can be used to monitor fertilizer levels intermittently in hydroponic systems. Hold GreenFingers device such as to immerse the black sensing section into the water of your system.

Why does GreenFingers show low fertility when I have just recently added fertilizer to the plant soil?2017-05-15T17:53:26+00:00

As the fertility sensor is dependent on the soil moisture, a low moisture level may cause inaccurate fertility measurements. Therefore, if the moisture is low, please water the plant to meet the moisture requirements and then check the fertility value again after a few minutes.   Please note fertility measurements may take some time to stabilize.

After fertilization, GreenFingers show fertility levels are too high, what should I do?2017-05-15T17:52:25+00:00

The good fertility range indicated by GreenFingers is the appropriate fertilizer conditions for the plant. Therefore, there is no need to worry when the fertility value is nearing the maximum recommended value and it is recommended to place the plant in a well-ventilated location.

If the fertility value is far above the recommended maximum for the plant, add water to soil to dilute and reduce fertility.

Will fertilization be required when GreenFingers does not indicate low fertility?2017-05-15T17:51:38+00:00

Plants can be fertilized when the fertility value is less than 1000 us/cm. If the fertility is over 3000 us/cm, additional fertilization may result in root burn, which will affect the plant growth adversely.

After adding solid slow-release fertiliser, why has the GreenFingers fertility level not changed?2017-05-15T17:49:21+00:00

Due to the slow releasing nature of the fertilizer, GreenFingers will indicate slow changes in the fertility value. Take care of plant as normal, while the fertility value changes slowly over time.

After adding liquid fertilizer, why does GreenFingers still indicate low fertility?2017-05-15T17:48:19+00:00

GreenFingers requires a short time for the fertilizer measurement to change to a stable value. Please wait for about 5 minutes to check again.

How do I fertilize hydroponic plants?2017-05-15T17:47:05+00:00

Special hydroponic nutrient solution can be applied in accordance with the instructions. During the plant growth season, or spring and autumn months, fertilizer should be added multiple times, while fertilization should take place less frequently during summer and winter months.

Can beer be sprayed on the leaf surface for use as a fertilizer?2017-05-15T17:46:11+00:00

Yes. Beer can be used to fertilize plants, but usually only foliage plants. Instructions for use are given as follows: Open beer container and mix the contents with an equal volume of water; spray the beer-water mixture on plant leaves or otherwise soak a cloth in the beer-water mixture and use to wipe leaves.

Can eggshells be used as fertilizer?2017-05-15T17:44:36+00:00

Eggshells will not provide all the necessary nutrients and therefore its use as a fertilizer is not recommended.

Slow-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer, which is more suitable for home gardening?2017-05-15T17:43:27+00:00

Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The effects of slow-release fertilizer last longer because the solid is absorbed at a slower rate. An advantage of slow-release fertilizer is that you do not have to apply it often. However, it is more difficult to control fertilizer dosage using slow-release fertilizer and it may take a long time for positive results to show once slow-release fertilizer is applied.

Liquid fertilizer is easy to use and provides an immediate effect as leaves and roots absorb the liquid mixture. The disadvantage of using liquid fertilizer is that it can leach deep into the soil, making it unavailable, and consequently liquid fertilizer needs to be applied more frequently than other types of fertilizer.

The best strategy is to use a combination of both by first applying slow-release fertilizer and then applying liquid fertilizer as a supplement as needed.

How frequently should I fertilize my plants?2017-05-15T17:41:34+00:00

There is no definite answer. The fertilization frequency depends on the soil characteristics and other seasonal conditions.

Normally, when GreenFingers shows a low fertility level, you need to add fertilizer. Also, it is recommended to add fertilizer before going on holiday.

How do I check for GreenFingers App software updates?2017-05-15T17:39:52+00:00

When a new software version is available, an alert will pop up on the screen in the app.

Otherwise, you can check for updates by selecting “My GreenFingers” on the menu in the top right hand corner of the monitoring screen, and then selecting “Check for Update”. Select “Update” if a new version of the App is available.

In your smartphone’s app store, you can also check for updates of installed software.


How do I view growing tips for my plant?2017-05-15T17:37:25+00:00

Click on your plant name either in the middle of the monitoring screen or on the menu in the top right corner of the monitoring screen. Scroll down and select “All Information >” to show plant care tips.

How do I check the battery life of my GreenFingers device?2017-05-15T17:36:34+00:00

Select “My GreenFingers” on the menu in the top right hand corner of the monitoring screen and check “Remaining” power percentage.

How do I switch between plants using the same GreenFingers device?2017-05-15T17:35:18+00:00

Click on your plant name either in the middle of the monitoring screen or on the menu in the top right corner of the monitoring screen. Select “Switch Plant” button, then select previously monitored plant or add a new plant by selecting the + sign in the top right hand corner of the “Switch Plant” screen.

NOTE: Frequent switching of plants may lead to incomplete data in growth diary.

How do I add more devices and more plants?2017-05-15T17:34:25+00:00

Connect to new GreenFingers device(s), select the device on the App home screen, choose from existing plants or add new plant by selecting on the + sign in the top right corner of the “Switch Plant” screen.

How do I add a plant?2017-05-15T17:33:30+00:00

Select GreenFingers bound device without plant on the App home screen, search and select your plant. Select “Complete” to add your plant.

My GreenFingers device does not seem to be measuring properly. What can I do?2017-05-15T17:32:03+00:00
  1. Check sunlight sensor: Move the GreenFingers device close to and away from a light source and check if there is any change in the sunlight measurement on the App. If there is no change, the light sensor could be faulty.
  2. Check fertilizer sensor: If the moisture measurement is above 0%, but the fertility measurement is at 0 us/cm, remove the GreenFingers device from your plant’s soil, clean the metal contact and re-insert device into soil. If the fertility measurement remains at 0 us/cm after a few minutes, the fertility sensor could be faulty.
  3. Check moisture sensor: Remove the GreenFingers device from your plant’s soil and hold the lower part of the black sensor section between your fingers. Ensure that your fingers are touching both halves of the black sensor section. If the moisture measurement remains at 0% or does not change, the moisture sensor could be faulty.
Why is my GreenFingers device not connecting?2017-05-15T17:30:22+00:00
  1. Ensure the GreenFingers device is within 6 meters from your smartphone when connecting.
  2. Open the back cover of the device to check whether the insulation sheet has been removed.
  3. Ensure that the battery has been inserted correctly and is in place.
  4. Turn Bluetooth off and back on again, and re-open the App.
  5. Ensure that your smartphone is connected to the internet. Internet connection is required for to access the plant database when selecting your plant species.
  6. When another user is connected to your GreenFingers device, your App will show that the device is offline. Notify the other user to close their GreenFingers App and then refresh the list of devices on your App.
How do you connect to your GreenFingers device for the first time?2017-07-02T20:23:54+00:00
  1. Open the back cover of the GreenFingers device, take out the insulation sheet inside the battery compartment, and replace the cover.
  2. Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone, select the + sign in the top right corner on GreenFingers App home screen and follow the prompts on the App to add your device.
  3. When the light sensor at the top of the device flashes twice, your smartphone has successfully connected to the device.
How do I know my plants have a sunlight deficiency?2017-05-15T17:27:02+00:00

Sunlight deficiency in plants can result in internode elongation of an originally stocky plant (‘leggy internode’), fading of the leaf colour, and delays in flowering initiation.

Why do plants need sunlight?2017-05-15T17:24:41+00:00

With sunlight, plants can purify our air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, while providing nutrition and energy for their own growth. This process is called photosynthesis.
The reason why most leaves are green is due to the presence of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the active molecule in the plant that absorbs sunlight and performs photosynthesis.

At what time of year can I expect my plant to flower?2017-05-15T17:23:19+00:00

Many flowering plants sense seasonal changes in night length, or photoperiod, which they take as signals to flower. Therefore, plants for which flower initiation is light-dependent has a critical photoperiod associated with it.
Long-day plants form flowering buds when the night lengths are shorter than their critical photoperiod. These plants typically flower during late spring or early summer as the days are getting longer.
Day-neutral plants form flowers independent of day or night length.
Short-day plants begin flowering when the night lengths are longer than their critical photoperiod. These plants typically flower during summer or autumn, as the days are getting shorter.

What is the light intensity required?2017-05-15T17:21:54+00:00

Before positioning your plant, you need to know how much your plant loves sunlight.
Sun-loving plants thrive well in direct sunlight, neutral plants can grow well in indirect sunlight, while shade-loving plants prefer growing in low light or shady conditions.

What type of light is required?2017-05-15T17:19:59+00:00

The most effective light for plant photosynthesis is red and blue light. The spectrum of light is important because each spectrum triggers different responses from the plants: blue light induces vegetative growth, while red light induces flowering. The light source used for growing plants can be sunlight and/or supplemental grow lights.

What is the difference between the light intensity measurement displayed on the GreenFingers monitoring screen and cumulative amount of light indicated in the growth diary?2017-05-15T17:17:57+00:00

Light intensity measured and displayed on the monitoring screen is the instantaneous amount of light being measured.
The cumulative amount of light (“Accumulated Sunlight”) shown in the growth diary is the amount of light accumulated by the sensor each day. Therefore, as the accumulated sunlight is related to the light intensity and the exposure time, it provides a better indication of whether the plant’s position is good taking into account the varying levels of light exposure over 24 hours and the required amount of daily light for the plant to perform photosynthesis. Tracking the accumulated light over time can show whether the plant receives adequate light over the various seasons for optimal growth. If after time, it becomes evident that the accumulated light is not meeting the required amount of light, it is recommended to move the plant to a position, where it will receive more sunlight.

GreenFingers has shown that the sunlight conditions are good, but why then is my plant not growing well?2017-05-15T17:17:06+00:00

Moisture, temperature and fertilizer levels need to be good as well to ensure good plant growth.

Will a short period of intensified sunlight exposure affect plant growth?2017-05-15T14:54:53+00:00

Plants can tolerate exposure to sunlight above the recommended “good” intensity level indicated by GreenFingers for about 30 minutes or less depending on the plant growth conditions. For longer exposure times to extreme sunlight conditions, shelter will be required.

Can sun-loving plants receive too much sunlight?2017-05-15T14:53:30+00:00

It would be best to avoid overexposure to sunlight. Sun-loving plants also have a maximum sunlight tolerance and overexposure can cause leaf burn and/or wilting plants.