You’ve just stepped outside and noticed that your plants are dying. You frantically turn on the hose and start watering them, thinking in a few days they will bounce back. Those few days pass and you notice that the flowers look worse than before. How could this be? You gave them water, what more could have been done? Best soil moisture sensor meter ?
Turns out, maybe your plants had too much water. The roots couldn’t absorb all the moisture and the plant drowned. If only there was some kind of tool that could let us know when our plants need water and when we might need to drain water away from them. You’re in luck! There are soil moisture meters that can help solve this issue and save you from looking at the carnage of your favorite plants shriveled up and dead.
Even better, we took the time to do product reviews of different makes and models to save you the hassle.
What is a Soil Moisture Meter?
When water is limited or overly supplied, plants will be stressed which can ultimately lead to poor quality or death. Soil moisture meters or sensors are sensing devices that provide information on the soil water available to plants. They can determine either water availability or actual water content in the soil so that irrigation will be performed properly
Four types of moisture sensing technologies such as tensiometer, granular matrix sensor, dielectric sensor, and heat-dissipating sensor are used for agricultural and large scale farming. These sensors can give exact measurements and suggest watering schedule but they tend to be intricate in design and are quite expensive.
There are also soil moisture analyzers more appropriate for household and small scale gardens. Although they do not indicate detailed information about the soil moisture levels, they provide what is necessary, easier to operate and cheaper too.
Best soil moisture sensor Our Top Picks
Best soil moisture sensor meter
XLUX Soil Moisture Meter, Plant Water Monitor, Soil Hygrometer Sensor for Gardening, Farming, Indoor and Outdoor Plants, No Batteries Required
The XLUX T10 Moisture Meter tells you, instantly, whether your plants need water. With this meter, you will know that sometimes though the top of the soil looks dry, just beneath the surface it’s very wet–no wonder the plants are struggling.
It’s very easy to use, just stick it in the dirt and the dial instantly tells you whether the soil is dry, moist or wet
- Reliable and accurate: Sensing probe ensures accurate and instant testing results, matching for both indoor or outdoor use.
- Easy to read: Large and clear dial, including ten scales, plug and read.
- How to use: Simply insert the moisture meter into soil and you’ll get the test result instantly. Help your plants grow healthy and strong.
- Less hurts: Single probe, less hurts to the roots, doesn’t dig up too much soil after test.
- Important tips: 1. Do not use it to test very hard soil 2. Never use it to test water or other liquid. Designed for testing soil only. 3. After use, please wipe clean the probe.
How To Use
- Inset the probe of the meter to the plants’ root level
- Note moisture level in the dial which has ten scales
- Remove probe from soil and wipe clean after each use
- Avoid hard stones when inserting probe as they may damage the probe
- Never put this meter into water. For some very loose soil, the reading may be inaccurate
- Don’t leave it in the soil for more than an hour for use
SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester Gardening Tool Kits for Plant Care, Great for Garden, Lawn, Farm, Indoor & Outdoor Use (Green)
Let Sonkir MS02 Soil pH Tester Make You Become a Good Plant Carer !
This 3-in-1 soil moisture meter is designed to better know the condition of your plant, detect soil moisture, help you know the pH value of the soil, determine if plants get enough sunlight to keep plants grow healthier !
Scientific Data Monitoring
Help you control every detail and track all changes about your plants. Keep your plants in a healthy condition through scientific data monitoring !
1. The pH function of this soil tester can not be applied to test pH value of any other liquid.
2. Since soil most often is in/close to neutral state (with pH value of 7), it is highly likely that you find the needle in display window stay still (because the default pH value is set at somewhere between 7 and 8) when you use it to test the pH value of soil. Customers sometimes are misled by this appearance and hence regard the tester as a defective unit by mistake.
- Kindly NOTE: This soil tester can not be applied to test pH value of any other liquid. If the soil is too dry the indicator will not move, and water it before testing.
- 3-IN-1 FUNCTION: Test soil moisture, pH value and sunlight level of plant with our soil meter, helps you specialize in grasping when you need to water your plant.
- ACCURATE & RELIABLE: Double-needle Detection Technology strongly enhances the speed and accuracy of detecting and analyzing soil moisture and pH acidity.
- EASY TO USE: No batteries needed, just insert the sensor probe into the soil about 2-4 inches, toggle switch to test moisture, pH, sunlight you would like to measure.
- INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE: Design to be lightweight and portable, easy to carry around for outdoor use, ideal soil test tool kit for home plants, garden, lawn and farm.
How To Use
Step 1: Switch to moisture/pH/light position according to demand.
Step 2: Insert the probe into the soil about 2-4 inches.
Step 3: Check moisture/pH/light level in the dial after 10 minutes.
Step 4: Remove probe from soil and wipe clean after each use.
1. Do not force it into very hard soil or touch hard objects since it will be easy to damage the probe.
2. Do not use it to test pure water or other liquids. It can only be used to measure soil.
3. Do not leave the meter in the soil for a long time.
4. Please wipe and clean the probe after each use.
5. If the soil is too dry the indicator will not move, and water it before testing.
REOTEMP Garden and Compost Moisture Meter (15 Inch Stem), Garden Tool Ideal for Soil, Plant, Farm and Lawn Moisture Testing
The REOTEMP Garden and Compost Moisture Meter is a heavy-duty moisture meter used by gardeners, composters, farmers, and nurseries to get a relative moisture level reading. The moisture meter’s unique calibration feature allows it to be used in a variety of applications including compost, gardening and soil moisture testing. Calibration allows for adjustment of the meter to the specific moisture needs of different plants and applications when compared to a non-adjustable meter.
- Easy to Operate for Home Composting, Gardening, Schools & Community Programs
- Rugged Stainless Steel Construction
- Long 15″ Stem with Thick 5/16″ Diameter
- User Calibratable, 0-10 Wetness Scale
- Instant Readings Powered by One AAA Battery (Included)
How To Use
The REOTEMP Moisture Meter measures the moisture content of your soil or compost pile by means of a sensor at the bottom of the probe. While composting or gardening you often may wonder: How wet’s your soil? Now you will know and be able to more efficiently compost, garden or simply know if your plants need more water. The 0 to 10 scale of the MM15 indicates a relative “wetter” or “dryer”. Note: the probe does not display a percent moisture. The moisture meter measures moisture only at the tip of the probe. Calibration instructions are conveniently printed on the side of the meter head and included on the back of the box. The REOTEMP moisture meter uses 1 AAA battery. Please note that because the probe uses electrical conductivity, the presence of salt can affect readings by making your soil more or less conductive. Therefore, the REOTEMP moisture meter is not recommended for situations where salt content varies drastically between testing samples.
WH0291 Soil Moisture Tester Plant Soil Moisture Sensor Meter with Digital LCD Display
WH0291 Soil Moisture Tester Plant Soil Moisture Sensor Meter with Digital LCD Display
- Soil Moisture Meter: measures soil moisture content within 72 seconds to let you know when to water your plant
- Digital LCD Display: with lovely flower pot icon to directly display the moisture level, easy to read
- Indoor & Outdoor Use: waterproof moisture sensor, can be used for indoor outdoor potted plants, lawn, garden and more
- Custom Mode: with 0%AD and 100%AD custom mode to manually calibrate the low/high moisture value so that you can get more accurate result for different soil types
- Time Display: With 12/24hr digital time display; 2 AA batteries(not included) needed for the display console and soil moisture sensor(one for each)
Soil Moisture Meter, S10 Soil Test Kit, Dr.meter Moisture Meter for Plants, Plant Water Meter for Garden Lawn Farm Indoor & Outdoor Use, Soil Tester Hygrometer Sensor for Plant Care, No Battery Needed
Save water and save money. The Moisture Meter has an eight inch metal stem that penetrates to root level. No batteries or electricity required.
For any plant
The instructions and watering tips are printed on the back of the included pamphlet. The Moisture Meter will do great in any soil situation. It will accurately display your moisture levels. Find out what moisture your plant needs and keep the level constant for a healthy, long lasting plant.
- ▶ 【Compact & Portable】 Have you been sticking your finger in the soil hoping to feel when it’s time to water? Why not eliminate the guesswork and keep your hands clean when you use the Dr.meter Soil Moisture Sensor Meter! Know the right time to water your garden, farm, lawn and plants, anytime.
- ▶ 【Easy to Read】No experience required–while this machine is sophisticated, it’s not complicated! With an interface using ten scales and a color-coded reading system from red, green to blue, it’s never been more straightforward reading your soil moisture.
- ▶ 【No Batteries Required】Who needs batteries or electricity? Just plug stick it into the ground and get a reading in no time!
- ▶ 【Gentle to Plant Roots】Keep roots intact when you do readings thanks to the single probe design. You won’t have to dig up too much soil or disturb sensitive roots when you take readings so your plants can stay perfectly healthy.
- ▶ 【Helpful Tips】The Dr.meter Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is designed only for soil testing and should not be used in liquids. Keep it away from rocks and extremely hard soil to avoid damaging it. Make sure to clean the probe after each use.
How To Use
- Range 1-3: Dry to slighty moist, for plants such as Cactus, thick leaved plant
- Range 4-7: Slightly moist to moist, right for most plants, such as Begonia, Cyclamen, Euphorbia, Ficus, Fuchsia, Philodendron, Geranium, Saintpaulia, Azalea, Adiantum etc.
- Range 8-10 : Very moist, best for Orchid
- Do not put it into the water, since this is a soil moisture meter, only for soil water test.
- Do not put this moisture meter directly against any hard soil ground.
- Do not leave the moisture meter in the soil for a long time.
- To make sure of degree of humidity required by your plants, always consult a specialist.
Northfifteen Connected Home Plant Monitor
Keep tabs on your plant’s health straight from your smartphone using the Smart North Plant Tracker. The plant-able device has sensors that work to accurately measure the amount of water, light and heat that your plant is getting while also making suggestions for what it needs. It’s Bluetooth compatible and is suitable for use with a wide range of plants. This handy tool also lets you monitor progress over time through the use of daily, weekly and monthly stats. The plant water tracker is designed for use with the app to get live updates that help you grow the healthiest, happiest plants.
- For use on Android and IOS
- Sensors track water, light, fertilizer and temperature
- Connects via Bluetooth
- Long-term tracking options
- Pairs well with other garden supplies
- Check plants care rating
- Look at the ideal conditions your plant needs
- Works in conjunction with the app
IPPINKA Sustee Aquameter, Set of 4, Plant Soil Moisture Sensor, (Green, Small)
Extend the life of your beloved houseplants with the SUSTEE moisture reader sensor. SUSTEE is designed and made in Japan, and is the perfect addition for various houseplants. It has a slim, minimalist aesthetic that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the plants. It works with almost any plant that grows in soil. When using the stick, the white color indicates that the plant needs watering, and the blue color indicates that it has enough water. The core insert that determines if watering is needed can also be manually replaced. It is recommend to replace the refillable core of your SUSTEE after 6-9 months of use. SUSTEE has won multiple international awards including the Reddot Design Award, Germany Design for Asia Award, and the Japan Good Designs Award. The small size is meant for pot sizes 2, 2.5 and 3. Set of four. Color: green.
SUSTEE is a modern, Japanese soil moisture sensor. The blue color indicates that there is enough water in the soil, and the while color indicate that plant is in need of watering. SUSTEE features a minimal aesthetic that doesn’t take away from the beauty of your plants.
- Set of 4 Sustee size Small (0.4 x 0.3 x 4.7 inches) is best for pots 2, 2.5 and 3 – Ideal for small succulents
- White color indicates that the plant needs to be watered and blue indicates it has been watered – Use in soils that retain water
- Each stick will last for approximately 6-9 months – Has refillable core; allows for replacement cores to be inserted
- Maintenance-free and no battery required – High-quality product; made in Japan
- Sustee collaborated with Tokyo University of Agriculture to improve the design and function of each stick
How To Use
- When inserting SUSTEE, please ensure that the Ω mark found on the stick is entirely covered. Please also make sure that the transpiration opening is visible if the stick is needing to go deeper.
- The time it takes to change color will depend on the amount of water given and the water retention level. When using SUSTEE for the first time, please water generously. The small stick takes approximately 3 minutes, the medium 15 minutes, and the large 25 minutes.
- SUSTEE can be used with almost all plants that grow in soils with a certain level of moisture retention. This includes akadama soil, black earth, bark, coco peat, peat moss and vermiculite.
- Has your SUSTEE turned white? That means it is time to water! After watering, the white insert will change to a blue color. This indicates that there is enough water in the soil.
Kensizer 3-in-1 Soil Tester, Soil Moisture/Light/pH Meter, Gardening Farm Lawn Test Kit Tool, Digital Plant Probe, Sunlight Tester Water Hydrometer for Indoor Outdoor
With Kensizer 3 in 1 soil tester, well know the plants’ moisture, pH, light intensity, better controlling the growth state of your plants.
The water may not penetrate into the soil evenly, you may try different depths and places to get a reasonable moisture data.
It’s only for test soil pH value, not applicable for other liquids, and the default value is set at between 7-8, be sure that you switch the button to pH when you use it.
If test light intensity, do not cover the light sensor and make it face the sunshine.
- 3-IN-1 FUNCTION — can be used to test soil moisture, pH value and sunlight level, clear reading dashboard and quick response.
- Double-Probe Detection — quick and easy to insert into the soil and get you more accurate data.
- No Battery Required — Save you from changing the battery. Plug and play，kindly note that DO NOT leave the meter in the soil for a long time, it will be corroded.
- Lightweight and Portable — ideal soil test tool for indoor and outdoor use.
- Quality Assurance — Any quality issues, please feel free to contact us.
How To Use
- Step 1: Switch to moisture/light/pH position according to your needs.
- Step 2: Insert the probe into the soil. Plug and play, DO NOT leave the meter in the soil for a long time, it will be corroded.
- Step 3: Read the data of moisture/pH/light level in the dial.
- Step 4: Remove it from soil and wipe clean after each use.
Soil Moisture Meter Probe – 24 Inch
The scientific way to water! Accurate instruments give you instant, accurate moisture readings. Meters can be calibrated to the soil type for reliable results. 24-inch probe, instant, easy-to-read display. Top mounted meter. Uses AA or dry cell battery. This meter allows for calibration. This is a benefit because all types of soils may read differently. The meter can be calibrated to the types of soil being used with to insure the readings are accurate.
- Brass soil moisture probe
- Displays accurate readings
- All types of soils may read differently
- Meter is mounted on top
- Works on AA or dry cell batteries
Luster Leaf Digital Moisture Meter
Measure soil moisture accurately and digitally with this moisture meter. The moisture sensor offers instant digital read-out and a long stainless steel probe checks soil moisture at root level. Monitoring a plant’s soil moisture level helps prevent over and under watering.
The Rapitest 1825 Moisture Meter helps you determine when to water your plants.
Meter shows how much moisture is in the soil with an easy-to-read digital meter. Specifically designed to be used only in soil.
The 1825 includes an easy-to-read instruction guide on when to water, tester care and good advice. Indicates watering needs for over 100 plants.
- Easy to read digital output
- Instantly measures moisture level
- Includes printed plant list
- From Rapitest – The Leaders in Soil Testing
- Designed and engineered in the USA
- Product specifically designed to be used only in soil
Benefits of Using A Moisture Sensor
Better Plant Health
The main benefit of using a soil moisture meter is to understand your plant better and therefore be able to care for it more appropriately. It can be very tricky to know when a plant needs to be watered, and a bad watering schedule can cause long-term damage or even the demise of your plants. Overwatering typically leads to root rot, where a plant’s roots are no longer able to absorb water or nutrients, and it dies of thirst. Underwatering will result in the same problem. By being able to know how much moisture the soil is holding under the surface, you will be perfectly informed with the knowledge to know exactly how to water your plants.
For outdoor plants especially, you could be wasting a lot of water be overwatering your plants, lawn, shrubs, and trees. By being able to check the moisture content of the soil, you can eliminate the guesswork when it comes to watering your garden and potentially save lots of water.
You can save money by cutting down on your water usage if you’ve been overwatering your plants, but you can also save big on money that would be wasted if plants die due to improper watering. For some plants and trees that are very expensive to buy, you need to ensure you are watering them correctly in order not to inadvertently to kill them. By using a soil moisture meter to make sure you are watering your plants properly, you will save money on having to replace dying plants.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Soil Moisture Meter
It’s also important to consider the display that your soil moisture reader uses. The display is what you will be using to see how much moisture is in your soil, so you want to be sure that it’s clear and easy to read. Most meters feature a scale that ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the driest and 10 being the wettest. Be sure to assess the display before you purchase a meter so you can be sure that you’ll be able to easily read it.
Electronic vs. Manual
Moisture meters come with digital or analog displays. Digital displays use electronics to communicate data, while analog displays transmit that data manually. Generally, the addition of electronics introduces more opportunities for glitches. That’s why we usually prefer an analog tool for rugged, outdoor areas. Analog moisture meters are more durable because they don’t have as many intricate, delicate parts that can be negatively impacted by the elements or conditions.
The exception to this is when you want to set up a smart system to keep track of your plant’s health. Smart moisture meters can provide valuable data on how much water and sunlight your plant is getting over the long term. This can help you better understand your growing conditions, especially if you are in a new home or establishing a garden in a new part of your yard or home.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
A soil moisture meter is a helpful tool for any household plant, from a potted fiddle leaf fig to a burgeoning vegetable patch. Many soil moisture meters are equipped for both indoor and outdoor use, but there are a few features to take into consideration.
Indoor plants tend to be smaller and rest in looser potting soil. A moisture meter with a short probe may be suitable for indoor potted plants, which are usually not very deep. Short probes also are easier to store, and durability is less of a concern with indoor use.
For outdoor plants, durability may be a more important feature. Consider a meter with a sturdier build, like a model with a probe at least 1/4-inch thick so it’s more resistant to bending, or one with a stainless steel housing instead of plastic. Also, consider models with a longer probe for outdoor use. Long probes are especially useful for certain jobs, like using a compost moisture meter to check a pile of compost. Probes on a compost moisture meter are often thicker, with about a 5/16-inch diameter.
Some moisture meters do more than just measure the water in the soil. They can also keep track of pH levels, fertilization, or sunlight. All of these elements combine to create the ideal growing environment for your plants. Having information about which plants are getting enough sunlight or when you need to adjust the pH of your soil with additives can really help keep your plants in tip-top shape. Be ready to pay a few more dollars for moisture meters with these extra features. It can be well worth the cost!
Soil Type and Texture
The soil type and texture can influence the choice of soil moisture meter. For harder soil types, like heavier clay soils, look for a meter with a very sturdy probe. Although most meters have aluminum or steel probes, some flimsier and thinner options can bend or dent in harder soils. A probe that’s at least 1/4-inch thick is a better choice for these soil textures.
As any soil moisture meter can handle the looser potting soil used for indoor plants, the probe is a greater concern for outdoor plants. However, regardless of the meter type, it’s best not to jam the meter into the soil. If there’s too much resistance in any soil type or texture, pull the meter out and try a different spot.
Also, keep in mind that high levels of sodium in soil can cause inaccurate readings, and it may be helpful to test soil salinity if plants are failing to thrive. When using a soil moisture meter in salt-affected soils, the meter can display the moisture level as higher than it really is. In these cases, physically feeling the soil can help determine if the reading is on the right track.
Of course, you also want to be sure that the soil moisture meter you choose provides accurate readings. If it doesn’t, it really isn’t going to do you any good, is it? In order to determine the accuracy of a soil moisture meter, read through customer reviews to see if you can find out what other users have had to say about.
Common Mistakes And Misconceptions About Moisture Meters
There’s a lot of wrong information floating around about moisture meters. I want to make sure that you understand these tools well before using one.
If you haven’t purchased one yet, it might help you understand the (sometimes) incorrect feedback that buyers sometimes make about these tools. And if you’ve already made a purchase, the info below should help you make your water meter last longer.
Don’t Test A Moisture Meter By Sticking It Into A Glass Of Water.
It seems to happen fairly often that a new owner of a moisture meter would stick their gadget into a glass of water to see if it works. Newsflash: It’s not designed this way. The probes are engineered to measure moisture in soil, not water.
If you must test, test it in a pot of dry soil and very moist soil. Compare the readings of each.
You Can Get Differing Zone Readings From One Pot Of Soil Or Plot Of Land.
Water distributes unevenly in a pot especially because of factors like soil compactness, type, and the plants’ root structure. So, some portions may register as wetter and others dryer. Sometimes, the water just stays on top and doesn’t filter down to the bottom of the pot. This is why some gardeners recommend burrowing holes into your pots so you can trickle your water into these holes and ensure it reaches to roots that are further down.
In the event of overwatering potted plants, make sure your plants can drain off excess water so they don’t drown. If you live indoors, like in a condominium, you can set up a DIY drainer using a big basin and a stool. Place your potted plant in a sunny nook to help further the drying process along.
You Can’t Force-push The Probes Into Soil; You’ll Break Them
A lot of new users end up breaking their gadgets because they they pushed their water meters into hard soil. These meters are fragile and the probes are constructed for sensitivity, not strength. Thus, if the soil is too hard and compacted, the probes are likely to break off if you apply too much force.
If you are using a moisture meter regularly on your plants, keep the soil loose so that the probes can slide in easily. Loose soil is also good for plants because air and nutrients can circulate better.
It Always Has To Be Clean And Dry
Don’t leave your meter stuck into soil for hours on end and don’t leave it outside in inclement weather. As I’ve mentioned, these gadgets are sensitive. A reading is instantaneous (or takes a couple of minutes for a stubborn pH reading) and after that, you need to take it out and clean it. Otherwise, the probes will end up rusting and unusable.
Prolong the life of your tool by drying it and wiping it clean immediately after use.
How To Use A Moisture Meter
Depending on whether you have a digital or analog model, how to read a moisture meter will vary.
Digital models have handy screens that give you an easy-to-read view. Most analog models are gauges, with colored marks denoting dry, moist, or wet soils. Wicking models are all based on the fabric band that changes color when the soil’s damp.
And these devices aren’t just for soil! If you have a version that has both moisture and pH readers, you’ll love using this in your worm bin. Since worms are less likely to prefer acidic soil, you can add agricultural lime to reduce the pH of your bin.
Compost piles are also greatly improved with one of these. Sure, we can check the moisture of our pile by turning it and feeling with our hands. But if it’s not your day to turn the pile, you can place a moisture sensor in the pile. If it needs more water, you can add it right away.
Use one of these before preparing a new garden bed to learn about your location’s needs. You can check it a few times during the day to see the status.
Buying Advice and Factors to Consider
There are dozens of options out there, including the nine picks on this list, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little lost.
Consider these factors when picking your moisture meter:
Before making your selection, think about your needs. Are you looking for one that can stay in the soil and that will alert you when your prized orchid is dry, without any effort on your part?
Or do you need one that you can use in your indoor herb garden and your outdoor tomato patch? Is knowing the pH of the soil or the ambient light levels important, or are you focused solely on moisture?
Next, consider how much effort you want to make. Maybe you’re willing to change batteries and calibrate a tool that gives you more accuracy. Or maybe you just want to check the general moisture content and move on.
What’s your budget? Do you want something that gives you the basics in exchange for just a little cash? Or are you willing to shell out for something a bit quicker, better made, and more accurate?
Ask yourself what’s at stake if your soil meter fails. If you are selling plants and rely on their success for your income, a reliable, accurate model that’s a bit pricier and that may last a bit longer is probably worth it.