We Tried to Grow Our Own Herbs and Veggies at Home With This Cute, Plantable Pencil
At first glance, you'd never expect that plantable Sprout pencils could hold so much life in their eraser tips.
As soon as I discovered there were pencils that could grow into plants, I knew I had to reach out to the company behind them. They sent me a couple boxes of Sprout pencils, and I happily began a small adventure in gardening.
Sprout pencils are the first-ever plantable pencil. They're made of sustainable wood and look like a classic pencil, except in place of an eraser tip, each pencil has a small biodegradable capsule full of vegetable, herb or flower seeds.
When you're done using the pencil (or, if you're impatient like me, when you want to get planting), you simply poke the eraser end of the pencil into a small pot of soil to get started. The directions on the back of the box say to simply "add sunlight & water," and after tending to the seeds for a moment, you should be rewarded with your own lovely little plant.
I was sent regular graphite Sprout pencils with basil, thyme and coriander seeds, as well as a pack of colored pencils including more seeds for red flax, calendula, lemon balm, basil, forget me not, sage, thyme and coriander.
I'm a huge fan of basil, so upon receiving my Sprout pencils I immediately found a small flower pot, filled it with rich soil and popped in the tip of my basil pencil. I hadn't actually used the pencil at all, but I felt a sense of urgency about starting.
There was just one problem—the pencils didn't really come with instructions, aside from giving the seeds water and sunlight. Past experience taught me that plants could be finicky, so I did a little research online and found a bunch of conflicting information about how to take care of basil seeds before settling on one set of directions that seemed legit. After pouring a little bit of water over the seeds, I put the potted pencil on my front porch and waited.
Every couple of days, I would return to the soil to add a little more water, but I quickly discovered that my porch might not be the safest spot for a growing plant. Over the next seven days, I stepped out not once, but twice, to find that the potted plant had been knocked over. I'm not sure if it was toppled by the wind or the rowdy neighbor kids who often play in front of my door, but after the second instance, I knew it was time for a move. I took it into work the next day to leave it on a sunny windowsill, hoping the change of pace would be a more hospitable environment for growth. During the first week on my porch, I didn't see any change in the seeds.
That seemed to work, because just three days later, I got my first Sprout pencil sprouts. They were tiny, but they were there and I was pretty proud.
But now that something was growing, I grew more obsessive about the plants and worried about the health of my basil plant. I didn't know if I was under-watering them or drowning them, and the guides online were all super vague. Within a week, my sweet green sprouts disappeared.
I was a little disappointed, but at least I had a few more pencils to experiment with, and I'm currently on round two with my basil, and eager to see how it goes.
Though I was way more focused on the planting aspect of Sprout pencils, I also found that I enjoyed the quality of the pencils themselves. You do have to press a little hard to get the full color out of the colored pencils, but the tones themselves are rich and vibrant, and I was happy to see that the yellow actually showed up instead of blending into white paper. Once my sprouts took hold, I also reclaimed my pencil because I didn't want it to go to waste.
Sprout pencils manage to pull off everything they set out to do. The pencils work great, and once you're done with them, the process of planting them is pretty seamless. I love the variety of seeds they offer, making them handy whether you want to plant herbs and vegetables for cooking or you're just trying to grow some beautiful flowers.
If I could suggest one thing to the company, it would be that they provide planting instructions somewhere for the individual seeds they include in their pencils. Yes, you can always go online to look up tips, but finding reliable information can be tough, and it'd be nice to have one place to find out how to make everything work.
Still, I think the end of my first basil plant was my fault. I think I was careless in the watering, and buried the plant under too much of it. This time, I'm going to be more careful—and I'm hoping in a few months I'll have plenty of fresh basil at my disposal.
If you're cultivating your own green thumb, click HERE for five plants that'll help you de-stress and sleep better.