App Review: Plant Nanny

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Plant Nanny logo by fourdesigns.com, via iTunesPlant Nanny

Version: 1.9.2
Price: Free with in-app purchases
By Fourdesire.com
Available for iOS 7.0 or later, Android, and Windows Phone

WWAC Writer, Kate Tanski, recently turned me on to the app Plant Nanny (which WWAC writer Kat Overland turned her on to!) when I was complaining about trying to ensure my daily water intake. She suggested I try Plant Nanny, a cute little app that incentives the user with growing their own adorable, virtual plants by logging their daily water intake.

When you first download Plant Nanny, you fill in information about yourself, including your weight and your average level of body activity (Sedentary, Regular, or Active). After you input this information, Plant Nanny recommends your daily water intake, and you can select and name your first plant and get started.

The adorable little plants are what makes Plant Nanny so fun and motivating. I am currently growing a Devil’s Ivy, named Polly.

Plant Nanny via Ginnis Tonik

My first plant, a Dandelion named Dorian, I finished growing on August 26th.

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These are only two types of a wide collection of different plans you can grow, and you can download new types as they become available.

In-app purchases are available for extras like more seeds to buy different flowerpots and backdrops. Otherwise, you can wait to accumulate enough seeds to buy these. Since, I am here for the plants, I haven’t been tempted to buy seeds.

You can turn on notifications to remind you to keep drinking water throughout the day, which is really something I need. Additionally, if you neglect your plant by not drinking enough water, your plant starts to droop and look very sad, which is also very motivating, because I respond like, “Oh, shit, please don’t be sad little plant, I will drink all the water right now!” Plant Nanny will scold you, however, for drinking too much water too fast and too much in one day. (Research proved this to be not really that big of a concern though.)

All around, the app is doing its job. I am drinking more water. I rarely have headaches anymore, and another unexpected benefit: I take more work breaks during the day, because I have to pee all the time. When working I get sucked in for hours, so these forced breaks benefit me, too.

I do have one criticism of Plant Nanny. From the beginning, I have struggled with meeting the daily recommended amount. I thought the daily amount for water was eight glasses a day, which equals about 64 fluid ounces per day, but Plant Nanny recommends 88 fluid ounces based on my weight and activity level. Based on that amount, I have been usually hitting around 80% on average of my daily water intake according to Plant Nanny, and of course, I have to pee all the time.

Plant Nanny screenshot via Ginnis Tonik

Kate experienced a similar issue, so I decided to do a little research on how much water people actually need per day.

Most of us are probably familiar with the daily recommended eight glasses per day, however that’s a myth. So, how much water should we be consuming? Turns out, the answer is that it depends. If you are doing a lot of physical activity, then you need to drink more water since you will likely be losing hydration via sweat. If you happen to be enjoying happy hour with friends, you need to drink more water to counter the dehydration that alcohol causes. If it’s summer in Texas, you should definitely drink more water.

But, I like having a general goal, so I wanted a set number. I decided the most reliable source would be The Institute of Medicine, which recommends 2.7 liters for my age range (about 91 fluid ounces).

Institute of Medicine tableHowever, the table states: “All sources can contribute to total water needs: beverages (including tea, coffee, juices, sodas, and drinking water) and moisture found in foods. Moisture in food accounts for about 20% of total water intake. Thirst and consumption of beverages at meals are adequate to maintain hydration.”

With this little tidbit in mind, I took 20% off of Plant Nanny’s 88 fluid ounces for a new total of 70 fluid ounces based on the 20% average of daily water intake from food. As for my daily fluid intake, I usually have a small coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, and a boozy beverage, or two (I’m a self-described Southern Lush after all) in the evening, so it seemed fitting to not make any further adjustments to account for the dehydrating effects of booze. Still quite a bit of water, but a number I can more realistically achieve. 

Compared to other daily water apps I have tried, Plant Nanny is by far the most fun and motivating!

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About Author

Special Events Editor. Smashing the patriarchy with pink glitter, lipstick, and cowboy boots. You can tweet her @GinnisTonik.

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