Aussie mother creates world’s first self-draining pot for houseplants

Louise Burr’s 25 years as an Air Force Officer empowered her with skills in problem-solving and leadership. Having moved on from that storied career, that included Burr being the only woman to graduate as a civil engineer from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2001, she channeled her interest in interior design and decorating into to solving the problem of watering houseplants.

“I developed a love of plants throughout my twenties and thirties, but once I had children [Burr is a mother of three] and a full-time job, caring for them [her houseplants] became a real burden,” she explained. “The guesswork around over or underwatering my plants led to many plant fails such as annoying puddles, dying plants and fungus gnat infestations.”

By the time Burr had worked out the delicate balance of watering her plants, she came across another issue.

“Many of my plants were big and heavy. I would carry them all outside for watering, or to a sink/shower if they would fit. However, if I was short on time, I’d underwater them to avoid leaky messes,” she said. “Even if I had time to carry them outside onto the lawn, this process was becoming backbreaking, and then remembering to bring them inside once they’d stopped dripping was a pain.”

Spending 10 years or so working on her idea for a self-draining, mess- and stress-free plant pot, and with the market gap still unfilled, she developed PerkyPod – a patent-pending plant pot, with a unique internal drainage, filtration, and water-catchment system. Perky Pod allows for the thorough watering of plants, with the excess water draining away and through a filter into a water catchment drawer which can be emptied and recycled onto another plant or left until the next time that same plant needs to watered.

PerkyPod – which Burr designed with input from industrial designers, nurseries and homewares companies – comes with the option of castor wheels to faciliate moving large plants around the house.

“My military career showed me that the attention is always in the details, so I spent over three years undertaking extensive research and development to ensure PerkyPod is done properly and stylishly,” Burr said. “I have entirely boot-strapped this project and am so proud that PerkyPod is Australian-made, manufactured in Sydney.”

As a lover of nature, environmental responsibility is at the core of PerkyPod, which features recycled composites wherever possible, promotes responsible use of water, less plant wastage and a reduced need for artificial plants. Additionally, all the components of the system are recyclable at end-of-life.

“I want to make plants, whether houseplants or edibles, and indoors or outdoors, accessible for everyone no matter their green-thumb-status, age, physical ability, or location. Above all, I want to help people to stop killing their plants,” Burr said. “PerkyPod will also make it much easier everyone to grow their own herbs, fruit and vegetables. The wheels allow you to move your plant to optimise the daily hours of sunshine, and the leak-free nature of PerkyPod means it’s easier to keep balconies tidy and comply with body corporate regulations.”