As with most products that claim to work miracles, these made me extremely skeptical, especially since the HydroSpike is a crazy looking apparatus. Did it keep my plant's thirst quenched? Absolutely — I'm definitely going to use the spikes when I travel this Summer. Using the gadget was a breeze too, because all it requires is a reservoir, which can be any container that you already have. I used a smallish bucket for my medium-sized houseplant and, per the instructions, placed the spike in potted soil and the end of the plastic tubing in the bucket. After a few days, the water level had dropped significantly, the soil was moist, and my plant was happy. A week later, more water had disappeared, the soil was still moist (but not overly), and the plant was still happy. All in all, I'd say it took about two weeks for the bucket to empty fully.
The one downside is that it's not pretty having a big bucket next to all your plants in the middle of your pad. It was really frustrating during my tryout, but won't bother me one bit when I'm not around to look at it. Plus, you can get three for less than $10 at Amazon, and that's a very small price to pay for peace of mind that my precious greenery is being watered properly in my absence. I love that you can even add a water-soluble fertilizer to the water source for added nutrients. The very best part is that going away no longer stresses out my green thumb, as I'm certain that my plants will be happy and healthy upon my return.