How the La Sapienza Botanical Garden in Rome Implemented a Smart Garden System using IoT


The Challenge


The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Roma "La Sapienza", also known as the Orto Botanico di Roma, is a 12 hectare botanical garden operated by the Sapienza University of RomeThe garden was established in 1883 and today it contains more than 3,000 species, with a Japanese garden, bamboo groves, and a Giardino dei Semplici (over 300 species of medicinal plants). 


The challenge was to find the most reliable, cost effective and simple to operate solution to modernize the Botanical Garden with continuous monitoring capabilities to optimize soil and environment conditions to ensure the garden would thrive and be an ideal growing environment for all of the 300 species within it. 

Having over 300 species of plants meant that there had to be different soil condition requirements and watering schedules for different areas of the garden, so a solution was needed to accurately monitor the conditions of the garden in real-time to make smart decisions to optimize plant growth.


The Solution


After a series of preliminary surveys, the decision was made to move forward with the LoRaWAN® technology as the best performing, low cost and reliable solution that successfully met the needs of the remote real-time data monitoring requirements for the botanical smart garden. 

To create a digitized environment within the Botanical Smart Garden of Rome, various sensors were deployed to create the full Smart monitoring system:

  • Weather station for measuring temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure and solar radiation, mm rain and fine dust
  • Temperature Sensor & Soil Moisture Sensor 
  • Several dendrometers for reading the growth of the bark of the trees Ceiba Speciosa and Ficus Seria
  • Devices for monitoring of filing of two water storage tanks
  • Smart sensors for consumption counting at various strategic points
  • Devices for reading of consumption time and an indication of system pressure.


Unidata is leveraging a suite of sensors deployed throughout the Botanical Garden, one of which being the TEKTELIC Agriculture Sensor - to effectively measure soil PH-level, moisture level and moisture content, light intensity, environmental monitoring and CO2 level. Several devices were also placed outside of the Botanical Garden Greenhouse for:

  • Detection of soil temperature parameters
  • Soil surface tension in depth and surface monitoring
  • Illumination, temperature, and humidity monitoring

Unidata chose the TEKTELIC Agriculture sensor to assist with monitoring the Botanical Smart Garden project as it was the ideal solution to streamline and simplify the collection of key soil and environmental metrics for crops. The device provides a straightforward and easy to deploy solution for soil moisture content and soil temperature, air temperature and humidity, and light monitoring. 

The control dashboard used to display the collected data allows users to get quick feedback on the placement of the sensors on the ground and get information about the sensor values in an intuitive way by providing quick access links to view prioritized data.



The Internet of Things (IoT) has simplified the creation of many Smart applications and remote monitoring has become a quick, simple to deploy solution by leveraging IoT. Across the Botanical Garden of Rome, Smart IoT devices were successfully deployed and are providing accurate real-time data to help control water consumption, monitor overall plant health, monitor the soil parameters (moisture and temperature), optimize growth conditions, maintain constant environmental conditions inside the greenhouses and display all of this data in a user-friendly application.


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To learn more about La Sapienza University of Rome, please visit

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