Rachio vs. Blossom — Differences Explained

Rachio vs. Blossom

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge in smart products that make it easier than ever before to add convenience to your home operation — and in some cases there can be some significant savings as well. While most people might think of smart lighting or smart speakers when it comes to home automation, smart sprinkler controllers have exploded onto the market and offer an excellent combination of easy-operation and water savings that is more than worth the initial investment.

The Rachio and Blossom are two popular smart sprinkler control systems that use intelligent scheduling to save you hassle and money. Are the two devices on equal footing? Or is one the clear winner?

Below we go into the similarities and differences of the Rachio vs Blossom to give you a sense of which product is a winner and which one might be worth a pass.

Rachio vs. Blossom — About

When it comes to comparing the Rachio and Blossom products, one of the most significant differences apparent at first glance is the fact that the Rachio product line represents a family of products while the Blossom stands alone.

Rachio has been in the game long enough to develop three different generations of products which all remain current and offer varying levels of features. There is a model available to suit pretty much any homeowner’s needs, and the multitude of sensors and smart home support make it clear that it’s a comprehensive controller that fits in seamlessly with an existing connected home.

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Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa
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The Blossom offers a viable watering solution, but unlike the Rachio it only offers a single model. Like the Rachio it has comprehensive weather tracking, and offers a few advantages with its predictions that make watering various types of vegetation a little bit easier. It’s easy to see, however, that the Blossom has some kinks to work out if it’s to compete with Rachio – we get into more detail on that below.


Rachio vs. Blossom — Things in Common

Rachio Gen 3 - Installation

While we’ll go deep into the differences between the Rachio and Blossom below, we’ll first start off with some of the similarities.

Essentially, the aspects that these two devices have in common are their support for voice control and weather intelligence.

Both the Rachio and Blossom work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which gives you hands-free control of all the important aspects of your sprinkler system. Turn your system on or off, adjust schedule presets, and more using your Amazon Echo or Google Home. It’s a definite advantage that makes both systems feel truly “smart.”

With that said, the advantage of smart sprinkler control systems like the Rachio or Blossom are their abilities to adjust settings as needed in order to match your watering schedule to the weather. If it’s raining or has rained recently, there’s little reason to turn your sprinklers on, right? By taking advantage of real-time weather tracking, your Rachio or Blossom system can adjust the watering schedule to ensure your lawn saves green using as little water as possible. It’s great for the environment and great for your wallet, and one of the main reasons that most people choose to invest in either product.

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Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller, 7 Zone, WiFi, Compatible with Alexa
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One advantage that the Blossom’s weather tracking does have over the Rachio is in its ability to let you define which types of vegetation are in each zone in order to assist with correct watering, but you can do pretty much the same thing with the Rachio manually, making the gap between the two in this area much closer.


Rachio vs. Blossom — Differences

  • Difference #1: Zone Control – Every lawn or garden is unique, and one of the advantages of the Rachio and Blossom are in their abilities to define specific zones for different watering needs. Each system in the Rachio product line comes in both 8 and 16 zone options. While these particular sprinkler controllers are not extendable like the Skydrop Halo, you have options for both small and large lawns alike that should allow most any homeowner to find a solution that works for them.

    The Blossom also offers two zone options, although the number of zones offered with each choice is different. While you’re choosing between 8 and 16 with the Rachio, the Blossom prompts users to choose between 7 and 12. One thing worth noting is that the 7-zone model can actually be extended to 8 using the connector for the Pump Start Relay – so you’re essentially choosing between 7 / 8 and 12 if you’re willing to do a little extra work with setup.

    Overall, there’s no clear “winner” in this section, because the amount of zones you’re going to need depends on your specific needs. There are four different options altogether, which allows you to choose the model that works best with your lawn or garden.

  • Difference #2: Sensors and Flow Meter – One of the primary advantages of both smart sprinkler systems is the fact that they can use advanced weather prediction to ensure your lawn is taken care of efficiently and conveniently. But what happens if the system were to fail or the weather were to change rapidly? One of the biggest benefits that the Rachio 2nd and 3rd generation models have is that they support Rain, Soil, and Flow sensors.

    The combination of these three add-ons should ensure your system has immediate access to water level information – serving as an efficient backup for the default weather prediction. The 3rd Gen model also supports a flow meter, which gives you accurate information regarding the amount of water used, and can even stop leaks in their tracks – saving you from the hassle and financial stress of water damage.

    The Blossom has no branded sensors or meters, nor any support for off-brand sensors. The system you buy is designed to work on its own, but it’s easy to see that the Rachio has the advantage in this section due to its redundancies and support for data collection through the sensors and flow meter.

  • Difference #3: Outdoor Use – Rachio is designed for use inside or out, and the Gen 2 and Gen 3 even support outdoor enclosures that are purchasable separately. This lets you sit back and relax with the knowledge that your controller is protected from the elements, and with a functioning range of -4 F to 140 F, your sprinklers will work flawlessly in all but the coldest locales.

    The Blossom can be used outside, but just barely. It has anIP 54 rating, which means that it’s “protected from water spray” — not exactly sufficient for even the occasional downpour. With an off-brand enclosure, the situation is a little bit more equal, but the Rachio definitely has a leg up on the Blossom when it comes to outdoor installation and use.

  • Difference #4: Manual Controls – In the vast majority of situations, you’ll be controlling your smart sprinkler via the app or voice controller. After all, that’s part of the advantage of having an intelligent controller! With that said, it’s nice to have the option to control settings manually should the app malfunction, and Rachio alone offers you that ability.

    While the first generation model doesn’t have any manual controls, Rachio upgraded support for this method of operation with each new generation. The 2nd generation system has in-unit controls that are a little bit inconvenient to access, but the 3rd generation really perfected the setup with on-unit controls that are easy to adjust at will. If you’re looking for more attractive and comprehensive on-unit control, however, we recommend taking a look at the RainMachine. Check out our Rachio vs RainMachine comparison for a more detailed run-down.

    The Blossom has zero support for manual controls, which is definitely a drawback when compared to the later models of the Rachio. User reviews have also mentioned that the Blossom has trouble recovering from internet drops due to the lack of this feature, so it’s an option that is sorely missed.

  • Difference #5: Smart Home Integration – This comparison may be starting to seem a little one-sided, and Rachio’s dominance continues with smart home integration. Out of all the smart sprinkler systems, the Rachio systems are some of the most compatible with other smart products. The products natively work with SmartThings, Wink, and Nest, covering some of the major systems that enable connected homes.

    Perhaps what really sets Rachio apart from Blossom, however, is support for IFTTT. This trigger system allows you to integrate your Rachio sprinkler with pretty much any compatible device you can think of, and customize your home to do some really unique things. Ordering a pizza from Dominos? Tie your sprinklers in to the Domino’s Pizza Tracker and make sure your you don’t end up with a drenched delivery driver!

    The integration with the greater connected home is one of the main assets that makes Rachio unique in the industry, and the fact that Blossom offers basically zero integration really holds it back from being a complete device.

  • Difference #6: Multiple Controllers & Accounts – Although both systems offer the ability to choose from different zone control options, what about homeowners who have a large amount of ground to cover? Sometimes a single controller isn’t enough, so you may want to look into multiple controllers.

    Rachio offers support for multiple controllers within a single account on the app. These systems won’t sync up with one another and you’ll have to program them separately, but you can access both from one convenient place.

    If you happen to choose the Blossom and are looking to expand the system further, you’ll actually need completely separate accounts. Managing multiple logins in order to water a large amount of ground is just needless hassle that makes the Blossom inferior to the Rachio in this, as well as pretty much every other aspect.

  • Difference #7: Warranty – When you purchase a smart sprinkler control system, you really want the peace of mind that a comprehensive warranty offers. Having the ability to get your system repaired or replaced if there is a malfunction or defect makes it easier to make an investment in a controller, and both the Rachio and Blossom offer some base coverage for their device.

    However, with a 2 year warranty vs the 1 year of the Blossom, the Rachio comes out ahead once again. Rachio stands behind their products and has a proven track record of quality, which is more than can be said for the Blossom if user reviews are to be believed – more on that below.


Rachio vs. Blossom — Comparison Chart

Rachio Gen 1Rachio Gen 2Rachio Gen 3Blossom
8-zone modelYesYesYes7 (PSR Zone makes 8)
12-zone modelNoNoNoYes
16-zone modelYesYesYesNo
Rain SensorSupportedSupportedSupportedNo
Soil SensorSupportedSupportedSupportedNo
Wired Flow SensorsNoSupportedSupportedNo
Wireless Rachio Flow MeterNoNoSupportedNo
Manual ControlNoIn-unitOn-unitNo
Cloud SyncYesYesYesYes
Local ConnectNoNoNoNo
Weather IntelligenceStandardStandardAdvancedYes
Amazon AlexaYesYesYesYes
Google AssistantYesYesYesYes
SmartThingsYesYesYesNo
WinkYesYesYesNo
NestYesYesYesNo
IFTTTYesYesYesNo
AppiOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+iOS and Android
Wi-Fi Connection2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n2.4 or 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/nYes, but Protocol N/A
Temperature Range-4°F to 140°F-4°F to 140°F-4°F to 140°F0°F to 130°F
Indoor UseYesYesYesYes
Outdoor EnclosureNot AvailableAvailableAvailableIP 54 (Barely)
Dimensions2.165” x 7.25” x 7.25”9.25″ L x 5.625″ H x 1.625″ W9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”6.93” x 6.93” x 1.55″
Weight2.7 Lbs.1.2 Lbs.1.05 Lbs.2.7 Lbs.
Warranty2 years2 years2 years1 year

Rachio vs. Blossom — Accessories

Rachio - Accessories - 02

Since the Rachio can be used outside, we recommend looking at the Weatherproof Outdoor Enclosure to ensure that your sprinkler system is well-protected from the elements. Speaking of the elements, the Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor for the Gen 2 and 3 models serves as the backup for the weather prediction system while giving you adequate warning if the weather gets too cold.

Overall, this small extra investment can save you a significant amount of money if you don’t have to deal with frozen sprinklers. Also worth noting is the Wireless Flow Meter for the Rachio Gen 3, which gives you a detailed readout of water usage and can stop leaks in the system before they get out of control.

There are no additional accessories for the Blossom. What you see is what you get.


Rachio vs. Blossom — Our Thoughts

Rachio Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler

Usually our comparisons have a little bit of grey, but it’s clear from the comparison between the Rachio and Blossom that the Rachio is the superior product by far.

The Rachio offers support for sensors, manual controls on the Gen 2 and Gen 3, comprehensive smart home control, a longer warranty, and a host of other benefits that set it head and shoulders above the Blossom.

The Blossom may have the basics down when it comes to smart sprinkler control, but it’s outclassed in pretty much every single way by the Rachio. Also, user reviews for the control system are almost universally negative. If you don’t want to take our word for it, consider the multitude of Amazon reviewers that have mentioned issues with the system.

Overall, we can’t comfortably recommend the Blossom for really any scenario due to its lack of features and negative customer experiences. The Rachio is the better product, hands-down.

For a comparison that is a little bit less one-sided, take a look at our Rachio vs. RainMachine or Skydrop Halo vs. Rachio 3 reviews.

Our Score:
  • Rachio Gen 1
  • Rachio Gen 2
  • Rachio Gen 3
  • Blossom
4.6

Let us know what you think!

Have you noticed other differences between Rachio vs. Blossom? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!


Last update on 2018-12-13 at 20:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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