How to Grow Plants in Water Beads

How to Grow Plants in Water Beads

Posted by MWB on 13th Jan 2021

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Water Beads, also known as water beads, can be used in place of soil for indoor houseplants. The nontoxic, multicolored Water Beads absorb water and release it to the plant’s roots gradually. Use the colors to match your home décor or in fish bowls with betas or goldfish. Not all houseplants are perfect to use with Water Beads, however. Choose houseplants that do well in water, such as tropical foliage plants that need only indirect sunlight.

Place the dry Water Beads in a mesh strainer and rinse them with running water. Dry Water Beads are about the size of peppercorns. Pour the rinsed beads into a large bowl.

Add a pinch of houseplant food to two cups of water and stir until dissolved. Because the Water Beads do not contain any nutrients, adding a little plant food is essential for giving the plant what it needs to live.

Add the water to the bowl containing the Water Beads. Each brand of Water Beads has its own specifications, but, in general, add two cups of water to a packet of dry Water Beads. A packet is usually about a tablespoon.

Let the Water Beads sit for two hours or more until all the water is absorbed. Drain off any excess water. Now the Water Beads will be the size of small marbles and are ready to be used.

Prepare the Plants

Remove the houseplant from its pot if it is growing in potting soil.

Pull the root ball apart gently with your fingers to remove as much of the potting soil as you can. If the soil is dried onto the roots, soak the root ball in water to loosen the soil first. Skip Steps 1 and 2 if you are planting bulbs or repotting plants growing in water already.

Hold the plant at the base of the stem next to the root ball and rinse the roots under gently running water.

Plant With Water Beads

Place half the Water Beads in a vase or flowerpot.

Arrange the roots of the plant over the layer of Water Beads. If you’re planting a bulb, place it on the beads with the growing tip up.

Add the rest of the Water Beads over the roots or bulb to support the plant stem.

Recharge the Water Beads after two or three weeks by adding more fertilized water to the vase or flowerpot. Drain off any excess after the beads have absorbed the water. Do not let water stand in the container.