Monday, April 30, 2012

Rainbow Water Beads update

Remember the fun we had with the Rainbow Water Beads on this post? I thought I'd give you a little update on their performance, in case you're curious.

Here are the two cake pans full of the beads we used:

I scooped them onto the top of the soil of my 6 houseplants to keep them moist while we were gone for 5 days. They kept everything plenty moist! In fact, I still didn't need to do any watering for a couple of days after we returned home, except for my big ivy plant which is in a very tiny pot (and needs to be repotted or restarted very badly!)

I eventually scooped the beads off the plants. That was the only part that I wasn't too crazy about. The potting soil stuck to the beads somewhat, so I had lots of little bits of soil mixed in. I rinsed the beads in a colander, but there was still a lot of stuff to pick out. But I did it, and I'd probably take the same route again next time we go somewhere for a few days.

I then spread out the beads in 3 pans and let them dry out. Here's what we ended up with:

They sure don't look like much compared to those in the top photo, do they?

They were still fun to play in and scoop up, though!

I then rehydrated ONE bead, just to see if it worked as well a second time. It did! And here's a pretty comparison photo!

All in all, I liked the results of the experiment. And I'm glad they don't take up much room to store.

If I didn't have cats in the house, I'd also use some of the beads in vases of cut flowers. But I know what Josie'd do with that!


annie dee said...

just curious: why not leave them on top of the pots (well in all but the one you'll be repotting)?

they are most certainly great things!

Grandma G said...

I think if you left them on there, it'd be too hard to tell when your plants really needed watering. If you waited till the beads started drying up, the soil would already be way too dry.

They're actually meant to 'replace' the soil, but I don't think I'll try that. I did grow plants in water many years ago, using some special clay beads. It went okay for a while, but eventually I ended up putting the plants back in soil. I think soil is still the best.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I really want to get some of these for outdoor summer plants!