Today, home floriculture is presented in a slightly different light. Many new interesting plants have appeared, various accessories for them, and the methods of cultivation have changed. If earlier, the windowsills of our parents were filled with cakes and scarlet, then in modern apartments there is now a foreign orchid, which has bark instead of soil, but there are plants that generally want hydroponics.
Today, a hydrogel has also appeared, however, not all growers have had time to get acquainted with this innovation and therefore it is still difficult to assess its convenience. A hydrogel is, of course, a good thing, but it is unlikely that it will be possible to completely replace the natural soil with it, and as an addition to the soil it can very well be.
What is a hydrogel?
If you do not describe in detail the technical and chemical characteristics of such a soil, then we can say that it is a battery, a moisture accumulator. Initially, it can be in the form of powder, crystals or granules. All these forms of hydrogel are capable of absorbing moisture and at the same time increase in size by about 300 times. All varieties have a separate purpose, but perhaps the most effective is a large hydrogel, of different colors, which is used directly for growing indoor green spaces.
The smaller one is combined with a mixture of soils. In non-professional floriculture, a hydrogel, which is very fine (in dry form, it is a powder), is used most often when seeds need to germinate. Simply in action, it becomes like a thick jelly, and not at all like balls. In addition, it does not apply by itself; it can only be used if mixed with earth and sand. Only a novice florist needs to be more careful with such a hydrogel, especially when it comes to the seeds of a rare plant. If you still do not have enough experience in growing indoor flowers from seeds, then you should not experiment, it is better to use the usual method.
Indoor plant hydrogel
Basically, the hydrogel is used as an additive to soil mixtures, and this is 100 percent justified. The principle of its work is that it lives the roots with moisture, and then, due to the next watering, replenishes the supply. It turns out that a hydrogel is nothing more than a regulator that controls soil moisture. If the soil is dry, it moistens it, and when the vagi is oversaturated, the hydrogel takes away the excess. So, sphagnum moss acts on the soil.
The hydrogel can still control the looseness of the soil. If it is placed in soil, consisting mainly of clay, then it will not be so heavy, but will become looser, and where there is a lot of sand, it will be compacted. Being in the soil and replenishing the loss of moisture, the hydrogel can nourish the plant for 4-5 years. The indisputable benefit of its use is the reduction in the number of irrigations. It even becomes possible to calmly leave home for a while (for example, to go on vacation) and not worry that the plant will dry out.
It is clear that for such indoor flowers as succulent, a hydrogel is not needed at all; such plants themselves have the ability to accumulate moisture. To the epiphytes, it is also unnecessary, since this flower grows without soil, adhering to its own kind. But for most of the leafy-decorative, as well as flowering, hydrogel can be very useful. Perfectly complement the interior, such an element of decor as a glass vase with a houseplant at the bottom of which are colored balls. Only now it is not advisable to use crystal for this purpose. There is a little lead in crystal vases and if the plant is kept in it for a long time, it may suffer.
How is hydrogel used?
In principle, there is nothing complicated in preparation for use. Most often, a package containing granules has instructions for use, but, unfortunately, they often contain very concise information, and I would like to know more. If you need to plant a home flower in a pure form of a hydrogel, then granules that are painted in different colors are better suited for this, but if you could not get such, but were only colorless, then you should not be upset. Such a hydrogel can be easily turned into a colored one using food dyes, at least those that dye eggs for Easter.
The water for the hydrogel must be taken clean and it must be settled, otherwise an unattractive plaque will remain on the balls. There cannot be a lot of water, since the granules will not take in excess, you can take at the rate of 10 grams of substance per 2 liters of water. About 2-3 hours is enough for the granules to be saturated with water; for safety reasons, you can wait longer.
What about fertilizers? You can just put them in water right away. For these purposes, there are special fertilizers, and those used in hydroponics are also suitable. Such fertilizers are easier to buy and their choice is large in extreme cases, you can use just water-soluble ones. When the granules swell, it will be necessary to drain the remaining water, you can use a colander. After that, be sure to dry them. Take a clean sheet of paper or a napkin and lay out the balls, the moisture should completely come off them. This is necessary for the passage of air between the balls, if this is not the case, the plant will die. That is why, when using only a hydrogel (without a primer), large granules are taken.
Next, you need to tackle the plant. It must be removed from the pot along with the soil so as not to damage the root system. Then the roots must be washed clean. It is not recommended to do this under running water. It is better to thoroughly soak the earthen lump in some vessel with water, and after that, carefully remove the earth from the roots. At the end of the cleaning process, you can use a small stream of water, preferably warm. It is even easier to plant a plant in hydrogel balls than in ordinary soil. Based on the size of the root system, balls are poured onto the bottom of the vase, the roots are evenly divided over them and the plant itself is placed, and then the hydrogel is added to the growth line. In principle, everything is no different from the usual landing.
In case moisture evaporates from the hydrogel, you can put a polyethylene film on its top layer. True, this will slightly spoil the beauty, but if there are a lot of granules in stock, you can not use the film. And also, as an option, spray the top layer with a spray bottle.
The flower that grows in the hydrogel is recommended to be watered every two weeks. But this does not always work. It is difficult to immediately understand how much water is needed, and also, after such an interval of watering, excess liquid forms at the bottom. So it is better to just spray the top layer first, and the water will gradually spread over the gel balls. Over time, it will already be possible to decide how much and when to water the flower.
With this growing method, you need to choose the right place, where the flower will stand. Do not allow direct exposure to the rays of the sun, otherwise the gel will bloom and turn green. So the location influences the choice of the plant to be placed in the hydrogel.
In a similar way, many indoor flowers can grow, but there are some general rules and it is advisable to take them into account:
- It is better that the plant is short and medium-sized, otherwise it will fall to one side, because the balls are not held in the same way as the earth.
- The roots of the plant should be large and well developed, so it is better to use adult flowers and, moreover, they no longer need to be replanted every year.
- For those plants that require a close capacity so that they grow better (lemon, eucharis, etc.), the hydrogel will not work.
- For such a cultivation, you need to choose plants that do not require bright lighting.
- Plants with leathery, hard leaves are also not suitable for granules; for such flowers, excess moisture is destructive. So we must absolutely exclude epiphytes, all kinds of cacti and succulents. It is good to use herbaceous plants with soft leaves here.
Initially, you can try to plant simpler plants in the hydrogel, such as tradescantia, you can take indoor ivy or asparagus, bromeliads also feel quite normal in it.
Over time, the hydrogel balls change, they lose their attractiveness, they become wrinkled and smaller. But you should not get rid of them right away, they can be used in an ordinary dredge. It is also very good to add fresh hydrogel here, so you can significantly reduce the number of waterings.
You can already mix in the hydrogel, which is prepared and has time to swell. The color of the balls is not important here, which means that you can use simple, colorless ones. Their size will also not affect in any way, you just do not need to take a fine gel.
For one liter of land mixture, granules of 1 gram are taken, this is in dry form. They can also be placed in a finished plant, but this must be done very carefully. Since the granules will be added to the soil in dry form, it is necessary to know how much they will grow. As a rule, the same ratio is observed here - one gram per liter. Holes are made in the soil with a planter, or you can just use a pencil. It is necessary to carry out such punctures evenly, but at different depths, then put granules into the holes and water well.
Another hydrogel is used to maintain the humidity in the air. The balls are simply spread over the soil surface. It is very good to do this in winter, when the air is dry. But you need to use this method extremely carefully. Since the gel will only be on top and the top layer will be moistened, so it will be necessary to ensure that the entire earthen lump does not dry out, assuming that the plant does not need additional watering.
Still, it is worth using a hydrogel in indoor floriculture, this is a new, rather attractive and, importantly, a very useful agent for plants.
How to choose and use a hydrogel for garden and indoor plants?
The hydrogel improves the quality and structure of the soil, simplifies the care of a wide variety of plants. Amateur flower growers, gardeners and gardeners have been using it relatively recently and are very happy with the results.
Many of us have more than once looked with interest at seashells and pebbles in glass candlesticks filled with a jelly-like hydrogel. The compositions are also decorative, in the creation of which florists use a multi-colored hydrogel. These types of hydrogels are more suitable for decorative purposes than for soil application. For the garden and vegetable garden, it is better to purchase a cheaper colorless hydrogel.
Colored hydrogel balls
Features of the use of material in crop production
A hydrogel is a polymer that makes great seedlings grow. Tellingly, when plants develop, they receive all the nutrients they need. First of all, the hydrogel is widely used to obtain seedlings.
To get high-quality seedlings, the gardener has to face a number of difficulties. So that the seedlings turn out to be healthy and strong, you need not only good lighting and a well-prepared soil mixture, but also competent watering. Moisture is very useful for young seedlings, but in excess it can lead to decay of the roots, which, in turn, will cause the subsequent death of plants. To avoid all these troubles, you can use a hydrogel, which has unique properties - it absorbs moisture and retains it for the full growth of the grown crops.
Miracle crystals or hydrogel
Note! The hydrogel is used as a planting substrate (a kind of container with water) or as a special additive that retains moisture for the prepared soil mixture.
How is the hydrogel used?
The novelty, which appeared on the domestic market relatively recently, has already managed to acquire numerous admirers. If you start using it to grow indoor flowers or seedlings, you will no longer worry about watering and feeding young seedlings. This is explained by the fact that polymer granules absorb not only water, but also fertilizers in liquid form, due to which food is supplied as needed. It turns out that hydrogel is the ideal material for minimizing plant care, as well as reducing stress during traumatic soil transplantation.
The material is sold in the form of small beads like beads. If you add water to these balls, they swell, after which the polymer is ready for further use.
Indoor plant hydrogel
Hydrogel - gardening
LLC NOVOROS is a leading and experienced supplier of water treatment chemicals in the Russian Federation. The main focus of the company is Ecology. Our company offers a new unique direction, developed using the latest technology PRO – save © , "Aquaterra" hydrogel is an egologically safe and highly effective polymer that provides moisture to plant roots and improves soil structure.
Hydrogel for plants differs from the well-known colored balls, which are most often used as a decorative element. Plant hydrogel is an organic polymer that absorbs and retains a large volume of water when it swells. The ability of "Aquaterra" to quickly absorb water, and then slowly give it to the roots of the plant, provides plants with constant access to moisture just as much as it needs it, since in case of heavy rainfall, the hydrogel also absorbs excess moisture. Together with the hydrogel, you can apply mineral fertilizers, trace elements, chemicals, in particular, pesticides, herbicides, growth stimulants and others, which, together with moisture, go directly to the root system, which increases their efficiency, reduces consumption when feeding or processing plants and reduces soil pollution and waste water.
Hydrogel "Aquaterra" is a stable and harmless organic compound used in various fields. It is non-toxic, retains its properties at high and low temperatures in the soil for five years. Ultimately, the hydrogel is completely biodegradable and breaks down into carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. The use of the hydrogel is especially important for storing and transporting seedlings, for indoor plants, when germinating seeds, in agriculture; our clients also use Aquaterra hydrogel in a cemetery when it is not possible to water the flowers often enough. The hydrogel, the instructions for the use of which are in our section "Norms of Use", the "About the product" tab, is very easy to use and does not require large expenditures. To buy a hydrogel, you need to use the online service - order or call us by phone.
Advantages and disadvantages
The positive qualities of a hydrogel for plants include:
- shorter germination times and higher yields
- pre-soaking the balls in the fertilizer provides the plant with nutrients for a long time
- the soil becomes loose and saturated with oxygen
- when mixed with open ground, the probability of survival of seedlings increases
- the use of a hydrogel when planting a decorative lawn, will preserve greenery until late autumn
- 1 liter of soil requires only 1.5 g of dry powder.
There are few disadvantages of the substance:
- the composition of the hydrogel is not suitable for the germination of legumes and sweet peas
- prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to mold growth
- if used in pure form, it should be changed every two years.
To make sure of the effectiveness of the granules, it is worth applying it on your own site or on home plants.
How to turn cons to pros
What are the lessons from this experience?
The hydrogel is best used for germinating tomato seeds. Tomato roots are firmly attracted to the hydrogel granules, like a powerful magnet. They are difficult to separate, so you have to plant the seedlings in pots with sticky polymer pieces. So they take root faster.
The hydrogel allows you to significantly gain time, because thanks to it, plants develop faster. The advantage of the hydrogel is that you need very little of it, and it fits in a small jar with a transparent lid, so that the scarce window sill area is saved.
It is advisable to sow small-seeded cultures on filter paper, placing it on top of the hydrogel. So that it does not dry out, you need to cover the crops with a transparent lid or film. Install it so that there is a small air gap between the seeds and the lid.
The root system of plants will not die on the hydrogel if small-seeded vegetables are sown in small portions and the pick is carried out a little earlier than usual, without waiting for the full cotyledon opening phase.
For crops with leathery seed coats, such as sweet peas, the hydrogel is not suitable.
Do not put jars of seeds planted in a hydrogel on a cold windowsill.
There is no need to sow several different types of vegetables in one container at once. You can sow only those that are close in biological properties, so that their seedlings appear at the same time.
Do not reuse the hydrogel as advertisers recommend. It darkens, shrinks. When in contact with air, bacteria settle on it. And the secretions from the roots of seedlings reduce the quality of the wonderful polymer. Better to add it to the potting mix and pour it into the pots.
The hydrogel is evenly distributed among the lumps of soil and slowly releases moisture, keeping it well. Watering the soil in such pots is necessary less often. The soil in them is not compacted, it remains loose and porous for a long time. Air and moisture freely flow to the roots of plants.
I think that for light sandy soil, hydrogel granules are ideal, they do not allow moisture to immediately go to the lower layers.In any case, when using a hydrogel, you need to be extremely careful and careful.
Anastasia Lebedeva, candidate of agricultural sciences sciences