Crystal Soil is a newly developed product that can be used as a medium to grow plants and keep flowers. Crystal Soil is made up of a water-absorbent polymer that is shaped like miniature beads.
Crystal Soil particles are able to hold up to 180 times their volume in water. Once the particles have absorbed the water, they hold on to them, acting as a reservoir, until the plant needs the water. They can hold water for up to 2 months. The particles are nontoxic and safe for both indoor and outdoor use, but their preferred use is for both floral arrangements and growing indoor plants.
Crystal Soil particles are round beads that come in a variety of colors. In Asia, the vibrant colors are common, and for that reason it is often used for decorative purposes. Flowers can be showcased in clear vases with Crystal Soil in vibrant colors. In North America, Crystal Soil is common in a plain white color, and therefore is often used to grow plants due to its water-holding properties.
Crystal Soil is suitable for many indoor houseplants, just not those that require bright sunlight, as direct sun can be harmful to the Crystal Soil particles. Foliage plants that like shade and humidity are the most suitable to grow in Crystal Soil. Examples of the preferred types of plants include spider plants, ferns, ivies and lilies. Any variety of cut flowers may be showcased in clear vases with Crystal Soil.
A small amount of Crystal Soil added to potting soil increases the soil's water-holding ability. Crystal Soil functions as a water storage medium that retains moisture around the plant's roots, constantly nourishing the plant with water. While crystal soil is helpful in protecting plants from drought, if the potting soil has been dried out to a certain point, the Crystal Soil beads in the container may actually compete with the roots and suck the remaining moisture out of the soil, making the situation even worse.
The technique for using Crystal Soil as a growing medium is in between hydroponics and traditional soil growing. Just like soil, the beads hold up the plant and its root system, absorbing and releasing water for the plant. Similar to hydroponics, it involves no dirt. Water and liquid fertilizer are added to the soil beads. The beads release water and nutrients as the plants need them.