Water crystal gel or water beads is any gel which contains a large amount of water. Water gel is usually composed of a water-absorbing polymer such as a polyacrylamide (frequently Poly(methyl acrylate) or Sodium polyacrylate). Sometimes referred to as superabsorbent polymer (SAP) or, in dry form, as slush powder.
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HOW TO GROW WATER BEADS
Water Beads can be used in place of soil for indoor houseplants. The nontoxic, multicolored gel beads, also called 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. Choose houseplants that do well in water, such as tropical foliage plants that need only indirect sunlight.
Hydrate the Water Beads (great for water centerpieces)
Place the dry gel beads in a mesh strainer and rinse them with running water. Dry gel
beads are about the size of peppercorns. Pour the rinsed beads into a large bowl.
If you like, 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 good but not necessary if you are going to keep the vase seasonally.
Add the water to the bowl containing the gel beads. Each brand of water beads has its own specifications, but, in general, add two cups of water to a 10 gram packet of dry water beads. A packet is usually about a tablespoon.
FOR POUNDS OF WATER BEADS: If you bought pounds from us – For every two large tablespoon’s full of dry water beads, ad one gallon of water.
ONE POUND OF WATER BEADS WILL MAKE APPROXIMATELY 10 – 12 GALLONS OF WATER BEADS
Let the gel beads sit for 6 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. Please skip Steps 1 and 2 if you are planting bulbs or repotting plants growing in water already.
WATER BEADS WITH CUT FLOWERS
If you are going to use cut flowers, you must add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of the vase. The reason is that cut flowers do not have roots. Once you have added the 1 inch of water to the vase, stick the stems into the water and then add the hydrated water beads to the top of the vase. Your vase will look gorgeous, beautiful, elegant and better yet, your cut flowers will last a long time.
Used to decorate indoor plants, to keep your flowers and plants fresh for a long time Colors: pink, purple, blue, teal, red, yellow, apple green, orange, clear, white, black, golden yellow
Water Beads, Offers Flowers Oxygen and Nutrition, Non-toxic and Odorless
Water Beads Uses
1. As table centerpiece for home, office, coffee table or bar 2. For plant/cut flower /floral arrangements 3. For wedding reception/party accessories 4. Submersible LED lights in vase 5. As candle sticks 6. Can make air fresheners with them 7. Can make neck coolers and cooling bandanas with them 8. Can use as a Plant Nutritional Fertilizer in garden or agriculture
USING WATER BEADS
How can I use water beads? As a home, office or event decoration, handicrafts or a soil replacement for plants. How many beads will a package make? One 10 gram package of dry beads makes enough water beads to fill a one gallon Ziploc container. How do I turn my package of (dehydrated) beads into the larger (hydrated) beads?
1. Empty the contents of one bag into 1 gallon of water (distilled water recommended). If using with plants, add a small amount of liquid fertilizer. 2. Let the beads soak in water for approximately 8 to 12 hours. 3. Afterwards, use a spaghetti strainer to drain off excess water.
How do I add scent to my water bead decoration?
Replace water with your favorite water-based liquid potpourri, perfume, cologne or scent. Can candles be placed in a bowl or jar of water beads? Yes. Water beads are safe to use with candles. Help! My water beads are shrinking! Actually, they're dehydrating (which occurs about every two months). To rehydrate them, just rinse them off in a strainer or colander. Place them in a large bowl with water. Let them sit overnight (or until they've regained their hydrated size) then drain any excess water. This can be done again and again!
How long do water beads last?
Their lifetime averages approximately 1-2 years. If mixed in soil for purposes of moisture retention, they may be functional up to 7-9 years.
How do I dehydrate water beads?
They dehydrate fast (overnight) in food dehydrating machines. They also dehydrate within 1-2 weeks when spread out on a towel. After they're dehydrated, gather them up and place in a Ziploc baggie for future use.
Can water beads be frozen?
No. It'll ruin them.
How do I dispose of my water beads?
Pour them into soil, flowerbeds, pots or your garden (because water beads are a non-toxic polymer, they will not harm plants, grass or soil). NEVER flush or pour beads down the drain or toilet; they could clog drain pipes. If flushed, use table salt or rock salt with hot water to flush.
WATER BEADS AND PLANTS
Can I place my live house plants in a bowl of water beads? Yes! Because water beads deliver water just to the plant, not the surrounding soil, your plants will love water beads! We suggest using:
A few points of caution:
Water beads should not be used with house plants that need a lot of sun. That's because direct sunlight will more quickly dehydrate and shorten the life of water beads.
DO NOT USE with cactus or succulents. Avoid putting vase next to warm radiators or in direct sunlight.
What if I have plants that are in soil, and I want to put them in water beads?
There are a few of ways to use the water beads for hydrating your plants.
Is to wash all the soil off the plant then placing them in the water beads. Remove 1/3 of soil on top of the plant then place cheesecloth on top of the soil as a barrier between the soil and the water beads. This will allow approximately one month without needing to re-hydrate. The reason for the cheesecloth is that it makes it easier to remove water beads for re-hydration. Once the water beads are hydrated you can use them for your starts instead of placing them in water. You can also start seeds in the water beads. Just put them on top of water beads. (Children like to watch them germinate.)
How do water beads hydrate plants?
Water beads slowly release water at the rate needed by the plant needs. We recommend you watch the plant or flower for a few days so you know the rate of water utilization. For fresh cut flowers, we recommend you place about 1" of water at the bottom of the vase. Cut at least 1/2" off the stem, place the flowers in the vase, then fill with water beads.
How do I know when it's time to rehydrate the water beads I have my plants in?
Water beads slowly decrease in size as they hydrate plants or flowers. Depending on the plant (after roughly about one month), you should notice they've started to dehydrate. To rehydrate them, just rinse them off in a strainer or colander. Place them in a large bowl with water. Let them sit overnight (or until they've regained their hydrated size) then drain any excess water. Re-hydrating the beads in a separate container also allows you the chance clean your glass vase.
Another option: Purchase two bags of beads. That way, you'll always have water beads available and ready to use when time comes to rehydrate. That's why most people buy the 3 bags (two for plants and one for playing with).
How do I ensure my plants grow without soil?
If needed, add some liquid fertilizer as directed. Although we use Miracle-Gro for house plants, any liquid fertilizer will work. Some people have their own fertilizer they like better. Remember that each time you re-hydrate your water beads; you'll need to add fertilizer. Do not use crystal fertilizers, which tend to clog water beads up for some reason and they don't get as big as they should.
What if algae should develop?
Use diluted Schultz liquid fertilizer to kill the bacteria. Rinse them with cold water, then return to their container or vase.
Can water beads be used with sprouts?
Yes. Just place seeds about 1" deep into a small container of hydrated water beads and watch them grow. You may leave the small plant in your water bead container or transfer it to another pot.
What about using water beads with bamboo?
One of our favorite plants (because they require very little water), simply fill the container with water beads which have been hydrated in distilled or fresh water (additives and minerals will cause your plant to turn yellow).
What about using water beads with silk flowers?
No problem. Just place the flowers in the vase, and then fill the vase with the water beads.
Don’t be confused
by lower price and less quality. There are three qualities of Water Beads.
Beads absorb water but do not leach it out. They remain rubbery and have no benefit to plants.
Beads absorb water and leach it out. They are not colorfast and dye the water to color it. When removed form water, they appear clear. The dyed water will stain counters, rugs, grout, tablecloths, ..etc.
Top quality beads are colorfast throughout. They readily absorb water and leach it out to plants. They are non-toxic and reusable. Simply rehydrate when they begin to shrink.