Views: 992, Replies: 12 » Jump to the end
Moisture Crystals and Water-Loving Plants in Ground

By eclayne
October 28, 2012

I don't have any boggy areas in my garden for water hogs like Canna and Colocasia. To reduce watering frequency, work in 2-3 times the recommended dose (5 gal. container) of dry moisture crystals.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
Oct 27, 2012 6:38 PM CST
Your great idea proved to have excellent results, thanks for sharing. What is the name of the black elephant ear in the first photo?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Oct 27, 2012 6:45 PM CST
What a fantastic result. Thank you so much Evan. I have passed up on water loving plants because of not watering as often as they would need.
I am going to give this a try next spring.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
canadanna
Oct 27, 2012 6:59 PM CST
I have alot of dry shade. This may help some of the struggling plants look better.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
eclayne
Oct 27, 2012 7:06 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks
gardenersdetective said:What is the name of the black elephant ear in the first photo?

Colocasia 'Black Coral' a small start from Brent & Becky's.
Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Coral')

Evan
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
Oct 27, 2012 8:00 PM CST
I love those moisture crystals! I put a Black-Stem Taro (gift from a friend) into my "tropicals" bed this spring and put an extra-big dose of moisture crystals at the bottom of the planting hole. It grew 7 feet tall with huge leaves, and the bulb (corm?) is about 3 times the size I started with. :-)

They're also life savers for containers in full sun. Without them, twice a day watering wasn't enough... with them, I can even skip a day unless the temperature is up in the 90's or above.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Oct 27, 2012 11:10 PM CST
Jill,

Do you add more crystals than the recommended amount in the containers?
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
Oct 28, 2012 9:19 AM CST
I just want to make sure I understand, are you guys diluting in water first or just throwing some crystals in and around the hole?
I over winter my EE's and canna here, wonder if I should add a very small amount of crystals to the containers and just ignore them for the winter in the basement.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
Oct 28, 2012 8:11 PM CST
I use the recommended amount in containers, for the most part. For plants that really love moisture, I put an extra measure into the lower part of the pot. You don't want to mix a double amount evenly into the potting mix for your container; you'll just end up seeing a layer of "jello cubes" that have worked their way to the top after a good rain!

I'm pretty used to working with the crystals, so I usually add them dry to my potting mix (2-3 Tablespoons per 5 gallons of potting mix). When the mix is moistened, of course, the crystals do expand a little. If you're new to using them, it can be helpful to hydrate them first, so you have a better feel for the amount you're adding.

I wrote a DG article on polymer moisture crystals, back in 2008. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1092/
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Oct 28, 2012 10:00 PM CST
Jill,

Thanks for the link and thanks for all your info! I just read your article on DG and it was great & helpful! Hurray! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

Marilyn

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
Oct 28, 2012 11:25 PM CST
Thanks Jill, I used them a lot in the past because by the time I got home from work I was too tired to water so I diluted them in a five gallon bucket then mixed the jello in a wheel barrel of soilless potting mix for my containers and hanging baskets. Sometimes I could go 3 to 5 days before I had to water. When I left work I had plenty of time to water and actually found it quite therapeutic, however I was rotting a lot of my plants so I stopped using the crystals. I didn't collect and over winter tropicals back then so I think it's time to start using them again...the best part is I can go shopping my garage, I knew they would come in handy again some day. Green Grin!
Name: Huggergirl AKA Tamar
N.E Indiana (Zone 5a)
I Love Flowers
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lilies Bulbs Clematis Vegetable Grower
Region: Indiana Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Hummingbirder Birds Echinacea
Image
huggergirl
Oct 29, 2012 6:39 AM CST
I didnt realize Cannas were waterhogs good thing I water the heck outta most my beds....I figured thats why I had Canna Hog rizomes,when I dug them up...

I started working coir into my beds last fall...Im thinkking I might try the crystals in spring...I have some overly dry areas...Good Info here thank you all...
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
Oct 29, 2012 10:02 AM CST
huggergirl said:I didnt realize Cannas were waterhogs good thing I water the heck outta most my beds....I figured thats why I had Canna Hog rizomes,when I dug them up...

I started working coir into my beds last fall...Im thinkking I might try the crystals in spring...I have some overly dry areas...Good Info here thank you all...


We had a wonderful water/pond garden nursery close by that went out of business. They would sell a fabulous selection of herbs later in the summer and I would stop by for them always walking through the greenhouses of water plants. I was shocked to see and learn that many of my container plants were also great water garden plants.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
Oct 31, 2012 12:45 PM CST
Too wet isn't good for a lot of plants, either, but I think the crystals do protect from occasional overwatering by sopping up little pockets of extra water. Used at the recommended rate, it doesn't seem to keep things too wet for most plants. But for sure you should only "up the dose" for moisture-loving plants. With plants that will grow even in standing water, I load up the pot or the planting hole with at least a triple dose of crystals, and then they can go without water for a week at a time. :-)
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Moisture Crystals and Water-Loving Plants in Ground
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"