Water beads are a product that is used for different purposes, from playing to plant decoration. They are very fun to use in several activities. If you have a child at home, then you might have given them water beads to play with. However, there are also other uses for water beads.
One of the most common usages is to have water beads for plants. People who like to have decorations in their homes like to use water beads as the base. But water beads are not just fun and colorful; there is a science behind using water beads for plants as well.
If you have never used water beads for plants and wish to do so, this guide will help you. Here are five of the recommended water beads for plants that have been reviewed. The guide also contains the different uses for the water beads and how to enhance their longevity.
Best Water Beads for Plants Review
1. Magic Beadz – Crystal Jelly Beads
If you are looking for medium-sized water beads for plants, then the Magic Beadz can be a good choice. These beads come in solid colors and also have a variety of color choices. You can make them with your home décor or the color of your pot while arranging. Water beads are non-toxic, which means they will not harm the plant or you. The best thing about this pack is that it comes with a container. You can store the beads safely in this container when you are not using them. They will not stick to each other like it can happen when stored in a wring container or weather condition.
- Comes in many different colors
- Has an extra container where the beads can be stored safely
- They are of medium size.
- You can use the beads for fun activities with kids as well.
- They can break easily, even without putting much pressure.
- May need to be hydrated often.
2. MarvelBeads – Water Beads Rainbow Mix
Marvel Beads are quite a well-known brand and are often purchased by parents for different sensory enhancing activities. However, these beads can work equally well for plants since they are non-toxic and reusable. The most important thing about these beads is that there is no harmful smell.
If you are looking for water beads for plants in an affordable range, then these are the right choice for you. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot leave them in water for too long. You will also need to strain the excess water properly to increase the durability of the beads.
- The beads are reusable and also biodegradable.
- There is no smell of any chemical like in some water beads.
- These beads are very safe for kids.
- Beads are affordable
- Beads will break if they are left in water for too long.
- The durability of the water beads is questionable.
3. Sooper Beads – Water Beads Rainbow Mix
The pack of Sooper Beads is 8 ounces and consists of 20,000 beads. This is a lot, and you can use the beads for a long time. The beads’ size in this pack is different, and your pot would look nice with the various sized beads.
The pack is a rainbow mix, which means that there are different colored beads present. The best thing about this product is that the water beads will let off color even when you keep watering them for a long time. This may happen to some other brands but not to Sooper beads.
- The color of these water beads would not come off with time.
- This single pack consists of different sizes of beads.
- There are different color beads in the pack.
- The pack does not come with any storage container.
- You need to find a different and safe storage container.
4. Sensory Jungle Water Beads
The first thing you will notice about the Sensory Jungle Water Beads is their calm and soothing aquatic colors. They come in light shades of blues and greens, fitting in with any home décor and creating a very light environment. Especially if you are using these water beads for plants, they are the perfect color combination.
Another very attractive thing about the beads is that it expands 1000 times from the dry size when soaked in water. You can also use some of the beads for decorative purposes. You can carry the re-hydrating and dehydrating process very easily with these water beads.
- Depending on the water type, they can absorb up to 1000 times their size.
- The pack comes in cool aquatic colors, which is very eye-soothing
- These beads can be hydrated and dehydrated very easily.
- The pack is pricey as compared to the other water beads.
- There are only about 8000 beads in this packs, where other packs have more in the same range.
5. Kinfayv Water Beads
The Kinfayv Water Beads are one of the largest packs of water beads in this category. While other packs have around 8000 to 10,000 beads in one pack, Kinfayv has about 70,000 beads. The best thing is the pack is in the same price range as the others in this category. This is one of the major attractive features of this brand.
Some extra accessories are included in the pack, such as scoops, tweezers, and spoons. The most praised thing about these water beads for plants is their smooth texture and wonderful bounce.
- Large numbers of beads present in the package, around 70,000
- You will get about 5 gallons of beads when they are hydrated.
- They are very eco-friendly and are safe to be used around children.
- The bounce and texture of the beads are amazing.
- The size of the beads when hydrated may not be as big as shown
- The durability of the beads may be slightly low.
How Do You Use Water Beads?
Water beads are completely dry when they come in the pack. They are small round beads that are hard. When you open the package, you should be very careful since they can roll away all at once. It would be very hard to find each of the water beads since they are very tiny.
Many houses use water beads for sensory activities and plant decoration. Here we will be mentioned how to use water beads for plants. Once you open the pack, you will have to take a few water beads and immerse them in water. Remember not to use the whole pack since they will grow in size once the water enters these beads.
Growing the Beads
You can take the appropriate number according to the pot to be growing or placing the plant. Put the water beads in water for around 4 to 8 hours. The time for this would also be calculated based on the size of the beads. It is better to leave them for about 8 hours to grow to their maximum size.
Once the beads absorb the water, they will grow and become squishy. In this state, the beads can break very easily, and they should be handled very carefully. Use a strainer to get rid of the excess water after the beads have fully expanded.
Do not put extra force on the beads to strain them or even drop them on any surface since they will get mashed.
Water Retention Capacity of the Water Beads
After the water enters the beads, it will remain expanded for a long duration. This can be from a few weeks to even a few months. The beads will remain their full size until the water in them evaporates. If the beads are kept in an enclosed place, they will retain water for longer.
When these beads are used for plants, they are mostly kept open, which is why the water evaporates faster. To keep using the beads, you will have to keep watering them like you water the plants. Hydrating the beads at regular intervals is very important to let it stay at their full size.
In case you no longer want to use the beads, you can just let them shrink with time. Do not give them water, and they will shrink back to their original form within a few weeks or even days, depending on the temperature around. You can then keep them in a bag and reuse them at a later period.
How Can You Grow Plants in Water Beads?
Water beads can be used for growing plants instead of soil. This is mainly done for indoor plants where people want to decorate the house with fancy plants. The beads are non-toxic, which is why they are safe to use in plants.
The water absorbed in the beads is released into the roots slowly, which is why they are used as soil replacement.
You cannot use all kinds of plants with water beads. There are only certain plants that you can grow in water beads. Some of the plants that you can grow in water beads are as follows.
- Moses in a Cradle
- Lucky Bamboo
- Purple Heart
- Peace Lily
- Wandering Jew
- Chinese Evergreen
- English Ivy
- Dumb Cane
These plants do not require direct sunlight or water to grow properly. They can grow from the water that they receive from the water beads and the normal room temperature. When using water beads for plants, you will have to add houseplant food and water while growing the beads.
The plant food is necessary to give the plant enough nutrients for growing. This is because water beads do not have their nutrients, and using them without one will not help in plant growth.
The amount of water you need to add will differ according to the type of bead you are using. But as a general rule, you can go for two cups.
Preparing the Plants
If you have a houseplant already growing in a pot, you will need to remove and clean the soil gently from the roots. This is done to ensure that the new pot or water beads do not get soiled or dirty. If there is dried soil, you need to soak them in water to loosen it.
You do not need to do these steps if you are using a growing plant growing in water or planting bulbs. Then you can simply place them in the water beads and grow them gradually.
Planting with Water Beads
Keep half of the water beads in a pot and then place the plant properly into the beads. Make sure that the roots are placed over the layer of the beads. In case you are planting bulbs, then keep the tip upwards.
Then you can add the rest of the water beads to the pot. Make sure that these beads fully cover the roots or the bulb. Make sure that you have a proper schedule where you add water and fertilizers to the beads.
Get rid of the excess water every time you do this since standing water can be harmful to the plant.
Tips to Make the Water Beads Last for a Longer Period
Water beads are fascinating objects which start from a tiny size and grow up to a big ball within a few hours. They are used for various purposes, and understanding how they work will help you retain them for longer.
If you want to ensure that your water beads last for a longer time without you having to water them every day, then you need to follow some easy steps.
Size of the Beads
Water beads come in different sizes and colors, and you will need to treat them individually. The durability of each of these beads is different from each other. The smaller ones are more durable than the large ones. These large-sized beads can get mashed very easily and are also hard to handle.
If you soak the smaller beads for a longer time, then the same can happen to them. It is better not to soak them for more than eight hours. If you see them reach their maximum size before the eight-hour time-frame, then you should drain the water when the time is right.
Check the Water Type
The type of water that the beads are exposed to can make a lot of difference. If the water is pure, then the durability of the beads will be higher. This will also help them to become larger or to the exact size that they need to be.
If you are using distilled water, then the beads can absorb almost 800 times of the weight. When using tap water for soaking the beads, they will absorb just 300 times. This is due to the mineral salts, calcium, and sodium present in the tap water. The absorption rate of beads soaked in tap water is much lower as compared to pure water.
Using Warm Water
Using warm water for soaking the beads can increase their longevity. It will also help the beads to grow bigger at a fast rate. The beads may take more time to absorb water if they are soaked in cold water.
Hydrate the Water Beads
You must hydrate the beads from time to time if you want them to be grown at all times. Since these beads will be out in the open and emit water into the plant roots, they will start shrinking within a few weeks. If you forget to water the beads, then not only will they shrink back, but the plants will also not get water anymore.
To ensure that none of this happens, you will keep watering the beads every few weeks and check that they are hydrated. Continue this process until you decide you remove the plant or the beads.
Things to Avoid While Using Water Beads for Plants
Now that you know what to do to last the water beads for a long time, you need to know what you should not do. The first thing that you have to remember is that you cannot expose the beads to sunlight.
They are colorful and will look stunning when the sunlight reflects on them. However, keeping them under direct sunlight will enhance the evaporation process. It may so happen that the beads shrink back in one day, or they may even break.
Keep the plants in a shaded area or away from direct sunlight exposure.
There may be a chance that mold can grow in your water beads. This may not always happen but can occur if you have even a little standing water in the pot. Clean the water beads from time to time and also remember to drain the excess water completely.
If you see that the beads are growing mold despite this, you need to immediately throw them away. This can damage your plants within a very short period, and all your effort will go to waste.
Water beads are beautiful and also very hassle-free. You can grow your plants without having to go into the hassle of using soil and dirt all over your house. The process of using water beads for plants is much simpler and can be done at any time. You can use any of the plants that have been mentioned above.
Follow the right process, and you can sustain the water beads for a long time. Choosing the right water beads for plants is also very important. All water beads’ function is the same, but you need to see if the size and color are suitable for you.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.