Suitable Plants for Crystal Soil & Hydroculture

Crystal Soil PlantI have a friend asked me if she could plant her basil and mint in these colorful crystal soil beads. Although crystal soil is suitable for many indoor houseplants, especially foliage plants, I wouldn’t recommend my friend to plant her herbs in crystal soil. This is because while most herb plants love sunlight, crystal soil is not suitable to leave under direct sunlight for a long period of time.

But if you want to grow a plant that needs lots of sunlight with crystal soil, you can cover the crystal beads with a dark cloth to avoid them from drying out too quickly. However, this may have defeated the decoration purpose in the first place.

Many plants that thrive in crystal soil are hydroculture plants.  For example, many foliage plants that like shade and humidity are the most suitable to grow in crystal soil or to root in water. And here are some examples.

Crystal Soil PlantChlorophytum (Spider Plant)
Crystal Soil Plant Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
Crystal Soil Plant Philodendron
Crystal Soil Plant Scindapus (Pothos)
Crystal Soil Plant Hedera (Ivy)
Crystal Soil Plant Peace Lily
Crystal Soil Plant Caladium
Crystal Soil Plant Crystal Soil Plant Dracaena (Dragon Plant)
Crystal Soil Plant Nephthytis (White Butterfly Nephthytis, Arrowhead Vine)
Crystal Soil Plant Maranta (Prayer Plant)
Crystal Soil Plant Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
Crystal Soil Plant Peperonia
Crystal Soil Plant Ferns

Plants such as cacti, succulents, and orchids are not recommended. And while some crystal soil suppliers say that bromeliad is suitable to be grown in crystal soil, it is a doubtful claim, for I have an impression that bromeliad doesn’t like as much water as the crystal soil provides.

Maybe let me experiment with it and tell you later ;)

Here is a more comprehensive list of suitable houseplants for indoor gardening (with photos) – Suitable Plants for Indoor Gardening

Back to the page – What is Crystal Soil?
Back to the page – Hydroculture – Clean, Easy, and Simple!

17 comments to Suitable Plants for Crystal Soil & Hydroculture

  • Mike House

    In arrid regions can “crystal soil” be used as a soil addative or is it too expensive?

    I would also imagine that in time the interior of the polimers would become contaminated by lime or other solid materials and so lose their effectiveness. When used in a hydropinic situation then I suppose that this could be minimised, or cleaning processes be devised, but as a soil addative then one would lose control of the material and hence ones ability to clean it.

    Links to information about this would be welcome.

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Mike,
      Yes, since crystal soil holds water and releases as needed, it can be used as a soil additive to reduce watering frequency. It is relatively a cheap way to safeguard the plants from drying out. If you want more details of crystal soil as a soil additive, google search “soil moist”, “soil additive” and you will find all the information you want. Cheers!

  • are there any flowering plants that would do well in a hydroculture environment?
    My roommate has a shallow bowl (rectangular in shape) that she wants to use as a planter, but it’s red wing pottery so there’s no way she’s going to drill holes in it. :P I suggested Hydroculture, and she wanted flowering plants. any suggestions?
    ~Leah~

  • Sandy Sandy

    Hi Leah, you can suggest your friend to try African violet. This flowering plant can grow in water. It surely won’t grow as strong as it will in soil, but it will still blossom beautifully if it is fertilized appropriately ;)

  • really? i thought about that, but didn’t think african violets would survive in just water… I’ll try it, and see how it goes. :)
    thanks!
    ~Leah~

  • Lesley

    Hey I have the exact same plant that you have in the picture with the blue crystals in the gold rimmed glass bucket. I think its beautiful and the way that you’ve planted it is wonderful, and I am definitely going to do this when my plant grows out of it’s current pot. When I bought this plant I never got the tag that told me what kind of plant it was, so I’ve tried searching online, and I’ve got nothing to show for it. Please help.

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Lesley,

      The plant in the glass bucket is Bella Palm, aka Neanthe Bella, Dwarf Palm, or Chamaedorea elegans. And yes, give the crystal soil a try. It’s fun. Yet, it’s probably easier for the plant to make this dramatic transition from regular soil to crystal soil when the plant is still young :)

  • Kelly

    Hello Sandy~~ I’m so happy to find this great site for hydroponics.

    I bought a Orchid and want to repot it into crystal soil. I got everything ready on hand. But after I did research about orchid and hydroponics, I felt worry about the health of orchid in crystal soil. Those crystals are pretty so I really want to use it. Could you please give me some suggestions about repotting and taking care of orchid in crystal soil?

    Thank you so much~~

  • Kelly

    Hello Sandy,

    I just bought a orchid and want to repot it into crystal soil. I have got everything on hand right now. But after I did search about orchid and hydroponics, I felt worry about the health of orchid in crystal soil. Those crystals are so pretty so I really want to use it. Could you please give me some suggestions about repotting the orchid to crystal soil and how to take care of it after repotting?

    Do I need to immerse the orchid into liquid antiseptic for a day before repotting?

    Thank you so much~~

    Kelly

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Kelly,

      It’s great to know that you have found this site helpful. But, sorry for I have to disappoint you here… no, please don’t plant your orchid in crystal soil. Most orchids are epiphytic. Epiphytic orchids have “air-roots” that need an open medium to obtain their moisture from the air. Which means, the roots should be allowed to become moderately dry between watering. Hence, crystal soil is not suitable for orchids. It will keep the roots soaked all time and drown the orchid.

      Remember, never let your orchids stand in water ;)

      Happy gardening!

  • Joey

    Hello Sandy,

    I have a question about using crystal soil to grow herbs or any food plants. As I am not sure those crystal soil contain any chemic fertilizer or any harmful things to human body. Can you tell me more about crystal soil planting?
    Thank you so much!!

    Joey

    • Sandy Sandy

      Hi Joey,
      Crystal soil is non-toxic, so you can try it with some small edible plants. However, due to the soft and slippery texture of crystal soil, the roots cannot hold on to the polymer beads tight enough to keep the plant from falling. If you check my magic beans journal, you will find that I repotted my beans on day 26, once the plants had grown to a certain size.

  • hector

    Can you plat a weed plant In Crystal soil

  • Jean

    Hi Sandy, can i use this to grow edible grass for my cats ?
    regards Jean

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