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.

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How to Pot Plants in Hydroculture

Hydroculture Potted PlantsWhile there are complete hydroculture kits (with inner and outer pots, water level indicator, fertilizer and such) available in many shops, we can save the money, set up and grow plants in hydroculture by ourselves.

Of course, the hydroculture kit can make your life easier in some degree, but, by ourselves, setting up one that doesn’t have a water level indicator, and using it to grow plants, isn’t rocket science either.

Here, let me show you how to pot plants in hydroculture.

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Why is Hydroculture So Good?

Hydroculture (a.k.a. passive hydroponics) is the practice of cultivating plants without the use of soil.  Because of the ease of maintenance and its many other advantages over soil, it is a perfect way for indoor gardening.

So why is hydroculture so good?



  • Reduce allergy – no more spores, mold, mildew that are found in soil
  • Pest free – no centipedes, sow bugs, worms or other soil pests
  • Reduce odor

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The 5 Components of Hydroculture Kit

hydroculture-system-01Here are the five main components of a hydroculture system.


Many houseplants can grow nicely in a hydrocultural environment.

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What is Hydroculture?

hydroculture-plant-04Sometimes, hydroculture is called the passive hydroponics. It is like the little brother of hydroponics – with smaller containers, simpler solution, and a cheaper and less complicated system. While hydroculture likes hydroponics, can be used for growing vegetables that we can buy in supermarkets, hydroculture is more for houseplants and for the fun of indoor gardening.

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Watering Hydroculture Plants

hydroculture-plant-03How long a plant lives in a water culture greatly depends on the water source. Water should keep fresh and nutritious, for plants need mineral nutrients to grow healthy.

When roots become deficient in mineral nutrients, particularly calcium and boron, which are required in the external solution for normal functioning of roots, the roots die and decay. Continue reading Watering Hydroculture Plants

Hydroculture – Water Roots vs Soil-Grown Roots

Hydroculture plants are houseplants that grown in water, and the roots of these plants are called water roots.  Water Roots differ from soil-grown roots. Water roots often seem to be more brittle than soil-grown ones. This may due to the bigger aerenchyma – the airy tissue found in roots of plants that allows exchange . . . → Read More: Hydroculture – Water Roots vs Soil-Grown Roots

So what is it called? Hydroculture? Aquatic plants? Water roots?

hydroculture-plant-02It was quite difficult when I first did my research online on this subject, for I couldn’t find what exactly it is called. It seems like that there is no one specific terminology for this type of plants.

Some call it “hydroculture.” However, instead of the plant itself, hydroculture is referring to a system, a simpler version of hydroponics, which involves the use of an inner pot, an outer pot, a water level indicator, and such.

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Hydroculture – Clean, Easy, and Simple!

Even though I have seen bamboo stick in a pot of pebbles filled with water, but it is only until recently, when I started to get my interest in indoor gardening and tabletop gardens, did I realize that plants actually don’t need soil to grow. Essentially the soil is just a medium for holding . . . → Read More: Hydroculture – Clean, Easy, and Simple!