How to prep and use your Clay Balls for a Semi Hydro set up
First WTH are these things?
(heat) Expanded clay, hydroponic substrate, aka lightweight expanded clay aggregate (leca). They are highly porous and aerated.
Hydro balls are very easy to use, lets get started. Grab your balls, and give them a thorough rinse. Soak them for a good couple of hours, rinse and repeat, x2. easypeasy! Using them is just as easy.
Grab your chosen vessel, give it a good wash, removing any tags or unwanted labels -- hot soak always seems to work like a charm, and a little eucalyptus oil or metho will remove any sticky residue.
Select your planty friend. Check them over, wash leaves down, any bugs, breaks, or bad bits? take note now, so in a weeks time (or two) you'll know if its bc they're unhappy in their new home or just prior issues.
If they've been living soil, unearth them, gently taaappa tappa tap away as much soil as possible. Soak them in water for bit, gently swish them around, avoid rubbing th roots. Change water, soak and swish again, then rinse. Doesn't have to be perfect. Also little bits of root may fall off, don't stress. I soaked my Monstera for like a week, but I also got side tracked by LIFE!, and kinda forgot. Some plants will not fair well being neglected like that. These plants and I, aren't really best mates. Monstera are hard af!
Hold planto in vessel, play around until you find its best position, how high do you want it sitting? How do th roots sit - fan out, straight down, to one side? Take note of root position, take plant out and add Balls to that level.
Bring planto back in and very gently start filling your vessel. Give it a slight shake every now and then to settle th balls in place. If you need to add support, bamboo rod, now is time. Finish topping up. Stand back a bit, is it straight? ewww, fix it so its a bit wonk! Much better, carry on.
Add water up to about 1/6-1/4 and your done.
Now where th hell you gunna put it? ⛧ Show us! ⛧