I’ve finally started getting some of my planters arranged out on the deck, patio and front porch. Our front porch faces south and gets beat down with sun all day long. I used to have to water them every day just to keep the plants alive, that is until I learned a little trick a few years back. Today I want to share a super Cool Trick on How to Keep Potted Plants Moist longer.The trick is so simple! It uses diapers! All my kiddos are older and long out of the diaper wearing days, but we happen to have some adult diapers on hand. Now, neither of us are having bladder control issues, but we usually end up receiving a pack for a white elephant gift during those office Christmas parties. I thought about modeling a pair over my clothes for you, but my kids talked me out of it! “Mom, don’t you dare!” Hee, hee, hee…
Diapers contain moisture retaining granules that resemble white sand. You can purchase moisture crystals from a garden center but they are rather pricey for a small package.
The first thing you want to do is to cut away all the outside flaps. This just makes it easier to handle.
Next you need to open up the diaper, so cut the lining down the middle and open it up, revealing the fibers inside.
Over a large bowl, remove the cotton fibers and shake out over the bowl. Rub the cotton fiber between your hands to release the granules and be sure to rub all the granules off the back lining
You can remove any cotton fibers that might have fallen into the bowl or you can leave them. It won’t hurt your plant. I’m usually able to retrieve approximately one tablespoon of absorbant granules from an adult diaper.
Now pour in one cup of water and stir. The granules absorb up all the water and turn into a gel.
Add potting soil and mix well to distribute the gel granules. Use this soil mixture for your potted plants.
I like using the gel from one diaper for a large pot or urn. Use less gel for a smaller pot. As the soil dries out, it will slowly pull the moisture from the gel. When you water again, the granules will continue to absorb the water, there by reducing the frequency of your watering.
And of course always make sure your pots drain well.
Give this trick a try and let me know how you like it!
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I can’t wait to try this. I have some leftover diapers from my granddaughters in the hall closet. I knew I was keeping them for a reason! Thanks for sharing.
Clever! thanks for tip. Is it ok for indoor plants as well?
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
You sure can!
Miss Kitty says
thanks for this very clever idea, Kim! I am in the “Diaper Sandwich” phase of life…I am taking care of my elderly parents AND I have grandchildren so I have Big AND little diapers to use as guinea pigs to try this trick on. My front porch planters will love you if this works (and I will too).
Richella Parham says
This, my friend is brilliant. Ridiculously brilliant. Thanks for passing along such a good–and fun!–tip. I personally think you’d have made an excellent model. . . .
Thanks for this, my plant will thank you!
One neat idea!! For those that don’t have access to diapers, look out for free samples offers of baby and adult ones, often on TV or magazines.
Karen J says
You don’t have to use diapers. You can buy this product in the gardening sections and online. I have been using it for years. It usually comes in a jar and you just scoop out a bit. Cheaper and easier way to do the same thing.
What product are you referring to?
Sure would have been helpful to include the name of the product you are referring to. THANKS!
The product is called Soil Moist. http://www.soilmoist.com/
She is probably referring to water beads. They expand as you add water. Ps. Just a note, moisture was misspell twice;) I am terrible speller. Thank God for self correct.
Lisa Mizer says
Do you think this is the same product labeled “Grow your own snow” that is out at Christmas time for stocking stuffers? I remember it was a similar process. Thanks for the easy idea!
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
I’m not sure. I’ve never tried that stuff before. 😉
Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage says
Great trick!! Off to pin it.
Use of polymers does not conserve water. Water loss through evapotranspiration was the same for all treatments. Extending the time between irrigations does not conserve water because more water has to be applied at the time of irrigation to recharge the container to full water-holding capacity. In this experiment, the polymer treatments had no effect on plant growth.
But it does affect timing I suppose.
This is amazing! Never would I ever have thought of this! Great tip!
I have used this trick for about three years but just flatten them out and lay them in the pot below where I figure the roots will go. I have been using the same ones over. This works much better than the soil moist product I used to buy. They also work well with potting mix that supposedly has polymers in it.
Published research (Jeff Gilman, PhD) shows that the gels material makes the soil feel wet, but they do not release that water back to the plants. Worse yet, although the beads are non-toxic, they degrade into highly toxic byproducts. Unnecessary.
I wish I would’ve seem this 7 hours ago.
I tired this last year and didn’t have good results.
Jacqueline Higgins says
Can I plant water forced bloomed tulips afer thier sleeping cold time in soil?
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
You sure can try but in my area it isn’t successful and I haven’t heard of many who have had great success. No harm in trying though!