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In our house we have 4 potted plants, a Ficus called Florence, a Dragon Tree, a Palm and a Mother In Law's Tongue and to say the least my partner and I are a bit erratic about watering them! I'm a forgetful waterer and regularly forget the plants exist for weeks on end then water them for a while then forget again. My partner is more of an over enthusiastic waterer and tends to drown plants and kill them and has to be regularly reminded not to do this so it's actually quite a surprise our 4 plants have been with us for so many years. Don't ask me why only Florence has a name because I'm not really sure, probably because I've had her for about 12 years and she was the first plant I bought!
On recent trips to our local garden centre I've been looking at these Aqua Globes and considering them as a more constant way to water our plants however our local garden centre likes to charge the earth for items and they were selling these at £8 for one so I didn't buy any until recently. I actually bought mine on ebay but there are a number of sites selling these at reasonable prices including Amazon.
These globes came in packs of 2 and I paid about £5 for 2 including p&p which was very reasonable. One problem is if you order online you can't choose which colour you want and while I would have liked blue ones I ended up with 2 red and 2 green. Still it's not a huge problem and all colours look very pretty.
The globes are made from glass and are hand-blown so they have unique and attractive patterns in the actual globe part. They do come in small, medium and large but most places only sell the medium ones. For most plants this will be the correct size but if you have dinky plants or huge plants you need to look at the other sizes. The globe section on mine is a bit bigger than a tennis ball and can be cupped in the hand but not enclosed in the hand. The stem is about 20cm long and obviously the entire thing is hollow so it can be filled with water.
On the box it doesn't tell us much except you fill these and insert into the soil in a pot and it will water the plants for up to 2 weeks. They apparently work by releasing small amounts of water as the soil dries because the dry soil releases oxygen into the globe and pushes some water out. Once the soil is moist again the water stops until it dries out again. Clever eh?
Once mine arrived I looked at the glass stem and had visions of it breaking as I tried to push it into the dry soil of my plants so I watered the plants first. This is actually the right way to start off with these as if you put them into dry soil not only do you have the problem of potentially breaking the glass stem but also if they go into totally dry soil the globe will empty within a couple of days. It doesn't tell us this on the box but I read it in a review on Amazon so water the plants manually first!
Once your plants are watered and your globes have been filled with water from the tap you just press them into the soil around the plant and leave them. Simple. If you want to add plant food to the water you can. Then begins the 2 week wait to see if the water releases ok and if your plants are happy.
I found I checked the globes every couple of days to see if they were doing anything, I can confirm they were indeed dripping small amounts of water into the soil over the 2 weeks and the globes very gradually got emptier. Our plants vary in size a bit and Florence is the biggest so she needed a refill after about a week and a half but all the others lasted the full 2 weeks and the Dragon Tree beyond that because it doesn't need much water. When you remove these to refill them they do have soil inside the stem but any slim implement such as a pen or pencil can be used to remove this so you can fill them again.
My plants seem absolutely fine with these and it's taken the guesswork out of watering as my partner is under strict instructions not to water them in any way except through the globes if he notices they are empty before I do. I no longer forget the plants completely and he can't drown them either. Another bonus is these look pretty too and if the light shines through the patterned globe it really glistens and catches the eye.
I'm so pleased with these globes I've ordered another 2 for a couple of potted plants we have on our porch outside. I think these are great and because they are so attractive too would make ideal gifts for any friends you have with plants.
The only downside is not being able to choose the colour but for me that's a small problem and not something I really worry about. I highly recommend these globes as a simple and effective way of watering plants without having to guess when they were last done. They would be perfect for leaving in your plants if you go away for a while and the only initial preparation is a last manual watering of your plants. If you buy these don't be surprised if the soil on top of the plants is fairly dry, remember the water is being absorbed down at the root level where it is supposed to be.
Anyone with a habit of forgetting plants should have some of these, they look nice, water plants continuously as they need it and require very little effort to maintain. Even I can remember to fill these once every couple of weeks! Just remember to water the plants first!