Artesian Designs
3337 W. 161st Street North
Skiatook, OK 74070

Sales@artesiandesigns.com

(918) 396-2222 Main
(918) 396-7702 Fax
(866) 461-7978 Toll Free

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FAQ -  FOUNTAIN OR HYDROPONIC PLANTER

1. What do you mean "hydroponic?"

2. What are the advantages of growing my houseplants hydroponically?

3. I don't understand. It seems like all that water would drown most houseplants. Exactly how does it work?

4. Do Ferns like the fountain planter?

5. What happens if I forget to change or add water to my planter and I leave it "running on empty?"

 



1. What do you mean "hydroponic?"

Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil. Plants need the nutrients they get from soil not the soil itself. In hydroponics the nutrients are mixed with water and delivered to the plant in just the right proportions. Plants thrive because you are serving them the nutrients they need on a "silver platter."

People may be familiar with the hydroponic exhibit at EPCOT Center. The famous Florida theme park grows all its own produce and foliage hydroponically. People may not be aware that the practice of hydroponics goes all the way back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or that a lot of the flowers they buy and the produce they eat is grown hydroponically today. Hydroponics uses about 1/3 of the water required for traditional gardening and crop production methods. It's more environmentally friendly, since closed hydroponic pot systems don't contribute to the problems created by the run-off from fertilizers and other soil additives used by traditional farmers.

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2. What are the advantages of growing my houseplants hydroponically?

With the ARTESIAN DESIGNS self-watering planters, there's no guesswork. You don't have to wonder how much fertilizer to add, and you can't overwater or underwater. You can go off and leave your plants for a month at a time, and they'll be perfectly happy while you're gone.

Fountain Planter: Just plant your plants in the perlite planting medium (provided), mix teaspoon of nutrients (also provided) with 2 gallons of tap water, and plug in the planter. The water and nutrients bubble up through the perlite and drain back into the column automatically. For the next three weeks to a month, you won't have to do another thing. In about a month, simply change the water, and add another teaspoon of nutrients. That's it!

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3. I don't understand. It seems like all that water would drown most houseplants. Exactly how does it work?

First, you want to be sure to carefully remove ALL soil from the roots of the plants you plan to use. The perlite planting medium we provide is crushed volcanic rock, and it is completely inert (it has no nutrient value to the plant at all). All the nutrients the plants want and need come from the teaspoon of houseplant nutrients you add to the water in the column. Perlite is porous, so the individual pebbles will absorb some of the water. But unlike soil, perlite will not trap water between the pebbles. As long as the roots are free to breathe, they will not develop "root rot" which is what kills over-watered houseplants. Since there is no soil in the system, there is no chance for soil-borne mold, bacteria, or other soil-borne diseases to attack plant roots either. Healthy roots take the water and nutrients they need; the excess passes through the perlite, drains back into the column through the bottom of the planter pot, and continues to circulate.

Second (and this feature is unique with the ARTESIAN DESIGNS Fountain Planter, a self watering planter or self watering pot), the water is delivered to the planter pot via an "airlift" system. We use a simple air pump, like those used to aerate aquariums, instead of submersible water pumps. Air pumps are safer, use less energy, and are much more dependable than submersible pumps. Even better, the water and nutrient mix is freshly charged with air each time it bubbles up through the standpipe, so your plants have a steady supply of oxygen and other gases they need to survive and thrive.

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4. Do Ferns like the fountain planter?

Yes, they love it. The best way to plant a fern is to leave it in the soil. First, some of the perlite down in the bottom of the planter pot and plant your fern right on top of that. Fill in the rest of the pot with potting mix. Use a 24-hour timer (see accessories or available at local hardware store) set to turn on for a half hour per day. This will water the plant daily, saturating the soil, but allowing any excess to drain back into the reservoir to be used the next day. In this setup use a weak water soluble plant food to feed the plant. Ferns will thrive in this manner as long as they have good light and are not in a hot or cold draft. The decorative column styling is perfect for these plants!

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5. What happens if I forget to change or add water to my planter and I leave it "running on empty?"

Basically, nothing much. The airlift system will stop bringing water to the planter pot once the water level drops as low as 2 quarts. This keeps the system from delivering a highly concentrated nutrient solution that could be bad for the plants. The pump will keep pumping, but since it's just pumping air, it won't "burn out" like a submersible pump will.

The perlite will stay moist for a few days to a week, depending on the evaporative conditions. Your planter will signal you that it needs water by replacing its usual pleasant gurgle with a "bottom-of-the-soda" sucking sound.

If you want to extend the length of time between water changes to the maximum, ARTESIAN DESIGNS offers an optional two-event timer that will turn your planter on and off once or twice a day. A half-hour cycle once or twice a day is sufficient maintenance for virtually any plant.

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Offering Wedding Columns, Prom Columns, Decorative Columns, Display Fixtures, Display Pedestals, Display Stands, Faux Columns, Plastic Columns, Wedding Props, and Outdoor Planters. Check out our Decorative Column, Display Columns, Display Fixture, Display Pedestal, Display Stand, Wedding Prop, and Outdoor Planter line of products.
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We not only produce all types of Display and Fake Roman Columns but also Self Watering Planters.