Gardening the Eco-Friendly Way
Having plants around you is probably one of the easiest ways to clean up the air you breathe. However, is believed that soil can cause indoor pollution. Soil is known to emit radon and heavy metals that cause severe health problems ranging from headaches, dizziness to lung and stomach cancer.
But there is now a hassle-free, aesthetic and an eco-friendly alternative to soil that will nurture the plants – plant gel.
Plant gel is a type of cross-polymer that holds water and nutrients necessary for the growth of the plant at its base. It is made of plant nutrients, minerals and water and is biodegradable.
It can be used all by itself or mixed with soil to nurture plants. For instance, money plants and Syngoniums grow very well in plant gel alone.
In addition to being a healthy alternative to soil, it is extremely convenient. Plants rooted in gel don’t have to be watered or fed as frequently or on a daily basis; once in a fortnight or a month – depending on the season – does the trick. The water tends to evaporate from the gel during summers.
It also helps in conserving water. When mixed with soil, the plant gel enhances the water retention capacity of soil. “It has higher transmission efficiency as compared to soil. Plants are better nurtured in gel since it acts like a sponge”, says Sameer Wadhwa, CEO of Eco Works.
“People kill plants either because they over-water or under-water them. Once this happens, they tend to steer clear from getting plants inside homes. Plant gel makes maintenance of plants a cakewalk. It encourages people to keep more plants”, says Puja Rao from Songs of Summer, a garden store that specialises in customised green ceramics.
Unlike soil, it is aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t attract flies, mosquitoes and so on. It is available in multiple colours and provides a beautiful contrast to indoor plants.
The plant gel lasts for about a year. As the plant grows, the nutrients get sucked out of the plant gel. “If we keep adding a tablespoon of gel and water to the plant every month, it’ll last as long as the plant”, says Wadhwa.
It costs Re 1 per ml. For raising a small indoor plant like syngonium, gel worth Rs. 50 is enough. The total cost of nurturing this plant would be about Rs. 100 per annum.
With such innovations, there is renewed hope of improving the green footprint on the environment. People can grow plants in gel without much fuss over its maintenance. They are ideal for any sort of indoor space, could be your home or office. These plants can help combat indoor pollution and brighten up your surroundings with a dash of colour.