Maintain your Botanium and keep it clean to grow healthy plants. Here are seven tips that explain how.
Change water now and then
A plant not only absorbs water and nutrients through the roots, it also releases elements into the water. These elements are organic compounds that over time can build up and become problematic. That is why we recommend users to pour out all the water every other month or so and refill with fresh water and nutrients.
If you see leaves turning yellow, becoming deformed or falling off, this procedure will help.
Add the right amount of nutrients
It might seem logical that the more nutrients the plant get, the faster it will grow. In reality, a plant can only absorb a certain amount of nutrients. This amount depends on the type of plant (herbs vs. tomatoes for instance) or the stage the plant is in (seedling vs. flowering).
Adding too much nutrients will draw out water from the plant and slowly kill it. Have a look at our growing guides to find out how much nutrients you need for the kind of plant you’re growing.
When growing herbs, cut away the flowers
Basil, oregano, lettuce and coriander/cilantro are herbs that turn bitter once they flower. As soon as flower appear, use a scissor to cut them off. Coriander/cilantro has a tendency to stop growing as it starts flowering, in those cases it’s better to grow a new plant.
Cut away old leaves and branches
Continuously cut away old leaves that are looking yellow or dry. This will make the plant produce new growth in many places. You can often be more aggressive than you think - especially chilli peppers are very tough. You can cut away most leaves on a chilli pepper plant - keeping only a short stump - and new branches will eventually grow out. Just make sure to leave a leaf or two. If you have a very tall plant this is a good way to make it short and bushy.
Reuse the growing medium
If you want to grow something new, you can reuse the growing medium. Since it is sterile and inert, it doesn’t degrade over time. The only thing you need to consider is that it needs to be clean from nutrients and old roots before you grow something new in it.
Clean it by first manually removing all roots, then pour boiling water or bleach through it. You can also sterilize it in the oven at 200º C (392º F) for 15 minutes. Make sure that the growing medium is moist, rinsed and cool before growing in it.
You can also buy extra growing medium here.
Cleaning the nozzles
Mineral deposits can sometimes build up in and around the nozzles. This is just old nutrients that precipitate over time, but it can lead to less water coming through the holes, and as a consequence, the water gets sprayed too far, or get the wrong ”aim”. Simply clean the nozzles to correct this. Use an old toothbrush or your finger.
Cleaning before growing something new
Make sure to clean the Botanium before growing something new. Use a brush, hot water and some dish soap to remove dirt and old nutrients. Make sure to give the nozzle some extra care, since mineral deposits can build up there. (as we mentioned before)
If you have hard water where you live, you might also want to descale it. This shouldn’t be done when a plant grows in it, so wait until your Botanium is empty. Put some vinegar and water (equal parts) in the water tank , and plug in it. Let it stand over night, pour out all the water, then rinse thoroughly in warm water.