TL;DR: Put Super Absorbers into the soil. Your plants will recover better from droughts and moisture fluctuations are evened out
I have one little Dypsis Lutescens palm which is always on the brink of dying. The reason is that it constantly struggling between being drowning and dying of thirst.
So I tried out Super Absorbers. One easy way to get those is to loot wet baby diapers.
It’s better if they are wet, because otherwise the very fine Super Absorber dust just gets lost. You can throw in the cotton film as well, it just gets lost in the whole mass.
So does it work? Yes!
You can see that I’ve applied the Super Absorber to the bottom of the pot on the 8th. Unfortunately, I’ve changed accounts and lost the data from before. The effect of the new material is that excess water is absorbed and released over a long time. This evens out the extremes, like a lowpass filter for moisture. I’ve watered the plants less than before because I already knew that it would work and relied on the Super Absorbers.
I like it. The plant does too and has started growing new leaves. If you look closely you can see a new stem / leaf shooting upwards in the center.
If you don’t want to butcher diapers you can buy this stuff directly from China. It’s called ‘Hydrogel’ for some reason.
And they are quite effective. I have a (dying) vertical garden where I just started using it.
The beads shrink and grow with the moisture. This way, they keep the roots moist and supply air to the earth when shrinking. Luckily these materials have just a tiny bit less osmosis pressure than roots can exercise, so the roots can actually get at the water saved inside the beads.