The first time I heard the expression “green thumb” my aunt was describing my mother. When I got older and learned what the expression meant, I realized that it was true. My mom has a special knack for taking care of plants. Everything in her garden just grows and blooms and flourishes. Whenever people make comments, she downplays it and says it's easy and she just gives them what the plant needs.
When I started growing hydrangeas, I remembered how my mom always talked about how "easy" it was to take care of plants. So when my first two plants died, I gave her a call and complained that she made it look easy, but it was actually really hard. Like the expert that she is, she quickly asked me how often I was watering my plants. AND, like the great mom that she is, she quickly found me a solution for watering my hydrangeas: Aqua Globes!
It was from my mom that I learned that hydrangeas are water-hungry plants. Even their name, “hydra,” describes how much they love water. It turns out that I wasn't watering my plants often enough. Where most plants can be watered two to three times a week, hydrangeas will benefit from being watered almost every other day, especially when you live in a dry and hot climate like I do.
My first set of Aqua Globes were a gift from my mother. They're also known as glass plant-watering bulbs; meant to be used for houseplants or patio plants. They have a large bulbous container that is connected to a thin stem. The idea is that you fill the container with water and you stick the stem into the plant's soil. The water will be released as the plant needs it, and according to the box it can provide plants with water for up to two weeks! Obviously, they're designed for those who don't have much time to care for their plants, tend to forget to water their plants, or will be on a trip and need to make sure their plants are watered.
One of the first things I noticed about these bulbs was that they were really pretty. They have really cute designs, and I was impressed that they were hand blown glass! They look really nice in planters and pots, like a bit of garden decoration!
Following the instructions I'd read online, I created a deep hole in my planter. I actually created a hole that was wider than the globe's stem, but I figured it wouldn't be too much of an issue. I stuck one Aqua Globe into my planter and left it there. The next day, the globe was only half filled with water. The day after that, it was empty! So for my second try, I decided to use two globes in one planter, and I got the same results! I'm not sure if my hydrangeas were just really thirsty or if you really should only have one globe per planter.
As I continued to use the Aqua Globes, I realized several things. First, the product comes in several sizes so you need to match that size to the plant. If you get the wrong size, it may not be effective for you. Also, if the globe you chose is too big for a pot, it can tip over because of the weight of the globe and water combined. Try makings sure the globe is as close to the soil as possible.
The second thing I realized was that unless you make a hole in the soil before putting the stem into the planter, you will get soil stuck in the stem and this can prevent it from watering the plant properly. Ideally, you should put the globe back in the same hole every time because doing this will lessen your chances of getting dirt stuck in the stem and it will also prevent root damage. Third, it can be a bit hard to fill, and you will need some patience. I prefer sticking it in a bucket and letting it fill slowly because I'm sure that it fills to the “brim.”
These glass plant-watering bulbs are not going to work like magic, they're products you have to work with too, but when you do, they work well! You have to get to know your plant, because each plant has different watering requirements, and choose the right bulb accordingly. If you can get that right, you will find that you have beautiful healthy plants. These globes keep plants healthier compared to plants that are watered from sprinklers or hoses because it waters the roots of the plants.
Despite the fact that they aren't as easy as most people would like them to be, once you get the hang of using them, they do become very easy to use, and they are very effective garden tools too! Since I've started using them on my hydrangeas, none of my plants have died!
Where can I get my own set of Aqua Globes: Glass Plant-Watering Bulbs?