Maintenance and tips
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.
This can happen if there is no way for the air to escape when water flows back into the water tank. Make sure the breather hole is not clogged and clean it so that air can get through, then wipe the surfaces that connect the top and bottom part to remove any water that is stuck there.
@Andrew if you look under the top part of the planter, you will find a screw. This screw can be removed with a special bit (found with repair kits for electronics and/or watches) to untangle the roots without having to tear the roots from the drain hole. It is possible to remove the roots from the drain hole without removing the screw but it takes a lot of time to do so, not to mention any of the smaller medium stuck in the hole as well. My basil plant survived when I removed the roots without removing the screw but I think it stressed out my plant quite a bit.
Hi – I have 2 Botanium units purchased earlier this year – one with chilies and the other with Basil. The chilies one is fine but the basil one has started to leak. There is nothing broken but water comes out of the breather hole at the back where the top and bottom sections meet when the pump runs. Sometimes its just a drop but it can cause quite a puddle. What is causing this and how can I fix it?
Basil roots can be problematic when there are many individual plants in the pot – sometimes you have to restort to pulling up the entire plant and remove the roots that clog the drain hole, or grow new plants.
I love my Botaniums but recently the basil and mint roots have become so large and have grown through the drain hole at the bottom of the unit. It’s causing a clog and water is not draining. Anyone else experience this or have tips on how to manage? Botanium, any advice here. Absolutely love this product by the way, has changed our life!
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