The best plants to use in the Plant Air Purifier® are those that have already been acclimated to a soil-less environment. The Plant Air Purifier® is a hydroculture system, therefore, a hydroculture nursery is an excellent source for your plant purchase. Acclimated plants reduce transplant time ( cleaning the roots of soil) and the time for it to adjust to a soil-less environment. A local nursery may also de-soil your plant for a small fee. If hydroculture plants are not available, or you would like to enjoy the experience of converting your own plant, please follow the potting and acclimating processes described below. Please follow directions carefully and be sure all soil is removed from the roots.
The team at Plant Air Purifier® recommends using a snake plant or golden pothos for your initial transplanting experience from soil to hydroculture. These plants are very hardy and do well making the transition. For those who are a bit more “green thumb” oriented, the Rubber Plant, Dracaena, Janet Craig, Ficus Alii, Peace Lily, Warneckei, Dragon Tree, Weeping Fig or Aglaonema have all been effectively used in the Plant Air Purifier®. It is recommended a 6 to 10 inch potted plant is chosen. You may locate these houseplants at your local nursery or garden centers. Once you have chosen and acquired your plant you are ready to proceed.
Soak the activated carbon and the ceramic media in water to saturate. (Can be combined in a large bucket.) Soak a minimum of one hour. Both the carbon and the media absorb and hold moisture. The activated carbon will make noise when initially submerged in water. This is completely normal. After soaking the media, rinse with water until water runs clear. (The inner pot is often used as a strainer for this process.) Use a doubled cheesecloth or an old T-shirt to strain the carbon. Once the water runs clear, if you have not already done so, combined both the ceramic and the carbon in clean water and mix thoroughly. Mixing the media is easier to do when submerged in water. Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove as much soil from the roots as possible. Soak the plant’s roots in room temperature water for a short time. This will help loosen the remaining soil and make it easier to remove. After soaking, gently agitate the roots in the water to help remove soil.
Gently massaging the root ball in the water will remove a significant amount of the soil.
Using a fresh pail of room temperature water, a shower-head or faucet, clean the roots of all remaining soil, being very careful not to damage the root system. Repeat this process until the roots are entirely free of soil. This is very important for the future integrity of the plant!!
Once your root system is entirely free of soil, cut back roughly a quarter of the root system with a pair of sharp scissors. This will stimulate growth of new “water roots.” Note: keep root system moist while transplanting; do not allow roots to dry out.
Now that your plants roots are entirely free of soil and your media is free of dust,
you are ready to begin potting.
Place the inner slotted pot into the larger outer pot. Carefully align the wider edge of the
inner pot with the wall of the outer pot holding the fan housing. Potting is done in a similar way to planting in soil, except the mixed media you’ve just prepared is used. Drain the clean, mixed media and place approximately 1/3 of the mix in the bottom of the inner slotted pot. This may have to be adjusted up or down, depending on the size of the plant you are using; the original soil line on the plant should be approximately 1 inch below the inner edge of the slotted pot. Place the plant into the inner pot with the root system spread evenly over the media and as wide as possible without damaging the roots. While holding the plant in place, gently place the media mixture over the roots until the desired height is reach. There may be more media than needed; save excess media for future use.
Water the plant with room temperature water. Water to below the level of the roots. STOP when water level reaches the “Maximum Water Level,” line. Do NOT over fill; over filling will void the warranty.
Houseplants respond best to bottled or distilled water. If you choose to use tap water, you may want to periodically empty and clean the inside of the outer pot to remove any buildup of salts or minerals that accumulate over time from the water. Run water through the inner pot if there is any build up on the media. Turn off and unplug the Plant Air Purifier® before performing this maintenance.
Allow your plant to acclimate itself to its new environment for at least two weeks before turning on the fan. After two weeks, begin switching the fan on for 4 to 6 hours a day. This can easily be done with an inexpensive and simple light timer. Three to four weeks after transplanting, your planter can be run up to 12 hours a day. Four to six weeks after transplanting the planter can be run 24 hours a day. Once the fan is turned on, the plant should be monitored for signs of stress. If your plant shows signs of stress turn your fan off to allow your plant to recover, then slowly increase ON time until your each your desired hours of operation.
Water your new plant once a week or as needed. It is helpful for the water to cycle from the maximum water level to very low. Most plants respond better to the water level alternating between low and high. If you are running your PlantAir Purifier® 24 hours a day, be sure to check your water level often as your plant will require watering more frequently. The Plant Air Purifier® is equipped with an automatic shutoff to avoid over-drying the roots if the water level gets too low. This will help prevent your plant from drying out in the event the plant goes unwatered. Hydroculture specific plant food with micronutrients helps your plant thrive, but there is a risk of overdosing your plant with nutrients. To avoid over feeding your plant, use only half the dose recommended on the label for the first 3 or 4 feedings. Allow at least 3 months after transplanting before the initial feeding. Gradually increase amount of plant food to the manufacturer’s recommended dose. We recommend adding nutrients only once every three months. Be sure to keep the plant food bottle tightly closed when not in use and keep out of reach of children and pets. The Plant Air Purifier® team recommends using Schultz 10-15-10 plant food plus, a plant food made for hydroculture plants.
Apart from ensuring the plant receives nutrient solution and water when required, there is very little maintenance necessary aside from clipping off any naturally occurring wilted leaf ends, as with any plant.
The outer pot may need to be cleaned once a year of any accumulated residue from minerals or salts in your water. Turn off and unplug the Plant Air Purifier®, remove the inner pot and wipe down the outer pot with dampened paper towels. Refill with room temperature water. Plants enjoy being ‘washed’ from time to time. This will help remove dust from the leaves and any salt or nutrient buildup from the media. Remove the inner pot and place it under room temperature, slow running water or wipe the leaves gently with a damp cloth. After cleaning is finished and excess water is allowed to drain, place the inner pot back into the outer pot being careful to align the wider edge of the inner pot with the wall of the outer pot holding the fan housing. Refill with room temperature water.