Have you ever gone on vacation, only to return to a house or porch full of dead plants? All it takes is a few really hot days without enough water or nutrients, and your favorite container plants will wither and die. If only there were a way to set plants on automatic, and know that they’d be nourished for a month or two without much effort…

‘Crystal Planters’ are an artistic experiment meant to provide plants with just this type of self-sufficiency. Designed by San Francisco-based artist Maria Bujalska, these attractive planters are made from industrial felt dipped in a crystalized fertilizer. As the plants are watered and grow, the fertilizer dissolves, nourishing the plant and encouraging the dive directly into the felt.

crystal planter
Image via Maria Bujalska

The planters have a very homey, earthy feel. They remind me of macrame hanging plant holders my Mother had when I was little. The tear drop design is emphasized by the blue color of the fertilizer that stains the bottom half of the felt planter. “Each of the ‘crystal planters’ is made from a sheet of industrial felt, sew and steam-formed into a three dimensional shape,” explains DesignBoom.

“The plants placed inside the planters have the opportunity to grow roots into the felted fibers,” writes Bujalska. “The plants feed themselves with the slowly dissolving fertilizer that is released from the crystals with each watering. In the end, the plant and the planters become one, inseparable, constantly growing system.”

The fertilizer actually serves to cure the felt and prepare it for the elements. Although I live the idea of a symbiotic planter, it’s unclear what happens to the plant when the fertilizer is all absorbed…hopefully it can be redipped to continue the process!

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