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Growing Orbeez

The science of orbeez

Orbeez are superabsorbent polymers that means they are made of several smaller molecules joined together. With the addition of water they can grow to more than 100 times their volume. That's right, place a tiny Orbeez bead in water and watch it swell and grow! Orbeez will grow to 19-13 mm (1/4- ½ in).The water is absorbed into the spaces between the molecules. These polymers were invented for agricultural use back in the 1960s to irrigate crops during times of drought. Today you will find superabsorbent polymers in diapers to prevent leaks, in food packages to absorb liquid and in floral vases to hydrate cut flowers.


Growing Orbeez

Each packet of Orbeez contains approximately 150 Orbeez and will yield approximately 3/4 cup of grown Orbeez after the addition of water. Empty one packet of Orbeez into a bowl and add 1.5 cups of clean, drinking water. Leave Orbeez to soak for at least 3 hours or overnight. Once fully grown Orbeez will be round and uniform in color. Drain excess water using a strainer or your hand. Orbeez will grow to about 100-300 times their original volume. The purer the water the larger they grow. Grown Orbeez will maintain their shape for weeks if kept in a closed container, away from heat and light. If Orbeez lose water, simply add more water to regrow.


Going Green Dispose of Orbeez in the trash or even better, work them into your yard soil. Orbeez help soil stay moist and reduce the need for watering. After all, they were developed by the agricultural industry to protect crops during times of drought. Today, superabsorbent polymers, from which Orbeez are made are often planted under the sod of golf courses to keep them green and reduce water usage.