Instructions for growing a crystal garden.

United States
January 7, 2007 9:44am CST
This is a good one for a science fair project. Crystals are formed on the charcoal because water is drawn into the brick leaving the solids behind. The ammonia, bluing and salt form a complex crystal. Materials needed: brick or charcoal brickettes, table salt, ammonia, bluing, hammer, cereal bowl, medicine dropper, water, food coloring. Break brick or charcoal into small pieces (I always left my charcoal whole) Place several pieces in the center of a bowl (I used a disposable pie tin) Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup liquid bluing, 1/4 cup water and one Tablespoon ammonia together. Pour the solution over the pieces of coal or brick. Fill the medicine dropper with food coloring and drop small amounts over the pile. Leave the dish alone now and let the crystals grow. The crystals will rumble easily so don't move the dish around much.
2 people like this
5 responses
@GardenGerty (105224)
• United States
7 Jan 07
Where do you actually find bluing anymore? I have not looked for it in a long time. Until you posted, I forgot that it ever had existed. I think I have also done this with epsom salts. I may have to do one up to share with the third grade science class, as we are studying crystals and minerals.
• United States
7 Jan 07
That's funny, I was going to ask the same question. I know you can also grow sugar crytstals on strings.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 07
I have a recipe posted on MyLot for rock candy.
• United States
7 Jan 07
bluing should be near the laundry detergent in the grocery store, if I am thinking of the right stuff. I have never heard of growing crystals this way, so it could be a different substance.
2 people like this
@misskatonic (3727)
• United States
7 Jan 07
Heck, forget the science fair, I'd do that just for fun! I love doing stuff like that. And I have a bunch of the material already, it looks like. Thanks for posting this!
2 people like this
• United States
8 Jan 07
Fun is always a good thing, no matter what age you are! You are welcome1
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 07
I have a question. What do you do with the crystals after you make them? Is it just a decorative item? Sounds lovely. Thanks.
2 people like this
@umerasif (532)
• Pakistan
9 Jan 07
Thanks for sharing.
@Lydia1901 (16354)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Thanks for sharing that, maybe someday when I get into gardening, I'll use this information.