Chia pets first appeared on the houseplant scene in the 1980s and are a cute, fun way to add some plant life to your home. Even now, many people love these terracotta-and-greenery creations. So, if you have one of these funky little throwbacks, you might wonder, "How long do chia pets last, and how can I properly care for them?" No worries - we've done the research and are sharing what we've learned right here in this article!
When properly cared for, chia pets last about two weeks to one month. After that, they typically start to mold or die. However, you can remove the sprouts and simply replant them with new seeds after this happens.
To keep your chia pet in good condition after planting, follow these steps:
- After planting your seeds, let them dry for two days in a low-light location.
- After two days, pour water into the planter's hole and add more water every following day. Make sure to empty the drip tray as needed. Spray the chia pet with water daily.
- Place your chia pet in a location that gets lots of sunlight.
- Keep an eye out for mold growing on your chia pet. When this happens, or when the sprouts get too leggy, simply remove the plants, wash the planter, and replant.
Although caring for a chia pet is pretty simple, there are plenty of details to keep in mind. That's why we'll explain each step in the rest of this article. That way, you'll be set up for success in your chia pet-growing journey. Let's get started!
What You'll Need
To Care For Your Chia Pet
- Watering can
- Spray bottle
- Ziploc bag [optional]
To Plant Your Chia Pet
- Chia pet planter or kit
- Chia seeds
- Dish soap
- Bleach [optional]
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small bowl
- Popsicle stick or butter knife
How To Properly Care For a Chia Pet
After planting your chia pet [we'll walk you through the process later in this article], you'll need to follow a few simple steps to help it grow strong and healthy.
Let the Seeds Dry
After successfully adding seeds to your chia pet base, you'll need to let them dry completely. When you plant the seeds, they take on a gelatinous consistency after being soaked in water. Adding more water at this point would simply drown the seeds.
However, avoid the temptation to put your chia pet in a sunny window to speed up the drying process. Before its seeds sprout, your chia pet needs low-light conditions. Try putting it on a kitchen counter or table that doesn't get direct sunlight.
After your seeds have dried, it's time to help them sprout. Fill the planter with water through the hole in the top daily and empty the drip tray when necessary.
You should also mist the chia pet daily with water from a spray bottle. Keep an eye on your plant to ensure the sprouts are growing and mold is not.
If the chia pet is reluctant to sprout, place a plastic Ziploc bag over the planter to create a mini greenhouse. Seal the opening completely and ensure the bag doesn't touch the planter.
Remove the bag for a few hours daily to let the plant "breathe." However, if the chia pet starts growing mold, you might be overwatering it.
Carefully remove and discard the mold with a toothpick and reduce the water amount by about half. Continue monitoring your chia pet and adjust the water amount accordingly.
Choose a Good Location
Like any other plant, putting your chia pet in a place that offers optimal growing conditions is essential. After sprouting, most chia pets prefer full sunlight. A south-facing windowsill is a perfect choice.
However, before the chia seeds sprout, they need low light, as discussed earlier in this article.
Replant When Necessary
Chia pet planters don't provide the right conditions to grow a chia plant past its sprout stage. Therefore, you'll need to replant your chia pet about once every two weeks to one month.
You'll know it's time if the sprouts get too long and leggy or lots of mold starts to grow.
How Long Do Chia Pets Last?
Chia pets usually last for about two weeks to one month with proper care. This is because a chia pet planter is similar to the planters used for growing edible sprouts.
It provides a suitable environment for the seeds to sprout, but since there's no soil for roots to sink into, the plants won't survive past their sprout stage.
However, although the chia sprouts only last a few weeks, your chia pet planter lasts forever [or until it breaks!] Therefore, you can easily replant whenever you want.
Chia seeds are easy to find at most grocery and health food stores, or you can order them online.
Better Body Foods offers organic chia seeds, and there's enough to both replant your chia pet and add a handful to your smoothies!
How To Replant a Chia Pet
If your chia sprouts have died, gotten moldy, or grown out of control, you might want to consider replanting. Follow these simple steps to grow endless crops of chia sprouts:
Remove Old Sprouts And Wash The Planter
Using your fingers, pull out all of the old sprouts. If they're free from mold, you can save them to eat [we'll discuss that later in this article!].
Otherwise, just toss them in the trash and thoroughly wash your hands if they come in contact with any mold.
Next, carefully scrub the planter using regular dish soap and water. If it is contaminated with mold, add some bleach to your water and let the planter soak for about five minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
Prepare The Planter And Seeds
Fill a sink or bowl with deep enough water to fully submerge the planter and let it soak for half an hour.
While it's soaking, mix two teaspoons of chia seeds with 1/8 cup of water in a small container.
Let it stand for five minutes, then stir. The seeds will start expanding and developing a gelatinous consistency.
Add Seeds To The Planter
Take the planter out of the water in which it's been soaking, empty it, and let it dry for a few minutes. It should feel just slightly damp to the touch.
Using a popsicle stick, butter knife, or your fingers, smear a thin layer of seeds over the top of the planter. Let it sit for two days in a low-light location, and then follow the directions for caring for a chia pet from earlier in this article.
Can I Eat The Sprouts From My Chia Pet?
Yes, you can! Eating the sprouts from your chia pet is a great way to use the sprouts when they've run their course.
Chia seeds are considered a "superfood" and contain fiber and nutrients that help reduce cholesterol, promote weight loss, and improve intestinal health.
When sprouted, you'll get all those benefits plus highly-oxygenated chlorophyll from the leaves.
To grow chia pet sprouts that are safe to eat, first make sure you're planting food-grade chia seeds. The seeds that come with your chia pet do not go through FDA food safety requirements, so make sure you pick up a bag that's advertised for consumption.
While sprouting the seeds, it's also essential to make sure they don't grow any mold. If they do, discard all of the seeds and start over.
When you've successfully sprouted your chia seeds, and they've grown for at least two weeks, simply pick them off the planter to harvest them.
You can add them to salads, put them on toast, toss them in smoothies, or just eat them by the handful.
Can I Grow Moss On My Chia Pet?
If you're tired of replanting your chia pet every two weeks and would prefer a more permanent solution, you might have wondered if you can plant moss instead. The answer is yes! To plant moss on your chia pet, follow these steps:
- Lightly spray your clean, dry chia pet planter with water.
- Put a little bit of potting soil on the chia pet and pat it down with your fingers. Spray it again to moisten the dirt.
- Spray the backs of small pieces of moss with water, and then push them into the soil on the chia pet. You'll need to press hard, so they don't fall off. Then, spray the whole thing with water one more time.
As the moss grows, lightly spritz it with water every two to three days to ensure it stays moist. Keep it out of direct sunlight, so it doesn't dry out.
With proper care, chia pets keep their sprouts between two and four weeks. To keep your chia pet healthy, follow these steps:
- Let the chia pet dry for two days after planting.
- Water the chia pet daily by adding water to the planter hole and spraying the sprouts with a spray bottle.
- Put the chia pet in a sunny location.
- Keep an eye out for mold and replant the chia pet when it gets leggy or moldy.
We hope this guide helped you learn more about the best practices for chia pet care. Before you go, check out these other articles about caring for houseplants: