What is Pafcal?

Pafcal with Plant

As a whisky and beer brewer, Suntory (Japan) uses various crops to make it's signature Japanese beverages.  In the search to grow better crops, Suntory embarked on a 8 years R&D program to find a better alternative to soil, and the soilless Pafcal was invented as a result.  Pafcal is a special soilless sponge-like material derived mainly from organic plant material, and held together by a thin layer of polyurethane binder (the same stuff on kitchen chopping-boards).  It provides a perfect balance of water and oxygen to the plant roots, something which soil struggles with when left alone in an indoor setting.  Plant roots require good access to oxygen, especially in sheltered low-light areas, in order to keep the plant healthy.

Why soil cannot support Indoor Plants:

- Requires Frequent Watering

Soil drains itself of water very quickly, as it does not have good water-rentention qualities.  This is why almost all potted plants have holes below to allow the water to drain out, to prevent the bottom soil from becoming water-laden, causing the plant roots to drown.  This also means that the owner has to water the plant every 2-3 days to replenish the lost water, especially in a dry air-conditioned office.  It is also not feasible to place water-saucers below the pots to capture the excess water as it is unsightly and has a high chance of spilling over.

- Contains bacteria and pathogens (and often, bugs too)

Soil naturally has bacteria in it.  Sometimes, it can even contain harmful E-coli bacteria which will cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.  A touch of tainted soil, and a grab from the Hot & Spicy chips being shared around, is all it takes for a person to fall seriously ill.

- Difficult to handle

An accidental knock-over of the pot will create a huge mess of soil, dirt and muddy water; a definitely day-spoiler if it happens on the office desk.

The soilless Pafcal Sponge for Indoor Plants:

Pafcal has unique qualities which make it the perfect choice for growing healthy indoor plants for the home and office.

- Watering just once a week

Pafcal has a unique absorbent quality to redistribute the water evenly within itself, throughout the week.  It even does this in a way such that there will be an optimal ratio of water to air, for the plant's roots.  Roots need oxygen for healthy growth, especially in low-light indoor environments.  This optimal amount of water & air helps seeds germinate more successfully and quicker too.

Pafcal vs Soil

- Sterilized and Clean

Pafcal is a soilless neutral material in itself and does not contain bacteria, pathogens or mold spores which thrive in soil.  It has a soft and moist texture, and is fun to touch.  Bugs are not attracted to it because there is no decomposing matter for them to feed on.

- No spillage of dirt and muddy water

You're rushing back to your desk after an over-run meeting, to catch a lunch appointment.  Plonking your files and laptop on the desk in a hurry, you accidentally knock over the Pafcal plant, but no dirty mess is created.  Documents are safe, plant is safe, and a hearty lunch awaits you. =)