Ikea decorative rocks in potting mix?

DavidL.caJuly 2, 2014

I've been shopping around for materials to use in my potting mix 2.0, I've had a hard time finding pumice and turface, today I came across these decorative small rocks from IKEA, I know there are probably dyed so I'll give it thorough wash before using them. But are these the appropriate size? I've seen pictures of people's mix and these look similar to granite grit and pumice. I would probably get rid of the bigger chunks.


What about these crushed glass pieces? Again I know they're used as top dressings, but would they be usable as mix too to help drainage? They are much finer than the rocks.

This post was edited by DavidL.ca on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 14:07

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As a mix ingrediant top pic. looks nothing like pumice to me fact is NOT >>> EVEN >>> CLOSE. As I had suggested before I would use them if I had nothing else but wouldn't and wont use them becauce I have something else. They lack the better pourus surface most succulents demand for better over all health and watering ease.

Glass fines in a mix: Well on the bright side they will last a very very long time in comparson to turface or any other materails I would prefferance for succulents but, as you already may know. Just becuse it looks good and sounds good doesn't mean it works !

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Neither of the two retain much moisture at all, being more along the lines of grit, not turface or pumice.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Oh I see, I didn't know turface and pumice were supposed to retain moisture, thought they were part of the "grit" too. So I could probably use some of these in my mix for Lithops, but not really for other succulent plants then? I'll keep trying to hunt for turface and pumice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:46PM
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The word "grit" typically refers to the non-moisture holding part of the gritty type mix, not necessarily all of the ingredients. "Grit" should not be confused with "gritty". The goal is to create a mixture of "gritty" ingredients that retain just the right amount of moisture for the plant(s) you're growing. Turface holds quite a bit of moisture, too much to be used alone. That's where the grit, which holds close to no moisture, comes in. Mixing grit and turface at different ratios provides for different moisture retention levels. There are other ingredients, like pumice, lava rock, DE, etc., that have their own moisture retention properties that can be used as well.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Possible way of finding your turface


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:36PM
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    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Thanks for the info.! Again always learning here. So what would be the "grit" part of the gritty mix then? Sand?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:21PM
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Thanks plantlover for the links! I'm surprised that it found some ontario locations too.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:27PM
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David, The grit part in gritty mix is generally crushed granite.
Are you trying to amend your C&S soil or are you trying to make gritty mix?

I would stay away from sand as on its own it doesn't absorb water but once it becomes wet and the sand clumps together it actually holds more water than you want.

If you want to amend your soil for better drainage the ikea rocks look like the can work, if they are not painted or treated with anything. I would mix 50/50 soil/rocks. Have you tried garden stores in your area? I would think they would have At the least perlite, if not pumice or Scoria (Lava Rock)

Another place to look into is Hydroponic stores they often carry materials that can work.

If you want to make gritty mix there are a lot of posts on that. Just search gritty mix or Al's gritty mix. There is a lot of info in there, you will probably find your answers as far as where to find materials & the idea behind gritty mix.

I started with the regular gritty mix recipe and over time have modified it to fit my needs and what i can find easy and at a good price.

This post was edited by CDCFRMS on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 20:23

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:47AM
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Thanks for the info.! Yeah I have read quite a bit about gritty mix but the problem is I have trouble finding stuff like pumice and granite grit. But I think I have a better idea now. For now the only thing I have is C&S soil and perlite, I also got vermiculite for my Lithops.
I would say at the moment I'm trying to amend my soil, not really going to make a gritty mix just yet.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:16PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No no vermiculite, not for succulents at all.

Pls, no. I don't even grow Lithops, but know them to be water sensitive plants, like watering at wrong time can kill them.

Vermiculite is often used w/ things like African violets, which want MORE moisture, not less.

Succulents want LESS moisture.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:33PM
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I see... in Ryan''s (hanzrobo) recipe though he adds a very little amount (5-10%) of vermiculite and he grows amazing lithops. Lol sometimes it gets confusing when everyone suggests a bit differently but seems like lots of people are doing it right. I think I just need to experiment a bit and hopefully can find my perfect mix. Thanks for the heads up!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:42PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well maybe that little bit in the mix might work & if he grows Lithops, do listen to him, not me.

The Vermiculite users I was thinking of use it rather as 1/3 of their mix (along w/ peat & perlite), a mix known as 'soil less mix'. Something some folks use for Houseplants, definitely not for Succulents.

Sorry, if I added to the confusion, I didn't mean to.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:48PM
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I see! Yeah definitely i won't add that much vermiculite in, I've heard it holds water quite a bit. No worries! I'm learning all the time it's great :D

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Quantaty isn't the same as quality most anyone can can last all day about vermeculite and why it shouldn't be use for lithops and many other messebs.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:16PM
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