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Posted by Pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
Wed, May 4, 05 at 20:23

While shopping yesterday I came across 10 kg bags of Zeolite for $6 so I picked up a bag on impulse (and knowing nothing about it). My initial thought was that I would use it as a mulch in troughs (which I don't have just yet, but have plans to try making some hypertufa ones soon - bought a giant sized bag of vermiculite as well).

After I got home I started reading about it. Am I correct in understanding that Zeolite actually holds moisture? Will it be better served as a soil additive for the troughs, rather than a mulch? If as a soil additive, how much would one use, say for a wheelbarrow full of soil mix?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Zeolite?

Zeolite is mostly a marketing item. Nothing wrong with it but I would buy 'sharp sand' if it's available at a cheaper price. I've been given bags of zeolite and see no difference from my plants grown in the same parts mixture of sharp sand.

This is personal preference but I don't like the look of zeolite in my troughs. It's a bit too artificial looking.

As stated I don't have any problems with zeolite. I just don't find any benefits over sand.

RE: Zeolite?

Zeolite as a potting Media

Looks like an old threat here. Quickly, blend in about 15% into soil or potting media by weight. Natural zeolite holds between 20 -35% moisture by weight.
Has a high cation exchange capacity or in other words a high nutrient holding capacity which it will exchange back to plants. The benefit here is as a holder of fertiliser and reduces nutrient leaching.
It is not a fertiliser and should be considered empty of nutrient. Some sources of natural zeolite are hard and can substitute for sand and other a soft and chalky where you will still need sand for texture. Colours range from white, pale salmon pink and pale green depending on original ore deposit.

RE: Zeolite?

hmmmm, there are some interesting reports using zeolite in phyto-remediation projects - still in infancy but also using it to counteract syndromes such as rose replant sickness. A fascinating substance.

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