Pumice is a popular growing medium that will help you grow succulents and other plants. You can use it for hydroponics. This is a technique that involves replacing soil with a different substrate.
However, it is no secret that growing plants in soil is better for many plants. You can improve the conditions by creating a potting mix by combining soil with an excellent growing medium. The best thing is that pumice can be combined to form a soil mix.
If you want to know how to make pumice soil mix, you’re in the correct place. You can easily create the combination after reading this post.
What Is Pumice?
Pumice is created from volcanic explosions in different regions. It is a porous volcanic glass to help plants experience better airflow. This property is also due to the cooling and depressurization of the lava outside the volcano. Source: Oklahoma State University)
The material changes in color after being extracted from the lava. Other properties are also given to the medium after an eruption. Pumice is widely used for soil mixes because of its heaviness and other features.
Natural pumice ranges from white to dark gray. The exact shade depends on the mining area of your medium. Many gardeners also use this material to cover the top of the soil for decoration.
Pumice is more attractive than most other growing mediums. This medium can also be used for making beauty products. However, it may not be readily available on the market, depending on your region.
Pros And Cons Of Using Pumice Soil Mix
Pumice doesn’t typically disintegrate or compact over time compared to other soil amendments, which helps maintain soil structure.
Also, pumice is a natural, unprocessed organic product that doesn’t disintegrate or blow away over time. So, what are the pros and cons of using pumice soil mix?
Pros Of Using Pumice Soil Mix
Here are the top benefits of using pumice soil mix:
1- Essential For Plant Growth
You must understand the right soil type is essential for growing plants. If you’re cultivating a succulent, your pot must have succulent soil. This will help plants grow easily and offer them the right support. The correct soil mix will also help with providing nutrients to the species more easily.
Some plants require to dry between watering sessions to avoid overwatering. That is where the pumice soil mix will help you. It allows excess water to drain promptly so that the plant does not suffer. This will also help you prevent diseases such as root rot and yellowing of leaves.
Both issues occur due to overwatering of plants. This is why a soil mix is necessary to create the right growing conditions for your plants.
2- Pumice Is One Of The Cheapest Growing Medium
You don’t have to make soil mixes at home every time because pre-made commercial soil is available on the market. You can get the correct one for your specific plant and add it to the pot or bed. This will allow you to grow the species promptly without much preparation.
However, commercial soil is quite expensive and may break your bank. Many people cannot afford such items for gardening. Typically, professional plant service providers use such soil. The good news is that a pumice soil mix will offer you a cheaper solution than the commercial type.
You can make the mix at home without requiring many ingredients. The best thing is that it will not cost you much. So you can grow various plants at home without breaking your bank. You can also change the growing medium to make different mixes.
3- Pumice Offers More Control
Pre-made soil mixes are expensive and do not allow you to control the contents. So you will have to search for a long to find the best type for your needs. Some store-bought soil mixes may also harm your plants, depending on the composition.
You can easily avoid the issue by using a pumice soil mix for growing succulents. The best thing is you can control the ingredients of the item to ensure your plants thrive. It will also allow you to save money by using mediums that you already have at home.
So a pumice soil mix will offer you more control over the growth of your succulents. It will also help you use ingredients that prevent specific diseases.
4- Pumice Is Reusable
Another great feature of a pumice soil mix is that it is reusable. Pumice is an excellent growing medium that does not decompose. This means you don’t have to worry about replacing the component every few years. It also improves the lifespan of the soil.
You can also reuse the mix for growing other plants using cuttings and other propagation methods. This will help save significant money in the long term.
In addition, pumice will also help with enjoying more flexibility when growing different plants with the same requirements.
Cons Of Pumice Soil Mix
Here are the cons of pumice soil mix:
1- Pumice Is Better Suited For Growing Succulents
The primary feature of pumice is that it does not have a high water retention capacity. So the growing medium is only for plants that require the soil to become dry completely before the next watering. This means that pumice is mainly suitable for succulents.
You cannot use the growing medium for creating soil mixes for plants that require frequent watering. This is because the species will become dry out more often. So you will have to spend more time taking care of the plant and ensure it does not wilt due to lack of water.
2- Pumice May Be Hard To Find
Another thing you must remember is that pumice is hard to find in some regions. This is because it does not have specific mining hotspots. The production of the material depends on the last volcanic eruption.
So you will have to research thoroughly to find this growing medium on the market. Some stores may also sell it at a relatively higher price. This is why you should consider your region’s supply and demand before making a pumice soil mix.
How To Make Pumice Soil Mix?
Here is a complete recipe for pumice soil mix:
- Potting Soil
- Coarse Sand
You must all-purpose potting soil to make the soil mix for the best growth. Avoid using soils that retain water well or mix with vermiculite because it will prevent the plant from drying out between watering sessions.
You must add three parts of potting soil to a tray with 2 parts of coarse sand and 1 part of pumice. Then, use a tool such as a trowel or your hands to mix these dry ingredients thoroughly. The mix will be ready when the materials have been incorporated properly.
Remember that parts are a generic measurement. You can use any quantity of the ingredients. For instance, if you add three cups of potting soil, you should put 2 cups of sand and 1 cup of pumice in the tray.
To improve drainage for plants, including succulents, combine 25% pumice with 25% compost, 25% garden soil, and 25% large grain sand.
If you are growing plants prone to rotting, adjust the soil structure with 50% pumice, or you can fill also the planting hole with pumice to protect your plants’ roots.
Check out this video for more on how much pumice you should add to your houseplant soil.
Vermiculite Vs. Pumice: Which Is Better?
Vermiculite is better than pumice, particularly as a soil amendment in herb and vegetable gardens, because it retains more water and nutrients for plants’ roots. On the other hand, pumice is better for soil aeration in soggy, succulents or waterlogged garden beds because it helps reduce soil compaction.
In fact, vermiculite is another growing medium you may be considering using for growing succulents. However, you should use this for creating a plant mix. This material has a high water retention capacity and does not aerate the soil well.
This means that vermiculite will not let your succulent plant dry between watering sessions. So you may end up overwatering the plant, which can lead to yellowing of leaves and root rot. That is why pumice is better for making soil mixes for succulents.
In addition, the airy rock is generally better for use with cacti, succulents, and other plants that require perfect drainage and air circulation. In addition, the porosity of pumice allows microbial life to thrive while preserving soil structure better than perlite.
This is all the information you require about pumice soil mix. Making the mix is easy and does not take more than a few minutes.
I suggest you read this article to learn more about the most popular growing medium, particularly for hydroponic systems.