Rock wool, a very interesting ” substrate ” for plants

rock wool

We are used to seeing and talking about conventional substrates, that is, about peat, coconut fiber, mulch, perlite and others, but What if I told you that there is a type of material that can also be used for plants to grow and that, in addition, it has a very interesting price?

Yes, yes, this is not a joke. There is a material known as rock wool. Made from volcanic rock, it has turned out to be a promising substrate… a lot.

What is rock wool?

It is a natural product It was discovered for the first time in Hawaii at the beginning of the 1937th century, the result of the natural action of volcanoes. In XNUMX the Rockwool company began to produce it in Hedehunsene, Denmark, as follows:

  1. First, it melts the basalt rock in a furnace at more than 1600ºC, thus it returns to its initial state of lava.
  2. Afterwards, the lava is poured into rapidly rotating wheels, and is transformed into fibers due to the effect of centrifugal force.
  3. They are then sprayed with an organic binder, and the fibers are brought together to form a primary wool mattress.
  4. Finally, it is compressed and goes to the curing phase where the product adopts its final shape.

The composition of the rock wool resulting from this process is, approximately, 98% basalt and 2% organic binder.

What benefits does it have for plants?

Rock wool plantRock wool plant

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Rock wool is a material that, I will confess, I did not know until I went to a production nursery. The man there told me that he had recently discovered it, and that he was experimenting with very few plants to see how it was doing. At that time, I had carnations from the air (tillandsia aeranthos) planted in this material, and the truth is that they were precious.

And is that having threads and retaining air, it is a very interesting »substrate» for hydroponic crops, but also for rooting cuttings. In addition, its price is not bad. For less 4 euros, you can have a 100x15x7,5cm block.

Have you heard of stone wool?

Rock wool, a very interesting ” substrate ” for plants

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