Surely, when you have ever gone to buy soil for plants, or have looked at it on the Internet, you have found so much variety that you have not known which one is the most suitable for the plant. Sometimes one is usually more suitable than others for a type of plants. One of the best known is volcanic gravel. But what do you know about her?
Below we will talk about everything you should know about this land so that you can make the best use of it. Shall we start?
What is volcanic gravel
Volcanic gravel can also be found in stores as volcanic stone. And, as its name indicates, its origin is in volcanic projections. In other words, we are talking about pyroclasts. Other names, perhaps less well known, but at the same time common for this substrate for plants are pozzolan gravel or volcanic silicate.
That is volcanic gravel comes from the volcanoes themselves, of what they release. Hence, it is highly appreciated, not because of the special origin it has, but also because of its characteristics. So that you have a little more information, it is igneous rock that has solidified and cooled once it has left the volcano (from magma). Therefore, its pH is usually between 7 and 8.
Also, you should know that this substrate does not have only one color. It can actually have different colors and also shades, which makes it even more special for decoration. The most common is usually red, black, brown, purple or gray. However, this itself is something that can make its price higher or lower.
Characteristics of volcanic gravel
Do you want to know more about this substrate? Well, we are going to leave you with several information that may be interesting for you. Pay attention.
Even though it’s rock it actually weighs very little. And it is so because it is very porous. What does this mean? Well, it has many pores or holes in the rock in such a way that water can penetrate through it. That means that, when buying this land, you realize that the sacks weigh hardly anything, and that’s why. But beware, that does not mean that it is not good. In reality, although water can pass through the rock, it actually evaporates before damaging the roots of the plant and holds very little water.
What we have just told you makes it isolating. Keep in mind that it absorbs little water (leaving the rest to evaporate or filter). And that implies that it isolates the roots from possible rots or problems related to irrigation. Even so, it does not mean that it does not maintain humidity; quite the opposite. If the balance between water and volcanic gravel is used well, you can have a substrate with maximum efficiency.
Finally, another fact that we can tell you is the fact that it can help you protect the soil. When there are sudden changes in temperature, plants can deteriorate. Therefore, to avoid this problem, volcanic gravel can serve as protection to maintain a constant and adequate temperature for plants.
How volcanic gravel is used
The first thing you should know about volcanic gravel is that it is not itself a substrate that provides nutrients to plants. Actually, it is more used as a drainage layer so that the soil is lighter and does not clump together. Although in some cases it can be used in a greater proportion (for example in the case of bonsai), the truth is that they also need another land to be well nourished.
Also, when using this land, you should know that you cannot throw it from the sack that you have bought to the land directly. When you buy these bags, they carry the unwashed gravel, and when you throw it out without further ado, the dust they release is deposited at the bottom of the pots. And this one doesn’t go away easily. In addition to being able to cause problems in the plant.
For this reason, it is recommended that, before using it, you wash it well enough to remove it so that it does not damage the plant or could harm the pH of the soil.
Apart from these data that we have told you, you should also know that volcanic gravel can be used in two different ways:
- On the one hand, mixed with the substrate. It is usual since drainage is used so that the earth does not compact.
- On the other hand, sola. That is, apply a single layer of volcanic rock. In this case, you could apply it to the bottom of the pot, so that the roots do not get flooded in case there is water under it; or on the surface of the pot, to protect the roots and prevent light from reaching the soil (this will prevent weeds, attack by pests such as snails or slugs) as well as moisture retention and temperature protection.
Uses of volcanic rock
Now that you have a better idea of what volcanic gravel is, you may know where to use it and how, but, What if we told you about the different uses you can give it? Actually, it not only serves as drainage or to put it in the bottom or on the surface of the pots (or the garden), but it has more uses such as:
- On roads. They are used to build roads or trails since it is a stone that decoratively looks beautiful and is also useful.
- in roundabouts. Especially for decoration; They do not serve any other function.
- For cacti. That is, to create a decorative environment that is related to the desert. Also to prevent weeds from camping on the ground and disturbing the plants.
- In terrariums and aquariums. If you have animals, this rock can be used to decorate or to provide a more natural environment.
As you can see, volcanic gravel can be quite useful when you have plants, but also on a decorative level. Do you know any more information about this?