Diatomaceous Earth Bonsai Soil Substrate - DE - Sieved
SuperFly Bonsai's USA Sourced Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is used in bonsai as soil component for many different types of trees. DE is used by some people as an Akadama substitute, but in my opinion it is not equal to akadama. If you are unable to get akadama, DE would be a pretty good alternative. Our Diatomaceous Earth is sieved to the perfect sizes right here in our Harrisburg, PA facility.
DE primary benefits include the ability to hold water and release it to your plants. DE also will allow water to drain through which is critical for good bonsai soil. Diatomaceous earth does not break down quickly and is actually a long lasting substrate. The PH is around neutral (7.0). Similar to akadama, DE is a darker color when wet and lighter color when dry. This makes watering much easier.
Is It Dirt?
No. Bonsai trees do not like "dirt" and will in most cases die if left in dirt over long periods of time. This is substrate.
What Is In It?
Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of small aquatic organisms. These organisms are called diatoms. Diatom remains are basically all silica. Our DE is from freshwater sources so it has a very low sodium content unlike DE mined from saltwater sources.
How Do I Use It?
Repot your bonsai tree in this soil or add it to a mix. A good mix would include DE, Lava and Pumice but other mixes will work well also. Your primary goal is to provide a soil that is free draining, holds water, has a PH between 6.0 and 7.0 (some species may benefit from soil outside of this range) and has a high CEC ratio which is basically it's ability to hold fertilizer.
Be sure your bonsai pot has holes in the bottom covered by bonsai mesh.
Each micro climate may require different amounts of water. On very hot/dry days you may need to water two/three times while around freezing you may need to water just once per month. Push your finger 1" into the soil and feel for moisture. If it is dry, it is time to water.
Caution: Like lava, DE has very fine particles for dust. You should wear a particulate filter mask when dealing with DE. This DE is sieved, but it is near impossible to remove all dust when sieving. Silica based dust is very bad for your lungs. After the substrate is mixed and your plant watered in there should be little concern.
I really love this small size pumice for my young, pre-bonsai trees. I have found that it improves healthy root growth. I use it with some turface and pine bark in the following ratio: P:T:PB (2:2:1).
Once the trees get to a certain size, I switch to the professional mix.
What I really like is that you can get the pumice in different particle sizes so that it fits with the size of the akadama and lava rock that I'm using.
This is great pumice, perfect size, nicley sifted. perfect for my Rocky Mountain yamadori.
Superfly does charge a very slight premium for its pumice, but its well worth it given the precision sifting and nearly complete absence of dust and uniform size.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk a Question
Is your pumice sterile ?
Fresh from the mine. Not treated in any way beyond that.
Is the 1/4" or the 5mm smaller?
The 5mm will be slightly smaller. The 1/4" are roughly 6.5mm.
how much does the 12qt weigh?
The 12 quart bag weighs 12 lbs.
Is there anything mixed in with the pumice rock? Or is it pure? I have heard that clay mixed in it can help control salt levels.
We do not mix anything into the pumice, but it is common to have granite mixed in from when it was mined. I have never heard of salt being a problem with pumice used for bonsai. At our nursery we don't really put anything in pure pumice, we mix it with akadama, lava and kiryu in no greater amounts than 1/3 of the total mix.
If you are speaking of regular clay, I would caution against this as that would defeate the purpose of using the pumice in the first place. Clay has horrible drainage in most cases. We don't generally use any organics in the soils we use in house, pure substrates.
What is the CEC of this pumice?
This exact pumice was never tested, but as with most pumice from the USA it will be around 75 meq/100g
Which is the largest diameter available of the Pumice rock
The 7mm is the largest size we sell.
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