Diatomaceous Earth Bonsai Soil Substrate - DE - Sieved

  • $25.00
    Unit price per 
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Only 11 left!

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.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 113 reviews
    William Betz (State College, US)
    Small size pumice

    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.

    Thank you,

    John Mistretta (New York, US)

    Great medium

    James Ferguson (North Palm Beach, US)

    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.

    colorado gal (Lafayette, US)
    great pumice - good quality

    This is great pumice, perfect size, nicley sifted. perfect for my Rocky Mountain yamadori.

    Lawrence Ashe (Miami, US)
    Pumice well sifted

    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.


    Ask 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.


    Thank you for your purchase. We hope you are happy with your items! However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase for any reason, you may return it to us for a full refund, store credit, or an exchange. Please see below for more information on our return policy.


    All returns* must be postmarked within thirty (30) days of the purchase date. With the exception of returns for broken/damaged items, all returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached.

    *Plants + Trees Returns: By purchasing a tree from us, we assume you know how to properly care for the tree. Bonsai and other plants are alive and will die if not properly cared for. We have no control over how trees are cared for once in your possession. Therefore, by purchasing this tree, you acknowledge that we, the seller, provide no warranties expressed or implied after the tree is delivered. This tree is sold "AS IS" and this sale is considered final. No refunds or exchanges will be offered after the tree is purchased. We will only ship healthy trees. We will require a signature on most trees over $100USD. If the box arrives damaged, please take pictures and make note with the shipping company prior to signing. If you sign for the package, the sale is final.


    For the easiest way to process returns purchased through our website, please visit: https://returns.richcommerce.co/return/new?c=superflybonsai

    For items purchased through Etsy, please include the item and invoice # and return to:
    Superfly Bonsai
    Attn: RETURNS
    1670 S. Cameron Street
    Harrisburg, PA 17104

    For items purchased through Amazon, Walmart, or eBay, please visit the vendors website. Linked below is information from each vendor to get you started.
    Amazon: click here
    Walmart: click here
    eBay: click here

    Please note, you will be responsible for all return shipping charges.* We strongly recommend that you use a trackable method to mail your return.

    *Certain returns may be eligible for shipping charge reimbursement. We reserve the right to refuse refunds on shipping charges based on reasons for return.


    Once we receive your item, we will inspect the condition of the items and notify you that we have received your return. We will also notify you on the status of your refund after we've inspected the item.

    If your return is approved, we will initiate a refund to your original method of payment. You will receive the credit within a few business days, depending on your card issuer's policies.


    If you have any questions concerning our return policy, please contact us at:

    *Management reserves the right to refuse a refund, exchange or the resale of any item based on the condition of the merchandise.

    Shipping Policy

    Order Processing

    All orders are processed within 2 to 3 business days (excluding weekends and holidays) after receiving your order confirmation email. You will receive another notification when your order has shipped.

    Plants + Trees Shipping: Shipping may be delayed to prevent the tree from sitting in a warehouse over a weekend or holiday. Most trees ship Monday-Wednesday. We do not ship trees to PO, FPO, or APO boxes. We also do not ship trees out of the continental US or to California.

    Domestic Shipping Rates and Estimates

    For calculated shipping rates: All orders (under $99 USD or Wholesale) will be presented with shipping options that are calculated based on the item weight, box size, and distance from our shipping location.  We currently only use Fedex.
    Free Shipping: All RETAIL orders over $99.00 USD ship free within the continental USA. Free shipping will be the lowest cost option from FedEx.

    In-Store Pickup

    You can skip the shipping fees with free local pickup at our warehouse. We are located at:
    1670 S. Cameron Street
    Harrisburg, PA 17104

    We will send you an email when your order is ready along with instructions.
    Our in-store pickup hours are 10AM-4PM Monday-Friday. Please have your order confirmation email with you when you come.

    International Shipping

    At this time*, we do not offer international shipping.
    *Shipping to Canada and Mexico will be available at some point in the near future. Check back for updates to this section.

    How do I Check the Status of my Order?

    When your order has shipped, you will receive an email notification from us which will include a tracking number you can use to check its status. Please allow 48 hours for the tracking information to become available.
    If you haven’t received your order within a reasonable amount of time, please contact us at support@email.com with your name and order number, and we will look into it for you.

    Shipping to P.O. Boxes

    FedEx: FedEx will only ship to P.O. Boxes with SmartPost, which we do not offer at this time. Click here for more information.

    Refunds, Returns, and Exchanges

    We accept returns that are postmarked within thirty (30) days of the purchase date. With the exception of returns for broken/damaged items, all returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached.
    In the event that your order arrives damaged in any way, please email us as soon as possible at superflyservice@superflybonsai.com with your order number and a photo of the item’s condition. We address these on a case-by-case basis but will try our best to work towards a satisfactory solution.
    If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at superflyservice@superflybonsai.com.

    Large Orders

    If you are a placing a larger order (over 30 bags of soil or many pots), it may be cheaper to ship via freight truck. If you are interested in pricing for this, please contact us here.

    Show Pickup & The Superfly Express

    We attend 7-10 shows a year (if not cancelled), mostly on the east coast. Please check our calendar to see if we may be attending a show close to your location, and we can arrange to bring your order for pickup at the show.  No minimum.

    We started the Superfly Express shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic started.  We did this as a way to get products to wholesale customers with no shipping fee.  We basically will deliver your order on one of our trips to your area for free if the order is over $1000 and you are close to our route.  We will also deliver retail customers orders over $1000 if they don't want to utilizer our free shipping for whatever reason.  We currently only travel east of the Mississippi river and have 4 routes.
    1.  New York/New England Area
    2.  Ohio/Michigan/Illinois/Indiana Area
    3.  Western virginia & NC/Tennessee/Alabama/Mississippi/Kentucky
    4.  Maryland/Eastern Virginia & NC/SC/Georgia/Florida

    We Also Recommend