Question for Tapla - zeolite in Gritty Mix?

alan.ozMarch 11, 2013

I am one of the early adopters of Gritty Mix in Australia. Over 100 pots now and all going very well.
Many of the bonsai growers here use well aerated mixes containing materials like Turface, diatomite, perlite, grit etc.
One of the frequently used materials is zeolite, it is readily available and in perfect 1/8" size. It has a very high cation exchange and hence retains nutrients.

I was wondering if 1/2 or 2/3 of the grit in Gritty Mix could be replaced with zeolite?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

In view of its porosity, It would more appropriately be a replacement for a fraction of the Turface component.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Zeolite And Bonsai
Making the assumption that the original post was from an Australian, I will say that there are two commercial natural zeolite mines producing product in Australia of the clinoptilolite form that is commonly used in gardening around the world. I am involved with one of these so in the spirit of the forum I will not mention its name. A quick web search will find one of these two.
These Australian natural zeolite are harder than overseas deposits being in the mid 5âÂÂs on the mohs hardness scale out of 10 compared to 3âÂÂs and 4âÂÂs of those for example from Asia and USA. Typically being this hard when incorporated into a soil media zeolite will last in its processed particle size for hundreds of years making it very suitable for this use.
We have bonsai clubs in New South Wales now using our product in a 1 to 3 mm particle size. This typically is included at 15% by weight into the potting mix.
Also include your other materials such as organic matter of various forms, manure, slow release fertiliser etc.
Zeolite if what is actually produced in Australia is hard enough to give the potting media texture plus the usual thing zeolites offer in the aiding water retention, nutrient holding and hosting friendly soil microorganisms

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:28AM
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Thanks for that Eccly.
All the Bonsai growers I know love it.

I would like to incorporate it in Gritty Mix.
What I don't know is exactly how much water it holds.
Can you provide this data?

Turface is meant to hold its own weight in water.
When I do simple side by side comparisons of Turface and Zeolite (3-6mm) the Turface soaks up more water and faster.
Maybe Zeolite can replace part of the bark and grit components?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:38AM
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