Pumice is a common addition to bonsai soil... you can use either white or black pumice. One benefit is that it weighs much less than lava. It is also readily available in some places and holds a significant amount of moisture.Has anyone here used pumice stone as a medium? It looks similar to lava rock but seems more porous. Is it equivalent better or worse.
My limited experience is with yamadori from Oregon Bonsai (Walter Pall's trees at Nature's Way) that I bought planted in pure pumice. I repoted two, a Ponderosa and a small RMJ, both had a tremendous amount of new roots when pulled out of the Johnson flats. Also the pumice was reuse when they went into mica pots (with a top dressing for appearance).
It drains well and both trees grew very well. I just wish I could more easily get a few bags.
Tom--I've used the Dry Stall(my supplier has been back ordered for about month now though)---and its great, but the stuff from Oregon is a larger aggregate(I have a RMJ from Walter Pall in a Johson flat of it as well). I find the Dry stall very similar to Turface MVP in size. Just wish it were a bit bigger!!!Check at any local feed and grain stores for Dry Stall. This can be sifted and used with your normal bonsai soil. I found it at a Southern States store and it retails for about $10.00 for a 40# bag. I like to throw in the red lava rock too but I can't find it locally. Either one is a good addition to your soil mix.
Lava has variable properties depending on the minerals involved. The lava (cinder) here is as light as pumice but holds less water and because of the sharp edges locks together in a way that pumice doesn't. If I want a bit more H2O retention I mix in a small amount of milled sphagnum. Roots fairly fly through it. So instead of using the stuff I live on (volcanic island) I have a local garden supply bring in "Black Gold" Pumice, the size is perfect and can be screened to small and medium with few fines. "Black Gold" is a nation wide brand and any store that carries it should be able to add it to an order.Pumice and lava are both volcanic byproducts. Pumice is much lighter and less porous than lava is and is only available in a white/grayish color.
Lava is heavier by nature and is more porous than what pumice is. Lava comes in many sizes and I find what works best for me on large and small trees alike is the 3/8" size. Lava won't break down either and can be reused like pumice if you choose to.
The best roots I have ever seen is with unsifted pumice. 100% pumice will create roots like nothing you have seen before. Doesn't matter if it is a trident, RMJ, Ponderosa, Hornbeam, Linden, etc..... the fine feeder root growth will be out of this world.
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