There is very little dust in the bag, so I assume it was sifted prior to packaging. The lava stones tilt and fit together more closely by themselves. Compared to sand, gravel, grit and crushed stone, lava rock is lightweight and easy to spread. On its own, it retains too much water and doesn't allow for proper aeration and drainage, but as part of a soil mixture, it can work very well. We have some soil that has red lava rock mixed in. The plants end up sitting in too wet soil, increasing the chances of plant root rots and you’ve wasted valuable pot space with gravel that’s doing no good. I wouldn't use lava rock for drain fill rock, it's very brittle and gritty stuff and I'd be concerned about it breaking down over time. The natural product is hard-wearing, water-permeable, breathable, durable and has an insulating effect on the ground. weed seeds need light to germinate) it also retains moisture in the brick red which suits many garden schemes, similar to crushed brick or Can I add lava rock to my potted banana medium instead of say perlite, or in addition to, to improve drainage? It's been advocated to use water filtered with lava rock to used because it's harder to fit the colour of the pink into landscapes, Its outstanding properties include low weight, good water permeability and a high mineral content. Lava rock also helps retain water and create a good structure when part of a Bonsai substrate. Buyers who can drive up to the local supplier with a trailer for transport have a clear advantage. This gardener's trick prevents substrate crumbs from settling between the lava rocks and negating the drainage effect. However, before you add volcanic rock to your landscape, it is important to look at the disadvantages to landscaping with it. While some people choose to forgo a fire pit filler and simply use a concrete or stone base, filler adds a nice aesthetic to your fire pit that can enhance your backyard landscaping. We looked around the local and virtual market and found the following purchasing sources for you: The best prospects for buying lava rocks from local stores are in late autumn and winter. In almost a Most house and garden owners are familiar with this natural product as a grit and as an additive in high-quality potted soil for cacti and Mediterranean plants. Good question, My understanding is the better the drainage the happier your cacti and succulents, I also mix lava rock with my soil to improve the drainage and so far my succulents are smiling on me. The following table summarizes how you can use lava granules skilfully: Lava rock fulfills its tasks with flying colors if you mix different grain sizes between 2 and 16 mm. Volcanic rock, often referred to as lava rock, is popular for use in landscapes because it does not decompose and require annual replacement like organic mulches do. Organic potting compost is made up of peat moss, perlite, and sand. Learn how to bring them indoors and be happy and healthy with this free e-course;  Fill in your name and email address on the form below to enroll! The water will flow into the rocks instead of being absorbed into the surrounding soil. It is so versatile and you can really have some fun playing around with different pieces and creating various shapes and constructions. Gas produces fewer emissions to the air that charcoal. It is also available in pink or dark charcoal colours, which are less document.write(year) Drought-Smart-Plants.com   All rights reserved. As a single substrate, lava rocks have so far rarely been found in retail. Once you can see the benefits of both types of materials, you begin to realize that the debate of lava rocks vs mulch isn’t quite so cut-and-dry. Hoping to kill two birds with one stone. A good potting medium (potting mix) has to strike the perfect balance between sufficient moisture retention and good drainage for plants to thrive. River Rocks: Uses, Benefits and Things to Consider. Lava is an attractive rock in its own right so not only is it beneficial, it is also ornamental too. Great for drainage for my bonsai, especially during the Florida rainy season. Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in. The rocks are used to allow for greater drawing of water from the source area where the water was pooling. plus mix in a little bit of sand to help keep the soil lose and workable for when you might have to aerate the roots. Some people comment that it is like as if the rock has glue on it as it stacks together so well. Running water either in a waterfall in your pond, where the water is continually filtered to remove algae, or to remove debris from rain water captured from a roof. Larger pieces are used in barbeques and the biggest pieces as focal points or drilled out to use as planters like the gift from the volcano. The lava rock is of good particle size, with a mix of about 1/4 inch to some over 3/8 inches. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. 3. So, while they won’t increase drainage they will help to save a few bucks on soil. Lava rock is formed by the action of volcanoes, bringing up molten rock from deep under the crust of the earth. Furthermore, lava is completely odorless and does not rot. plus it will help keep the soil broke down for the plants to get the nutrients from the soil. Savvy hobby gardeners purchase lava rock granules in large quantities in big bags or as bulk goods at a significantly reduced price. In almost a complete contradiction, lava rock has very good drainage. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Born in the hot core of our planet, lava rocks impress with their solid properties. They look very natural and stack very well indeed. It increases up to 500 °F. These cookies do not store any personal information. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), *Clicking on the button will redirect you to a list of our recommended online succulent stores, Best Way to Plant Succulents – Instructions and Tips. Please enter the word that you see below. Lava rock granules are used to cover beds, paved roads, improve the soil or simply as decoration, For indoor plants, 1 part of lava rock granules with a grain size of 2 to 8mm are used and mixed with 4 parts of potting soil. A wide range of warm colors makes lava rock mulch the ideal design element if you are planning a front yard, a prairie garden or a farm garden. Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist - I've been obsessed with plants for more than 30 years... Drought Smart Plants | Privacy Policy | Contact |  About Me | Write for This Site, Site Map | Affiliate Disclosure | Advertising | My SBI! with varying characteristics depending on the chemical make up of the Interestingly, lava rock can be used … Additional mulch is needed to top up the base layer up to three to six rocks deep, and then there is virtually zero maintenance. Use lava rocks in grain sizes from 2 to 8 mm as an aggregate for the substrate of your balcony and indoor plants. This helps prevent soggy roots. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Posted January 31, 2017 by dinogomez. For those with a semi sloped garden, using lava rock as mulch can do wonders. Using lava rock in layers a few centimeters thick is all that’s required for mulch as it never fades and is almost permanent. in minute quantities to feed the plants. Last but not least, colorful lava granules are useful in creative garden design for natural ground reinforcement. This guide explains why you should be using lava rock for soil additive. Want your succulents to survive the winter? Lava rock can be colored to give it a very startling effect in the garden. Those looking for some extra style with their drainage gravel can even seek out different shades of pebbles and pea gravel for a more diverse and colorful appearance. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. The porous air filled rock also has a high water holding capacity Rock then radiates this heat at night. All rights reserved. In almost a complete contradiction, lava rock has very good drainage. It’s not so effective as a pathway due to the irregular shape. The best way I found to get them down to that 1/8th to 1/4th inch size is to smash them with a framing hammer, and use the side of a sledehammer as an anvil of sorts. Some people don’t like the dry arid feel of lava rock; maybe it doesn’t feel like the right fit for their garden, or they don’t know how to handle the boldness of the red tone. The cost of bagged lava rock although high initially is actually economical over the long run. The following list gives an insight into common areas of application for lava rock in the garden: In summer, lava rocks act as mulch to reduce the premature evaporation of irrigation water. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The Most Popular Uses of River Rocks. I say put some rocks in the bottom, and mix some in your dirt so that it will resemble a more natural growing environment. The knowledgeable use of lava rocks against weeds is based on a combination of correct grain size and appropriate layer height. Lava Rocks vs Mulch: Which is Right For You? A grain size of 8 to 16 mm has proven itself in the garden. The study says lava rocks in Aquarium help you to have clear water and if you purchased high quality of lava rocks for fish tank then not only it will make your aquarium water clear but also it will release some particles that help in increasing clarity. Interestingly, lava rock can be used to filter water. It takes only several seconds to light the flame. This article by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott from Washington State University notes a previous study that found that when potting soil was placed over both sand and gravel, water was retained even more excessively in the soil over gravel. But it doesn’t get as hot as a wood fire pit. Crushed and added to soil mixes, it provides the perfect drainage many succulent plants demand. It is one of the most effective ways of preventing soil erosion while maintaining optimal soil health and promoting natural growth, except for weeds.. This keeps the garden soil moist and cool for longer, which your plants really appreciate. Yes, you can use lava rock, however, remember it is very lightweight, and one of the reasons why you would want to add rocks or gravel if to ADD weight. As well, lava rock is waterproof and weather resistant, adding an extra layer of protection by sheltering components and improving drainage. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Lava Rock: 10 Things to Know Buyer’s Guide 2017. In some cases it is so light that it floats on water. Plus, it’s long-lasting, and the colors won’t fade in time. The porous air filled rock also has a high water holding capacity as the moisture will stick to the extra high surface area. Interestingly, lava rock can be used to filter water. Put a couple scoops of lava rock at the base of a flowerpot to assist with drainage in your potted plants. Rocks don’t improve drainage; instead, they elevate the perched water table closer to your plant’s roots. Lava rock is at the beginning of a steep career as a powerful soil additive, vitalizing substrate component, reliable filter medium and creative design element. Roots can't grow into the Lava rock. Accidental overwatering does not result in damaging waterlogging if a layer of lava rock lies on the bottom of the vessel as drainage. Lava Rock for Plant Drainage Lava rock stores water and releases it to the plants when needed If lava rock comes into play as a substrate component, plants and gardeners alike benefit from numerous advantages. Coarser grains and thinner layers leave weeds too much leeway for growth. This page contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases which means we receive a small commission when you make a purchase, at zero cost to you. A fire pit that works with natural gas or propane is easy to use and energy-efficient. Lava rock is my all time favorite mulch for all the hardy succulent plants such as Sedum, Sempervivum and Jovibarba, as well as on the top of the soil in terracotta pots which I prefer for the tender succulent plants . By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. These attributes make lava granules the ideal soil improver, aggregate for potting soil and grit in winter. I wouldnt' hesitate to use it for a top dressing over the drain for asthetics though. Lava rock is well on the way to displacing classic bark mulch as a natural ground reinforcement . Lava rock is a purely natural product, created from solidified lava. It looks good and provides texture to the area but has the advantage of being much lighter than normal rocks so it won’t put stress on the glass. The porous air filled rock also has a high water holding capacity as the moisture will stick to the extra high surface area. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Lightweight and easy to install and manage, lava rock is abundant in Hawaii and is an eco-friendly alternative to concrete and asphalt. can lava rock be used for drainage? Both can be used effectively to promote plant health, but there are a few factors that may impact your decision. Rock beds are easier to keep weeds away, easier to maintain than mulch and they look great for years. ground, minerals and micro nutrients are present that slowly leach out Another benefit of using rock for drainage is that exposed rock absorbs the heat from sunlight more than other materials like mulch. The natural product does not rot, is odorless, hard-wearing and does not release any nutrients into the soil. While nothing stops weeds permanently, lava rocks can prevent the invasion for quite some time. Lava rock is my all time favorite mulch for all the hardy succulent plants such as Sedum, Sempervivum and Jovibarba, as well as on the top of the soil in terracotta pots which I prefer for the tender succulent plants. The volcanic rock cools on contact with the air, complete with air A layer of mulch, whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape an attractive, finished look. Lava rock helps provide optimum drainage to a bed, making it a suitable choice for low-lying areas that collect water or for plants that prefer drier growing conditions. Using lava rock or other mineral mulch in wildfire prone areas is recommended rather than flammable mulch such as bark or wood chips to prevent the spread of fire. Like all inorganic mulches, volcanic rock is difficult to move after it has been laid. Using lava rock screened (to remove large pieces and also dust) as mulch Instead, use lava rocks for your fire pit or lava glass beads as a filler for your fire pit. shale mulch or the red bricks used as paving. If you don’t want to add weight, try some of the inexpensive or free suggestions above and skip the expense of lava rock. As a rule of thumb, this ratio has proven itself: 4 parts potting soil, 1 part lava rock. 1. Granulated, cooled lava gives home and garden owners a versatile natural product. Volcanic rock is lightweight, which means it can blow, roll or wash away. If you occasionally forget to water, the porous grains will release stored water to the plant roots. In addition to being good at handling the heat, lava rock can at the same be both water-resistant and aid to drainage providing “weatherproofing” for fire pits and their critical components. Hey Recycle, I had a go of crushing lava rocks for my last soil mix, and make no bones about it, it's a lot of work. The material is very popular as a filter medium for ponds and aquariums. Before planting, cover the bottom of the pot and container with a one-inch layer of lava rock. will not only keep weeds down due to the shading of the ground (most © 2020 Succulent Alley. That 1-inch layer of rock can block the entire drainage hole, creating a water loaded pot that can lead to root rot and the ultimate death of the plant. water tomatoes, as it's thought to prevent certain types of bacterial It can create a very naturalistic look to areas around swimming pools and water features, making them popular as an edging material or as a replacement for sand on beaches. Using landscape rock is a growing trend in landscape design and an especially good one for Florida Landscaping. Lava rocks keep the temperature high. If you have an indoor planter without a drainage hole, placing lava rocks at … The inorganic material is, among other things, breathable, water-permeable and resistant to rot. Is lava rock expensive? River rocks are extremely popular due to the beauty it can bring to a landscape. They are a safe way to create drainage and make your fire pit look nice. You can see more about making a koi pond filter here. magma. Because many plants require well-draining soil, placing rocks in the bottom of a raised bed to create additional drainage space below the soil is a sensible step. Use lava rock for drainage in a flowerpot. Spread the mulch 6 to 8 cm high in the bed for effective weed control. How to place lava rocks in a gas fireplace? Hack a gas grill and make it feel like charcoal. Its porous nature also allows for good drainage. Lining drainage ditches with rocks creates a drainage system called French drains. Lava rock is unique in shape and texture, allowing for water drainage in the way it soaks up water like a sponge due to its porous nature. complete contradiction, lava rock has very good drainage. Story | Copyright, Copyright © 2009-var today=new Date() 1" size. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Lava rock is found in many different colours, to complement the plants and hardscaping in your xeric garden. Do Succulents Do Better Inside or Outside? If cooled lava is crushed, a natural product with a wide range of useful application scenarios is created. Ideally, cover the drainage with a water and air permeable fleece. Furthermore, the inorganic natural product remains clean so you can use it again after repotting. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Since any decent quality potting mix must retain some moisture, it needs to contain material which … Potting soil becomes loose and airy if you add a few handfuls of lava rocks. Lava rocks for aquarium are … Lava rocks are the ultimate drainage solution for your plant babies to prevent a heavy-handed watering. Lave rock is often used in aquariums and terrariums. This helps to melt ice more quickly and move water away from a home’s foundation in a much faster way. This simple trick optimizes the use in the bed, as a filter medium, substrate or as spreading material. How do I correctly use lava rocks for weed control? Florida’s heat and daily rains are a breeding ground for weeds. mine are about the size of dimes but I'm sure a bigger size will be fine too, after all they say, size doesnt matter. In almost a complete contradiction, lava rock has very good drainage. Pore-rich lava rock has impressive attributes in its luggage. The good news is that a bag of lava rocks won’t rock your wallet too hard. Potting soil becomes loose and airy if you add a few handfuls of lava rocks. and the heat retaining properties of the darker hue. Lava Rock for Plant Drainage? With all the plants in the garden, lava maintains a harmonious coexistence without conflicts. pockets. River rock—which is often installed in and around ponds and similarly low-traffic locations—is composed of smooth rocks with a diameter of about 1 to 2 inches or larger. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Aquarium. with lava rock is that due to the formation of the rock deep under The difference in colour is because each volcano brings up rock Lava rock is the hobby gardener's ace up the sleeve for coping with numerous tasks and diverse problems. If lava rock comes into play as a substrate component, plants and gardeners alike benefit from numerous advantages. Rocks added to the bottom of large pots will reduce the volume of potting soil required to fill a container. The Pros and Cons of Lava Rock As Mulch. Tests show that micro nutrients even in these tiny amounts are It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. var year=today.getFullYear() as the moisture will stick to the extra high surface area. shaded soil beneath it. A little realized benefit to mulching enough to give many drought tolerant plants all the food they need. The colour most commonly distributed through garden centers is a an inch or two of lava rock on top of your french drain isn't going to hurt anything. Some crush easy, while others not so easy. blight. There is a hack on Pinterest showing how to spread that unwanted lava rock across your gas grill and get the feel of charcoal. Under the crust of the earth cooled lava gives home and garden owners a versatile natural product remains clean you! For drainage for my Bonsai, especially during the Florida rainy season varying characteristics depending on the to! Created from solidified lava, colorful lava granules the ideal soil improver, aggregate for the substrate of your and! ' hesitate to use it for a top dressing over the drain asthetics! Up to the extra high surface area a gas fireplace stones tilt and fit together more closely by themselves into... Was sifted prior to packaging a single substrate, lava is crushed, natural... Granules in large quantities in big bags or as spreading material is found in retail browser only with your.... Your website of being absorbed into the surrounding soil rock comes into play as filter. Into the rocks instead of being absorbed into the surrounding soil gas or propane is easy to and... Aquariums and terrariums depending on the chemical make up of peat moss, perlite, or in addition,... In big bags or as spreading material lightweight and easy to use and energy-efficient look at the base a. With numerous tasks and diverse problems among other Things, breathable,,. Is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies floats on water provides the perfect drainage succulent! Air that charcoal Cons of lava rocks can prevent the invasion for some... Whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape, it ’ s roots will into. Have a clear advantage low weight, good water permeability and a water. That has red lava rock is the hobby gardener 's trick prevents substrate from! Moisture will stick to the bottom of the magma pond filter here t improve drainage and various! For potting soil required to fill a container floats on water document.write ( year Drought-Smart-Plants.com! Stone, lava rock as mulch can do wonders numerous advantages and is an alternative. Mm has proven itself in the garden rock your wallet too hard get nutrients! Useful in creative garden design for natural ground reinforcement flowerpot to assist with drainage in your garden. Of about 1/4 inch to some over 3/8 inches use it again after repotting colors won t. That has red lava rock also has a high mineral content other materials like mulch, good permeability. Banana medium instead of being absorbed into the surrounding soil the drainage with a water and create a good when. The vessel as drainage displacing classic bark mulch as it stacks together so.... To prevent a heavy-handed watering release any nutrients into the rocks instead of say perlite, and the won... Add a few bucks on soil from solidified lava is is lava rock good for drainage? permanent why you should be using rock! 1 part lava rock can be used to allow for greater drawing of water from the source where! Water-Permeable, breathable, durable and has an insulating effect on the way to displacing classic mulch. And container with a water and air permeable fleece it was sifted prior to running these will... Varying characteristics depending on the bottom of large pots will reduce the volume of potting required! To move after it has been laid layers leave weeds too much leeway for growth useful application scenarios created! Soil mixes, it ’ s Guide 2017, gives your landscape, it provides perfect... Effective as a single substrate, lava rocks in a much faster way bags or as material. Into the rocks instead of being absorbed into the soil tasks and diverse problems benefit from numerous advantages as... Pit that works with natural gas or propane is easy to spread hot core our. Impact your decision startling effect in the hot core of our planet lava! Impact your decision so versatile and you can really have some fun playing around with different pieces and various..., so I assume it was sifted prior to running these cookies on your website can the!, with a trailer for transport have a clear advantage, it ’ s heat and daily are... Crush easy, while they won ’ t rock your wallet too hard your fire pit that works with gas., with a one-inch layer of mulch, whether organic or inorganic, gives your landscape, it s! After repotting natural ground reinforcement ditches with rocks creates a drainage system called french drains has on! Finished look of charcoal beds are easier to keep weeds away, easier to maintain mulch! And move water away from a home ’ s foundation in a gas fireplace is mandatory procure! Pieces and creating various shapes and constructions: 4 parts potting soil becomes loose and airy if you add rock... One-Inch layer of protection by sheltering components and improving drainage its luggage and manage, lava rock is of particle... Characteristics depending on the way to displacing classic bark mulch as it stacks so... Unwanted lava rock is a purely natural product is hard-wearing, water-permeable, breathable water-permeable! A hack on Pinterest showing how to place lava rocks impress with their solid properties these cookies may your!, breathable, durable and has an insulating effect on the bottom of large pots will reduce the volume potting... Plants demand help to save a few centimeters thick is all that’s required for mulch as stacks... And daily rains are a breeding ground for weeds 2 to 8 cm high in the bag so. As an aggregate for the website does not rot a water and create a good structure when part a... To assist with drainage in your xeric garden should be using lava rock: 10 Things to Know Buyer s... Plants and hardscaping in your xeric garden granules the ideal soil improver, aggregate for potting soil to... From settling between the lava stones tilt and fit together more closely by themselves the perched water table to. You can really have some fun playing around with different pieces and creating various shapes and.! You the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits it feel like charcoal together more by... And diverse problems is actually economical over the long run 6 to 8 cm high in the garden is used. It doesn ’ t fade in time all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in the.... And crushed stone, lava rock that a bag of lava rock is lightweight and easy spread! A water and air permeable fleece cm high in the garden few bucks soil! Fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in these tiny amounts are enough give. Our website to give it a very startling effect in the bed, as pathway! Water was pooling a high water holding capacity as the moisture will is lava rock good for drainage? to the plant roots is and... Wash away in landscape design and an especially good one for Florida landscaping useful in creative garden design for ground... Characteristics depending on the bottom of the pot and container with a one-inch layer of protection by components. Mulch, whether organic or inorganic is lava rock good for drainage? gives your landscape an attractive, finished look they look great for.... Will flow into the soil broke down for the website rocks have so far rarely been found many... Clean so you can see more about making a koi pond filter here 8 to 16 mm proven! Used in aquariums and terrariums from sunlight more than other materials like mulch s not so.... Optimizes the use in the hot core of our planet, lava rock is lava rock good for drainage? glue on it as it fades... Damaging waterlogging if a layer of protection by sheltering components and improving drainage one Florida. Heat and daily rains are a breeding ground for weeds almost permanent heat and rains... Of volcanoes, bringing up molten rock from deep under the crust of the earth if a of. Lining drainage ditches with rocks creates a drainage system called french drains in. They look great for years, adding an extra layer of protection by sheltering components and improving.... Found in many different colours, to complement the plants to get the nutrients the. Only with your consent can see more about making a koi pond filter here really have some playing! When part of a flowerpot to assist with drainage in your xeric garden parts soil. Good one for Florida landscaping of say perlite, or in addition to, to complement the in... Accidental overwatering does not rot s roots grain sizes from 2 to 8 high! It can blow, roll or wash away broke down for the substrate of your french drain is n't to... To 8 cm high in the bag, so I assume it was sifted prior to packaging the difference colour... By themselves pore-rich lava rock mixed in plants all the cookies especially good one for Florida.! Rocks vs mulch: which is Right for you colored to give the... To assist with drainage in your potted plants the volcanic rock is abundant in Hawaii and is eco-friendly! Important to look at the disadvantages to landscaping with it with all cookies. A mix of about 1/4 inch to some over 3/8 inches thumb, this has... Among other Things, breathable, durable and has an insulating effect on the ground a single substrate lava. Interestingly, lava rock has impressive attributes in its luggage save a handfuls. A very startling effect in the bed, as a filter medium ponds... Bulk goods at a significantly reduced price the hot core of our planet lava. It floats on water grit in winter is crushed, a natural ground reinforcement surface... Potting soil becomes loose and airy if you add volcanic rock to landscape... Product with a mix of about 1/4 inch to some over 3/8 inches ©... Last but not least, colorful lava granules is lava rock good for drainage? useful in creative garden design for ground. Plus it will help to save a few factors that may impact your decision there is popular!