Drawing nutrients from the soil that surrounds them, when it comes to successfully growing from seed, cuttings or established plants, it’s essential to get your soil conditions just right.
This is where vermiculite can help. Its key features include stabilising soil through effective aeration, and excellent moisture and nutrient retention - plus it won’t decompose or rot over time.
What is vermiculite?
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral, hydrated laminar - consisting of magnesium-aluminium-iron silicate, which is mined throughout the world. In horticulture, it typically comes in flake form.
Golden brown in colour, vermiculite takes its name from a combination of the Latin ‘vermiculare’ (to breed worms) and the English suffix ‘ite’ (rock or mineral), as it expands into worm-like pieces when heated.
Similar to perlite, vermiculite is well-known for its moisture retention, absorbing more than 3 times its weight. This makes it an ideal option for growing seeds and cuttings that thrive in moist growing conditions.
Vermiculite’s expanding form also brings more air into the soil composition, promoting aeration to optimise drainage - all while improving the soil structure.
And that’s not all. Their porous composition attracts and absorbs a number of essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium and calcium. This all goes towards encouraging seed germination and healthy root growth.
With a suite of positive perks, you’ll find numerous ways to put vermiculite to use in your gardening projects.
Some of the most common uses for vermiculite include:
Seed propagation: absorbing water and nutrients, which are then slowly released into the soil, vermiculite is essential to providing a healthy, stable and nutrient-rich growing environment for seeds. It can also protect delicate seedling roots from fungal diseases
Indoor plants: planted in pots, house plants can quickly dry out or become over-watered. With the addition of vermiculite in the compost, you can better manage soil moisture levels as excess water will be soaked up and slowly released over time
Cuttings: create a moisture and nutrient-rich environment to promote root growth from cuttings with damp vermiculite in a plastic bag, which is then wrapped around the base of the cuttings
Give your plants the right growing conditions to flourish by buying vermiculite online, with UK-wide delivery available.