Prepare to be amazed by the incredible properties of Zeolite, a unique component that will leave you in awe...
Zeolite is a mineral aggregate composed of metallic elements and possesses a highly beneficial structure. Its structure is best described as microporous, similar to pumice and activated charcoal. This means that each rock contains thousands of tiny pores, measuring smaller than 2 nanometers. Zeolite's secret power lies in its usefulness for plants. It can occur naturally or be man-made, and here at Soil Ninja, we exclusively source the natural variety known as Clinoptilotie.
In horticulture, Zeolite serves multiple purposes, with its most notable ability being its incredible nutrient storage capacity. Zeolite is an exceptionally effective colloid, which refers to a negatively charged particle in the soil. This property is highly beneficial for plants because many essential nutrients they require are positively charged ions, known as cations. Colloids act as nutrient reservoirs in the soil, attracting oppositely charged nutrients during watering, storing them, and exchanging them for hydrogen ions provided by the roots upon contact. Moreover, Zeolite can even exchange nutrients based on their concentration in the soil. For instance, if a substrate is rich in potassium but lacks iron, the stored iron in the Zeolite will be exchanged for potassium.
This nutrient swapping capability is known as cation exchange capacity (CEC), a term you may have come across in your soil research. Prior to Zeolite, peat had one of the highest CEC ratings for substrates. However, research has shown that Zeolite boasts an even higher CEC rating, even without chemical activation. This remarkable feat is thanks to Zeolite's naturally effective structure and negative charge, creating a super-powered component that is truly unparalleled.
Aside from its impressive nutrient storage properties, Zeolite also acts as an aerator in soil mixtures by physically breaking up the soil and creating air chambers for the roots to traverse.
Zeolite has excellent moisture retention capabilities, making it a valuable moisture control component in blends suitable for both plants that prefer drier conditions and those that thrive in more moisture. For thirsty plants, Zeolite will release water back into the mix, maintaining a consistent saturation level in the soil while also absorbing any excess water to prevent overwatering. In the case of desert plants like cacti, our sandy and gritty mix naturally doesn't retain much water. Zeolite acts as a little oasis for roots to discover as they grow through the bone-dry mix, while also aiding in faster drying after occasional drenching by absorbing and storing water for later release.
Zeolite's moisture control and nutrient storage properties also make it an excellent component for DIY semi-hydroponic setups!
We offer both fine and coarse grades of Zeolite, which perform the same function, with the difference lying in their suitability for different root sizes. Plants with chunky roots like Monstera, Anthurium, ZZ plants, and others will benefit from the coarser grade, which provides the necessary airspaces for their growth. Conversely, plants with finer roots such as Calathea, Alocasia, or those in terrariums will prefer the finer grade, matching the requirements of their delicate root systems.
Now that you're well-informed about Zeolite, will you be incorporating this extraordinary component into all your soil blends? Get ready to elevate your gardening game with Zeolite!