If you have never bothered to check out any potted plant you bought lately and you have never plant one yourself, then it may not be easy to tell the difference that exist in pumice vs vermiculite. For starters, these are mineral elements that are formed naturally. Pumice is a volcanic rock that normally has a light color. It is so much porous and may appear foamy in overall appearance. It is usually crushed into powder to form what is referred to as pumicite. Vermiculite on the flipside refers to a combination of laminar minerals, that is, silicates, aluminum, and iron, forming a rock that looks like mica. In its useful form, vermiculite has been subjected to massive heat resulting in formation of thin pellets that look like multilayered plates. Vermiculite has a neutral PH of 7.0 and is alkaline. It is lightweight and can easily be mixed with other mediums. It does not rot, mold, or deteriorate. It is also odorless, sterile, and not toxic.
Pumice vs Vermiculite- Similarities
The two minerals are used for almost same purposes. First off, vermiculite plays a crucial role of boosting soil fertility. It is mostly used in gardens and potting soil since it boosts the soil nutrient and water retention capabilities. It also helps aerate the soil. All these help promote plant growth.
Vermiculite does a great job of conditioning and lightening the soil, either as a standalone product or when used alongside peat or compost. This has the effect of accelerating plant growth and promoting root anchorage especially the tender roots of young plants.
As for soilless growing media Pumice vs Vermiculite, it is worth noting that vermiculite can be used to germinate seeds as a standalone product. You however have to add some low amounts of fertilizer. You can also mix it with soil and use it for seeding. It allows you to easily uproot the seedlings once ready without damaging the plant roots. Pumice also works well when used for soilless growing.
Pumice retains moisture and helps enhance soil aeration. It is therefore used in gardens, potting, and horticulture to improve soil drainage and boost oxygen levels.
Differences Pumice vs Vermiculite
Vermiculite helps enrich the soil with beneficial nutrients such as ammonium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These are potent nutrients that promote rapid growth in plants. It can be used directly for root cuttings but with plenty of watering. Pumice contains silicates and aluminates.
Vermiculite is also helpful in arranging flowers and keeping them fresh all day. All you need to do is fill up the container with vermiculite then pour in some water, drain excess water and arrange the flowers. This helps keep the blooms fresh and eliminates spills and need to keep changing water. You cannot use pumice for such a purpose.
Pumice has low density and will float on water until its pores are filled with water. Only then will it sink. It can however float for years and forms floating islands.
Pumice is best suited for sandy soils since it greatly boosts water-holding capacity. It has large particles and can never be blown away by wind. When it comes to processing Pumice vs Vermiculite, vermiculite has to be subjected to massive heat before use. As for pumice it is not processed but only sorted according to size.