What makes soil aerated and well draining?
Do your house plants look stunted, weak, and look pale or yellowish? Typically, this indicates that something is wrong with the potting soil. It is very possible that the potting soil is too dense and blocks air access to the roots. As you probably know, well-drained and aerated soil provides all the vital growth processes for your plants, so let's see what makes soil aerated!
Importance of soil aeration for plant growth
Although the requirements for indoor and outdoor plant growth are different, they share common needs - the need for oxygen, water, nutrients, and sunlight. The most difficult of all things is to ensure proper air access to the roots. In a natural outdoor soil, worms and insects take care of air access to the plant roots. An alternative to house plants is perlite that is made from naturally occurring compounds found in soil. Over time, any soil flattens and this can lead to problems such as lack of oxygen to the root system and later to plant’s vascular systems dysfunction and water absorption disorders.
If a plant is not able to absorb all the necessary oxygen from the roots, then the vital processes of daily life can no longer be done, and it is only a matter of time how long the plant will be able to survive.
Perlite - a volcanic rock that works wonders!
Perlite is a form of amorphous mineral glass and unlike others, perlite is more porous and it is able to provide better water filtration and drainage. Due to its hollow structure, perlite grains are able to store nutrients and a little moisture for the plant roots. But at the same time, excess water is easily drained away to protect the roots from rotting due to excessive moisture. This volcanic rock is non-toxic, clean, disease-free, and extremely lightweight, but hard enough to slow down soil compaction, and keep the soil fluffy enough and preserve those air pockets around roots.
The key benefits of perlite:
- Provides good water drainage
- Improves airflow to the roots
- Slows down soil compaction
- Catch nutrients for plant growth
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