John E. Silvius SILVIUSJ at
Wed Feb 11 11:42:04 EST 2004

I use a mixture of 3:1 white sand to perlite (which improves
infiltration) in clay pots.   The white sand is a fine silica sand used
by masonry people as blasting sand.   There of course is a health hazard
while it is dry, and you would need to transfer it to pots in a fume
hood and/or use a mask because of the danger of silicosis when the
respiratory system is exposed to the particles.


John E. Silvius, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
251 N. Main St.
Cedarville University
Cedarville, Ohio   45314
E-mail:   silviusj at

>>> "Kathleen Pelkki" <Pelkki at> 02/11/04 11:02AM >>>

 I just discovered that the nursery we usually buy vermiculite from is
no longer going to carry it because of the possibility that it may
contain asbestos. I need a non-soil medium to use in our growth
chambers... something that will not provide any nutrients in case we
doing a nutrient deficiency study.  We also use a self-watering system
which requires the placement of a wick in the planting medium. Any
ideas?  What are others using if vermiculite is no longer available?
Thanks so much for your help! Kathy Kathleen Pelkki
Biology Department
Saginaw Valley State University
University Center, Michigan 78710


More information about the Plant-ed mailing list