Understanding the Ingredients of Molly's Potting Mixes

Understanding the Ingredients of Molly's Potting Mixes


Akadama is a type of volcanic soil or soil component commonly used in bonsai cultivation and gardening, particularly in Japan. The word "akadama" translates to "red ball" in Japanese, which reflects its distinctive reddish-brown color. This soil is made from natural clay particles and is characterized by several desirable properties for plant cultivation

Akadama Key Properties

  • Akadama has excellent drainage properties, which help prevent waterlogged roots and reduce the risk of root rot in potted plants. This feature is especially important for bonsai trees and other plants that require precise control over moisture levels
  • Akadama provides aeration to the root zone, allowing roots to breathe and absorb oxygen.
  • Akadama is pH neutral, making it suitable for a wide range of plant species
  • Akadama particles are relatively stable and do not break down quickly, providing a consistent growing medium for an extended period.

Bacillus Pumilus

Bacillus pumilus produces antibiotics and antifungal compounds that can help protect plants from harmful pathogens. It can suppress diseases caused by a range of plant pathogens, including fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. This can lead to healthier and more disease-resistant plants

Bacillus Pumilus Key Properties

  • Bacillus also secretes biostimulant molecules, which enhance root structure making the plant more efficient at absorbing essential nutrients and water ● Bacillus pumilus can stimulate root growth and development. This results in a more extensive and efficient root system, which allows plants to access water and nutrients more effectively
  • Bacillus pumilus can enhance a plant's ability to tolerate various environmental stresses, including drought, salinity, and temperature fluctuations. It can also help plants recover more quickly from stress conditions like repotting
  • Some strains of Bacillus pumilus are capable of forming a protective biofilm around plant roots. This biofilm can serve as a barrier against pathogens and help retain moisture in the root zone, reducing water stress
  • Bacillus pumilus can assist in the breakdown of organic matter in the substrate, contributing to the recycling of nutrients and improving substrate health
  • Bacillus pumilus is considered an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach to plant protection. It reduces the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which can have negative environmental impacts
  • Bacillus pumilus is commonly used in organic farming and gardening practices because it is a natural and non-toxic way to promote plant health
  • Bacillus pumilus is a valuable component of biocontrol strategies and can contribute to improved plant growth, health, and resilience. It is particularly beneficial in sustainable and environmentally conscious horticultural, agricultural and gardening practices.

Coco Chips and Coco Coir

Made from 100% natural coconut husks and OMRI-listed for organic use

Coco Chips and Coco Coir Key Properties

  • Very low EC, sodium salt, and neutral pH
  • Free of impurities and contaminants with negligible heavy metal and pesticide residue
  • High air-filled porosity and water-holding capacity
  • They can hold up to 10 times their weight in water, ensuring that plants have access to moisture even in drier conditions. At the same time, it allows excess water to drain away, preventing root rot and over-watering
  • Coco coir has natural antifungal properties that can help protect plants from certain soil-borne diseases, such as damping-off and root rot
  • Breaks down slowly, providing long-lasting support to plants. Over time, it can add organic matter to the substrate, improving substrate structure and fertility
  • Organic, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly.

Expanded Clay: Natural Liassic clay

Expanded Clay Key Properties

  • Baked in a rotary oven at approximately 1,200 °C, then expanded and sieved.
  • Frostproof, non-flammable, germ-free, odor-free, and chemically and biologically neutral.

Horticultural Charcoal

Made from hardwood through pyrolysis

Horticultural Charcoal Key Properties

  • Filters impurities and odors.

Lava Rock

Lava rock, also known as volcanic rock or lava stone, is a type of natural rock formed from solidified volcanic magma. It is widely used in gardening, landscaping, and horticulture due to its unique properties

Lava Rock Key Properties

  • It contains high amounts of micronutrients, including iron, magnesium, and calcium
  • Its porous nature allows for excellent drainage, which is particularly valuable in potting mixes for plants that require a well-draining medium. This property helps prevent root rot and overwatering
  • Lava rock provides good aeration to the root zone, promoting root health and allowing roots to access oxygen
  • Lava rock typically has a near-neutral pH, making it suitable for a wide range of plant species
  • Lava rock is durable and does not decompose or break down quickly, providing a stable growing medium over time
  • It is an excellent amendment in potting mixes for succulents, cacti, and other plants that require excellent drainage.

Limestone (Calcitic and Dolomitic)

Used to balance pH levels.

Limestone (Calcitic and Dolomitic) Key Properties

  • Correcting overly acidic substrate with limestone can improve the availability of essential nutrients to plants. In acidic substrates, elements like calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) may become less accessible to plants. By raising the pH, limestone helps release these nutrients and makes them more available for plant uptake
  • Many beneficial substrate microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, thrive in substrates with near-neutral pH levels. By adjusting substrate pH with limestone, you create a more hospitable environment for these microorganisms, which can enhance nutrient cycling and overall substrate health.


An inorganic, non-toxic, and lightweight material.

Perlite Key Properties

  • Helps drainage and aeration of potting mediums.

Pinus Radiata Bark

More absorbent and stronger than fir bark, Pinus radiata is better at soaking up and retaining water and breaks down more slowly vs. fir and other bark products

Pinus Radiata Bark Key Properties

  • Processed through maturation rather than composting, making the particles resilient, clean, and free from contamination with soil or other organic materials
  • Aging process allows beneficial microorganisms to proliferate while pathogens are eliminated. The outer surface of the bark chip is broken down, allowing it to hold water and nutrients for the plant, while the inner structure remains hard and stable
  • Provides a pH level of 5.5 - 6.5 and never requires flushing as the bark does not accumulate salts
  • Air-filled porosity 47-54%, water-holding capacity 55-57%, water retention efficiency 25%.

Pumice and Hyuga Pumice

Pumice and Hyuga Pumice Key Properties

Pumice is a type of volcanic rock that forms when molten lava is rapidly cooled and depressurized, causing it to trap gas bubbles within its structure. This unique formation process gives pumice its distinctive lightweight and porous properties, making it a valuable material for

horticultural applications

  • Pumice is highly porous and has a network of interconnected air pockets, which allows excess water to drain quickly from the substrate. This property is crucial for preventing waterlogged roots and root rot, which can be detrimental to potted plants (Hyuga Pumice is softer and more porous than regular pumice)
  • The porous structure of pumice also provides aeration to the root zone. This ensures that the roots have access to oxygen, which is vital for their health and proper growth. Well-aerated substrate promotes strong and healthy root development
  • Pumice particles do not compact easily, which helps maintain substrate structure over time. In contrast, compacted substrate can hinder root growth and water infiltration
  • While pumice promotes good drainage, it also retains some moisture due to its porosity. This means that it can help maintain a consistent level of moisture in the substrate without allowing it to become overly dry
  • Pumice typically has a neutral pH, which means it won't significantly affect the pH of the substrate. This neutrality is beneficial for a wide range of plant species, as they can thrive in substrate with a pH close to neutral
  • Pumice is a durable material that doesn't break down quickly, providing a stable growing medium for your potted plants over an extended period
  • Pumice is lightweight, which can be advantageous for larger potted plants. It reduces the overall weight of the pot, making it easier to move and handle.

Rhizophagus Irregularis

A beneficial mycorrhizal fungus that forms symbiotic relationships with the roots of many plant species

Rhizophagus Irregularis Key Properties

  • Forms arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) associations with plant roots. This symbiotic relationship enhances the plant's ability to absorb essential nutrients, particularly phosphorus (P). The fungus extends its hyphae into the substrate, increasing the surface area for nutrient absorption and delivering nutrients, including phosphorus and micronutrients, to the plant in exchange for sugars produced through photosynthesis
  • Rhizophagus irregularis can access and absorb phosphorus from substrate sources that are otherwise less available to plants. This is particularly valuable in phosphorus-deficient substrates, where the fungus helps overcome limitations in phosphorus uptake
  • Mycorrhizal associations, including those with Rhizophagus irregularis, can enhance a plant's ability to withstand drought conditions. The fungal hyphae extend into the substrate, allowing the plant to access moisture in deeper substrate layers
  • Rhizophagus irregularis can help protect plants from soil-borne pathogens. The fungus forms a physical barrier around the root system and can also produce compounds that inhibit the growth of certain pathogens, reducing the risk of root diseases
  • Mycorrhizal associations, including those involving Rhizophagus irregularis, can improve a plant's nutrient use efficiency. By enhancing nutrient uptake and reducing nutrient loss, plants can optimize their use of available resources
  • Rhizophagus irregularis has been shown to enhance overall plant growth, including increased shoot and root biomass. This can lead to healthier and more vigorous plants
  • Mycorrhizal fungi like Rhizophagus irregularis can contribute to substrate health and structure by increasing substrate organic matter, improving substrate aggregation, and enhancing microbial activity. These improvements benefit the broader ecosystem and contribute to sustainable horticulture, agriculture and gardening practices
  • The symbiotic relationship with Rhizophagus irregularis can reduce a plant's reliance on synthetic fertilizers, as it enhances nutrient acquisition from the substrate
  • Rhizophagus irregularis forms associations with a wide range of plant species, making it a versatile and valuable partner for many ornamental plants
  • Rhizophagus irregularis and other mycorrhizal fungi play a crucial role in enhancing plant health, nutrient acquisition, and resilience in various substrate conditions. Incorporating these beneficial fungi into horticultural, agricultural and gardening practices can promote sustainable and environmentally friendly plant growth.

Worm Castings

Worm castings, also known as vermicompost or worm poop, are an excellent natural fertilizer and soil conditioner for plants

Worm Castings Key Properties

  • Worm castings are a nutrient powerhouse. They contain a wide range of essential plant nutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and many micronutrients. These nutrients are present in a form that is readily available to plants, promoting healthy growth
  • Worm castings have a balanced nutrient profile, providing plants with the right mix of nutrients for optimal development. This balanced nutrition reduces the risk of nutrient imbalances and deficiencies
  • Worm castings are teeming with beneficial microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that enhance soil health. These microorganisms help break down organic matter, making nutrients more accessible to plants and improving soil structure
  • Worm castings typically have a near-neutral pH, which is ideal for a wide range of plants. They won't significantly affect the pH of the soil but can help buffer it if it becomes too acidic or alkaline
  • The organic matter in worm castings helps improve soil structure by increasing its water-holding capacity and aeration. This allows for better root development and ensures that plant roots have access to both moisture and oxygen
  • Worm castings have the ability to retain moisture in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering and helping plants withstand dry periods
  • The beneficial microorganisms in worm castings can suppress harmful pathogens in the soil, reducing the risk of soil-borne diseases
  • Unlike some synthetic fertilizers, worm castings are gentle on plants and won't cause fertilizer burn, even if applied in excess. This makes them safe to use without the risk of harming your plants
  • Worm castings are an eco-friendly fertilizer option. They are produced through the natural process of vermicomposting, which recycles organic waste materials
  • Veryplants worm castings contain Reed Sedge peat and certified organic grains only, no animal manure and artificial hormones, no food scraps or compost and no harmful chemicals
  • Non-toxic and odor-free.
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