Used widely in Japan for growing succulents and bonsai, Akadama is a form of volcanic pumice. It is used both as a topping material as well a growing medium. How it is used depends on the plant species, soil requirements as well as the climate.
The benefits of using as a growing medium are in the drainage it provides, and this is especially true with succulents. It allows air to be present in the growing medium which promotes root growth as well as keeping a good moisture level.
What is Akadama soil?
This is a naturally occurring substance and Akadama means ‘Red Ball Earth’, it looks like clay, however it not actually clay and is mined in Japan.
Once mined it is then dried by heating to high temperatures and sifted into different grades according the size. It is naturally a light brown in colour, when wet it changes colour to a darker brown.
How do you use Akadama?
Akadama has a number of Uses in horticulture.
- As a topping material when potting succulents.
- As a growing medium for some succulents.
- In Bonsai, where it is often combined with other materials such as sand, peat and compost.
Over time, this is a product that breaks down however it does retain its drainage ability fairly well, and repotting is required every 5 – 7 years.
Lightweight for easier pot handling. Drains perfectly if prepared correctly. Allows air to be drawn into the mix when watered. Maintains near-perfect moisture retention for plant health. Granular in character to aid root development.
It has a neutral pH and can be used in a ratio of 1:5 in general potting mixes. Some plants such as Haworthia can be grown in pure Akadama.
- It promotes root growth
- Is excellent for water retention
- Improves mineral retention
- Provides good drainage
Is Akadama the same as Kanuma?
Kanuma is a pumice like substance and is different to Akadama. It is naturally acidic in nature and suited for use in Bonsai for plants such as conifers.
Akadama is available for sale from the following suppliers.
Specialist succulent grower with a large range of Echeveria and other succulent genera, including rare and unusual varieties for the collector.
Online Retail Sales www.succulents-australia-sales.com