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Silica Sand in potting mix

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Hello all,

I have been using promix hp and adding more perlite as my main potting mix. A couple problems I am running into are that when dry, its so light weight that a small gust of wind knocks them over and if not watered enough, the soil locks up and doesn't allow good water saturation throughout all the roots.

I've heard that adding silica sand into the mix can help with both problems I am dealing with...

Does anyone use silica sand in their mix? If so, any suggestions on where to bulk purchase?

Any other ideas?

Thanks so much!!

Edited by Hferrell87

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Steve in Florida

I use mason sand also called general purpose sand.  You can buy from building supply vendors.

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If I have issues with pots tipping over with my favorite mix because it becomes too light, one fix I've been known to use is to mix some river rocks in at the bottom of the soil.  This works especially well for desert species that like fast draining soil.  It won't do a lot for soil that doesn't store water when dry, but I haven't had that issue using garden soil lightened with 25%-50% perlite.

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I've been using the Sakrete brand coarse sand from Home Depot, this stuff:


I'm not sure of any advantages or disadvantages of silica sand.  If you want to add some weight to the bottom of pots, the "pea gravel" mix works pretty well.

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Thank you for the replies!

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Matt in OC

I used to use washed plaster sand, but no more. It makes my potting mix too dense and affects drainage for smaller plants.

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Washed builders sand. Silica sand is much too fine.

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