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8 Best Vermiculite

8 Best Vermiculite

Best Vermiculite

Vermiculite is a type of naturally occurring mineral formed by weathering of biotite or phlogopite. Vermiculite contains silicon oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminium oxide, water, and other trace minerals. When heat is applied to the mineral through exfoliation, the material expands to create elongated particles golden-brown in colour. When heated, trapped water in the mineral flashes out into steam, forcing layers open.

Table of Contents

Uses of vermiculite

  1. Gardening: It is used as a sole growing medium in gardening. This can either be in potted plants or yard.
  2. Packing material: Due to its lightweight, it is used in the shipping industry as a packaging material. It is used to protect products against damage caused by mishandling or impact during shipping.
  3. Animal feed: Due to its soft and sterile nature, vermiculite acts as a carrying medium for fat concentrations, molasses, and other nutrients. It is safe for animals to digest.
  4. Automotive: Vermiculite is a safer alternative for asbestos, which were previously used for friction lining. Friction lining is typical in brakes, clutch lining, rubber seals, and gaskets.
  5. Construction: It is used to manufacture ceiling, lightweight floors and roofs, plasters, and loose-fill insulation. It helps improve fire resistance and heat and cold insulation in commercial and home buildings.

How to use vermiculite in gardening.

Three cubic feet per 30 square meter of vermiculite is mixed with soils in a newly seeded lawn to hasten germination and break seed dormancy.

It is added alone and or with peat and compost to the soil. When used in a 1:1 ratio with soil, pear, and or compost, it loosens the soil in pot flower or house plant containers. It helps increase growth for plants during germination to fruiting.

A hole 15 cm deeper than the plant root is dug during a transplant, filled with vermiculite and topsoil. It allows rooting and increases moisture retention in the soil. When used, it is easy to transplant without causing damage to the roots.

They are used as a growing medium. Vermiculite enhances plants’ abilities to absorb macro and micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, ammonium, and potassium, essential for faster growth.

Bulb plants such as onions are at risk of rotting due to excess moisture. Vermiculite, due to its porous nature, can capture the excess water preventing mildew and rotting.

 For the propagation of root cuttings, medium-grade vermiculite, which is slightly coarse-textured, is used. It is used directly without the addition of soil mixture. 

It is suitable for seed germination. Used alone or combined with peat and soil, vermiculite expands when wet and holds moisture for long periods. This prolonged water retention ability is ideal for seeds to germinate. When used without soil, one tablespoon of soluble fertilizer per 1 gallon of water is mixed.

Pros and cons of vermiculite.

Pros/ benefits:

  • It can be used alone or with other mixtures.
  • Has a high cation exchange capacity.
  • Sterile reduces the risk of pests and diseases.
  • Ph close to neutral
  • High water retention
  • Reusable, it is washed, sterilized, dried, and stored for future use.
  • Suitable for plant propagation and germination


  • Not easily accessible in the local gardening market
  • Due to its spongy nature, it retains too much water
  • It is non-renewable

8 Best vermiculite Reviews

1. 8QT Professional Grade Vermiculite by Plantation Products

8 Quart vermiculite professional grade is a popular and efficient soil conditioner. Blended with peat moss and perlite, it creates an ideal custom soilless mix essential for growing various plants. It is also mixed with soil to boost its mineral and nutrient composition, needed for different horticultural crops. It is hence also given the name “good earth” horticultural vermiculite.

Its lightweight is used as a support and carrying medium for nutrients in animal feeds. It is used in vitamin and molasses preparations. Also, due to the lightweight, it is used as a packaging material. Currently, it has been used to ship lithium batteries due to its non-flammable nature.

Vermiculite has a spongy nature that helps in retaining water. It soaks up like a sponge until the soil starts to dry out and release moisture. This is ideal for moisture-loving plants. The rate at which water moves through the ground is essential. Vermiculite helps in holding water that is suitable for plant germination and growth.

This product has a ph of 7 and low EC. Due to the high surface area, It absorbs ions like phosphate that are essential to the plant. When ph is deficient, toxins are released into the mixture reducing the nutrient intake. The grower does not need additional products to balance soil ph. This vermiculite brand provides the soil with conditions that support the growth of plants.

2. Organic Vermiculite by Perfect Plants - 8 Dry Quarts Natural Soil Additive for Potted Plants

Vermiculite by Perfect Plant is organic and safe for plants to grow in. for environment enthusiasts, this organic brand is best used in environmental conservation. The mix is pure, does not have additives compared to other materials used in gardening.

The product is porous,  creating air space that helps the plant roots expand and grow. The air spaces also help increase air retention capacity enabling good airflow in the soil. Also, there is a balance between soil and atmospheric air closely related to healthy plants and better yields.

Due to its natural state, this product does not break; neither does it decompose. Studies have shown it last longer in potted mixtures compared to other media. Decomposition leads to the growth of both good and harmful bacteria. Vermiculite, in its natural state, will not decompose, which makes it immune from pests and diseases. For hydroponic use, vermiculite plays a vital role in preventing the spread of conditions that can affect a whole system at a go.

Organic vermiculite soaks water up, improving moisture retention capacity. The water and the neutral ph flush out toxins in the soil. This increases nutrient retention capacity in the growing medium helping the plants access all essential nutrients. It is perfect and beneficial for both gardening and hydroponics.

3. PVP Industries Vermiculite-4A Vermiculite, White

PVP Industries vermiculite is not only great for gardening but also hydroponics. Vermiculite is essential for the hydroponics system. It helps boost and accelerate the growth of the young roots as well as a seedling. It also helps in retaining nutrients in the hydroponics system aiding in the development of plants and seeds.

Vermiculite being an excavated mineral rock, it will not decompose at any one point.  The material is sterile and non-toxic, eliminating risks of pests and diseases. For large scale farming, vermiculite is readily available and inexpensive. This explains why most growers prefer vermiculite compared to other media.

Vermiculite is often used in dry areas due to its excellent water holding capacities. It is fully hydrated when water is applied from below and above, meaning it can be used in different hydroponics systems.  A balance of moisture to air ratio promotes root development and plant growth. Vermiculite does not need additives to balance the water-air ratio or improve drainage.

The mixture ph is around neutral. It ranges between 7.0- 7.5. a media with a ph above 7.5 releases toxins that scotch the plants and denature some soil nutrients. Due to this, plants will develop yellowish leaves that lack chlorophyll, which is used to manufacture the plant food. Growers can relate a lack of chlorophyll to low yields since they will not manufacture food used by its systems or parts. This product meets all your gardening needs and is meaningful in growing a predictable crop.

4. 8 Quarts xGarden Horticultural Grade Premium Vermiculite - Extra Chunky

8 Quarts (32 Cups) all-natural Premium Vermiculite soil additive is extra coarse. It has larger particles with minimal dust compared to grade A3 vermiculite. The course vermiculite is sterile, non-toxic, and odorless, meaning it is safe to use. It is not only used in hydroponics but also indoor and outdoor gardening.

The coarse vermiculite allows for easier absorption of nutrients like ammonium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This means it can safely grow herbs, potted plants, and hydroponics for human consumption. For animal feed uses, coarse vermiculite works well as a carrying medium for certain varieties of nutrients. It is used in molasses preparation, fat concentration, and vitamin preparation. These nutrients improve livestock production.

Roots can develop and mature rapidly due to good aeration properties of the soil. This product improves soil aeration by its coarse particles that allow airflow in and out of the soil. Sturdy roots emerge from the aerated soils due to optimal nutrient and water intake. It also helps the soil maintain the optimum temperature that is suitable for plant growth.

The moisture is ph neutral, improving the relationship between plants and soil. Plants require a favorable ph for their processes to take place. Ph influences the availability of nutrients essential to the plant. Gardeners should adopt the use of Xgarden vermiculite to improve productivity.

5. Quality Vermiculite For Seed Starting/Medium (1.1 Gallon)

Do you need perfect plant vermiculite? This brand is used as a soil conditioner, soilless mix, and as a growing medium. It is ideal for germination and rooting propagated cuttings. It can be used as a sole growing media and or mixed with other media.

The material does not break down nor decompose. Decomposition allows for the growth of good and bad bacteria. This leaves the mix or medium prone to diseases and pests. A single plant infested risk affecting the entire system in a hydroponics system; thus, using vermiculite might save a lot of money used to sterilize or spray the plants. For organic gardening, crops free from pests and diseases tend to be leafy and more nutritious.

Vermiculite helps the soil drain naturally by absorbing and soaking off the water. The particles also allow water flow in and out of the soil, enhancing the right moisture balance. By imitating natural ground conditions, vermiculite helps meet optimum plants’ optimum conditions for growth and development.

The material is lightweight and more comfortable to handle compared to other mediums. Apart from farming, this material is also used to store tender varieties of bulbs. It absorbs moisture preventing mildew and rot that damages the produce.

6. Josh's Frogs Vermiculite (Medium Grade- 10 quarts)

Josh’s Frog Vermiculite is not unique but also multipurpose. Apart from gardening, it is used for the incubation of reptile eggs. It works well for Geckos, tortoises, lizards, iguanas, and snakes.  Amazing! Right? This mixture retains water that is released through the incubation process providing the reptiles with needed moisture. Checking the recommendations for the specific animal you have is crucial.

The material absorbs water ensuring the eggs do not get overly saturated. With its pure nature, fungi and molds’ risk is reduced, creating a safe environment for the eggs to hatch. Not only does it work for reptiles but also a perfect choice for cricket bedding. It absorbs excess humidity and controls odors in the room. It is sterile and inorganic, meaning it does not risk pests, molds, fungi, and diseases to the insects. Also, it does not have fertilizers and pesticides that are harmful to the insects’ growth.

When mixed with other elements, this vermiculite is essential for mushrooms’ growth, which requires a slightly acidic ph. A thin layer is applied to the soil and mixed with water together with other elements. This will help the soil retain moisture needed by the mushroom and other plants. By absorbing water, vermiculite helps maintain a fluffy casing layer that allows mushrooms mycelium to prosper. This leads to the rapid growth of the cake, all thanks to Josh Frog vermiculite.

7. EasyGoProducts Palmetto Vermiculite Coarse

EasyGoProducts vermiculite is an excellent soil additive. It balances soil ph to neutral. Acidic soils tend to have fewer nutrients and are toxic to the plant. The sterile mixture will not accommodate pests and diseases in the ground or medium. Also, it requires no additives compared to other media. This saves on operation cost as it serves 2 in one purpose.

Palmetto vermiculite does not break down due to its inorganic state. This ensures a stable material that can be reused is available. This product also requires less maintenance and will not degrade. It is washed, sterilized, and stored for the next growing season.

The material maintains soil moisture as well as excellent aeration properties. Inadequate moisture prevents the plant from developing well. Water retention is useful in ensuring roots can access water directly from where it is held. It also helps in flushing out toxins that are harmful to the soil and plant.

It enhances good soil aeration that is beneficial for the plant. Aerated soils are less compacted, allowing roots to maneuver through in search of nutrients and water. These are a few of the many reasons why growers across the world prefer the product.

8. Cricket Colony Starter Kit for Feeder Crickets- 6-Egg Flats, Vermiculite

This is one of the most renowned brands in the market to use as cricket bedding material. Its nature of absorbing excess moisture helps maintain a healthy colony for the crickets. It prevents colony infestation with bacteria caused by the droppings, dead cricket, and rotting food. Also, it minimizes odor from cricket poop. Crickets enjoy a semi-humid environment that is provided by the vermiculite. However, it is recommended to change the substrate once every one to six months.

For a grower to start a cricket business, this brand provides all the requirements for a colony building. The pack is a cricket food sample, egg flat, vermiculite, topsoil, and container for egg-laying, spray bottle, and lids for food and water dishes. The egg flats provide the crickets plenty of room to lay eggs and breed. On the other hand, the sample food is rich in proteins that are great for the hatchery. 

Vermiculite absorbs urine and feces, reducing the odor and risk of bacteria sprouting. The spray bottle is used to moisten the cricket keeper and provide a humid environment. Another plus is the availability of water crystals that makes gel. One ounce of the crystals is added to a gallon of water to form a gel that moisturizes the roaches and cricket without drowning them. This brand provides all the snacks you need to keep the pet’s habitat ready.


Vermiculite is best known for soil aeration, water, air retention capacity, sterile and lightweight nature. It is used for agriculture and insect and reptiles farming, construction, and the automotive industry. It is an excellent material to keep your garden and pets happy.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers.

Question: Does vermiculite decompose?

Answer: No! it does not break or decompose, meaning it is a permanent solution for gardening needs amendment.

Question: Can vermiculate be reused?

Answer: Yes, it is washed, sterilized, dried, and stored for the next growing seasons.

Question: Can plant grow in vermiculite only?

Answer: Yes. Plants are grown successfully in perlite without needing additives. However, water is required from time to time.

Question: Is vermiculite organic?

Answer: Vermiculite can be organic but not always. When purchasing it, look for an “organic” label on the packaging.

Question: Is vermiculite safe for gardening?

Answer: Safe. It is a processed, naturally occurring material that is safe to use.