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Soil Amendments

Q.Plus And Minus Of Sand Topping

Zone 10001 | cjj84 added on February 3, 2020 | Answered

A well-meaning relative gave me five bags of black sand topping to make my house plants look better and fight fungus gnats. I don’t really have a fungus gnats problem ( just a few occasionally flying around) and most of my plants are going to be repotted come spring. Is there any downside to putting the stuff on a few of my house plants? I live in a small plant-filled apartment, and don’t have space to store bags of sand I don’t need!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 3, 2020

It, actually, makes a good soil amendment and topdress! The only concerns that you will have will be that you can no longer tell, visually, when your plants will need to be watered. This will have to be tested with a moisture meter, or by weighing the container, both, fully saturated and almost fully dry.

Personally, I like to mix sand into soils to make it able to drain off extra water faster. This may, or may not be necessary, depending on how fast your pots dry out, already. It can help break up soils that have a high clay content as well.

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