Medical marijuana growers in Canada and the United States are investigating the effect of natural zeolite on crop yields. Scientists have determined that zeolite allows marijuana plants to absorb nutrients and moisture more efficiently when our zeolite has been incorporated into the soil, hydroponic or aeroponic grow environment. By incorporating our zeolite into the equation, producers have experienced higher crop yields, shorter growing cycles and reduced nutrient and fertilizer leaching.
Zeolite based fertilizers are known as “intelligent fertilizers” due to their ability to regulate the release of nutrients to the soil; nutrients are held in the growth zone and are plant accessible but not water soluble. The availability of nutrients improves the overall strength and performance of plants and produce. Zeolite improves soil structure by pairing cation exchange capacity with an affinity for ammonia and potassium. This property allows zeolite to buffer soil and prevent the toxicity that is often caused by ammonia build up.
Unlike soil amendments such as lime, zeolite does not break down over time. Instead, it remains in soil to improve nutrient retention. In agriculture and horticulture, zeolite is used as a slow releasing carrier of fertilizers and agrochemicals like insecticides, pesticides, and growth stimulators. The mineral is particularly useful for recultivation, increasing the nitrogen balance in light and sandy soil, and increasing the production capacity of acid and devastated soils (Rehakova et al., 2004).
Zeolite also prevents soil compaction and works to increase infiltration, both of which promote aeration of deep root systems due. This process is made possible by the mineral’s high surface area and porosity. Zeolite has no swelling index so it maintains it’s physio-chemical structural integrity while saturated.
Because of its superior absorption and adsorption properties, zeolite reduces water and fertilizer costs by retaining beneficial nutrients and moisture in the root zone (Polat et al., 2004). The porous structure of the mineral promotes active soil that remains aerated and moist over time. Because zeolite is not acidic, its use with fertilizers can buffer soil pH levels, which reduces the need for lime applications (Polat et al., 2004). Due to these properties, zeolite is beneficial both in terms of economic and environmental factors. In fact, KMI has a partner who has stated on the record that anyone who would grow such a high value yielding plant without using zeolite is simply wasting their time and efforts.