Silica cat litter instead of vermiculite

I am going to try something new next year for my baskets and pots. Instead of using vermiculite to retain moisture, I am going to try mixing Catsan Silica cat litter grains into my compost instead. Has anybody tried this before and what do you think of my idea?


  • LynLyn Posts: 8,818

    I dont know really, Sue,surely the idea of cat litter is to absorb liquid, would it go cloggy? Perhaps you could have a go and let us know the results.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    Hi Lyn, yes, it does absorb liquid, that's the idea, I'm hoping I will not have to water my hanging baskets and pots so often. Vermiculite is very expensive and I have to order it from Germany. I will only add a handful per litre of compost and mix it well. Will definitely let you know the results.

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 532

    Try builders merchants for exfoliated vermiculite. It is used as insulation and might be cheaper than from garden centres or pet stores.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 24,402

    just bought 100L bag  of vermiculite from builders merchant, £22 approx.


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Just make sure that you make use of the cat litter before the cats doimage

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

     waterbuttsimage! Thanks for the tips everyone, but I'm a stubborn bugger, I've decided to try it anyway, I want to see if it works! If it does, I can kill 2 birds with one stone, the cats will have a nice clean litter box and I don't have to water so often!image

  • I'm trying out two different types of non-clumping cat litter in my soil mixes this year for seed propagation, rooting cuttings and for bonsai and succulents.  I read about it on various forums.  For bonsai, someone uses Tesco Low Dust Cat Litter on its own (the red granules - and I'm also trying out the white one ( So far, so good - everything's growing, but it's early days). 

  • bobisherebobishere Posts: 13
    i am using the lightweight low dust for my bonsai too. the best cheapest alternative to akadama in my opinion. one downside with using cat litter for plants is that if the company finds a cheaper alternative to the material used in the cat litter, they will not inform you on the packaging, so you could risk putting something completely different into your pots rather than the miracle working aggregate you bought before.

    I have tried the odour control one , and i think it best as an alternative to vermiculite. I would advise, for those of you who want the true best for your plant to not get cat litter and buy the proper stuff, I am using the cat litter and do want the true best for my plants, but i do it mainly because the proper stuff (especially the akadama) is quite on the expensive side, once I've got the dosh I will get the proper stuff.
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