All Things Gardening forum: Cigarette ignited potting soil

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(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 10, 2013 9:54 AM CST
"...“People don't realize it, but some potting soil is actually flammable...”

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130701/NEWS/130709970/1685
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jul 10, 2013 10:09 AM CST
I had no idea!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jul 10, 2013 10:18 AM CST
Sounds like somebody wasn't keeping their plants watered! But I can imagine how potting material with a high bark content could ignite, and I think peat is also used for fuel in some countries.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 10, 2013 11:32 AM CST
I never gave any thought to potting soil fires.


Officials: Potting soil ignited, caused porch fire.

"Firefighters said a fire on Washington Avenue in Wheeling last month started because a potted plant became too hot, and the blaze caused much damage to the house's porch.

"Though it is rare for potting soil to catch fire, officials said it can ignite with the right combination of high humidity, extreme heat and dry soil.

Wheeling Fire Department's assistant chief said the mixture of the soil, shredded bark, peat moss and Styrofoam balls can be flammable in those conditions.

"Back to the old rule of spontaneous combustion: The organic and inorganic material that is put in potting soil now combined with some fertilizers that some soils have. And fertilizer is an oxidizer, which would intensify spontaneous combustion," said Assistant Chief Ed Geisel. ...'

http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/officials-potting-soil-ignite...
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jul 10, 2013 12:04 PM CST
Hmmm, sounds like "Revenge of the Neglected Plant!" Maybe we could make a movie....... Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Jul 10, 2013 12:09 PM CST
All I could think with the first one is it's time that somebody quit smoking!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 10, 2013 12:27 PM CST
woofie said:Hmmm, sounds like "Revenge of the Neglected Plant!" Maybe we could make a movie....... Hilarious!


I can hear Martha Stewart narrating.

I was unaware that styrofoam is being added to potting soil. Is it a cost factor?
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jul 10, 2013 12:31 PM CST
Maybe they're getting perlite confused with styrofoam?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jul 10, 2013 12:44 PM CST
Most people think perlite IS styrofoam! Rolling on the floor laughing
(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jul 10, 2013 1:03 PM CST
I just got a plant order which needs attention but I quick googled "is there styrofoam in potting soil" and apparently some have it.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jul 10, 2013 1:12 PM CST
Eeeeeewwwww! I'm not sure I want styrofoam in my potting soil!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Jul 10, 2013 3:08 PM CST
Only styrofoam I have used is peanuts at the bottom of a HUGE pot for fill before putting in potting soil.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jul 10, 2013 3:13 PM CST
I was worrying about aromatic petrochemicals breaking down in the soil and releasing unwanted or even toxic hydrocarbons , but reading shows that styrofoam is slow to biodegrade. That's something.

But I don't even like the way Perlite looks in a garden. I draw the line at styrofoam (polystyrene) as a soil amendment.

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