Houseplants forum: Cover all soil of plants with rocks? Good or bad?

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Boston, MA
Feb 9, 2018 11:50 AM CST
Hello - I was wondering if covering all the soil around a succulent or aloe vera plant with rocks is good or bad for the plant itself? I dont know if the soil should be in more direct contact with air and light? Or if it irrelevant? --- Rocks look better than black soil/dirt, but I want to know if this will affect the plant or not.... Example of what I am saying below pics...

Thumb of 2018-02-09/LME79/4d52f4

Thumb of 2018-02-09/LME79/3fe910

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 9, 2018 12:28 PM CST
I agree that the stones make for a more interesting look than plain soil. They can be used but only with caution.

First, the stones will keep you from properly assessing the soil moisture by touch, which is important. You will have to mob=e some stones aside to make that determination. Second, the stones will act like mulch and keep moisture from evaporating into the air. That can be good for some plants, but may not be so good for succulents that need to dry out easily and quickly.

Bottom line: The stones are great decorative items, but they do make proper watering more difficult.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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