Have you been wondering why and Where to buy activated charcoal for plants and horticultural charcoal uses? This article will guide you.
There are many places where you can buy activated charcoal, from agrovets to pharmacies. Due to its many uses, you can find it anywhere that sells medicinal products, including herb shops.
You can also order online from trade sites like Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Alibaba and many more.
Where to buy activated charcoal for plants and the best horticultural charcoal reviews 2018.
1. The Josh’s frog - best activated charcoal for terrarium
This would be a personal recommendation for several reasons.
First of all, it is the second layer in the terrarium. Which means it acts as some kind of filter. You will only need a thin layer to cover the drainage.
The amount of charcoal that would be required would be a half of the drainage layer. This horticultural charcoal is a bonus for anyone since it can be used to culture spring tails.
It absorbs odors and helps in maintaining a freshness around the house or even in the garden.
2. Hoffman 17502 Charcoal Soil Conditioner, 24-Ounce- best activated charcoal brand
This 24 ounce part of activated charcoal is great for potting plants as it absorbs impurities when mixed with the soil in your pots.
This helps the plants to access nutrients and water in a purer form, boosting their health.
It is an efficient way of ensuring your plants have a natural drainage system.
3. Appalachian Emporium's 2Oz Activated Charcoal (For Terrariums) Chinkapin Oak Natural
Still, on where to buy activated charcoal, we also stumbled on this excellent garden charcoal.
One of the purest out there, this works wonders on your soil… Talk about enhancing air circulation,adsorption of impurities and improving water/nutrients retention, it does them well and expertly.
And it’s easy to see why- it comes from the finest Chinkapin Oak Hardwood
4. Premium Activated Carbon Filter Charcoal -by Aquatic Experts- best potting charcoal
This is a premium grade horticultural charcoal. Mixed with Bituminous coal, this potting charcoal is crushed to tiny sizes so that it can cover a greater surface area.
Smaller fragments pack tightly minimizing gaps so there is more value for your money.
One of the best charcoal soil, it’s immense in absorbing odors from your compost or even manure
This activated charcoal powder bulk undergoes a special purification process so it’s very fresh by the time it lands in your hands
5. Marineland Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon- cheap activated charcoal powder
Sizing is a common issue in most of the cheap activated charcoal brands. This is specially sized to make its application hassle-free.
It’s also one of the most efficient activated charcoal granules.. In fact, some of its fans have claimed as twice as effective as its nearest terrarium charcoal competition.
Made from coal material, this raw charcoal alternative excels purifying soil and eliminating odors.
And it’s one of the activated charcoal for plants that’s versatile enough for use in other areas like tackling discoloration in the aquarium
6. Black Gold Quart Charcoal Soil- garden charcoal
The question "where can i buy activated charcoal" can be tricky for gardeners who deal with heavy soils…That’s because not many stores stock activated charcoal bulk dedicated to heavy soils.
Now, one of the few bulk activated charcoal for heavy soil is This black gold quart charcoal soil. It performs like a master in conditioning heavy soils improving not only the texture but also density, aeration, and even drainage.
And this bulk activated carbon will also absorb excess moisture on top of removing odors
So, if you are looking for an activated charcoal bag that will be Effective even in sweetening heavy soils in terrariums and your pots, then this activated carbon bulk will leave you smiling from ear to ear
What is Activated Charcoal?
Before tackling the question of where to buy activated charcoal powder, it’s good that we know what activated charcoal gardening is.
Now, activated charcoal is a non-toxic type of charcoal formed when wood is exposed to extremely high temperatures with the intention of making it highly porous.
Due to the subsequent high porous property, activated charcoal for terrariums is a good absorbent and an essential input in modern-day gardening.
The 2-Stage Process of Making Activated Charcoal.
I will soon be answering where to buy activated charcoal in store but let’s first understand the whole process of making activated carbon.
Making of activated charcoal terrarium can be summarized as a 2-stage process.
Stage 1: Carbonization
Carbonization is the act of taking any carbon-rich material such as coal, peat, or even organic carbonaceous material through a heating process technically called pyrolysis in order to convert it into pure carbon.
Normally, the activated charcoal for terrarium is exposed to hot temperatures of between 600–1200 °C.
Stage 2: Oxidation
The next and last stage is oxidation.
During this process, carbonized charcoal is exposed to either steam or air with temperatures of as high as 1200 °C.
The goal is to increase the surface of the charcoal so that it finally becomes porous and well aerated.
This is what makes activated charcoal to have a small surface with high adsorption qualities.
Even though you can use a substitute for activated charcoal in potting or to improve compost, hardly can you get the adsorption you get when you buy activated charcoal
Benefits and Uses of Activated Charcoal
Recently someone emailed us with an email asking “is charcoal ash good for plants?”
Well, what I can say is that when you buy activated carbon, you can put it into numerous uses in your yard.
It’s one of those underrated but very powerful farm essentials.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should buy activated charcoal powder
- Eliminate Molds
In the house, you can use it to remove molds around your house and other damp locations.
Remember Mold can be everywhere and moldy environment can cause numerous problems including irritation, encouraging bacteria growth and many more
- Water Retention
When mixed with soil, it improves its porousness and water retaining abilities. This way, the soil will hold water for longer saving you from constant watering.
It also means your plants stay hydrated for longer and this could be highly beneficial to plants which need a lot of water like scarlet swamp hibiscus.
You can also use it to filter water impurities.
- Potting Plants
Charcoal for plants is MEANT to promote healthy potted plants.
This is achieved by improved water retaining qualities of the soil and helps the fertilizer function more effectively.
Again with higher moisture retention, potted plants will require less watering.
- Removing Odors
It is also useful in eliminating smells.
If you have a fungal problem, you can call on activated carbon.
It also does well in removing odors in your fridge or an area where your pet has been living.
- Eliminating Soil Impurities
Activated Charcoal adsorbs chemicals and toxins which accumulate in the soil over time posing a threat to your plant
Due to its good adsorbent properties, it draws out the toxins out of your soil hence it’s becoming a common practice to see gardeners mixing it with soil when preparing for planting.
- Health Benefits
Apart from its uses in farming, it also lots of health benefits. Here are some of its health applications:
- Reduce bloating and gas
- Treat bile flow issues during pregnancy
- Lowering cholesterol level.
- Cure hangovers!
- Treat poisoning cases and drug overdoses.
- Treating acne
- Getting rid of body odors.
- As a first aid in relieving pain from insect bites, rashes or even snake bites.
- In case of inflammations from bites and contact from poisonous plants, some activated charcoal should help reduce the stress on the area.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should ask “where can i purchase activated charcoal?”
However, for this post, our discussion will revolve around activated charcoal for gardening.
Activated Charcoal for a Terrarium
A terrarium full of moss and small plants that start off as a delightful miniature forest can easily deteriorate into one smelly, humid swamp just because you forgot activated charcoal.
So, even though you are often told you can leave it out in multiple terrarium-making tutorials; activated carbon should be layered just beneath the soil in all closed-top terrariums.
Hence, Even before you decide what to plant in a terrarium, find out where to purchase activated charcoal and purchase some.
This is how it works:
A ½ inch layer of good-quality activated charcoal added under the soil & between asphagnum moss upper layer and gravel or pebbles on the lower layer acts as an excellent filter pulling toxins and all bacteria out of the soil/water.
It also deodorizes the terrarium.
Where to buy activated charcoal for terrariums
If you are really into boutique gardening, you will want to know where to buy activated charcoal for terrariums
Now, the good news is that most of the online stores like Amazon and Wal-Mart cater for artistic gardening and don’t add huge markups like it is the case with some of the specialty stores.
How to choose activated charcoal for your Gardening needs
Even as you ponder on activated charcoal powder where to buy, let me highlight how to choose the correct activated charcoal for your lawn
· Know that the applications are grouped into 2 categories
Applications broadly fall into 2 groups: water/fluid filter and air/vapor filter applications. Air/vapor filters mostly use the larger sized granular activated charcoal (GAC) while water /fluid applications tend to use smaller GAC and also powdered activated charcoal (PAC).
· Particle size
Sufficient contact time (with the activated charcoal) is crucial. The smaller your charcoal particles are, the faster the action will be.
But smaller particles may restrict the flow of nutrients and water. Therefore, try to strike a balance.
· Molecular Size of Target Contaminant
What is the molecular size of your target contaminant?
There are 3 basic activated charcoal pore structures:
- Micro (smallest) – usually below 20 Å
- Meso (intermediate)–from 20 Å - 50 Å
- Macro (largest) - from 50 Å upwards
Match your target contaminant to the correct pore size.
For instance, activated charcoal made from coconut shell has a micro pore structure- perfect for small air/gas molecules.
For wood-based charcoal, expect more mid-range pores.
Finally, coal-based activated carbon has larger macro-pores –perfect for larger color/protein molecules.
Where to buy activated charcoal for plants: Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
The following are some of the questions frequently asked regarding activated charcoal for plants
What is meant by Virgin, reactivated and/or regenerated charcoal?
- Virgin activated charcoal refers to the original product- never been used.
- Reactivated charcoal is the activated charcoal that had already exhausted its lifespan but was then re-exposed to steam-activation.
This restores approximately 90% of the prior activity level, so it’s still safe and effective.
- Regenerated carbon refers to an activity in which spent carbon is rinsed with either a chemical agent or water to remove some of the adsorbed contaminants
Only around 5 - 50% of the initial activity level is restored.
2. Is there a difference between Coconut, hardwood, Bamboo, or coal?
Ignoring costs, each of these activated charcoal raw materials has its own special qualities that make them fit some applications more than others.
Upon activation, each produce different internal pore structures hence accommodate molecules of different sizes
For instance, coconut activated charcoal shines for air/vapor applications targeting odor control.
On the hand, coal-based activated charcoal is superb for color removal.
3. Is “activated charcoal” and “activated carbon” one and the same thing
Sure yes. Activated charcoal is the lay term while “Activated carbon” is common commonly in manufacturing circles.
4. How long does activated charcoal last?
After knowing where to buy charcoal, know how to store it.
For sure, its life can be indefinite if you store it in airtight containers
Otherwise, if left open, in time it will adsorb many pollutants and subsequently “fill up.”
5. Is it Safe?
Activated Charcoal is to a large extent considered Safe.
Some manufacturers actually go farther to certify their product under agencies such as ANSI
In this post, I have tackled the question of where to buy activated charcoal for plants and Horticultural charcoal uses..
We have seen that most of the online stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Alibaba will stock activated charcoal.
Another option would be to type ‘where can i buy activated charcoal powder’ in your browser or even ‘activated charcoal where to buy’.
And because activated charcoal has tremendous benefits, knowing where can you buy activated charcoal can give your plants the impetus they need to start glowing all over again.