Lapillus for mulching vases
This is its most classic use: it can be considered as an alternative to coniferous bark or pebbles. It has the advantage of being very light and of degrading very little even in adverse weather conditions. The most common colour on the market is red and it goes well with wooden or modern pots.
In some environments, however, it is important to create a break in color: we can then look for variations in black or gray, originating in Sicily, but unfortunately, especially in northern Italy, are not easily available.
They will create a pleasant effect when combined with concrete, metal or plastic containers in neutral colours. However, let’s avoid darker shades if our garden or balcony are very sunny: on summer days the lapillus could overheat, favouring, for example, the appearance of the red spider.
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The coloured lapillus
As mentioned in the market, only the red variant is very common, although the natural colors range from brown to black to light gray. If we can’t find one of these variants or we want a more eccentric effect, we can decide to colour them. Since these are porous stones we will obtain a homogeneous effect only by using spray paints, choosing among those that guarantee the highest resistance to weathering and temperature changes.
Before proceeding, it is very important to wash the stones thoroughly, repeatedly: especially the red ones are often literally covered with a very fine powder. Let’s rinse them until the water is very clean and then let them dry in the sun for at least one day. Then place the stones spaced out on a sheet and spray them at least 20 cm. We can then use them as mulch or for other uses that we will indicate in the following paragraphs
Transparent vases and lapillus
Many people are not aware of this, but lapillus is an ideal substrate for growing plants in hydroponics. With the appropriate precautions, the specimens will develop vigorously and, on the contrary, will be less subject to attacks of parasites and cryptogams. All epiphytes are particularly suitable for this technique, many indoor plants coming from tropical climates and pluvial forests.
The important thing is to use osmotic, bacteriologically pure water and periodically distribute a specific complete fertilizer. We recommend using only lapillus in natural colours, perhaps creating layers in different colours and, to facilitate the growth of the roots, vary the granulometry considerably. Using glass or transparent plastic pots we will obtain surprising effects.
In the net it is not difficult to find small bulbs suitable for immersion in water: we can insert them in depth, between a rock and the other: thanks to its porosity in the evening we will have a warm and soft lighting.
Decorating vases with lapillus: Let’s build a vase with lapillus
This rock can also be used as a building material. You can proceed in different ways. We can build the walls of the vase with more or less fine nets (depending on the grain size that we will use). We can make them square, but it is not difficult to obtain even round shapes. Once we have made the skeleton we will fill it with the lapillus, also in this case monochrome or alternating the shades.
Once well settled we can fill the inner cavity with soil and plants: these structures are perfectly suited to contemporary environments, but also to those typically Mediterranean.
Excellent results are also obtained by creating the structure with wooden planks and then filling it with pebbles. Finally we will pour from above the cement liquid enough, so that it allows all the artifact going into the interstices. Let’s wait a few days to be sure of the complete drying and eliminate the axes. We will get an elegant and extremely durable vase.