Questions about pumice? We hope that this page can help answer some of the most common questions we receive about Featherock. If you have additional questions, please visit the Contact Us page and we would be happy to help!
Q: What is Featherock? Is it man-made?
A: Featherock is pumice – a naturally created volcanic stone. You may have used pumice before to scrub your feet. It’s the same material! Featherock pumice was created by the volcanic eruptions of the Mono Craters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Q: Will Featherock deteriorate in the elements?
A: No! Featherock pumice is made of volcanic glass. It has been sitting at the original site of its eruption for thousands of years. It will not deteriorate over time outside.
Q: How much lighter is Featherock than other landscaping stones?
A: Featherock is approximately 1/4th the weight of granite at ~30 pounds per cubic foot!
Q: Does Featherock absorb water?
A: Pumice will not absorb water like a sponge, but it can hold water in its many glassy pores on the surface of the rock. The water will not damage the stone. We have had our pumice tested for freeze-thaw stability, and there were no negative effects of the freeze-thaw cycle on our stone.
Q: What kinds of tools can I use to carve pumice?
A: Our resident artist, Enrique Perez, Jr., recommends using any old or dull tools you don’t mind getting scuffed up. He uses old screwdrivers, chisels, metal scraps, and any other old metal tools to sculpt the pumice. Pumice is a very soft rock that will carve very easily with regular metal tools. We also use diamond tipped drill bits and drill presses to create our Sierra Artisan Planters since the rock will wear down normal metal tools over time. Diamond tipped is not necessary, but we use them since they will last longer than a regular drill bit and we make LOTS of planters! Be sure to wear eye protection and a mask to avoid inhaling the pumice dust when carving or modifying Featherock.
Q: If I make my own pumice planter, do I need a drain hole?
A: Featherock garden planters come pre-drilled with a small drain hole so you can use a container or plant directly into the rock. If you plan on making your own planter, you will need to decide if you will be placing a plant directly into the rock or using one in a container. If you use a plant in a container, you can easily remove the plant for watering so that the water can drain out before placing it back in the stone. If you want to plant directly into Featherock, we recommend adding a drain hole so water does not sit at the bottom of the planter potentially causing root rot.
Q: How do I use pumice gravel as a soil amendment?
A: Pumice is a fantastic natural soil amendment that will help aerate and lighten soil while retaining nutrients. We recommend using Featherock’s 1/4″ pumice gravel size for this purpose. Depending on what you are planting determines the ratio of pumice to soil. For desert plants that like fast draining soil (succulents, cactus, etc.) you can use up to a 50/50 pumice / soil mixture. You may also want to add horticulture sand to create a grainier texture. For regular garden plants, soil will benefit from 20% to 40% pumice added. In a large bucket, dump the soil and pumice together and mix thoroughly with a shovel or your hands to make your custom soil blend.