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Introducing Monto Clay

Introducing Monto Clay

Originally posted 5-30-2016

Introducing a new item to the Bonsai Jack product line.

Monto Clay is a hard 1/4 inch high fired Montmorillonite clay product for specialty soil blends including bonsai, hydroponics, cactus and succulents. Profile Products, the makers of Turface, were kind enough to create this product for us. It is exclusive to the Bonsai Jack brand.

Although this is technically 1/4 inch Turface we are not permitted to sell it as Turface. This is because it conflicts with the Turface brand name. This new product will be branded as “Monto Clay”. Short for Montmorillonite Clay. Monto Clay comes from the same company, mine and processing system as Turface. It's the exact same product, only larger.

Turface MVP has a pH of 4.4. Quarter inch Turface (Monto Clay) inch has a pH of 5.6. This makes it a great acidifier. Monto Clay is less acidic because of the reduced surface area by volume.

Montmorillonite clay is calcined(fired) to create Arcillite and offered as many product brand names including Turface, Oil-Dri, kitty litter and floor dry.
These products are proven soil ingredients for hundreds of recipes. The pH can range from 4.0 to 6.0 making it a great acidifier.

The biggest complaint of the legacy products has been the particle size that ranges from dust to 1/8th inch. This small particle size created two problems.

  1. Increased surface area which increases acidity.
  2. Drainage issues. Smaller particle size can settle to
    the bottom of the pot and clog drainage channels when watering. This can
    lead to wet and dry spots within the mix.

Monto Clay overcomes these issues with a large and extremely consistent particle size. The larger particle sizes reduces surface area, prevents
settling and increases drainage.

The particle size of Monto Clay will match other products we offer as they pass through the same rigid screening process. Most sellers will purchase bulk
material and simply repackage it for sale. We continue to screen, crush, rescreen, wash, dry, inspect and package all of the products we offer.

Monto Clay is a brand name. Montmorillonite clay(Arcillite) is available from two mines in the USA and sold under hundreds of brand names. It is known for
its advanced CEC(cation exchange capacity) and acidic properties.

4 thoughts on “Introducing Monto Clay

  1. Do you have the water absorption and evaporation rate values for Monto Clay, and is it different than the Turface values you’ve listed previously? Thanks

    1. Hello. Moisture retention rates have not been tested with Monto Clay. It’s a newer product. Monto Clay is a softer material Monto Clay and Turface are produced with the same material and firing methods and have a similar hardness. It would probably fall somewhere between Turface and Akadama large on the chart moisture retention chart.


      Revised 2-8-2017 for clarification

  2. One of the positives of Turface is the durability/hardness. So, if Monto is closer to Akadama, will it deteriorate, as does Akadama?

    1. Good point Phil. I think my statement about Monto Clay and Turface being softer should be clarified.

      Monto Clay and Turface are the exact same product. They are both softer than traditional stones such as our pumice, red lava, maroon lava, bonsai block, granite… Akadama is offered as air dried or low fired. Monto Clay and Turface are both high fired products and will last considerably longer than any Akadama. Monto Clay will fall somewhere between Turface and Akadama on the hardness scale.

      Turface and Monto clay will break down at the same rate as they are the same material. If you are getting 5 years of service from your Turface you should expect the same from Monto Clay.

      I hope this helps


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