Soilless growing media: exfoliated vermiculite is combined with other materials such as peat or composted pine bark compost to produce soilless growing media for the professional horticulturalist and for the home gardener. These mixes promote faster root growth and gives quick anchorage to young roots. The mixture helps retain air, plant food and moisture, releasing them as the plant requires them. These mixes were pioneered by Boodley and Sheldrake As a soil conditioner: Where the native soil is heavy or sticky, gentle mixing of vermiculite up to one-half the volume of the soil is recommended. This creates air channels and allows the soil mix to breathe. Mixing vermiculite in flower and vegetable gardens or in potted plants will provide the necessary air to maintain vigorous plant growth. Where soils are sandy, mixing of vermiculite into the soil will allow the soil to hold water and air needed for growth.