11 Common Lava Rock Landscaping Problems

Many people love landscaping so much that they would always try to bring new appearances to their backyard or lawn landscapes. They would often decorate their landscapes with lava rocks which can bring a different and vintage look.

However, there are some demerits if lava rock landscaping, and you should be aware of the problems before you make a decision about using lava rocks to decorate your landscape. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the Lava rock landscaping problems.

With lava rocks, you might experience problems like – plants dying, blows away for being lightweight, sinking into soil, needs replacement regularly but being hard to move, hard to clean, increases the temperature, etc.

11 Common Problems of Lava Rock Landscaping:

When you are about to purchase something, it is better to be aware of the demerits too. Otherwise, later you might regret your decision. Lava rocks can seem to be aesthetically pleasing for some people but a terrible idea for others.

So, let’s check out the problems in detail.

1. Not good for plants

You might experience your plants dying because of the lava rocks. Plants may find it difficult to grow and spread in lava rock, especially if it is laid atop a weed barrier. If the cloth slopes away from the plants, this design may also make watering difficult. Also, Because lighter-coloured volcanic rock catches the sunlight, heat radiates away from the mulch and over to the plants. Some plants can not stand being in a hot environment.also, you can not use lava rocks for plants.

If you have plants and lava rocks for landscapes, you should keep them away from each other. Also, you should plant them in tubs so that the lava rocks can not harm the plants.

2. Does not look aesthetically pleasing

While lava rocks can add a new look to your landscape, not everyone finds them good to look at. So, if you are concerned about the aesthetical views you should not use lava rocks in your landscape. Also, if your landscape looks green then, you should not bother landscaping with lava rocks.

3. Lightweight

Because of the air spaces in lava rock, it is relatively light. Its small weight makes it suitable for mulch since it neither sinks nor compresses the soil. Therefore, whenever there are strong winds or storms, your lava rocks might get washed away or blown away from where you have kept them in the first place.

You can keep the lava rocks where there is no direct exposure to the wind if possible. Also, you can aid a boundary so that the rocks can not cross them easily.

4. Requires annual replacements

You can not use lava rocks for a long time. They need to be replaced after a year. And because they can sink down in the soil, it can be hard to take them all out and replace them. Also, replacing lava rocks can be very expensive.

5. Sinks into soil

If you use lava rocks for the purpose of mulching, they will sink into soil easily for being lightweight. Also, you might need to mow your lawn or backyard with a lawn mower, and the lava rocks can heat your mower too and cause damage. And while mowing, the lava rocks can sink into the soil.

6. Can not be broken

You can not break lava rocks into two or more small parts. This might seem like an advantage, and to some extent it is, but it can be a real problem when you want to replace them or you want to give them new shapes.

7. Hard to clean

Lava rocks are usually kept outside on the lawn or backyard for decoration purposes. And as they have holes in them, they can get dirty and dusty easily. But it is very hard to clean them, especially through the holes. And this might look very unpleasant in your landscape decoration.

8. Absorbs heat

Volcanic rocks are usually dark in color. So, they are prone to absorb heat from the sun. and because of absorbing heat all day, the rocks release the heat at night. And they make the temperature very hot. This can be harmful to the trees too.

As the volcanic rocks can be of different colors, you can use light colored or grey colored lava rocks so that they do not absorb heat that much. 

9. Hard to move

Lava rocks need annual replacements because they can decompose. But once you lay them down in the soil, they can get absorbed and hard to move. This often creates soil damage because you are unable to add nutrients and improve the soil structure.

10.  Harmful for mowers

Despite their low weight, lava rocks can cause harm to mower blades if they fall into your grass. The jagged edges of lava rocks make the material tough to work with even if they stay put, thus it is best to utilize lava rocks in permanent plantings or other sites where upkeep is limited.

11. Can be incompatible with your current landscape

Lava rocks harm trees, increases temperature, do not look good in every landscape, are difficult to clean, hard to replace and need annual changes. That is why it is not compatible with every landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you maintain lava rocks?

You can clean lava rocks without water by putting them on the grill greasy side up, covering them with aluminium foil, and then turning on the grill for 30 minutes to burn off the grease and grime. In addition, lava rocks can also be soaked in hot, soapy water for a day – just make sure they have thoroughly dried afterwards.

Is lava rock good around the house?

.Despite their low weight, lava rocks can cause harm to mower blades if they fall into your grass. The jagged edges of lava rocks make the material tough to work with even if they stay put, thus it’s best utilized in permanent plantings or other sites where upkeep is limited.

Final Words

Lava rocks can be great for landscaping although they have a few disadvantages like- absorbing heat, sinking into soil, harming the soil and the plants etc. Lava rocks can be amazing for the landscape if you use them on sidewalks and sidewalls. This will prevent weed plants from growing and damaging your property.

1 thought on “11 Common Lava Rock Landscaping Problems”

  1. Need to be replaced after a year? Really??? And they’re hard to break to give them different shapes? And how do they “heat your mower” if your cutting the grass and not your flowerbeds?
    This article is comical.


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