Paramagnetic Rock Dust

What is paramagnetic rock dust? Well, let’s start with paramagnetism.

The soil in your organic garden is paramagnetic. It isn’t magnetic, but is mildly attracted by a magnet and partially aligns with the earth’s magnetic field, so it’s paramagnetic. Some soils are attracted more than others, and generally, the more paramagnetic your soil is, the better.

This is apparently because highly paramagnetic soils are more energetically aligned with the earth and even the universe, and actually invite energy into them.

Increased paramagnetism brings:

  • better water retention in the soil
  • increased earthworm and microbial action
  • better nutrient utilization in plants
  • improved seed germination
  • resistance to predators
  • resistance to environmental stresses.

Plants are diamagnetic, which means they’re repelled by a magnet. Actually, a correction from Mary in the comments: “One minor correction on this page – diamagnetic materials are not repelled by magnets, but instead align their atoms with their poles aligned the opposite direction from the magnet’s; while paramagnetic materials align their poles the same direction as the magnet.”

It may be a good thing, too, because it gives the soil and plants a kind of yin-yang relationship. The energy from a highly paramagnetic soil flows into plants, vastly improving their growth. This energy also improves microbial growth.

Many soils are relatively low on the paramagnetism scale. In these soils, it will always be a struggle to raise healthy plants and nutrient-dense food. You can measure yours with a PC soil meter, named after Dr. Phil Callahan, who spent decades studying paramagnetism in soils and rocks around the world.

He discovered that the most productive soils are highly paramagnetic.

I’ve had an opportunity to play with the meter and it’s fascinating, but costs about $500, so for most of us home organic gardeners it just makes sense to assume our soil could use a little more paramagnetism. His book Paramagnetism is a very interesting read if you want more information.

How To Increase Soil Paramagnetism

Moving the calcium to magnesium ratio towards ideal with the appropriate organic fertilizers will increase the paramagnetism, and organic soils with more organic matter and an abundant soil food web are often higher on the scale, too.

The way to increase it even more, though, is by adding paramagnetic rock dust, generally from volcanic, granite or basalt sources.

If you were thinking of adding rock dust anyway, you can get both the mineral benefits and energy benefits by using a paramagnetic rock dust.

Most rock is paramagnetic, but you need one that is highly paramagnetic. Even then, sometimes you get a big boost in plant growth and health, and sometimes not, but it’s worth just going ahead and trying it in a small vegetable garden.

It can be somewhat difficult to find paramagnetic dust in some areas, but if you’re growing a lot of food, it’s worth it. There are many brands on the market. Application rates are the same as for any rock dust, generally between 50 and 500 pounds per 1000 square feet.

Update: I now sell a basalt rock dust here. I know basalt is paramagnetic, but I’m not sure just how paramagnetic mine is at this point.


  1. hunt-john on December 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Rock dust really helps My garden has never been healthier. 

  2. Kay Wilson on December 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Now this is interesting.  I have never used in our garden but I live in area that has volcanic rock so should be simple to find. THX for info

  3. Tanya on December 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Perhaps this is why volcanic soils (that have broken down) are reputed to be highly fertile. Interesting!

  4. aday on December 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    What is the ideal calcium magnesium ratio?

    • Phil on December 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      It depends on the procedure being used by the lab doing the soil test. On a Lamotte test, it’s usually between 7:1 (sandier soils) and 10:1 (higher clay soils).

    • Rock Dust lover on December 29, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Going full organic will solve your cal mag issues ; )

  5. Rjoyce47 on December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for this phenomenal information.  I always learn so much from you.

  6. Mark Salter & Wendy Kalo on January 2, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Hello Phil is this the same as gaia’s rock dust, we can find in Victora? We have some pictures of our garden for you, plus we have added chickens to our yard now too. 🙂

    • Phil on January 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Hi guys, Gaia’s rock dust is nice, but it’s not very paramagnetic. I could never get paramagnetic dust in Victoria, or here in Ontario for that matter. Most of my website readers are in the U.S., where it’s a bit easier to find. Yes, please send pictures. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to the last 2 years.

  7. Jason on January 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Phil – I love your site (and your old one too!) How does Azomite compare for paramagnetism?

    • Phil on January 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      I don’t think Azomite is highly paramagnetic, but my understanding is that it’s still quite a good product (Azomite is a brand name for those of you who don’t know). I would be happy if I could find it where I live.

  8. Boxgrover on January 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    For those Canadian gardeners in Ontario I just picked up a couple of bags of ‘rock dust’ from call their ‘soil conditioner’ product “Rich Valley” And I quote from their website:”Contains rare volcanic, metamorphic and sedimentary minerals, calcium, rock phosphate and humates,…”

  9. Damian on January 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Hi great stuff, do u think the uranium contained in granite would be a problem as small as it is, I mean if it was ingested its probably gonna cause some harm,The North side of Melbourne Australia is a basalt area, so we have pockets of granite here and there,and with plenty of rock mills around its possible that our basalt dust maybe contaminated with granite

    • Phil on January 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Granite rock dust is recommended by the people at Remineralize The Earth, so my inclination is that this small amount of uranium wouldn’t be a problem.

    • David M on August 24, 2020 at 11:01 am

      I think it was the late Walter Russel of the University of Science and Philosophy and the late Dr. Carey Reams who both said that trace amounts of uranium are beneficial or even necessary for the soil. They are natural elements and have a role in nature to play.

      Walter Russel said it is beneficial to put a slab of granite under your bed (box spring) to sleep on.

  10. RonW on February 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I notice you did not review Espoma Garden and Plant Tone.  What is your thinking on these two products?

    • Phil on February 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Ron, thanks for asking but I’m not going to get into reviewing individual products here. There are just too many to do that, and it takes quite a while to properly research each product.

  11. Jprescia on June 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hey Phil, VERY informative, as usual. I know you like rock dust and kelp. Does you have a list of which vegetable plants like a higher concentration of either?

    • Phil on June 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      No, it’s too complex to make such a list because there are so many conditions that dictate which is more appropriate in a given situation.If we’re comparing kelp meal and rock dust, as for how to decide which is best for your situation, I don’t recall seeing any information on how to go about that (other than advanced methods such as radionics, which is more used in farming). I go by what I can get my hands on for a good price.

  12. Steve on January 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Phil – I found a company here in the states that sells paramagnetic rock dust called Green Generations, Inc.. The paramagnetic levels were VERY high 8,000 to over 10,000cgs (tested several samples on my PCSM). Tried it in my garden last season and it worked great. The people at the company were also very nice to deal with and answered all my questions. Have you heard of them?

  13. Manu on January 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve just entered your site for the first time. The info looks really smart, condensed and solid, for sure you have won a follower! I have a couple of questions. What do you know about copper tools? I guess they help mantaining paramagnetism better than iron tools. And do you know some DIY paramagnetism meter? Thanks and smiles from Barcelona, Spain !

    • Phil on January 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      What do you mean by copper tools Manu?I’m not aware of a DIY paramagnetism meter at this point, but it’s a cool idea.

      • Manu on January 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        I mean, tools made of a copper alloy instead of iron. There’s a brand made in Austria. I just bought one and it really works great, really softer feeling while making furrows (lower friction coefficient, they say). Also, ” Copper is not magnetic – so does not disrupt the electrical fields in the soil”, I guess they refer to paramagnetism ! I’m studying agronomy engineering; maybe at my college I get some meter that I can adapt! 🙂 Greetings!

        • Phil on January 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

          That’s interesting – I’ve never considered how using an iron tool could disrupt magnetism. Not sure if that’s true or not.

  14. LA Gardener Gal on March 23, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Phil – I recently came across your article while doing some research on paramagnetism – thank for posting :). It was a recent topic of discussion in our gardening club and one member said that they tried a product last season called Andesite Mineral Complex that they were very impressed with. They started using it with their seed starts and also in the garden beds. I looked it up and their website stated having paramagnetism readings over 8,000. That was VERY high for paramagnetism levels based on my research so I will admit that I was a little skeptical. Fortunately, I found out that one member of our gardening club had a Phil Callihan paramagnetism meter so we tested it three separate times when it arrived and each reading was indeed over 8,000. I have already tried it with my seed starts they germinated faster than they ever have (and more of them) and are off to a great start. I am excited to see how they progress this season. I don’t know if they sell it up your way but wanted to pass the info along. Thanks for all the great articles and happy gardening!

  15. E J Washington on April 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Great site easy to understand info.

  16. Mary on December 28, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the info at your site. One minor correction though on this page – diamagnetic materials are not repelled by magnets, but instead align their atoms with their poles aligned the opposite direction from the magnet’s; while paramagnetic materials align their poles the same direction as the magnet. I too am looking into improving my garden with paramagnetic rock dusts and also going to try the 6′ clay or other paramagnetic material towers suggested by Dr. Phil Callahan.

  17. Rock Dust lover on December 29, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Who uses rock dust in bulk? What facet of the industry cannot get enough of this product?

  18. Chris Boumeester on November 25, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    We, my wife and I, are having great success with paramagnetic rock, specifically Cinderite, plus or minus 2500 CGS, in the cannabis industry, specifically premium hemp, grown for doctors . We are realizing approximately 25%-30% greater yield. Reduction, and elimination of pests. And of course increase in water savings. We are currently testing produce and flowers. We hope that farmers can look at this as an option for re-mineralization of soils. So far the hydroponic lettuce is doing well with Cinderite as the growing medium.

  19. AJ Sadlier on January 22, 2021 at 11:21 am

    There is an amazing product called Cinderite, volcanic soil amendment. My plants have never been so healthy and strong. I have an orchid ( my first) and it bloomed early in the pandemic. Flowers lasted three months (4 flowers). Then I repotted and added Cinderite. Then it bloomed again, 4 flowers. It started blooming AGAIN in January, it’s about to get 17 flowers. Just amazing. Also killed some fungus gnats on one plant.

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