This research was carried out to assess the effects of zeolite and perlite on growth and nutrient status of lettuce plants and the amount of waste elements. The trials were done in a PE covered tunnel during autumn and spring seasons. Plant material was Lactuca sativa var. capitata, and the cultivars Bombola and Brogan were used for autumn and spring seasons, respectively. Five different growing media based on perlite and clinoptilolite, a kind of zeolite, mixed at different ratios (1 + 0, 3 + 1, 1 + 1, 1 + 3, 0 + 1, v/v) were tested. It was concluded that the use of zeolite led to increased plant growth, higher N and K contents in plant tissues and to reduced K leaching. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.