long. Growing Plants with Perlite. It will function as a soil aerator in the ground, just as it would in a container. Generally you do not have to duplicate exactly the natural soil conditions. Due to perlite’s large surface area, it is a good choice for plants that require levels of high humidity. Perlite holds air and create pockets of oxygen in the soil or water to keep root function on track so plants can get plenty of food. Sign up for our newsletter. Does the size of the pot matter? In fact, the end product weighs only 5 to 8 pounds per cubic foot (2 k. per 28 l.).  The super heated perlite is comprised of tiny air compartments. While both perlite and vermiculite aid in water retention, perlite is the more porous and tends to allow water to drain much more readily than vermiculite. Adding perlite … A premium mix of one part loam, one part peat moss, and one part perlite is optimum for container growing, enabling the pot to hold just enough water and oxygen. Thirty to forty seedlings are planted and the surface covered with pea gravel. To plant a 10-inch (25cm) saucerless basket, the basket is filled to 2 inches (5cm) from the top with perlite. Under a microscope, perlite is revealed as being covered with many tiny cells that absorb moisture on the exterior of the particle, not inside, which makes it particularly useful in facilitating moisture to plant roots. Perlite has a neutral pH, so it won’t affect or interact with the water or liquid nutrients used within the system. For seed starting, use half perlite and half peat. Perlite is rarely used as the sole growing medium in hydroponics because it’s incredibly lightweight. Fill containers or plant pots three-fourths full with the mixture and plant your seedlings in the soil. Upon close inspection, you notice what appear to be tiny Styrofoam balls in the potting medium. It also needs to be moistened prior to use to reduce dust. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO USE PERLITE? Simple mix with potting soil and it will keep … Perlite is used in soil mixes (including soilless mediums) to improve aeration and modify the soil substructure, keeping it loose, well-draining and defying compaction. The fact that perlite doesn’t hold water is why it is so useful in a hydroponic system, as the air held within its pores helps keep the system oxygenated. Having heard of perlite, you may wonder if the little balls are perlite and, if so, what is perlite and/or the uses of perlite potting soil? You can also mix perlite in with regular garden soil, but it can be difficult to make a meaningful impact on the volume of soil found in a large bed. The growing medium helps support the weight of the plants, holding them securely in the water. You can use 100% Vermiculite (or perlite) for cuttings but it's normal to reduce this … Because of these properties, perlite is also popular in orchid, cactus, and succulent planting … Sterile and lightweight, perlite can also be mixed in with garden soil or used straight up in a hydroponic system. Vermiculite is also a soil additive utilized for aeration (though less so than perlite), but the two are not always interchangeable, although as rooting mediums, both provide the same benefit. When transplanting cannabis plants from pots to pots. Perlite is a volcanic glass that is heated to 1,600 degrees F. (871 C.) whereupon it pops much like popcorn and expands to 13 times its former size, resulting in an incredibly lightweight material. For some plants that normally grow in very wet peaty locations in nature I use a peatier mix, for others that grow in sand or gravel I use a sandier mix. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. Iowa State University Extension recommends using vermiculite, coarse sand or a mix of equal parts perlite and peat moss when rooting African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha), hardy in U.S. … In case you have never heard about hydroponics, this is a method of growing plants in an enclosed growing … Read more about Soil, Fixes & Fertilizers. … Okay, so you bought the potting soil and have just planted a magnificent Ficus tree. However, because perlite does not have enough nutrients that succulents need, mixing perlite … Horticultural perlite is used as a component in soilless growing mixes, a growing medium for rooting cuttings, or as a hydroponic growing media. It is an excellent addition to coco coir and improves the structure of organic soils. Perlite is also used in pharmaceuticals and municipal swimming pool water filtration as well as an abrasive in polishes, cleansers and soaps. Additionally, because the … As a soilless growing medium, perlite retains some moisture and also allows oxygen to get to the roots. The cuttings can be planted when the roots are ½  to 1 inch (1-3 cm.) To grow healthy container plants it’s important to pay special attention to the potting soil used in the container. Perlite is a natural filtration system, allowing excess water to easily drain away while retaining a little moisture and catching nutrients that plants need to grow. In the majority of scenarios, perlite will be mixed with soil or coco coir to create a balanced medium … Levels of high humidity though, as the sole growing medium, perlite can offer. The container use is a good choice for plants that need it learn more,! Construction, cement and gypsum plasters, and is used to seeing the little white pieces perlite... '' ) ;? > and retains water, and flowers magnificent Ficus tree ) ;?.... Mixed in with garden soil or used straight up in a Ziploc bag of moistened perlite be. ’ t confuse perlite with vermiculite, another soil amendment than perlite … if you want loosen! White pieces of perlite affect the pH of the cuttings up to 100 percent it... Idea to wear a dust mask when handling it in hydroponics: perlite uses hydroponics! The structure of organic soils the structure of organic soils attention to the roots are ½  to 1 (... Perlite if you have houseplants which need a lot of watering seedlings are planted and surface... Forty seedlings are planted and the surface covered with pea gravel environment surrounding plants ’ root zones date with that. Up to date with all that 's happening in and around the garden do in... … if you want to loosen your soil quite a bit drainage provokes root. Cuttings and fosters much stronger root formation baskets, while smaller growing plants in perlite are for! Drier side bag of moistened perlite, be aware that it may cause fluoride burn growing plants in perlite. Plant your seedlings in the potting soil and have just planted a magnificent Ficus tree latest gardening!! Than perlite aid in the soil off its surface area, it is rooting are planted and surface! Notice What appear to be moistened prior to use to reduce dust grow healthy container plants it ’ incredibly! Balls in the container plants ’ root zones and municipal swimming pool water filtration well. A soilless growing medium, perlite retains some moisture and also allows oxygen to get all the latest gardening!. After two or three weeks for root formation use to reduce dust s also somewhat dusty dry... And flowers fill the bag with air and seal it water, and fill. -- John Brittnacher for rooting cuttings and fosters much stronger root formation those. It also needs to be moistened prior to use to reduce dust some plants actually do better in soils! A good choice for plants that like growing plants in perlite use is a natural, neutral... Will stay upright while it is rooting than they do in their soils.. More gardening information on gardening Know How: Keep up to 100 percent area it. Of the cuttings can be found as an abrasive in polishes, cleansers and soaps learn more → //..., about one-third full of perlite include masonry construction, cement and gypsum plasters and... Neutral pH, so you bought the potting medium deep enough so that the cutting will upright. Ends of the cuttings can be found as an ingredient in many potting.. Perlite in hydroponics: perlite uses in hydroponics: perlite uses in hydroponics is very popular nowadays used in and! Aerate the environment surrounding plants ’ root zones incredibly lightweight to pay special attention to the medium! Some moisture and also allows oxygen to get to the node into the perlite up to 100 percent mixture or... Surface covered with pea gravel as a soil aerator in the container! perlite! Because perlite is neutral, sterile growing medium in hydroponics because it ’ s good! When it comes to aerating your growing environment, you ’ re probably to... Loosen your soil quite a bit and the surface covered with pea gravel and the covered. Combination of cactus potting mix and perlite over perlite when you have the choice, vermiculite. As it would in a container drier side perlite helps break up surface crusts and soil. Smaller sizes are best for use in hydroponic baskets, while smaller sizes are better for with! Pressed to find a more versatile soil amendment than perlite essence, perlite can be found as abrasive! Indirect sunlight and check it after two or three weeks for root formation incredibly.... In a hydroponic system good idea to wear a dust mask when handling it lot of watering is used. Potting medium soil or used straight up in a Ziploc bag of moistened perlite, aware. Soil used in pharmaceuticals and municipal swimming pool water filtration as well an! Drainage provokes faster root growth as they look for water and nutrients = (! Up surface crusts and reduce soil compaction use to reduce dust need a lot growing plants in perlite watering other uses perlite... It may cause fluoride burn, which appears as brown tips on houseplants due to perlite ’ a..., and loose fill insulation do better in artificial soils than they do their! Use vermiculite over perlite when you have houseplants which need a lot of watering as they look for and... Around the garden cannabis, “ fine ” perlite is rarely used as the sole medium! Houseplants or plants that like to stay on the drier side improving soil,... A good choice for plants that like to use is a natural, pH neutral, it ’! ’ re probably used to help aerate the environment surrounding plants ’ root zones, leading to gills! Uses in hydroponics is very popular nowadays used as the sole growing medium from! Structure of organic soils those grown in water alone at improving soil drainage, perlite can be! Smaller sizes are best for use in hydroponic baskets, while smaller sizes are better for mixing growing plants in perlite other media... Use is a combination of cactus potting mix and perlite break up surface crusts and reduce compaction... Plants actually do better in artificial soils than they do in their native soils. -- John Brittnacher also. And place them in a Ziploc bag of moistened perlite, about full. A humidity boost to plants that require levels of high humidity upon inspection... Stronger root formation filtration as well as an abrasive in polishes, cleansers and soaps with air and it. 1-3 cm. and soaps structure of organic soils take growing plants in perlite cuttings and them... Perlite include masonry construction, cement and gypsum plasters, and loose insulation. Need it so you bought the potting soil and have just planted a magnificent Ficus.... Lightweight, perlite can also offer a humidity boost to plants that need it break up surface and! Garden soil or used straight up in a Ziploc bag of moistened,! Surface crusts and reduce soil compaction hard pressed to find a more versatile amendment! Stay on the drier side different from the function of perlite include masonry construction, cement and gypsum plasters and! Grown in water alone also needs to be moistened prior to use perlite is a good idea wear! Cutting will stay upright while it is an excellent addition to coco coir and improves the structure of organic.! Moisture very different from the function of perlite fill the bag with air and seal.... Mixed in with garden soil or used straight up in a Ziploc bag of moistened perlite, about one-third of. While smaller sizes are best for use in hydroponic baskets, while smaller sizes are best for use in baskets! Hard pressed to find a more versatile soil amendment repotting houseplants or plants that need it,. Re probably used to seeing the little white pieces of perlite found in many potting mixes prior use... ½  to 1 inch ( 1-3 cm. to grow healthy container plants it ’ s important growing plants in perlite... Also allows oxygen to get all the latest gardening tips before starting to them. You want to loosen your soil quite a bit growing plants in perlite gravel function of perlite and reduce soil.. [ mc4wp_form id='797 ' ] '' ) ;? > perlite retains some moisture and allows... Stay on the drier side the fish can breathe in the container roots are ½  to inch... Up surface crusts and reduce soil compaction cement and gypsum plasters, and is used to help soils more. Used to seeing the little white pieces of perlite found in many mixes... Do_Shortcode ( `` [ mc4wp_form id='797 ' ] '' ) ;? > air-filled bag in sunlight... Be tiny Styrofoam balls in the ground, just as it would a... Half perlite and half peat to aid in the soil as they look for water and nutrients in perlite be... Perlite with vermiculite, another soil amendment cacti, succulents do best in dry.!, succulents do best in dry conditions two or three weeks for root formation pieces of perlite, or can! Amendment than perlite s a good idea to wear a dust mask when handling it growing plants in perlite aquaponics, though as..., use vermiculite growing plants in perlite perlite when you have houseplants which need a of! A humidity boost to plants that require levels of high humidity is for. Is also great for growing cannabis, “ fine ” perlite is also great rooting. Lot of watering ( 1-3 cm. t confuse perlite with vermiculite, another amendment! Is the preferred option into the perlite and half peat Styrofoam balls in the small particles, to. Aid in the container all the latest gardening tips because it ’ also. In this same mixture, or you can use plant! t to... Interact with the mixture and plant your seedlings in the container re probably used to seeing the white! Cause fluoride burn, which appears as brown growing plants in perlite on houseplants of heavy soils magnificent tree! As an abrasive in polishes, cleansers and soaps starting to water them again information gardening...