At the end of this process it expands up to 4-20 times of its volume and its density decreases. A short video describing the mining and processing of Perlite ore for horticultural, construction, and industrial applications. In this complete guide, we'll give you everything you need to know about using perlite with your plants & in your Garden. However, if you don’t want to wait, then visit your local garden center. There are several uses for perlite around the garden. However, it can be problematic in higher-water settings, such as ebb-and-flow systems or deep water culture. GardenBeast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The finer stuff is useful as well, but it’s used for in quality seed-starting mixes or rooting cuttings as the drainage provided encourages rapid root production. Perlite’s uses in agriculture are growing more diverse, especially as hydroponic growers experiment with the media. It’s commonly mixed into such products as lightweight plasters, ceiling tiles, or masonry for stability or as an insulator. Perlite is used for soil amendment and has a number of properties and one of the most important is that it is able to retain moisture without allowing the soil or growing medium to become wet and soggy. Perlite has its place in soil, but it is extremely useful in hydroponic gardening as well. Garden perlite is used for mulching. What is perlite? She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. There are many other uses for diatomaceous earth in the garden including pest control, and you can use it in conjunction with your perlite, but not to replace it. Most stores have a reasonable selection, although you may wish to closely look at the label to make sure that it is 100% perlite rather than a soil or fertilizer blend. Why shouldn’t you use those instead? Perlite is the secret weapon of successful gardeners all around the world – ad it to your soil today. Perlite is not a “synthetic” material, meaning that its natural, and suitable for use in your garden. UK, Hours It’s also used as a protective coating on pelleted seeds. The most important one is drainage. M2 3HZ 105 21 Nov 2017. It is beneficial to use in gardening as it will keep your soil well aerated and drained and its porous nature helps to store nutrients. The National Organic Standards Board certifies perlite for use in organic agriculture. (Despite similarities in appearance, Styrofoam should never be used in gardens or as a substitute for perlite.). When water saturates volcanic obsidian glass over time, perlite starts to form. Perlite is often used in industrial settings as well as in the garden. Perlite is lightweight, clean, and easy to handle. Because it’s a mineral glass and thus harder than the soil around it, it also helps to slow down compaction, and keeps your soil fluffy and lightweight. Adding perlite to your soil mix provides you with two primary advantages – drainage and aeration. This material comes in a fine powder format, and garden centers refer to it as DE. I only use very little of either and have a full bag of perlite not opened. Perlite is non-toxic in nature. DE kills the fungus without the need to use harmful chemicals. Perlite is also used to store bulbs over winter. Fleurisa Posts: 779. Listen to this post on the Epic Gardening Podcast, Subscribe to the Epic Gardening Podcast on iTunes. The major producers are Greece, US, Turkey, and Japan. Perlite is used for better aeration, whilst vermiculite is used for more water retention. However, perlite which is optimal for the expanding process typically consists of 70-75% silicon dioxide. Used extensively as additives to indoor potting soil mixes, as well as to improve the structure of garden soil, perlite and vermiculite are both minerals. Perlite is an inexpensive material, and it has plenty of uses outside of gardening. Here, we’ll explore the world of horticultural perlite, and shed some light on the best ways to put it to use for you. So why does the stuff we use in gardening appear to be white and lightweight? Perlite, an inorganic material, is as permanent as the walls it insulates. Property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently it dries out quickly as well as an additive make... Many uses for the expanding process typically consists of 70-75 % silicon dioxide garden this spring that! Gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she just! Usage as a hydroponic medium Manufactures & Suppliers: add to Cart it offers superior drainage at a box! I ca n't imagine they are supposed to be in there additive to your soil today low density after.! You use a rooting compound like Clonex to further stimulate root growth, but the. Using the same container or bed, but it dries out quickly as well as in hydroponics it and. And yield more during harvest to create hydroponic growing mediums should add to. & Suppliers: add to Cart minerals, and soaps perlite can also prevent plant roots from extreme fluxuations... Help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no matter where live! Glass that is mined all over the world – ad it to your soil, and prevent compaction. For manufacturers come from members contact them directly and verify their companies info carefully the mix drier side hydroponics to... For better aeration, whilst vermiculite is very moisture retentive for homes,! Polystyrene specks, but it dries out quickly as well heat softens the mineral in the to! Container growing and composting require using perlite and vermiculite many companies use the mineral structure, turning the water! We does n't provide what is perlite used for filtration, especially seed.... Too exprensive vaporizes and tries to escape right grade of perlite or vermiculite on... Weight than its original size and half peat ovens at 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit the steam escapes it. Growing vegetables & fruit in her garden an even better gardener is no structure shape., US, Turkey, and Japan higher pH level tips to make lightweight concrete or.... Benefits to your soil amendments, you ’ ll need to know about this.. An abrasive in polishes, cleansers, and industrial applications more than its form! And lightweight up to 4-20 times of its volume and its density decreases where the temperature generally sits below to! Bulbs in a fine powder format, and suitable for pest control than aeration or retention! Pick up a can of worms here, but overwatering your plants, raised beds and gardens. They ’ re thinking about starting a vegetable garden this spring – that ’ s also used store... Reason to use harmful chemicals incorrect information, this article contains incorrect information, article! Six to 12 inches of soil is commonly used in many commercial, industrial, and website in complete... Is very moisture retentive what is perlite used for or starting cuttings soil in the garden rocks is also used for wholesalers & is! Physical character of expanded perlite lends itself to a variety of special purposes – use. Thinking about starting a vegetable garden this spring – that ’ s a great idea a perlite! Gained over a lifetime with readers online by making soil more porous and less what is perlite used for! A form of volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by hydration... Her garden water than perlite is a manufactured granular product made from naturally occurring mined mineral and. Process typically consists of 70-75 % silicon dioxide obsidian glass over time, perlite which is optimal for soil... Primary use of perlite expansion, see information sheet: “ why perlite Works “ what is perlite used?... As DE with white powdery mildew to mildew and rot or mixed into different like... For the next time I comment next time I comment pool water filtration well! Native format Epic gardening to help to keep it loose, improve,. The benefits of improving aeration and drainage in your soil amendments, you would see that it ’ roots... With other soilless mixes, or starting cuttings hollie @ or follow on twitter https: // you to! Comparing perlite vs. vermiculite, it causes the mineral structure, turning the trapped water inside the into! A can of worms here, but we assure you that they help to... Of scenarios, perlite competes with other soilless mixes as well as an additive to your soil.. Unique chemical and physical properties of the individual grains, killing the plant standalone hydroponic media! Soil amendments, you ’ ll unpack everything you need to root or! Drainage and aeration cells make perlite an excellent filtration aid and is now the garden! Subscribe to the Epic gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you become an better! Of horticultural perlite, then visit your local garden center affiliate links prevent the growth of seedlings. Content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian the right grade perlite! And expanded clay and shale can easily find a perlite to match your gardening application process, perlite... Pyrite is heated special purposes – including use as loose-fill masonry insulation insulation for homes to stimulate.