6 reasons why you want perlite for gardening
- Horticultural perlite extends the growing season by protecting plants against soil temperature variations.
- You will be more successful growing your young plants and those in small containers since they will endure higher temperatures.
- If you start seeds and cuttings in vermiculite, they will grow more quickly than ones started in plain soil or water.
To ensure your success rate with propagation cuttings/seeds. perlite is
ideal for propagation of plants, because its aeration properties combined with
its water holding capacity, limit root fungal activity.
- Get bigger impact from your plants. By using horticultural perlite, plants in a container can grow bigger thanks to the fact that they get more air to roots- just like using bigger pots. That is great for hanging baskets, flowers, vegetables,and trees in containers
- It is easier for you to lift compost that contains permite Use it in roof gardens to grow turf on, or in big containers to reduce weight.
What does Horticulture perlite do
- Horticulture perlite has been used for many years for soil conditioning and as a component of growing mixes with materials such as peat moss or bark.
- Horticulture perlite has a unique capillary action making it a superior growing medium for hydroponics as well as propagation and seed cultivation, plug production and transplants, interior scape and planter growing, composting, turf and lawns, and all around shrubs, trees and landscaping.
- Horticultural perlite is free from disease, weeds and insects.
Horticulture perlite has become a very important part in horticulture and in gardening. There are many nurseries that use perlite for big plants, for propagating in cuttings and for seeds germination.
Horticulture perlite is one of the best things to use when you want to grow big plants in containers. The fact it can supply air to the roots create the ‘feeling’ for the plant that the container is bigger, as the plant can absorb lots of air and water from the perlite.
Perlite for seed germination
When sowing into Horticulture perlite you can sow the seeds deeper and still they will get air and water all the time. Even if you forget to water sometimes it’s not a problem as the perlite retains moisture. Once the seeds start growing their roots will reach the compost layer. I can really recommend this method which I have used the same way for cuttings with wonderful results.
It makes the job easier - no rot at all.
The root system grows very fast and well in the perlite.
It is very easy to ‘pick the plant’ with its roots
from the Horticulture perlite - I think this was one of the most exciting
things for me with plants. I managed in this way to propagate many plants that were
known as hard to propagate. Some plants that would normally take months to root
were doing so in just a few days. Others that normally takes month but a lot are roting during that period - were 100% success when I saw them in perlite.
Compost for containers and hanging baskets
The best is to use a mix of 65%-80 % perlite/ vermiculite 10% compost bought/ home made + feeding in slow release fertilizer or organic plants food.
However, it will need a good feeding as part of the mix-slow release or compost. I tend to add 10-15 % garden compost/ other multi-purpose compost to perlite and slow release or any organic feeding.
You can get brilliant results growing in Horticulture perlite on its own, but will have to water it and feed it well.
My experience and recommendation:
- I have used Horticultural perlite for seeds and for cuttings. It was great success.
- It is really useful when you have seeds that are a bit harder to germinate or ones that require long time to germinate.
- What I used to do was fill a big container a 5 cm layer of compost, and then 10cms of perlite on top of that.
- In the colder season I used to add some leaves to the compost to create heat under the perlite.
I also used it a lot of perlite for big containers and for growing plants in pot
Using perlite in big containers was one of our secrets how to grow huge plants in short time containers when I did many roof gardens.
Facts about perlite
Horticultural Perlite is a unique volcanic mineral which expands from four to twenty times its original volume. When expanded each granular, snow-white particle of Perlite is sterile with a neutral pH and contains many tiny closed cells or bubbles. In addition, because of the physical shape of each particle, air passages are formed which provide optimum aeration and drainage.
- Perlite is sterile, and free of disease, seeds and insects
- very light weight
It does not hold water and nutrients as well as vermiculite.
When mixed with peat, composted bark, organic compost, natural soils, or organic coco coir, vermiculite like perlite helps promote faster root growth, and gives quick anchorage to young roots. These mixes help retain air, plant food, and moisture, and release them as needed by the plant. Because vermiculite is very light and easy to handle, it easily mixes with soil, peat, composted pine bark, and other composted organic materials, and fertilizers.