What is Perlite?
It is a generic term for a naturally occurring siliceous rock. What sets it apart from other volcanic glasses is that it expands when heated from four to twenty four times its original size. This is because of the fast expansion of water within perlite.
There are many uses and benefits of using Perlite as a gardener.
Perlite will encourage faster germination and improved seedling growth.
Add 1 part perlite to 2 parts of ready mixed potting compost, or sow on a well watered equal mix of perlite and Sphagnum Moss Peat. You can use it 100% providing it is kept wet at all times.
Perlite speeds up rooting and reduces the risk of damping off. It provides a good balance of air and water making water logging almost impossible. It also minimises damage to roots and check to growth during transplanting.
By increasing aeration and drainage perlite improves the texture of heavy silt or clay soils. It also minimises the tendency to 'cap' over germinating seeds, and lasts for many years.
For difficult seed and flower beds work up to 25% of the perlite into the top 5-10cm before sowing.
Perlite is used fully or partly in place of sand or grit in potting compost, where it improves aeration, draining and insulation. Perlite can also be used to open up ready-mixed loam or peat-based composts.
- Perlite doesn’t decompose and will last for years.
- Free from disease and weeds
- Will hold moisture without becoming wet and soggy Insulates and stops temperatures form fluctuating too much
- Stimulates vigorous growth