Perlite vs Vermiculite – Explained

Perlite vs Vermiculite

Perlite and Vermiculite both are used for soil media amendments but there’s a significant difference between them. It is essential to learn these differences to choose the best for your specific needs. 

What is Perlite?

Perlite vs Vermiculite: Perlite is an organically arising mineral, a type of volcanic glass soaked with water over a long time. Ordinary perlite is dark black or grey colored shapeless glass.

How to make perlite?

Following materials are used for making perlite.

  • 70-75% silicon dioxide
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Sodium oxide
  • Oxide of iron
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Calcium oxide
  • 3-5 percent water

It’s a nonrenewable resource, an inexpensive mineral, and used to construct coverings, stonework, and ceiling slates. Perlite is primarily used for improving soil media for plants in gardens and pots.

Diverse sorts of perlite

  • Rough perlite
  • Medium level perlite
  • Fine perlite
  • Organic perlite

Carbon-based perlite is naturally mined from the soil and does not endure substantial chemical handling; it is a safe organic additive.

What does perlite be like?

Perlite is a painted white particle finer than Vermiculite and starts as a powder if crushed. Its granular size can vary depending on whether you choose a fine grade or medium grade.

Perlite vs pumice

Perlite is a mined siliceous rock heated and extended or popped like popcorn into a white light-weighted material. Whereas, pumice is a soft, insert-minced stone that frequently originates from Oregano. Perlite and pumice are absorbent collections, which means they are added to potting soil to recover aeration and remove soil.

Perlite vs Styrofoam

The Perlite is light in weight, and polystyrene is exceptionally light. Perlite is decomposed naturally over time, but Styrofoam will not decompose for millions of years.

Substitutes of perlite

  • Rice husk
  • Pumice
  • Horticultural grit
  • Granite gravel
  • Vermiculite
  • Calcined clay
  • Bark
  • Peat

Significance of perlite

  • It can recollect the required extent of water and allow the rest to drain away
  • neutral pH level
  • It is highly absorbent and comprises pouches of space inside for air
  • It is a good source of aeration and allows air and water to grow a robust root system.

Perlite helps in draining

Adding perlite to the soil helps in improving water draining capabilities and allows excess water to drain off. Proper draining is necessary to drain extra water and keep air sacks around for the roots.

Perlite used for the hydroponic system

It is similarly used in hydroponic techniques and soil-less horticulture. Perlite stimulates root growth and stops sinking by helping trench leftover water away and is appropriate for maximum water sets as deep water culture or ebb and flow hydroponic systems.

Perlite mixed with Vermiculite in equal amounts (50-50) helps refine the water holding- capacity of Vermiculite in the water-rich system.

From where you can buy perlite?

It would be best if you had to buy perlite from local nurseries and hydro shops or online shopping. You have to purchase perlite as a mix of soil, soilless developing media, or fertilizers.

Moreover, Perlite is an actual, harmless emergent medium that can last long.


It can recover the development of seeds, seedlings, rooting, and mature plants and be recycled as an impartial growth medium.

Perlite vs Vermiculite

Perlite vs Vermiculite: Perlite is not identical, and Vermiculite is a silicate material that’s brown in color and texture is soft and sponge-like

Is made out of mined volcanic rock. Perlite is harder and white in color.


Vermiculite is arising in inorganic that produces the practice of lustrous fragments, fluctuating in hue from dim grey to dirty brown, hydrated magnesium, iron, and aluminum silicate mineral.

It can be used in soil mixes, growers, and nursery workers to recover propagation success and inspire rapid root progress in cuttings.

 What is Vermiculite made of?

Vermiculite in its original appearance same as mica, with a covered rock presence, miners exert to isolated ore from Vermiculite and other minerals, then sort them into altered classifications founded on size.

What does Vermiculite look like?

Vermiculite is tan and brown, typically in the arrangement of grains or tubes, but occasionally in the shapes of flakes, contingent on the humidity level.

How can you consume Vermiculite in the Garden?

Vermiculite has many beneficial abilities that can help soil and plants, and its airing, wetness-retaining, nutrient-absorbent, frivolous, not toxic, disinfected, not mold, and impartial pH level.

Advantages of Vermiculite

  • Soil improvement
  • Seed germination
  • Container gardening
  • Lawn seeding
  • Cut flowers
  • Bulb and root storage
  • Transplanting plants
  • Mulch

How to use Vermiculite in hydroponic technique?

Vermiculite can be recycled in numerous situations in the hydroponic technique, comprising seed broadcasting in root cuttings. Helps to control the humidity level and encourage faster root development. It helps to absorb nutrients containing magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

It is made together with other constituents having no soil, for instance, perlite and pumice, to produce a traditional hydroponic developing medium

Difference between Vermiculite and pumice

Pumice is frothy inert that can be added to greens to make better growth and development of plants. It has little wetness- retention qualities, but Vermiculite is a much well added to the garden. It’s outstanding at recollecting oxygen and recovering ventilation in heavy-drained soil.


Perlite vs Vermiculite: Vermiculite improves soil quality, prevents overwatering, improves plant well-being and progress, and aids with soil airing and retaining moisture.

Vermiculite can be expensive to buy when it comes to the strength of the plants. It can be used alone or also in mixes. It’s very safe for usage doesn’t have any confirmed hazardous effects, and ensures no touch of asbestos.

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