What is Perlite?

Perlite is a naturally occurring mineral, and it existed as a type of volcanic glass saturated with water for a long time. Natural Perlite is dark black or grey colored amorphous glass. Amorphous means that it doesn’t have any definite shape or structure, unlike a crystal. Keep reading the article about what is perlite.

Perlite is a natural rock formed from volcanic ash, found in many parts of the world, and it has some unique properties. In this article, we will explore what is Perlite, and why it is a great option for your home.

What is Perlite made up of?

Usually, it is made up of

  • 70-75% silicon dioxideperlite
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Sodium oxide
  • Iron oxide
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Calcium oxide
  • 3-5% water

It is a nonrenewable resource, a cheap mineral, and manufactured plasters, masonry, and ceiling tiles.  Moreover, the main purpose of Perlite is to use in gardens and hydroponic techniques.

Different types of Perlite

  • Coarse perliteDifferent types of Perlite
  • Medium grade perlite
  • Fine perlite
  • Organic perlite

Usually, organic Perlite is naturally extracted from the earth and doesn’t undergo significant chemical processing; it is a safe organic additive.

What does Perlite look like?

Perlite is white-colored grain, finer than vermiculite, and starts as fluffy balls or a powder if crushed. Moreover, the size of the grains can vary depending on whether you choose fine grade or medium grade.

Perlite vs pumicePerlite vs pumice

It is a mined siliceous rock that is heated and expands or pops like popcorn, into a white light-weighted material. While pumice is a soft, insert-minced stone that frequently comes from Oregano. Moreover, perlite and pumice are porous collections, meaning they are added to potting soil to improve ventilation and drainage.



Styrofoam vs Perlite

Usually, Perlite is lightweight and polystyrene is extremely lightweight. It 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

  • Neutral pH level
  • It can retain the required amount of water and allow the rest to drain away
  • It is incredibly porous and contains pockets of space inside for air
  • Allows air and water for the growth of a strong root system and It is a good source of aeration.

Perlite helps in draining

Adding in the soil helps in improving water draining capabilities and allows excess water to drain off. Moreover, proper draining is necessary that allows excess water to drain off and keep air pockets around for the roots.

Perlite used for the hydroponic system

Hydroponic techniques are also known as soil-less horticulture. Stimulates root growth and prevents drowning by helping drain excess water away and is suitable for high water settings like deep water culture, or ebb and flow systems. It mixes with vermiculite in equal amounts (50-50) and helps in improving the water holding capacity of vermiculite in the water-rich system.

From where you can buy Perlite?

You can buy from local nurseries and hydro shops or online shopping. You can buy it as a mix of soil, soilless growing media, or fertilizers. Moreover, it is an effective, safe growing medium that can last long.


It can improve the growth of seeds, saplings, rooting, and adult plants and use as a standalone growth medium, or with other additives.


Vermiculite is occurring in a mineral that takes the form of glossy flakes, varying in color from dark gray to sandy brown,  hydrated magnesium, iron, and aluminum silicate mineral. Its use in soil mixes for gardeners and nursery workers to improve germination success and encourage rapid root growth in cuttings.

What are the ingredients of Vermiculite?

Vermiculite in its natural form looks a lot like mica, with a layered rock appearance, miners work to separate ore from vermiculite and other minerals. Furthermore, sort them into different categories based on size.

What does Vermiculite look like?

Vermiculite is tan and brown, usually in the form of grains or rough tubes.  So, sometimes in the shapes of flakes, depending on the moisture content.

How to use Vermiculite in the Garden?

Vermiculite has many useful qualities that can benefit soil and plants. Moreover, it is aerating, moisture-retentive, nutrient-retentive, lightweight, non-toxic, sterile, doesn’t rot or mold, and has a neutral 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 is use in place of soil in numerous settings, including seed germination, in root cuttings for hydroponics culture. Usually, it can encourage root growth and help to control the moisture levels. Usually, it helps to absorb nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. So, it also combines with other non-soil materials such as Perlite and pumice to create custom hydroponic growing media.

Vermiculite vs Pumice

Pumice is another lightweight mineral that adds to gardens for the benefit of plants. Moreover, it’s excellent at retaining oxygen and improving aeration in heavy or poor-draining soil.  Usually, it has minimal moisture-retention qualities, but vermiculite is a much better addition to your garden.


So Perlite is a naturally occurring, lightweight, odorless, non-toxic, porous rock that is mined from deep inside the Earth’s crust and forms at temperatures of 300 degrees F. Moreover, it has the highest ratio of surface area per weight of any other known material. Usually, it is a naturally occurring mineral that commonly occurs in volcanic ash deposits, which is why it referring to as volcanic glass.

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