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How Much Perlite Should You Add to Potting Soil? (2022)

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Just how much perlite you should contribute to potting dirt relies on the type of plant. Numerous store-bought potting mixes may include also components of perlite, peat moss and loam yet you should change up the dirt materials for seedlings, hydroponics and also soilless plant pots.

Perlite is an excellent organic enhancement to potting dirt. It aids with drainage, nutrient retention and also oxygenation.

Similar to anything pertaining to looking after a creature, there is some skill to it. Exactly how do you recognize how much perlite suffices for your potting dirt?

Right here is a quick guide to provide you a better suggestion of exactly how to utilize perlite in potting dirt.

Should You Add Perlite to Your Soil?

Obviously, you don’t have to add perlite to your potting dirt however there are numerous benefits to it. Plus, with many premixed potting soils currently having perlite there is basic agreement that it is excellent for your plants.

Advantages of adding perlite to your soil include:

  • Boosted dirt aeration
  • Making thick dirt lighter and also much less small
  • Raising water drains
  • Better vitamins and mineral retention
  • Multiple-use due to the fact that it does not decompose
  • pH neutral
  • Appropriate for natural horticulture

Provided these advantages, there are numerous reasons that you might wish to add perlite to your potting soil. In a lot of standard potting soil blends, the function of perlite is to stop the soil from ending up being too dense which would restrict exactly how much oxygen the origins are able to soak up.

For the very same reason, perlite is a common addition to seed starting blends. Perlite maintains its odd form inside the soil, which creates more area and air pockets, suitable for prone young roots to grow.

Perlite is additionally the common medium for plants that do not require dirt such as orchids and succulents. Considering that it does not absorb any nutrients itself it will not restrict the nutrient uptake of the plant.

Just recently, perlite has also become stylish for hydroponics. The benefit being that perlite does not absorb any type of nutrients therefore it does not inhibit the nutrient absorption of the plants.

When Not to Use Perlite

Although making use of perlite is fairly common, there are celebrations where perlite won’t do your plants any kind of supports. Maintain its residential or commercial properties in mind before making a decision to add perlite to your potting mix.

Drawbacks of perlite:

  • Perlite dust can be bothersome to those with sensitivities
  • It is a non-renewable resource
  • Not ideal for moisture-loving plants
  • Has a tendency to increase up in lighter dirt

Be very cautious with including perlite to potting soil for plants that such as high humidity and soil wetness. If there is too much perlite in the mix, the water will drain out as well swiftly for the plant to absorb its necessary solution.

Among the issues with perlite is that it could gradually come up to the tops of the dirt, leaving the bottom layers denser. If as an outcome of this all-time low stays consistently extremely wet, there is a possibility of origin rot. Pay interest to your water routine to avoid this.

Additionally, rugged perlite is generally not suitable for indoor plant pot blends. Its large size is really only necessary for outdoor elevated plant beds.

Exactly How to Use Perlite in Potting Mix

Prior to running filling out your cart with bags of perlite, it serves to recognize that there are different grades of perlite Each has its very own viability for various potting blends.

  • Great Perlite– Grade 1 — 2: around 1/8 inches to 3/8 inch dimensions and also best for seed starting or cuttings.
  • Medium Perlite– Grade 3: around 1/2 inch dimension and the common type for normal potting blend
  • Coarse Perlite– Grade 4: roughly 1 inch dimension as well as mostly for thick soil in exterior gardening

Below are instance of potting mix combinations consisting of perlite Take this as a general standard and change as necessary to the details requirements of the plant.

Each potting mix dish is drawn up partly to make sure that you can readjust the specific quantity to the dimension of the container.

Requirement Perlite Potting Mix

This is the much more typical composition that you locate in business potting mixes.

  • 1 component perlite
  • 1 part loam
  • 1 component peat moss or coco coir

Seed Starting Mix

This mix maintains the dirt light and also leaves space for roots to grow.

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part coco coir
  • 1 part vermiculite

Enriched Seed Starting/Repotting Mix

The addition of garden compost makes this mix more nutrient thick. It is additionally a great selection for plants that you will certainly be repotting.

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 component vermiculite
  • 4 components coco coir
  • 2 parts natural garden compost

Potting Mix for Orchids and also Succulents

This is a great home made potting mix for plants that do not require soil as their growing tool.

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part great charcoal
  • 4 components fir bark (for orchids)


  • 4 components gardening sand (for succulents)

Potting Mix for Cuttings

You can circulate cuttings in a glass and even in Ziploc bag with this 2-ingredient mix.

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 component coco coir

DON’T MISS: What’s the distinction between perlite as well as vermiculite?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put too much perlite in potting soil?

Also much perlite in potting dirt will certainly trigger water to drain out as well promptly. A possible indicator of also much perlite is when the plant starts the shrivel or yellow and also the soil remains dry despite the fact that you water on a regular basis.

Does potting soil have perlite

Perlite is a significantly usual active ingredient in business potting soil. Check out the components tag to look for perlite

Can you expand plants in simply perlite

With the exemption of hydroponics, it is not recommended to expand plants in simply perlite — perlite jobs best in mix with other potting dirt components. A plant pot with only perlite would likely avoid the plant from obtaining enough water.


Adding perlite to your potting soil can have many advantages, whether it is store-bought or homemade. It enhances water drainage, aeration and assists with nutrient retention, as well.

Just how much perlite you include to your potting dirt should depend on the sort of plant that you are growing. Regular potting mix typically includes equivalent components of perlite, loam as well as coco coir or peat moss.

Plants that don’t have dirt as their growing medium, like cacti, orchids as well as succulents, often benefit from lower percentages of perlite On the other hand, seed starting and cuttings succeed in make-ups with more perlite since it permits much better origin growth.

Take the above potting mix dishes as a general standard for your very own homemade indoor potting mix using perlite

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.