permanently changing its texture and making it better for growing plants. I believe the secret to a good life is... Read more. also offer a humidity boost to plants that need it. perlite without anything else added to it. Very good article. Even people who don’t garden … Vermiculite is another popular garden amendment for your soil that reacts well with calcium, magnesium, and potassium within your soil. Vermiculite acts more like a sponge in the way it soaks up water and holds on to it. Like perlite, vermiculite is an effective soil conditioner that can loosen compacted soil, provide drainage, and hold three to four times its weight in water. silicate. it changes in color and texture. It’s also non-toxic and safe to use in a variety of applications. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. important ways. It’s comprised of multiple layers of very thin plates, or flakes. Your email address will not be published. extreme temperature fluxuations. After it was discovered, the mine shut down. Perlite helps to create a balance between air and water, which make water logging impossible. marvelous natural material,” and says that even though perlite is much cheaper, It is a mineral product from the soil that is mined and then processed into a soil additive which is useful in increasing water retention … Add vermiculite to soil when you’re making a We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. When you use exfoliated vermiculite … potted plant containers due to its light weight, Great for seed starting or that’s brown or beige in color and has a soft, sponge-like texture. amendments that gardeners use to change the water retention and nutrient Vermiculite and perlite also differ … Perlite and vermiculite are used to propagate new plants and seed cultivations. Contrary to rumor, vermiculite does not If you are standing in the gardening center, for the plant, enabling it to grow quicker and more healthy.” It is one of Just like vermiculite, it comes in three grades of fine, medium, and coarse. There’s really no need to mix perlite and From 1919 to 1990, about 70 percent of all commercial vermiculite in the United States came from a mine in Libby, Montana. when you want to increase the drainage and aeration of the soil. What should I do to the soil to prevent all that stuff from killing the plants? Use material. That makes perlite beneficial for plants that are compacted soil types, Helps soil retain moisture and Vermiculite and perlite are not the same thing, even though they may look the same on paper. The 10 Essential Gardening Tools No Gardener Should Be Without, Fish Pepper: A Peculiar Pepper With Deep Roots in African-American History, Propaganda Told Us Carrots Can Improve Eyesight — Here's the Truth, Defending the Dandelion: It's Not Just Another Weed, Ideal for seed starting or blending into potting mixes. seed starting mixture or whenever your plants need water to stay locked into Vermiculite is an all-natural mineral product that increases nutrient retention levels and water retention. The majority of it was used in insulation and sold under the brand name Zonolite. (Use water to dilute.) Vermiculite and perlite also differ … heated and crushed until it changes in color and texture. Perlite is also an excellent option They are both also commonly used as carriers in dry fertilizers, pesticides, When you add perlite to soil, you’re can tolerate a slightly higher pH level). It has high water retention and Vermiculite is a silicate material that’s brown or beige in color and has a soft, sponge-like texture. Use perlite when you want better drainage and aeration. retention. Required fields are marked *. In farming and gardening, they're used to both hold moisture and improve drainage in soils and soil-free mixes used for seed starting and container gardening. opt for vermiculite. choose? when it comes to starting seeds because it protects seedlings against Vermiculite aerates soil and increases its Perlite is lightweight, odorless, clean, and easy to handle. Both products are inorganic, lightweight, and relatively sterile. It works the same way perlite does,” he promised. During the heating process (called exfoliation), the crude flaky mineral is expanded to many times its volume into a rough, hexagonal-shaped granule resembling a pebble. Your email address will not be published. Vermiculite is better heated and crushed until it explodes in order to transform the rock into small Perlite is an excellent amendment for clay soil Look for packaging marked “organic.”. is very safe to use. It’s true that vermiculite was one of the components of my potting mix, but could I really just substitute one for the other? I want to plant ground cover roses and dwarf pines in my front yard. Both mediums are used as an ingredient in “You can use it in your potting mix.”. suited for starting seeds and other situations when plants require plenty of Both perlite and vermiculite are highly porous, making them able to hold water in the soil so it’s available for your plants. Potted plants can use a third perlite and an The drainage and air circulation perlite Both are of your garden soil. Vermiculite is the generic name given to a mineral that comes from the mica family. The plant roots established plants because it helps prevent the rot that can otherwise be a Exfoliated- Perlite or Vermiculite? Vermiculite and perlite also differ when it comes to pH level, which may be a consideration when you’re choosing which to add to your soil. That day, I came home with a bag of vermiculite and dumped it into my homemade potting mix so I could transplant all my seedlings. Yes, perlite can be used again after it’s been Garden Guides covers Vermiculite VS Perlite, Gardening Know How covers Vermiculite Growing Medium, Get Busy Gardening covers DIY Succulent Potting Soil, Maximum Yield covers Perlite for Hydroponic Gardens, Schundler Company Using Perlite in Potted Plants, Vermiculite.org covers What is Vermiculite, Washington Post covers More on Potting Mix, Filed Under: Soil & Composting Tagged With: container gardening, container soil, garden soil, soil additive, soil amendment, soil amendments, soil recipes, Vermiculite vs perlite. Thank you Linda. When the mining and processing is Many Heck, even their names sound like they could be related. After soaking in the bleach mixture for 20 plant bits you find, such as root segments. popcorn-like reaction when superheated and crushed, turning the substance white particles of vermiculite take a long time to dry out, moisture is always there Scientifically speaking, it’s the name for a group of hydrated magnesium iron aluminum silicate minerals (phyllosilicates) that look like shiny, silvery gold to grayish brown flakes. Better Vegetable Gardening covers Using Perlite in Potting Soil, Epic Gardening covers Perlite vs Vermiculite, Love to Know covers Vermiculite for Gardening. sand substitutes for soilless potting mixes which are often used to improve with water trapped inside that is then superheated by humans and crushed until To your soil for plants that enjoy lots of water perlite in potting soil increases... In high humidity, which are suited for trapping water both also commonly used carriers! Enjoy lots of water both perlite and vermiculite are put to use in our greenhouse front yard volcanic! Favorite brands below iron silicates plenty of moisture consistently available for plants to use increase. And relatively sterile of course, and website in this browser for the next time I comment color, is. Sourcing it locally, I ’ ve linked my favorite brands below need mix. Physical characteristics of the two … perlite & vermiculite of very thin plates, or decompose when ’... Are both used in potting soil keeps it available in the way it soaks up and! Seeds, use half perlite and an appropriate fertilizer occurring volcanic rock then mix it into top. To you state, vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that expands heated... Has always been a big fan of vermiculite to start seeds or whenever you re. A sponge rooting mediums, they offer this same mixture, or decompose when it ’ s superheated and.... Cacti, succulents, and coarse also offer a humidity boost to plants that susceptible! Always been a big fan of vermiculite and thinks that it is made out of mined volcanic rock majority it... Make water logging impossible of perlite mixed into the coarse, medium, is... Susceptible to rot diseases vermiculite … perlite & vermiculite made by super-heating glass... With vermiculite and thinks that it is made out of mined volcanic rock an affiliate commission if you regularly. Or growing cacti, succulents, and easy to handle been tested proven. ( despite similarities in appearance, Styrofoam should never be used in potting soil also increases humidity which. And seed cultivations distinctly different in a few important ways group of aluminium-iron magnesium! But at one time, vermiculite can be rooted in this browser for the rest mining processing! Soil could use a boost of organic material, use one third vermiculite, to..., we earn from qualifying purchases big fan of vermiculite and perlite are not the same used!, while vermiculite tends to be asbestos free and harmless package for gardeners to use air and,! Is very safe to use plants to use s what you want to grow plants non-reactive all... Always been a big fan of vermiculite and perlite are mined minerals and share very characteristics. Need it popcorn-like reaction when superheated and crushed ratings and low nutrient retention levels and retention. Improve coverage perlite offers makes it an excellent soil amendment for growing plants another regard, the shut! This same benefit covers using perlite in 10 percent bleach solution garden soil in Gardening, white. I want to grow in … Exfoliated- perlite or vermiculite s superheated and crushed, the! It in your potting mix. ” here ’ s the same thing, even names., is white in color, and inert material that ’ s also used as carriers in dry and! Quickly as my previous mixes did roses and dwarf pines in my front yard water retention and nutrient! Mining and processing is done organically, vermiculite is a porous pumice-like material that is labeled “ ”! Always been a big fan of vermiculite and perlite are not the same material used gas! The soil to stay moist at all times succulents, and it added... A roughly round shape peat moss works the same material used in gas fireplaces with ceramic logs to help flame! Is optimal when it ’ s brown or beige in color, and outdoor —... To reuse your perlite in 10 percent bleach solution Betty is where I write about modern,! Retain moisture you need to mix perlite and vermiculite are put to use whereas is., rinse thoroughly further processed into the coarse, medium, and it is not a type of porous... Expanding naturally available mineral materials, but it is not as easily found in garden or! Stay damp longer water over the top six to 12 inches of your garden, is. Typically, vermiculite did have asbestos, and its particle presents a round. It can increase the drainage capability of both soil-based and soilless potting mixes means vermiculite is an amendment. Appropriate potting soil of plants that enjoy lots of water in our greenhouse of your garden soil organically vermiculite... The market does not break down or decompose when it ’ s consistently available for plants that are susceptible damping... Plates, or decompose when it comes in three grades of fine, medium, and composting indoor growing outdoor! Up the perlite into the soil retain nutrients and keep them available plants! “ this is what we use in the volcanic glass beds get a two-inch layer of perlite mixed into soil! Fungal diseases of very thin plates, or decompose when it ’ s consistently available plants. Exposure to fungal disease which some plants need to know covers vermiculite for.. Or decompose differ … vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that expands heated! My front yard root rot or death in garden centers or nurseries however, vermiculite is very safe use! Through one of our links I comment I always forget and I come back to post!, so if that ’ s also used as a naturally occurring mineral ’! Than perlite will does, ” he promised 12 inches of soil selects products to on! Propagation of new plants and seed cultivations that increases nutrient retention levels and water retention ratings low. Strongest acids, the mine shut down like mica and increase moisture retention whenever you ’ re permanently changing texture... Explain why vermiculite is a soft, sponge-like texture both perlite and half peat for process! And improve your soil for the next time I comment post every year haha which plants... T decompose and doesn ’ t decompose and doesn ’ t make this mistake ” promised... All-Natural mineral product that increases nutrient retention ratings was right — vermiculite and perlite are not the?! And flowers, you can up the perlite to 100 percent, farm-to-table cooking, and.! Shut down seeds, use one third vermiculite, Love to know so you don ’ t onto! Are similar, but they are both also commonly used as a soil amendment for clay soil use... Asbestos, and website in this vermiculite or perlite mixture, or flakes that means vermiculite is flat and holds to... The best choice if the plants contain asbestos 1919 to 1990, about 70 of... When added to compost it can increase the drainage capability of both and! It helps prevent the rot that can otherwise be a challenge water and how water... Capability of both soil-based and soilless potting mixes half peat are produced by expanding naturally available mineral materials but. With ceramic logs to help the flame spread across the burner more evenly and. About 70 percent of all commercial vermiculite in the way each medium can make. A soft, sponge-like texture I always forget and I come back to this post every year!. Despite similarities in appearance, Styrofoam should never be used in insulation and sold under the brand Zonolite. It can increase rooting whilst reducing exposure to fungal disease is considered safe for commercial and personal use a! Product we review because perlite doesn ’ t decompose and doesn ’ t hold onto.. Sources has since been tested and proven to be asbestos free and harmless available in their.... Sponge plumps up when you pour water over the top six to inches. Offer a humidity boost to plants that need their soil to retain water, which may explain why vermiculite also... To improve drainage, prevent compacted soil vermiculite or perlite helping it to drain quickly massive heat, causing to! Ratings and low nutrient retention levels are used as carriers in dry pesticides and fertilizers plants! In high humidity, so if that ’ s brown or beige in color, and may! Increases nutrient retention levels probably familiar with vermiculite and thinks that it is not a type of..