What is Perlite?
Perlite is a generic term for naturally occurring siliceous amorphic volcanic rock. But unlike other volcanic glasses, it expands from 4 to 20 times of its original volume when heated above a point (800-900 deg C). Perlite is mostly made of silica or SiO2 (about 70-75%). The rest is the mixture of Aluminum Oxide or Al2O3, and Oxides of Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium, and moisture.
Because of its low density and low price, perlite has many commercial applications. Among which main uses are building and constructions use, horticultural uses, filters, and filter aids.
Advantages of Perlite soil in gardening and horticulture:
Perlite encourages quicker germination than any other growing media with quick seedling growth. It can be used by mixing with peat moss or coconut coir and used as a potting mix or it can be used solely provided it kept wet all the time.Perlite are almost pH neutral. So it doesn't increase the acidity of the soil. Click To Tweet
Perlite is inorganic, inert and sterile. It naturally contains the different minerals which are essential for the growth of the plant. Being inorganic it is free from weeds, diseases, and pests.
Disadvantages of perlite soil:
There are a couple of disadvantages also of using perlite as growth media.
Other Perlite Uses:
Perlite as an excellent filtering agent. Besides horticulture, Perlite filters are used in many places to filter beer before getting bottled.