Difference between perlite and vermiculite

Can you substitute vermiculite for perlite?

Perlite and vermiculite are both used to improve moisture retention and aeration in soil. They are used in a similar manner, but they are not interchangeable.

What are the disadvantages of perlite?

As with so many other products, perlite has both its advantages and disadvantages as a growing media.


  • Water can drain away quickly.
  • Being so lightweight, perlite can be blown away and tends to float in excess water.
  • Nonrenewable resource.
  • Dust can create respiratory problems and eye irritation.

Is vermiculite in potting soil dangerous?

Vermiculite holds water, making more moisture available to the roots of plants grown in potting soil. Unfortunately, vermiculite can also be dangerous. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, some vermiculite is contaminated with a naturally occurring asbestos called tremolite-actinolite.

What is vermiculite used for?

Vermiculite helps to aerate soil while simultaneously retaining water and nutrients, which it then releases over time. Vermiculite is therefore useful in seed sowing and propagation. It can also be added to house plant compost.

Should I use vermiculite or perlite?

Vermiculite helps hold moisture in the soil so it’s consistently available for plants to use. If you’re looking for a soil additive to help make sure plants get plenty of drainage and aeration, perlite is a better option.

Should I add vermiculite to my soil?

Vermiculite added to the garden or vermiculite in potting soil increases water and nutrient retention and aerates the soil, resulting in healthier, more robust plants. Use vermiculite alone or mixed with soil or peat for seed germination. This will allow seeds to germinate more rapidly.

What is the ratio of vermiculite to soil?

Using the Vermiculite

We suggest that you use a ratio of around 25% vermiculite to the soil. This ratio is ideal for improving the aeration of the plant and retaining moisture in the soil.

How dangerous is vermiculite?

Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that is perfectly safe when pure. Unfortunately, an estimated 75 percent of it came from Libby, Montana, where it usually was contaminated with toxic amphibole asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly cancer.

Can I put perlite on top of soil?

Placing fresh perlite on top of the soil around the plant or using it for a lightweight upper layer of growing medium creates a fresh, modern container arrangement.

Does perlite keep gnats away?

The adults of fungus gnats do not cause problems, but their larvae do. Compost and peat seem to be the medium of choice for these gnats. They do not like perlite or vermiculite. A safe way to help prevent gnats is a layer of sand on top of the soil of your house plants.

What can you use instead of perlite?

PBH rice hulls are proven alternative to perlite. In recent years, as greenhouse growers have embraced sustainability and looked for feasible ways to reduce production costs, the use of parboiled rice hulls in greenhouse growing media has become a popular substitute for perlite.

How much compost do I add to my soil?

Determine the appropriate compost application depth for your project. The general rule of thumb is 1/4 to 1/2 inch if applying to the top of the soil and 1 to 2 inches if you plan to amend the soil. Recommended maximums are 30% compost in a soil blend, but no more than 25% compost in containers or raised beds.

Should I mix topsoil with compost?

You can mix compost with topsoil to create your own potting compost, as many of the nurseries do, which gives you the advantages of soil – namely that it dries out more slowly and holds its structure better – together with the benefits of compost – organic matter and more nutrients, a compost made with loam or soil is

Is compost and topsoil the same thing?

Compost is made in a similar way but over a shorter timescale, the warm and damp environment in which it is made, means matter is broken down much more quickly. Topsoil is heavily mineral based, in a good quality topsoil such as our Topsoil Supreme, over half the product is mineral grain.

How many bags of soil do I need for a 4×8 raised bed?

How much soil? For a 4×8–foot raised bed with a 10” height, about 1 cubic yard of soil is needed.

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