Perlite vs Vermiculite – If you are looking for what additives are suitable to be incorporated into the soil in your garden. Maybe you will ask about perlite and vermiculite, how are these two additives different? Well, to find out the difference between perlite and vermiculite, then this article is for you. Both are ingredients that are added to the soil to convert infertile soil to more fertile soil and retain water.
As gardeners, we believe that this knowledge is essential to growing plants and flowers in your garden.
WHAT IS PERLITE?
To know the difference between Perlite vs Vermiculite, we need to know what they mean? Perlite comes from volcanic rock that has been heated and crushed. Once crushed, it will form small white rock chunks. It contains moderate to low water retention ratings. If volcanic rock or perlite is added to the soil, the soil will have the ability to increase drainage.
The benefits of perlite can also prevent plant roots from extreme temperature fluctuations. The pellets are also used as a protective layer. Perlite is lightweight, clean, and easy to handle. The pH of perlite ranges from 6.6 to 7.5. The addition of perlite to plants is sometimes important to speed up soil drying in plants that do not need high humidity. It is suitable to add to potting soil if you are growing cacti or succulents.
Also read: How to Grow Aloe Vera
Here are some of the uses of perlite when added to soil:
- Perlite is important to add at the beginning of planting potted plants
- Perlite is useful for loosening soil and lightening compacted soils.
- The white grain of perlite contains about 6% water.
- Perlite has a neutral pH
- It stores nutrients and can weigh 3 to 4 times in water.
- Non-toxic, odorless, sterile and sneeze
- Also serves as a substitute for light sand
- Does not cause mold or rot
- Sometimes it often floats over the plant container because of its light weight.
WHAT IS VERMICULITE?
After knowing what perlite is? Now we need to also look at the meaning of vermiculite so that we can clearly understand what perlite vs vermiculite is.
This vermiculite is a magnesium-aluminum-iron silicate. 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 and nutrient retention in the soil.
If you look closely, the vermiculite is shape is like a mica, with a layer and is suitable for trapping and trapping water in it. Vermiculite has a high water retention rate and high nutrient retention. Because it is able to absorb a lot of water, this substance is good to function as an anti-clotting in dry fertilizers and pesticides.
So, it’s not the same as rumors, because vermiculite is not a material similar to asbestos. However, information circulating that vermiculite contains asbestos because there have been several cases where vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos. As happened in Libby, Montana, and closed in 1990, the reason is because of the contamination. So, actually, what is called vermiculite is asbestos free material and it is not dangerous.
Also see: How to Germinate Sunflower Seeds
Using vermiculite is great for planting containers that need a lot of water. Plants that need constant humidity. You can add a spoonful of vermiculite to the plant pot. Be careful not to use this material in water-loving pots.
Vermiculite uses and benefits:
- Great for starting seeds, or blending potting mixtures
- Vermiculite helps lighten the soil and relax it
- Vermiculite is useful for moisturizing the soil and nourishing plants
- It mixes easily and blends into the soil
- Non-toxic, clean, odorless and clean like perlite.
That is the explanation of the two additives for soil mixtures as a growing medium for plants. Now you know how perlite vs vermiculite and its uses. There are similarities and differences between the two materials.
Difference Between Perlite and Vermiculite
Both of these materials are both used in the soil to improve the condition and moisturize the soil and nourish the soil properly. They also function to lighten high weight soils and improve soil drainage and increase water retention.
The difference between the two is in how to hold water. Where vermiculite captures more water than perlite. Thus, its use also differs according to the level of ability to capture water.
Vermiculite is not suitable for mixing in growing media for cacti and succulents because of its high water retention rate. If applied to plants that are cacti, it is feared that they can rot the roots. So, a suitable use for cacti is soil mixed with perlite, because perlite can dry water quickly.