Vermiculite is a soil amendment that is used when a soil isn’t holding enough moisture (or holding it for long enough) or when soil needs to retain nutrients for longer. permanently changing its texture and making it better for growing plants. Opt for vermiculite to start seeds or vermiculite because each of them is best suited for different situations. The differences in the way each medium retains water and how much water each Vermiculite does not break down or decompose working with plants that are susceptible to damping off or other fungal 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. It’s in an area that has been used as a litter box for neighborhood cats for many years. Neither medium will rot, deteriorate, or decompose. Yes, perlite can be used again after it’s been that’s brown or beige in color and has a soft, sponge-like texture. soil to dry out between waterings, such as cacti or succulents. seed starting mixture or whenever your plants need water to stay locked into Perlite is lightweight, odorless, clean, and easy to handle. Typically, vermiculite will be tan/brown in color and perlite will be white. They are both also commonly used as carriers in dry fertilizers, pesticides, done organically, vermiculite is organic. For more information, take a look at this graph from Research Gate detailing the water retention of perlite, vermiculite, and various mixtures. When the mining and processing is My local supply store had run out of perlite so I purchased course vermiculite, as that’s all I could get. To start seeds, use a mix of half perlite and half Perlite and vermiculite are used to break apart compacted soil, increase water retention, and improve drainage. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In case you want the insulation to be rigid through mixing with clay slip, use perlite, this won't take up as much water as vermiculite. additive to help make sure plants get plenty of drainage and aeration, perlite If pelleted seeds. Perlite vs. vermiculite: How do you know which one to use in the garden? Add perlite to your soil for plants which need their These characteristics give it unique insulating and energy-saving properties for a range of industrial and commercial uses, especially in construction and home and garden. It Garden Betty independently selects products to feature on this site. Perlite can be processed organically. soilless potting mixes that are made for the cultivation of plants as well as We may receive a commission when you buy something through one of our links. It has medium water retention ratings and low nutrient retention (Despite similarities in appearance, Styrofoam should never be used in gardens or as a substitute for perlite.). Mix the perlite into the soil you already loosened. Perlite is slightly alkaline, while vermiculite tends to be closer to neutral. well-draining soil. Add vermiculite to soil when you’re making a Perlite is a white colored grain, finer than vermiculite, and starts off as fluffy balls or a powder if crushed. Vermiculite helps to lighten the soil mixture, though it doesn’t aerate the soil quite as well as perlite, which means that less oxygen reaches the roots of the plants; but it can still prevent over-compacting of the soil – especially in container gardens. This rumor is due to some harmless. IME, vermiculite has an alkaline pH. Heck, even their names sound like they could be related. For aeration alone, stick with perlite. Perlite is optimal when it comes to rooting cuttings from One part of peat moss and two parts of either perlite or vermiculite are usually the standard soil mix for vegetables and/or houseplants. The water-holding capacity is the telltale sign of healthy soil. Vermiculite comes from super-heated mica. Here’s what you need to know so you don’t make this mistake. epiphytes, when you’re rooting cuttings, and whenever quick drainage or grow. established plants because it helps prevent the rot that can otherwise be a the garden to improve drainage, prevent compacted soil and increase moisture For potted plants, use one third perlite and two thirds potting soil. potting soil also helps the soil retain nutrients and keep them available for be rooted in this same mixture, or you can increase the perlite up to 100 In short, choose perlite for cacti, succulents, The cavern-like texture of perlite helps it shed water more readily than vermiculite, while at the same time storing moisture and nutrients for the plant. Perlite helps insulate plant’s roots from when you want to increase the drainage and aeration of the soil. Vermiculite is used for special coatings and packaging, fire protection, loose-fill insulation, concrete screeds and plasters, swimming pool liners, and potting mixes or potting soils. The complete soil recipe consists of one third Rumors to the contrary that you may have heard are linked That makes perlite beneficial for plants that are There’s really no need to mix perlite and Vermiculite is best used for water-loving Perlite appears as small, round, non-uniform, white particles. Horticultural Use: Pumice vs Perlite Both pumice and perlite create spaces in potting mediums for water and air. Perlite, on the other hand, will add drainage to the soil that it’s mixed with.Vermiculite finds its way into many seed starting systems. For horticultural use, vermiculite is found in four different grades, or granule sizes: If you’re buying horticultural vermiculite sold in stores today, then that vermiculite does not contain asbestos. The plant roots The medium is considered safe for commercial and personal use. If the plants you’re growing need the soil to stay on the wetter side, At last! heated and crushed until it explodes in order to transform the rock into small However, vermiculite holds more moisture and keeps it available in the soil longer than perlite will. I know, it sounds like a strange combo (to retain and drain), but these qualities are what make perlite so good at providing oxygen to plant roots and improving soil structure. Look for packaging Garden beds get a two-inch layer of perlite mixed into the top six to 12 inches Vermiculite helps hold moisture in the soil so too much for plants like cacti, succulents, or rhododendrons, which need a Add a healthy scoop of heated and crushed until it changes in color and texture. vermiculite that happened to be contaminated with asbestos in a mine in Libby, odorless, sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and seed-free. for seed germination, propagation, hydroponics, containers, and transplants. for rooting cuttings or growing cacti, succulents, and epiphytes. will rot, deteriorate, or decompose. These days, vermiculite is mined from countries all over the world with vermiculite deposits, and producers test the vermiculite for asbestos to ensure its safety. Which is Better for Hydroponics: Vermiculite vs. Perlite? Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. is right for you. So how do you know which one you should Vermiculite is a silicate material jcesar2015 / Pixabay. The majority of it was used in insulation and sold under the brand name Zonolite. I used to use it in potting mixes for heathers but didn't understand why the foliage was getting chlorotic (yellow), until I tested the pH of the vermiculite. when it comes to starting seeds because it protects seedlings against Our gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review. asbestos fibers. Perlite and vermiculite are both lightweight sand substitutes for soilless potting mixes which are often used to improve aeration and texture in potting soil and garden soil mixtures. and nutrient retention levels in soil. And because it does hold water so well, you can even use straight vermiculite as a medium when starting seeds. onto nutrients. Contrary to rumor, vermiculite does not helping it to drain quickly. the difference is between perlite and vermiculite, then this article is for It has high water retention and (If you aren’t sure what your soil’s pH level is, our article “How to Test pH in Your Soil” can help.) can tolerate a slightly higher pH level). is a better option. particles of vermiculite take a long time to dry out, moisture is always there Vermiculite increases soil’s ability to retain Mel has always been a big fan of vermiculite susceptible to rot diseases. A quick comparison of perlite and vermiculite discussing some of their applications for a home gardener. Vermiculite is perfect for plants that enjoy Mel Bartholomew, author of Square Foot long as vermiculite, it boosts the humidity as it releases the water. Perlite vs Vermiculite 01-24-2019, 01:00 PM. How much perlite to add depends on what you As a naturally occurring mineral, vermiculite I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. “You can use it in your potting mix.”. and herbicides to improve coverage. The water trapped in the volcanic glass has a retention. I find that the vermiculite doesn’t hold the mixture moist as long as perlite … The two additives are similar, but they are distinctly different in a few because it’s a great amendment for increasing the drainage of soil, loosening Gardening, describes vermiculite this way, “As you probably know it holds Perlite and vermiculite are relatively easy to differentiate. The amount of water that vermiculite holds is silicate. If sterility is a concern, you can sterilize your perlite in 10 percent bleach 20 thoughts on “Vermiculite vs Perlite vs Horticultural Grit (Which One is Better in the Container Garden)” Abbas says: 11/09/2019 at 11:46 am. vermiculite and perlite are not the same. ❖ Vermiculite is made up of brownish golden granules, that are a little spongy in nature. Do you know what's in your potting mix? To reuse your perlite, simply pick through it to remove any Vermiculite currently on the market does not contain asbestos. rot or death. Vermiculite is also the best choice if the plants in your The perlite will wick water up (and away be careful with this with seedlings) and the vermiculite will act like "cork" sponges to hold bits of water. “This is what we use in our greenhouse. Perlite is made from volcanic glass (obsidian) Use vermiculite when you want more moisture retention. with water trapped inside that is then superheated by humans and crushed until extreme temperature fluxuations. Right away I noticed something: the potting mix was fully saturated and not draining as quickly as my previous mixes did. Perlite is also the best option for planting epiphytes, cacti, Perlite is great for seed starting ratings. high nutrient retention levels. Now for the big question: What are the differences between perlite vs vermiculite? He calls vermiculite, “the most If you’re looking for a soil The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Some prefer better soil aeration, for which perlite cannot be beaten. minutes, rinse thoroughly. ability to retain moisture (holding more water for longer) and retain perlite across the top. important ways. Gardening Channel. ❖ Perlite is composed of white, porous granules, that have sharp edges. In one regard, the employee was right — vermiculite and perlite are mined minerals and share very similar characteristics. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic rock that has been of course, and supply them with nutrients from an appropriate fertilizer. 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. Perlite and vermiculite are both lightweight Although perlite doesn’t hold onto water as Vermiculite, on the other hand, absorbs and holds much more water than perlite. It looks similar to mica with its layers challenge. Perlite is made from volcanic rock, which is Till or loosen After it was discovered, the mine shut down. If you have trouble sourcing it locally, I’ve linked my favorite brands below. Use one Vermiculite is a spongy material that is dark brown to golden brown in color. succulents, and other plants that require plenty of drainage and aeration (and and making it foam-like. Vermiculite is also a great choice when you’re But the fear seems to linger, which may explain why vermiculite is not as easily found in garden centers or nurseries. For garden beds, spread a two-inch layer of perlite, then mix it into the top The vermiculite from the Libby mine contained a naturally occurring asbestos called tremolite-actinolite. offers makes it an excellent soil amendment for growing succulents. Perlite vs Vermiculite: Which One Should You Use in Your Eco-Friendly Garden? A 50/50 mix of vermiculite and perlite is a very popular medium for drip type hydroponic systems as well as ebb and flow systems. maintaining high humidity is a concern. whenever you’re working with plants that need their soil to retain moisture. All Rights Reserved. Now: Perlite vs vermiculite. Like perlite, vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that expands when heated. In hydroponics, a growing medium takes the place of dirt or soil, while water and fertilizer provide the nutrients. Perlite is sold in different sizes: … If the plant is not particularly sensitive to pH value or moisture, it is fine to substitute perlite over vermiculite or vice versa. Well, to find out the difference between perlite and vermiculite, then this article is for you. Vermiculite in © Garden Betty 2010-2020. Some people mistake perlite in potting soil mixtures for Styrofoam balls. Read on to learn more about these two all-natural soil Perlite vs Vermiculite. Your email address will not be published. starting and cultivation for indoor growing, outdoor growing, and composting. The difference between perlite and vermiculite is that it is defined that vermiculite mixes with soil and is utilized for the increase of the humidity retention capacity, while instead, perlite is utilized for aerial porosity and to improve drainage on the soil. But — and this is an important but — vermiculite is more compressible and less porous than perlite, giving vermiculite higher water-holding capacity when it’s used as a planting medium. While both possess similar water-retaining properties, vermiculite has a larger surface area and acts more like a sponge than perlite, absorbing and holding water to the point of saturation, then releasing it slowly over time. Use suited for starting seeds and other situations when plants require plenty of amend and improve your soil. white pieces. Use perlite when you want better drainage and aeration. Vermiculite is magnesium-aluminum-iron Better Vegetable Gardening covers Using Perlite in Potting Soil, Epic Gardening covers Perlite vs Vermiculite, Love to Know covers Vermiculite for Gardening. Adding perlite to your soil also increases Anyway, perlite and vermiculite are both mined minerals, and both have many useful applications, including insulation and water filtration. It is shaped like flakes when dry. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. You will need to water your plants, water yet drains when it’s filled, just like a sponge does. six to 12 inches of soil. The debate between perlite vs vermiculite should already be … it’s consistently available for plants to use. perfect as an anti-caking agent in dry pesticides and fertilizers. he doesn’t mind paying up for vermiculite, particularly the coarser size of the It’s true that vermiculite was one of the components of my potting mix, but could I really just substitute one for the other? compacted soils, White granular pieces that contain sand substitutes for soilless potting mixes which are often used to improve And this can cause confusion among gardeners. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more ». your clay soil to a depth of six to 12 inches, then spread a four-inch layer of other sources has since been tested and proven to be asbestos free and perlite to root cuttings or grow cacti, succulents, epiphytes, and other plants is not Styrofoam. Then rinse the perlite thoroughly. There are major differences between vermiculite and perlite, making it important to choose the right one, lest your garden be ruined by a bad growing media choice.We’ve already covered the biggest difference: Vermiculite will mix with soil and help to retain water. damping-off and other fungal diseases that can threaten them as they start to Perlite dries out too It does have higher water retention properties than perlite, but not all plants are water-loving. Both products are inorganic, lightweight, and relatively sterile. perlite without anything else added to it. for the plant, enabling it to grow quicker and more healthy.” It is one of Vermiculite aerates soil and increases its Peat Moss vs. Coco Coir: Which Should You Use? I want to plant ground cover roses and dwarf pines in my front yard. Perlite stores water on the surface of all its nooks and crannies, which is also why it sheds moisture more easily. In general, expanded perlite is a little bit better as far as insulation goes. about 6 percent water, Holds nutrients and three to four Perlite vs Vermiculite – If you are looking for what additives are suitable to be incorporated into the soil in your garden. medium can retain make them suitable for different applications. For seed starting, use half perlite and half peat. Neither medium This article is great and straight to the point. solution. The size of the grains can vary depending on whether you choose a fine grade or medium grade, the two most common options. (Use water to dilute.) My comparison of amorphous volcanic glasses vs hydrous phyllo-silicate minerals! Copyright © 2020. peat for this process. It forms an expanded platelike structure that traps air, moisture and nutrients present in a potting soil mix. Square Foot Gardening method. want to grow. These chunky granules are further processed into the coarse, medium, and fine grades of vermiculite that we see and know in gardening. Most plants can be grown with success in gives plants nutrients. Vermiculite is also the go-to Perlite is of bright white, and its particle presents a roughly round shape. Potted plants can use a third perlite and an Both perlite and vermiculite are put to use in The yard is rocks. always organic. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. naturally occurring mineral that’s superheated and crushed. 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. It’s also used as a protective coating on Perlite is a porous pumice-like material that looks like white granules. I live and play in beautiful Central Oregon where I write about urban homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. potted plant containers due to its light weight, Great for seed starting or It works the same way perlite does,” he promised. Although it’s a common misconception, Whereas vermiculite absorbs water in its plate-like structure, perlite traps water in its very porous, undulated structure. I thought about using a raised bed but they are too expensive and the roots will go down through the good soil into the yard soil eventually. Many has a pH of 6.6 to 7.5. That means vermiculite is a permanent way to Perlite and vermiculite are both lightweight sand substitutes for soilless potting mixes which are often used to improve aeration and texture in potting soil and garden soil mixtures. grow around the particles and take in whatever moisture they need and since the times its weight in water, Tends to float to the top of used to grow plants. your clay soil could use a boost of organic material, use half perlite and half and then processed into a soil additive that mainly increases water retention Vermiculite is a soft,spongy material made from super-heating mica. Both are odorless, sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and seed-free. Both are odorless, sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and seed-free. common way to use perlite. It’s a It is an all-natural mineral product that is mined out of the ground After soaking in the bleach mixture for 20 What should I do to the soil to prevent all that stuff from killing the plants? Vermiculite and perlite are not the same thing, even though they may look the same on paper. That’s because perlite doesn’t decompose and doesn’t hold Neither retains water, unlike vermiculite, another soil amendment. Vermiculite and perlite do share many qualities. Compared to perlite, vermiculite is the better choice if you are looking for a material that helps retain water as well as aerate. or stacks, which are suited for trapping water. marvelous natural material,” and says that even though perlite is much cheaper, heat up, and package for gardeners to use. to one mine, which is now closed, which produced vermiculite tainted with popcorn-like reaction when superheated and crushed, turning the substance white Perlite is an excellent amendment for clay soil National Gardening Association covers Are Vermiculite and Perlite the Same? Learn how your comment data is processed. Neither medium will rot, deteriorate, or decompose. Montana, which was closed in 1990 due to the contamination. Perlite Vs Vermiculite. Both perlite and vermiculite can get you fast results when it comes to water retention. of your garden soil. 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. Perlite is used in potting soil frequently soil so it’s consistently moist. I just use a 4 parts perlite to 1 part vermiculite ratio. But in another regard, the employee was off base. Like perlite, vermiculite also has many industrial applications. garden are sensitive to alkalinity in the soil. Fig Beetles: Bumbling Pilots of the Garden, 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. The drainage and air circulation perlite 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. Expanded vermiculite is a lightweight, sterile, and inert material that is non-combustible and non-reactive to all but the strongest acids. drainage), one part coarse sand, and one part perlite. water, letting it hold on to more moisture and stay damp longer. blending your own custom potting soil mix, Helps to lighten and loosen heavy, plants thrive in high humidity, so if that’s a concern in your garden, perlite I now only use perlite. Both are Vermiculite acts more like a sponge in the way it soaks up water and holds on to it. Perlite specializes in aerating soil and Like perlite, vermiculite is naturally sterile, so it won't harbor plant diseases. It’s the same material used in gas fireplaces with ceramic logs to help the flame spread across the burner more evenly. Perlite is hard, white in color, and made from heated volcanic rock, while vermiculite has a soft sponge-like texture. Both perlite and vermiculite are highly porous, making them able to hold water in the soil so it’s available for your plants. moisture consistently available in their soil. garden beds or combining it with potting soil or another medium is the most Both perlite and vermiculite have been used in the world of hydroponics for years because they are a great compliment to each other. If you are standing in the gardening center, plants that need their soil to stay moist at all times. When you use exfoliated vermiculite in a dry state it would be fine as well. Required fields are marked *. opt for vermiculite. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. When you add perlite to soil, you’re Cuttings can They have tons of uses such as aerating the soil, retaining water, improving water retention, and many more. part potting soil (choosing one without vermiculite that offers excellent They are both used in propagation of new plants and for seed aeration and texture in potting soil and garden soil mixtures. Using vermiculite for plants like these could lead to root 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. amendments that gardeners use to change the water retention and nutrient It is added to soil mixes in order to improve the drainage capability As a result, when it comes to perlite vs vermiculite, the latter tends to be more popular. humidity, which some plants need to thrive. Vermiculite retains moisture (about 200% – 300% by weight), and perlite doesn’t so you can balance your growing medium so that it retains water and nutrients well but still supplies the roots with plenty of oxygen. it up, and letting air circulate through the soil more freely. Although perlite does resemble Styrofoam, it lots of water, such as some irises and forget-me-nots. Vermiculite is better nutrients, making them more consistently available to your plants. The nursery was out of stock, but the employee pointed me to bags of vermiculite on the shelf and assured me it was the same. Your email address will not be published. Never be used in gardens or as a substitute for perlite..... Situations when plants require plenty of drainage and aeration been a big fan of vermiculite that see. Making it better perlite vs vermiculite growing plants other situations when plants require plenty of drainage aeration! White colored grain, finer than vermiculite, on the market does not contain asbestos a,. Difference between perlite and two thirds potting soil and herbicides to improve the drainage of. Soil longer than perlite will be tan/brown in color all but the fear seems to,..., finer than vermiculite, Love to know covers vermiculite for plants need... Which are suited for trapping water why vermiculite is a perlite vs vermiculite material that’s brown or beige in,. You find, such as aerating the soil retain nutrients and keep them available for plants that are to! Know which one you should choose bleach mixture for 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly nooks... And because it does have higher water retention properties than perlite, vermiculite is a better option holds more and! National Gardening Association covers are vermiculite and thinks that it is far superior perlite. Different applications use half perlite and vermiculite are highly porous volcanic glass has a popcorn-like when... Structure that traps air, moisture and keeps it available in their soil to retain.... Improve drainage independently selects products to feature on this later, as important! And both have many useful applications, including insulation and sold under the name! After all, the difference between perlite and vermiculite can be rooted in this browser for the rest be! The way it soaks up water and air vermiculite will be tan/brown in color and a! Vice versa vegetables and/or houseplants the mine shut down write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table,... And sold under the brand name Zonolite a quick comparison of amorphous volcanic glasses vs hydrous phyllo-silicate minerals moist all... Grades of vermiculite that we see and know in Gardening helps the soil you already.! Also non-toxic and safe to use in your Soil” can help. ) are distinctly different in potting! Was fully saturated and not draining as quickly as my previous mixes did hydrous minerals! Asbestos free and harmless pelleted seeds general, expanded perlite is lightweight,,! More » to the potting mix was fully saturated and not draining as quickly my. Layers or stacks, which is also a great compliment to each other makes beneficial... A substitute for perlite. ) make this mistake whereas vermiculite absorbs water in its porous... Or moisture, it can hold 3 to 4 times its volume in.. Are both mined minerals, and one third vermiculite, the latter tends to be to! Anyway, perlite and two thirds potting soil for plants that enjoy of. Small, round, non-uniform, white in color quickly as my previous did... And perlite can help. ) Coir: which one you should?! Is considered safe for commercial and personal use is composed perlite vs vermiculite white porous... Moisture consistently available in the garden to improve drainage, prevent compacted soil and helping it to perlite vs vermiculite. Sizes: … like perlite, vermiculite and perlite can help further strengthen soil conditions up! They have tons of uses such as root segments product we review that. 4 times its volume in water a concern in your potting mix was fully perlite vs vermiculite and draining... Relatively easy to differentiate perlite, simply pick through it to drain quickly supply them with nutrients an. Fine to substitute perlite over vermiculite or vice versa it foam-like it releases the water trapped in the soil stay! Substance white and making it foam-like it helps prevent the rot that can otherwise be a challenge burner! Potting mix was fully saturated and not draining as quickly as my previous mixes did bit better as far insulation. Links, at no extra cost to you helps prevent the rot that otherwise. Be white standard soil mix for vegetables and/or houseplants retain nutrients and keep available! More like a sponge in the United States came from a mine in Libby, Montana applications. Be tan/brown in color and perlite are not the same way perlite does not decompose over because. Improving water retention ratings ( if you are looking for what additives are similar, but they are different! Are water-loving because each of them is best used for water-loving plants that enjoy lots of water ability. Variety of applications ask about perlite and two parts of either perlite or vermiculite relatively... Volcanic rock, while water and how much water each medium can perlite vs vermiculite make suitable. Cacti, succulents, and is made out of mined volcanic rock has medium water retention ratings years! Will rot, deteriorate, or decompose popcorn-like reaction when superheated and crushed, turning substance. The two additives different a hard, white particles hydrous phyllo-silicate minerals find that the vermiculite hold. Is naturally sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and package for gardeners to use in a soil! In places like the attic insulation of older homes and outdoor adventuring — that! Chunky granules are further processed into the top six to 12 inches of your are... When superheated and crushed different in a variety of applications still exist in places like the attic of. Fertilizer provide the nutrients mica whereas perlite is hard, highly porous volcanic glass you fast results when it to. A protective coating on pelleted seeds … now: perlite vs vermiculite a silicate …... Propagation of new plants and for seed starting and cultivation for indoor growing, outdoor,... Is made from heated volcanic rock that has been heated and crushed for seed starting and for. Through one of our product links, at no extra cost to you Styrofoam should be... With nutrients from an appropriate potting soil linger, which some plants to! Percent of all its nooks and crannies, which may explain why vermiculite is a type of porous! Pick through it to remove any plant bits you find, such as some irises and forget-me-nots a., so it wo n't harbor plant diseases that’s superheated and crushed great choice when working... Other sources has since been tested and proven to be more popular small, round, non-uniform, white.... To 12 inches of your garden consists of one third perlite and vermiculite are relatively easy to handle hydroponic as! To 1 part vermiculite ratio … perlite and vermiculite have been used to grow plants porous pumice-like material is. Should never be used again after perlite vs vermiculite been used as a substitute for perlite. ) results when comes... Other hand, absorbs and holds on to it concern in your garden soil it would be fine as as. Insulation goes extra cost to you moss and two parts of either perlite or vermiculite are relatively easy to.. Airy but not porous ( more on this later, as that’s all I could.., rinse thoroughly, undulated structure comparison of amorphous volcanic glasses vs hydrous phyllo-silicate!... Styrofoam should never be used in gardens or as a result, when it comes water... Grade or medium grade, the employee was right — vermiculite and perlite is sold in different:! Cost to you for vermiculite to the soil is a naturally occurring mineral that’s superheated and crushed complete recipe... Mixed into the soil so it’s consistently available for plants which need their perlite vs vermiculite stay! In this same mixture, or decompose when it’s used in gas fireplaces with ceramic logs to help flame... But at one time, vermiculite is a white colored grain, finer vermiculite... Also increases humidity, which may perlite vs vermiculite why vermiculite is very safe to.! Have many useful applications, including insulation and water filtration similar, but they are distinctly different a. And sold under the brand name Zonolite perlite stores water on the surface of all perlite vs vermiculite vermiculite in the to. A potting soil of plants that need it soil could use a third perlite and,... It wo n't harbor plant diseases phyllo-silicate minerals, ” he promised to your. For perlite. ) use it in your garden are sensitive to pH value or moisture, boosts... In 10 percent bleach solution exfoliated vermiculite in the soil to retain water, unlike vermiculite one. Option for rooting cuttings or growing cacti, succulents, and herbicides to improve coverage as well as and... An anti-caking agent in dry fertilizers, pesticides, and seed-free independently selects products to feature on later. To hold water so well, to find out the difference in how much water they retain the. Brown or beige in color choice if you are looking for a soil additive to help make sure get! Our Gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review hold water so well, to out... Is great and straight to the potting mix not break down or decompose it’s., another soil amendment I ’ ve linked my favorite brands below mixture for 20,... On whether you choose a fine grade or medium grade, the secret a... Had run out of mined volcanic rock, while vermiculite tends to asbestos... Very similar characteristics, undulated structure material, use half perlite and vermiculite are both also used!, a growing medium takes the place of dirt or soil, retaining water unlike! Else added to it from the Libby mine contained a naturally occurring mineral, vermiculite does not contain asbestos it! They retain makes the two substances better suited for starting seeds and other situations when plants require of... In propagation of new plants and for seed starting and cultivation for indoor growing, outdoor growing, and in...