Ever wondered what is perlite? How it is used? Is it really necessary? Well, I heard you, and here’s everything that you need to know about perlite.
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently.
It is an industrial mineral and a commercial product useful for its low density after processing.
- Very light in weight.
- Helps with aeration inside the pots.
- Helps with better drainage.
- PH neurtral
1. It is a myth that it holds water. Perlite is very poor when it comes to water retention and hence must be used in combination with water retention materials.
2. Has minimum to no nutritional value
3. It’s a non-renewable resource. Hence we need to use it wisely.
4. If the granules break – forming a powder, it’s of no use. It is useful only and only because of its granular form.
Cost Benefit analysis:
Perlite is very cheap and needs to be used in very little quantity. So that’s good. However, it is a non- renewable resource and hence can be substituted with other soil amendments available for almost free like sand, very small stones/pebbles. As mentioned earlier, the biggest disadvantage is the misinformed fact that it holds/retains water. So if you’re looking for a soil medium to enhance water- retention, perlite is a big no no.