Best 9 what is perlite made out of

Below is the best information and knowledge about what is perlite made out of compiled and compiled by the team, along with other related topics such as:: what is vermiculite made out of, perlite vs vermiculite, what is perlite insulation made of, how to make perlite, What is perlite, Perlite soil, perlite substitute, what is perlite used for.

what is perlite made out of

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The most popular articles about what is perlite made out of

Get to know your potting mix: Vermiculite and perlite – The …

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  • Summary: Articles about Get to know your potting mix: Vermiculite and perlite – The … Perlite is made from a mined volcanic glass of the same name. As a raw material it contains water, trapped by the rapid cooling of lava.

  • Match the search results: Each material has its uses. For seed-starting, I go with a vermiculite mix for my germination but a perlite mix for growing in pots. A mix containing both can also be valuable. It is easy to mix your own, but make sure you buy horticultural-grade vermiculite and perlite. Both are available from plac…

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What Is Perlite Made Of: When and how to use it

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  • Summary: Articles about What Is Perlite Made Of: When and how to use it Perlite is a form of volcanic glass which has a high water content, typically formed from the hydration of Obsidian. Perlite in its natural …

  • Match the search results: You will have seen perlite when you open up a bag of compost, all the little white specks mixed throughout the compost are pieces of perlite. In this article you will find out what perlite is made from, how, why and where you should use it in your garden.

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Perlite – Wikipedia

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  • Summary: Articles about Perlite – Wikipedia 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 …

  • Match the search results: Perlite is currently used in commercial pool filtration technology, as a replacement to diatomaceous earth filters. Perlite is an excellent filtration aid and is used extensively as an alternative to diatomaceous earth. The popularity of perlite usage as a filter medium is growing considerably world…

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What is perlite good for? Uses, types, and comparing growing …

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  • Summary: Articles about What is perlite good for? Uses, types, and comparing growing … A natural volcanic glass, perlite is typically made from the hydration of obsidian. The chemical made up is seventy to …

  • Match the search results: It’s commonly asked why perlite is so often used in gardening and if it is possible to replace perlite with other growing media products. The simple answer is that perlite is used often because of its low cost and extensive advantages. Also, there are common misconceptions about replacement products…

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Perlite vs Vermiculite: What’s the Difference? – Epic …

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  • Summary: Articles about Perlite vs Vermiculite: What’s the Difference? – Epic … The life of a bag of perlite begins as volcanic glass — but not any type of volcanic glass. It’s formed when obsidian contacts water, creating a …

  • Match the search results: Perlite when added to clay soils, it can eliminate both surface crusting and puddles. It will also help to reduce fluctuations in soil temperatures in your garden soil. Perlite will also improve both drainage and aeration in your home gardens. Horticultural perlite can be bought in different grades …

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Perlite vs Vermiculite, Fully Explained – Gardening Channel

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  • Summary: Articles about Perlite vs Vermiculite, Fully Explained – Gardening Channel Perlite is made from volcanic glass (obsidian) with water trapped inside that is then superheated by humans and crushed until it changes in color and texture.

  • Match the search results: Mixing perlite into the soil in your outdoor
    garden beds or combining it with potting soil or another medium is the most
    common way to use perlite. To start seeds, use a mix of half perlite and half
    peat. Cuttings can use this mix too, or you can up the perlite to 100 percent.
    For garden beds, sprea…

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Perlite Soil Info – Information On Growing Plants In Perlite

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  • Summary: Articles about Perlite Soil Info – Information On Growing Plants In Perlite What is Perlite? … Perlite is a volcanic glass that is heated to 1,600 degrees F. (871 C.) whereupon it pops much like popcorn and expands to 13 …

  • Match the search results: Okay, so you bought the potting soil and have just planted a magnificent Ficus tree. Upon close inspection, you notice what appear to be tiny Styrofoam balls in the potting medium. Having heard of perlite, you may wonder if the little balls are perlite and, if so, what is perlite and/or the uses of …

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How to Use Perlite to Improve Soil and Boost Plant Growth

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  • Summary: Articles about How to Use Perlite to Improve Soil and Boost Plant Growth How is perlite made? … The perlite we see in potting mixes is often called “volcanic popcorn,” and for good reason. … Straight out of the ground, perlite is a …

  • Match the search results: The most convenient source of perlite is your local independent garden center or big-box plant nursery. When buying perlite, make sure you are buying 100 percent perlite and not a soil or soilless blend.

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Perlite vs. Vermiculite: How and Why to Use Them …

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  • Summary: Articles about Perlite vs. Vermiculite: How and Why to Use Them … Nicknamed “volcanic popcorn,” perlite is made by heating volcanic glass to super high temperatures until it expands and “pops” into the white, porous, …

  • Match the search results: Perlite is approved for organic gardening by OMRI and NOSB. Aluminum toxicity only occurs at certain levels and any amount that may (or may not) be present in perlite has not been found to have any adverse effects in humans. What’s more risky is actually inhaling perlite dust in large amounts …

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Multi-read content what is perlite made out of

Have you ever used a bagcommercial soil? If so, you may notice small white objects that look like foam balls in the mixture.

These little balls are a type of mineral product called perlite. Each ingredient in this blend has beneficial effects on plants, and perlite is no exception.

If you want to get good at gardening or growing plants in water, perlite might be your best friend. Seasoned gardeners trust this mineral and use it extensively in their gardening endeavors.

What’s so special about these harmless-looking balls? Learn more in our in-depth guide to all things perlite.

Not sure where to find good perlite products in the market? It’s our favorite brand.

detailed product information

PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite


PR8 8 pints organic perlite

Natural and clean perlite, very suitable for gardening or hydroponic use.

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What is Perlite?

Perlite is the name of a natural mineral. In nature, it exists as volcanic glass, created when volcanic obsidian glass is saturated with water for a long time.

And since fertile volcanic areas have been settled since biblical times (due to fertile soil), perlite has been known to man since at least the third century BC.

Dark black or gray natural perlite amorphous glass. Amorphous means that it has no definite shape or structure, unlike crystals.

What is perlite made of?

Like all other volcanic rocks, perlite is also quite heavy and dense in its natural form. Perlite usually containsfollowing ingredients:

  • 70-75% silicon dioxide
  • aluminum oxide
  • sodium oxide
  • Potassium oxide
  • Iron oxide
  • magnesium oxide
  • calcium oxide
  • 3-5% water

Since it is a naturally mined mineral, perlite is a non-renewable resource.The main producers are Greece, the United States, Turkey and Japan.

It is a relatively inexpensive and commonly used mineral for industrial purposes such as construction and the manufacture of plaster, masonry and ceiling bricks.

But the use of perlite in horticulture and hydroponics is of particular interest.

And to do that, hard mineral glass must be transformed into that lightweight, white, moss-like plastic that confuses many beginner gardeners as to its origins and purposes!

Let’s take a closer look at the processes that turn perlite glass into “perlite foam” in the next section.

How is perlite made?

Mining Perlite

The processed perlite that we see in horticultural mixes is essentially “Volcanic popcorn. “It’s a very literal description.

Because perlite glass contains a lot of water, it shatters when heated to very high temperatures, just like popcorn. Perlite balls treated in this way are made by crushing natural perlite glass and then firing them in an industrial oven.

To complete the transformation, the crushed perlite must be heated rapidly to 900 degrees Celsius (about 1650 degrees Fahrenheit). The mineral structure is softened by heat, allowing water trapped inside to expand into steam to escape.

This process leads to the expansion of the crushed mineral fragments. Typically, perlite flakes can expand 7 to 16 times their original size and volume, creating these lightweight imitation moss balls.

Foam balls have many pores inside and are clean, sterile and generally stable. It can keep its shape easily in the ground without crumbling.

The importance of perlite for gardening

There are several reasons why perlite is such a useful additive for gardens and hydroponic setups. They mainly derive from its unique physical and chemical properties:

  • Perlite is physically stable and retains its shape even when driven into the ground.
  • It has a neutral pH
  • It does not contain harmful chemicals and is made from natural compounds found in the soil
  • It is extremely porous and contains pockets of space inside for air
  • It can retain some of the water while allowing the rest to escape

These properties allow perlite to facilitate two important processes in soil/hydroponics that are essential for plant growth:


All plant cells need oxygen, even those underground. The green parts at the top are likely to produce it during photosynthesis.

But below, the root system must absorb it from the soil. Aerating the soil allows less air to remain, which promotes the development of a strong root system.


Without water, no living being can exist. But for plants, excess water in the soil can lead to drowning.

In this situation, the root system is deprived of oxygen, which eventually leads to death. Good drainage is important for creating voids in the soil.

Adding perlite to the soil will improve its drainage, as it has excellent filtration and drainage capabilities. The presence of all these pores allows most of the excess water to escape.

And those air pockets also mean that perlite is great for the root system too. When the soil is compacted, air pockets are lost. But since perlite is a harder mineral, it retains its shape, keeping air pockets around the roots.

How to use perlite in the garden

Soil and tools for gardening

Perlite has several uses in common gardens:

In the soil:you can make your own homemade potting soil using a combination of equal parts perlite, humus, and peat moss. In pots, it keeps things loose, airy and well-drained.

On the surface:Perlite can also be scattered on the soil surface, where it acts as a pest. It will gradually work into the soil, improving drainage.

For root cuttings:It encourages root growth much better than watering alone. You can place the original seeds or cuttings in an air-filled Ziploc bag containing moistened perlite for several weeks.

How to use perlite in hydroponics?

Perlite with Vermiculite

Perlite is also useful in hydroponics and soilless gardening:

Propagation of cuttings:Perlite stimulates root growth and prevents drowning by helping to drain excess water from cuttings. It can be used with rooting compounds.

Independent development media:Perlite is a suitable choice in some cases as a hydroponic medium. But it is not suitable for high water environments, such as deep water culture or flow systems.

Mix with other culture media. Perlite is usually mixed with vermiculite in equal amounts (50-50). This greatly solves the water-holding problem of perlite while improving the water-holding capacity of vermiculite, making it usable in the water-rich systems described above.

Are there different types of perlite?

Perlite produced for horticultural and horticultural purposes is generally classified intothree different typesbased on individual particle size:

raw pearlite

This type has the highest porosity and drainage capacity. It is most suitable for succulents and orchids. It is also the least affected by the wind! But it does not climb easily into the topsoil.

medium pearlite

This forms the middle soil layer involved in aeration and drainage. It is most suitable for potted seeds and seedlings.

smooth pearlite

It is the lightest variety, best suited to start seeding and rooting. Fine particles of perlite can also be lightly spread on your garden and lawn soil.

Is perlite organic?

There are two ways to look at this:

From a chemical point of view, organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon. Perlite does not contain carbon, so it is an inorganic mineral.

But in the context of growing things, like organic farming, the meaning or the word “organic” is different. It means something that is naturally mined from the earth and has not undergone any significant chemical processing.

Perlite is a mined mineral that undergoes several physical treatments. It is in fact approved by the National Organic Standards Council for use in certified organic agriculture.

So if you plan to do organic farming or gardening, yes, perlite is a safe “organic” additive.

How does perlite compare to some other mineral additives?

Perlite versus Vermiculite


Perlite is directly comparable to another mineral additive known as vermiculite. Both have overlapping functions and help aerate the soil and initiate seeding.

Vermiculite also comes from certain rocks and expands into a perlite-like popcorn pattern. But vermiculite has stronger extensibility.

Perlite has more air porosity than vermiculite and also has better drainage effect. On the other hand, vermiculite retains water much better than perlite.

Perlite is best for succulents, while vermiculite is best for tropical plants that need a lot of moisture to hold in the soil.

Both have uses and many professionals tend to incorporate both of these minerals into their soil mixes.

Perlite vs Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is also a mineral additive, available as a fine powder. It is commonly referred to as DE.

DE is used more for pest control than anything else in horticulture. It also has a high water holding capacity. But since it’s a powder, it doesn’t help much with the aeration process.

DE is not really an opponent against pearlite in any way. Both additives can be used together, due to their respective benefits to the soil.

Advantages and disadvantages of perlite


  • Ideal for root aeration
  • Very stable and inert structure
  • Helps improve drainage
  • Inexpensive and readily available
  • Useful for hydroponics and gardening


  • The thinner layer is affected by air/wind flow
  • Does not hold water
  • Contains no nutrients
  • Tends to float in excess water
  • Dust free. So wear a mask to protect your exhale when working with perlite

Where can you buy perlite?

You can purchase perlite in substantial and varied quantities at Home Depot, Lowes, your local nursery, any electrical store. Or order online at Amazon, eBay.

I usually buy them in bulk for later use because perlite is a safe and effective growing medium that can be stored for a long time.

I always choose a pack of 100% manufactured perlite and then mix it with soil or another growing medium. But that’s to my liking, you can choose perlite as a potting mix, a potting mix that doesn’t need soil or fertilizer. Just pay attention to the ingredients of the product to find out.


Novice gardeners tend to forget the importance of providing oxygen to the roots of growing plants and seedlings. Perlite is an important additive that can really improve the growth of seeds, young plants, roots and mature plants. It can be used as a stand-alone growth medium or with other additives.

What is Perlite? What is its use in the garden?

Popular questions about what is perlite made out of

what is perlite made out of?

expanded volcanic glass

What is a good substitute for perlite?

What is a good substitute for perlite?
  • Rice husks.
  • Pumice.
  • Horticultural grit.
  • Granite gravel.
  • Vermiculite.
  • Calcined clay.
  • Bark.
  • Peat.

How do you make homemade perlite?

How to Cast Homemade Perlite
  1. Mix equal parts of dry cement, sphagnum peat moss and perlite in a bucket or other container. …
  2. Mix in water a little at a time until the ingredients are thoroughly moist, but not wet.

What are the disadvantages of perlite?

  • 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 perlite toxic to humans?

Perlite is a naturally occurring silicous rock and as such, is not toxic. Perlite is used in horticultural, construction and industrial applications. Ingesting the products that incorporate perlite may cause illness and, in excessive amounts, permanent harm or death.

Can I use sand instead of perlite?

Sand is an excellent alternative to perlite because it does not hold onto water and provides sharp drainage. However, it is not comparable in weight because it is much heavier.

Can I use charcoal instead of perlite?

Charcoal is often used as a substitute for perlite as it possesses the same functional qualities. Charcoal speeds drainage, inhibits bacteria and fungal development and allows good air flow and is therefore a good option for inclusion in potting medium for a range of plants.

Can I use rice hulls instead of perlite?

Greenhouse growers can substitute rice hulls for perlite in their media without the need for an increase in growth regulators, according to a Purdue University study.

Can you use polystyrene instead of perlite?

According to many experienced gardeners, Styrofoam can be used instead of perlite. However, it must be the correct kind of Styrofoam, and there are serious environmental considerations to take into account.

Is perlite same as vermiculite?

Although it’s a common misconception, vermiculite and perlite are not the same. Vermiculite is a silicate material that’s brown or beige in color and has a soft, sponge-like texture. Perlite is harder, is white in color, and is made out of mined volcanic rock.

Which is better vermiculite or perlite?

Because vermiculite holds moisture better than perlite, it helps keep seeds from drying out during germination. You’re repotting outdoor container plants. Potted plants tend to dry out faster outside, especially if they’re in porous containers like terra cotta or fabric pots.

Can you reuse perlite in hydroponics?

Perlite doesn’t hold onto nutrients the same way as soil, rockwool, coco coir, or even clay pebbles. You can reuse any of those mediums if you choose, but perlite can be cleaned in a matter of minutes, not days.

What is vermiculite for plants?

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.

Is there asbestos in perlite?

Does Perlite Contain Asbestos? There has been growing concern that perlite may be contaminated with asbestos, making perlite a dangerous product. According to the Perlite Institute, and their continuing tests, the answer is no. The two substances are rarely found together in volcanic rock, according to a 2002 report.

Is perlite safe for vegetables?

Even though vermiculite and perlite are safe for vegetables, that doesn’t mean they are necessary for them. All plants need good drainage, but certain vegetables will do better with really loose and aerated soil.

Video tutorials about what is perlite made out of

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A short video describing the mining and processing of Perlite ore for horticultural, construction, and industrial applications.

keywords: #hydroponics, #substrate, #whatisperlite, #howperliteismade, #perlitewaterholdingcapicity, #perliteairholdingcapacity, #isperliterenewable

Need a medium that aerates your root zones? Perlite might be for you. (Read more:


Hydroponics growers usually look for a growing medium that fits in their equipment (media beds, Bato buckets, ZipGrow Towers, etc.), that’s easy to handle, affordable, and if possible, pH neutral and sterile.

Today, we’re looking at perlite, a lightweight medium-sized particle made from perlite ore. The substrate creates air pores and even holds oxygen that the plant roots can use, making it a wonderful addition to any substrate that may compact. It can also be used as a primary medium; many Bato bucket (Dutch bucket) growers use perlite as the primary medium for growing tomatoes.

The biggest cons of using perlite are that it can’t be used with fish and the dust can be dangerous if inhaled. Finally, while perlite is more coarse than a substrate like sand, it is still granular enough that solids loading and even plant roots can cause clogging.

Our conclusion? Perlite is best for hydroponicists who are using a container to grow (like buckets or beds), need only a small to moderate amount of the substrate, have clean and clear solution, and need something oxygen-friendly. If that’s you, it’s time to start using perlite.

Like this video? Check out our other playlists on hydroponics and growing materials.


Timestamps/What’s Covered:

00:15 – How is Perlite made?

00:34 – What is Perlite?

1:10 – Water \u0026 air holding capacity

1:39 – Is Perlite renewable?

2:18 – Pros of Perlite

3:21 – Cons of Perlite


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When you open up a bag of commercial potting mix, you expect to see little white specks in it without really questioning why they’re there. But what is perlite, really? What is perlite made of? What does it do for the soil, and is there a reason to add more?

Here, we’ll explore the world of horticultural perlite, and shed some light on the best ways to put it to use for you.


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Growing veggies with Perlite as a soil amendment .


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