Pearlite Rooting Guide

in Germination Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:58 am
by sin inc | 101 Posts | 934 Points


Indoor Applications PERLITE
Water, Air and Light PLANT GUIDE
The Perlite Institute Inc.
1924 North Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102 USA
tel. 717-238-9723 fax. 717-238-9985

The green revolution has led to the introduction of hundreds of unheard-of plants and has resulted in
new life for old favorites. One reason why people grow plants indoors is their ease of culture. In days
past, plant lovers would go into the garden and scoop up some soil which they would mix with rotted
manure or other compost and use it to pot their plants. Fortunately they can now rely on modern
growing mixes containing perlite, sphagnum peatmoss and other components. These mixes are
readily available at garden centers, some hardware and department stores.
Perlite is a volcanic material that, when heated to 1600 deg.F (850 deg.C) makes an excellent
ingredient for house plant growing mixes. Perlite particles create tiny air tunnels, which allow moisture
and oxygen to flow freely to roots. This is important since 98% of all oxygen a plant gets is absorbed
through its roots. Poorly drained growing mixes shut out oxygen; root "umps" shut down and the
plant dies from suffocation.
Over-watering is the cause of perhaps one half the cases of plant failure. Perlite in a growing mix
serves as a "life guard", not only promoting good drainage but allowing precious oxygen to flow to

Perlite makes moisture, oxygen and nutrients readily available to plants. Because of the unique
shape of each particle, plus its permanency, moisture and nutrients can cling to the crevices until the
plant needs them, while the granular quality provides quick drainage of excess moisture and allows
space for oxygen - vital for healthy plant growth.
Commercial growers as well as home gardeners can buy perlite mixes or make their own. Equal parts
of perlite and sphagnum peatmoss and sand (or rotted compost or loam) makes a fine growing mixwhile equal parts of sphagnum peatmoss and perlite make an excellent seed starter.


Perlite for Increasing Humidity Around Plants
Since the average home is extremely dry when the heating system is operating, plant foliage often
takes on a scorched look on tips and edges. One way to overcome this is to set trays of water in the
plant area and add perlite. Set the plants on the perlite which should be kept moist. Water is slowly
released into the atmosphere, benefiting the plants.
Perlite Reflects Light
Cloudy winter days often result in poor houseplant or seedling growth. Light coming in a window can
be greatly increased by placing perlite in the bottom of plant trays and on the surface of the growing
mix where light rays will be reflected back up to plants. This can make the difference between spindly
plants and good stocky growth. The same applies if plants are being grown under fluorescent lights.
Just be sure perlite is kept moist so you can take advantage of the extra humidity.
Watering Plants
Frequency of watering depends on the type of plant and size. Most plants prefer the growing media to
be "just moist" at all times. Some plants, like Jade plant and large-leaved Ficus like the growing
media to become almost dry before water is applied. Care should be taken however, to see that the
growing media does not become so dry as to cause dropping of leaves or shrinking of the soil ball to
the point at which a space forms between it and the pot. When this happens, water rushes down the
inside of the pot rather than wetting the root zone. If this happens, or if leaves drop because of lack of
water, set the pot in a large pan of tepid water until the whole root ball is moistened. The plant will
respond, usually within half an hour. Plastic pots hold moisture longer than unglazed pots, which
have pores for air to pass through. Since the soilless mixes contain much lightweight material, you
can usually tell by lifting the pot whether or not the mix has dried out completely. With large pots, you
can push a wooden dowel probe (like a pencil) into the pot. If it comes out moist you know there is
still some moisture left.
Perlite for Starting Seeds
Fine perlite can be used alone as a seed-starting medium or it can be mixed half and half with
shredded sphagnum moss or shredded peatmoss. Many seeds have limited "ushing-up" power.
Perlite alone or perlite mixes are ideal for seed starting because they are light in weight. Moisten the
medium thoroughly, then sow the seeds on top. Very fine seeds can be atomized and left to settleinto crevices. Be sure the medium does not dry out. This can be prevented by keeping the seed box
subirrigated at all times, until seeds sprout. A plastic cover over the box helps maintain humidity.
Other seeds can be covered with a light dusting of perlite and sphagnum peatmoss.
Another requirement for good seed germination is a constant temperature (for most seeds) of 72 deg.
F (22 deg.C).
Water for sub-irrigation can be put directly in the planting tray or a plastic liner can be shaped to hold
water. Place the seed boxes in this liner and keep water in it.
Another use for perlite in seed starting is to give better distribution of fine seeds. Take a clean salt
shaker and place about 1/4 inch (6mm) of very fine perlite (perlite may be poured into a sieve and the
fine particles shaken out) in the salt shaker. Pour the packet of seeds on top, replace the cap and
shake to mix in the seeds with the perlite. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the perlite/peatmoss
Perlite for Rooting Cuttings
Both commercial growers and home gardeners have found that perlite is the ideal rooting medium for
cuttings from ordinary houseplants or from woody shrubs, evergreens or vines. It is important to keep
the perlite moist at all times and to keep cuttings out of direct sun. If temperatures are cool, rooting is
hastened by applying bottom heat. Misting on warm days helps the cuttings retain moisture and
hastens rooting. Home gardeners can use a terrarium as a rooting chamber, whereas commercial
growers would use a greenhouse, coldframe or hotbed

Scroll up


RE: Pearlite Rooting Guide

in Germination Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:31 pm
by 4u2sm0ke • Marijuana is good | 2.333 Posts | 10572 Points

Hick had a way he did clones with perlite...I never tried yet....Have you done this successfully?

Scroll up


RE: Pearlite Rooting Guide

in Germination Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:55 pm
by sin inc | 101 Posts | 934 Points

hey smoke yes i have what i did was get one of thoses cheap foam ice chest from 7-11 the cheap white one. spray paint it black turn the lid upside down poke very small in the lid dont spray paint the lid theres no need. add 10 gallon air pump and airstone fill with water until you can see the bubbles come out of the small holes. dont not fill until you can see water in the lid just the bubbles coming up thought the holes. now you fill up your you lid with perlite add your cuttings. works like charm. plus most of time there no need for a dome. all done for under 20$

Last edited Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:57 pm | Scroll up


RE: Pearlite Rooting Guide

in Germination Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
by N.Ewguy | 166 Posts | 698 Points

i've used pure perlte in a foam cup and had extremely good results. run just under a t5 with water top fed full root bound in cups after a month or wtv so many took i was throwing them out lol.

Scroll up

0 Members and 2 Guests are online.

guest counter
Today were 54 (yesterday 66) guests online.

Board Statistics
The forum has 1231 topics and 21953 posts.

0 members have been online today: