Last Updated: May 5, 2017

Definition - What does Perlite mean?

In cannabis cultivation, perlite, which are recognizable as small white bits present in a potting soil, can be helpful in providing plants with enough oxygen in their root zone. Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass commonly used in commercial and horticulture practices.

Unlike other volcanic minerals, perlite can expand up to 13 times its original size when heated, resulting in a lightweight material.

Perlite is useful because it helps minimize temperature fluctuations in the soil. It also has a neutral pH level, making is suitable for picky cannabis plants. While perlite does retain moisture, it doesn't get soggy and does not pose any type of fire hazard or toxicity. Perlite is also known for keeping the soil free from diseases, weeds, and insects.

Perlite can be used in hydroponics, but too much of it will cause the grow medium to start to float in the presence of deep water culture.

MaximumYield explains Perlite

When it is added to a potting mix, perlite helps in draining and maintaining the moisture content of cannabis crops. This is because it is covered with several tiny cells that absorb moisture from the exterior of the particle rather than from the interior. Perlite is porous, and when added to soil, it allows water to drain more easily.

It is recommended to mix compost-rich soil with perlite as it maintains the moisture content, keeps it well aerated, and also facilitates re-wetting. Perlite is also inorganic and sterile, prevents compaction, and does not decompose for years. It can also help prevent the growth of weeds.

Using perlite to grow marijuana plants in containers can enable the container to hold just enough oxygen and water. This mineral is also great for use with root cuttings and helps to inhabit much stronger roots than those grown in water alone. However, plants may experience a fluoride burn while using perlite, resulting in leaves with brown tips.

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