Perlite vs Vermiculite

Some people are determined in the plants and agricultural sector. However, it is usually hard to get a good and fertile soil. You will find that many soils are lacking the moisture and good substances in it. Then all you need is the material which can be used as root-cutting media and as components of various potting mixes. There are two products which are promising in this sector; the first one is the Perlite. Perlite is the substance which is used to improve moisture retention and aeration in soil. Perlite is made from the amorphous volcanic rock which is rich in silicon. The second one is the Vermiculite; Vermiculite is an aluminium-iron-magnesium silicate which is used in the horticultural sector. Vermiculite takes shape like a spongy material which has a dark brown to golden brown color. These two products offer many functions for your soil, so if you want to improve your soil with these products, let’s read more about both products below.

Composition
Perlite and Vermiculite are more or less has the same function, but the structure of these two products are very different. If Vermiculite is a mineral mica, then the Perlite is a white volcanic substance which is a derivative of silica. Vermiculate contains iron and aluminum silicate substance in it, which give the Vermiculite the ability to absorb moisture when the potting mixes happen. Other substances also noted in the Vermiculite; those are potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. On the other hand, like we know Perlite get its ingredients from the volcanic area, this heated area is usually good for horticultural and agricultural activities. Perlite contains many substances like potassium, magnesium, and iron which are standard in the fertility soil product.

Performance
Both products offer the improvement on moisture and aeration in the soil, but the difference in the composition proves to affect the overall performance of these products. Vermiculite acts like a sponge which holds much more water than perlite and offering less aeration for plant roots. On the other hand, Perlite is also good at absorbing water, but its ability is less powerful than the Vermiculite. The water absorption ability is critical because it will decide the improvement in the soil aeration. While the Perlite is not that good at absorbing water, Perlite is suitable for the plants who loves lack water. However, most of the plants need a big amount of water which are the advantage for the Vermiculite. Likewise, Vermiculite is good for the plants which need a lot of water. Many people consider using Vermiculite more for the potting mixes, while Perlite is usually used for the root cutting. This is because Perlite is more sterile which is why cuttings must be replanted in a potting mix that contains nutrients.

Conclusion
In overall, both products are good for the improvement of your soil, but it is better to use the Perlite for the less-watery plants and Vermiculite for the water-dependant plants. Noted that you also need to mind the Perlite characteristic in the potting mix, which is why it is better just to use Perlite for the root cutting activity.


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