What does it do?
Perlite helps with soil aeration and drainage.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- perlite is not expensive.
- It is light weight.
- The lightweight nature of the volcanic rock used to make perlite means that it floats in water which can clog drains and pumps.
- Perlite has almost no cation exchange capacity so it cannot hold nutrients in reserve. The relatively brittle nature of perlite's composition creates dust from shipping and handling that must be rinsed prior to use. Most perlite comes from mines in Turkey making it a less than sustainable product than materials that are locally sourced.