perlite plus soil

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perlite plus soil

Post  rudiment on Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:22 pm

I just got a bag of perlite. Can perlite be mixed with soil and sand or perlite is used singly,I have no idea. In what proportion they can be mixed.Suggestions awaited.I am exited and cant wait trying perlite.

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:50 pm

Pearlite will float to the top of the soil. Ugly.

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  AlainK on Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:30 pm

Very good for, say, geranium cuttings with peat added and dripping system.

No good for bonsai :


Pearlite will float to the top of the soil. Ugly.







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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  MichaelJ on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:21 am

I do not like using it in my soil mix, but I love how well cuttings do if I mix perlite, sand and a little peat moss.

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  Twisted Trees on Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:05 am

rudiment wrote:I just got a bag of perlite. Can perlite be mixed with soil and sand or perlite is used singly,I have no idea.  In what proportion  they can be mixed.Suggestions awaited.I am exited and cant wait trying perlite.
What kind of soil, bonsai or potting soil?

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  63pmp on Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:45 am

Perlite is not a lot different from pumice.  It has many benefits as a potting mix component.  It's chemically inert, pH neutral, has no CEC, long lasting, will not break down over time, holds a lot of water, but maintains high air filled porosity.  

It's main disadvantage is its lightness, it requires something with a bit of weight for the tree to anchor into.

I use the following 3 parts perlite to 1 part gravel, then I mix in some composted pine bark (radiata pine) at about 10%

The mix is light and can be easily washed off the top of pots, so a mulch layer helps keep it where its supposed to be, as well as prevent the top from drying out, essential for azalea and maples.

It's also dusty straight out of the bag, so wear a dust mask, or pour a lot of water into the bag a few hours before use. It doesn't require sieving; I use medium or large grade.

Paul

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:40 am

Paul,

also noted, perlite can break down in size in use. I have observed when sifting used soil [ for re-use ] a large amount of finely particulated perlite.

However, the soil mix with perlite in it has never given any problems, in use.
Good to see you here again.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  my nellie on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:05 pm

MichaelJ wrote:... ...but I love how well cuttings do if I mix perlite, sand and a little peat moss.
Italian bonsaists use also just plain perlite for establishing collected trees. It is good because it is inert as said above. For what it's worth...

63pmp wrote:... ...will not break down over time, ... ...
I'm afraid this is not the case. As Khaimraj also said :
Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Paul, also noted, perlite can break down in size in use. ... ...
it is easily disintegrated.

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:59 pm

Alexandra,

I think Paul may have meant that the Perlite will not chemically break down.
Hope you are well and oak-y. Smile 
Khaimraj

* I also use perlite, ball milled in pottery as a glaze ingredient and a low clay type body.

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  63pmp on Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:37 pm

Yes, I meant I doesn't breakdown chemically . It is physically soft, very easy to squish and disintegrate between your fingers, so sieving and recycling will damage the particles and cause mechanical breakdown. Over time it also accumulates insoluble fertilizer salts, becomes harder, and eventually holds less water (but all hollow particles do this). So won't last indefinitely.

Khaimraj,

I've used perlite to make insulative fire bricks for a furnace to melt bronze in. I mixed a very high proportion of perlite to ramming cement (which is used to repair blast furnaces) and then molded into brick shapes. When heated up to 1000 C the perlite melts into tiny little balls of silica leaving hollows in the hardened refractory cement. Very cheap, very good.

Paul

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  rudiment on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:53 pm

Is perlite suitable for cactus and what is the mix? I have seen in a show that some cactus were grown in perlite plus soil mix.What fertiliser to mix in perlite for cacti?

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  Twisted Trees on Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:08 am

Can I use perlite in place of tofu?

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Re: perlite plus soil

Post  63pmp on Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:51 pm

Ihave never grown cacti, so a can not comment on th euse or fertilizer required.

However, perlite is a poor substitute for tofu, It takes forever to soften when cooking and leaves a bitter after taste.

Paul

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Re: perlite plus soil

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