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What Are the Benefits of Perlite for Succulents? – A Brief Explanation

Succulents are one of the most less needy plants in terms of care (except beginners). With little help, these plants can flourish in time. However, it's pretty essential to pick the right soil mix. And, those who have experienced it would know how important is Perlite for succulents. Precisely, Perlite is the most fundamental need for the growth of succulents. Even though these plants adapt to the various other soil conditions, their likeness for Perlite is a bit more pronounced. 

So, let us find out more about Perlite and why it is so favorable for the growth of succulents. 

What is Perlite? 

Perlite is a volcanic mineral that originates naturally. This ingredient has been trendy among farmers and gardeners who have been using it for thousands of years. Apart from being rich in water, Perlite also contains silicon dioxide, sodium oxide, Magnesium oxide, potassium oxide, and a few other components. 

In short, this is a very affordable non-renewable mineral offering many advantages to succulents. So, the question is: why is Perlite suitable for succulents?

Starting with its low water retention ability, the mineral does a fantastic job when it comes to facilitating drainage. In addition, its porosity helps in promoting aeration. Regarding Succulents, these plants are happier when put inside the well-drained lighter soil, offering suitable aeration.

Hence, you can very well consider it best to use perlite for succulents. 

Benefits of Using Perlite for Succulents

As discussed, there are many reasons for using Perlite when growing succulents. So, let's find out about the various benefits of using this mineral. 

Less Water Retention: Perlite does not retain water for longer in the soil. On the contrary, this mineral does the opposite. This way, the succulent roots aren't exposed to too much water and absorb the needed amount before the soil dries up. It ensures that the plants do not die with excess water retention.

Supports Suitable Aeration: Aeration is crucial for succulents. With proper air circulation, these plants' roots get sufficient oxygen to absorb. Hence, helping them to grow faster. In addition, this also eliminates the probability of fungal infection in plants. All this contributes to the better health of the succulents.

Eliminates Acidity: Perlite possesses a neutral pH. This means that the mineral keeps the soil away from acidity or alkalinity. What's best is that the Perlite is cheap and inexpensive.

Lightweight: Being lightweight, Perlite does not result in making the soil mixture a lot heavy. This property of the mineral makes it the perfect match as a soil substrate. Because of the less stress at the roots, plants feel it easy to penetrate deeper, developing a firmer grip inside. 

Highly Porous: Another essential property of these perlites is their porosity. This enables the mineral to aid in better drainage. Moreover, these are also highly resistant to decomposition.

Some Tips to Use Perlite for Best Utilization

Well, now that you are aware of the benefits of Perlite for succulents, it becomes equally imperative to understand the best way to use them. Hence, here are some tips that will enable you to make the best use of these fantastic minerals. 

Rinse Before Using: Have you been using Perlite directly with the soil without rinsing and finding the results a little disappointing? Well, you must make it a habit to do the opposite. In other words, cleaning Perlites before mixing them with the soil is necessary. The reason being, these minerals are highly dusty when in raw form. And, rinsing cleans away all the unnecessary dust particles. 

In addition, Perlites are rich in fluoride. Hence, washing these before use is considered a great precautionary measure. To be candid, Succulents do not need fluoride. Instead, when exposed to excess fluoride, they may fail to grow correctly.

Do Not Add Too Much Perlite: In the short term, this may not seem a huge problem. However, adding too much Perlite isn't a good practice and may hinder the plants' growth in the longer run. As mentioned, perlites enable faster drainage by offering well-aerated soil. But as the saying does, too much of everything is terrible. 

It's the same scenario with these minerals. With over drainage, succulents won't get enough time to acquire nutrients from the soil. Moreover, with to lighter soil base, the root development won't occur as planned. 

And, not to forget, being lightweight, Perlite won't stand regular watering when mixed with less soil. Hence, it will eventually disrupt.

Know the Right Amount of Perlite to Add to the Soil: As already explained, it's crucial to maintain the correct percentage of Perlite in soil when preparing the mixture. And, these minerals should not occupy more than 30 percent of the entire soil mixture

The remaining 30 percent should be the potting soil, and 40% should be coarse sand. Alternatively, you can also include volcanic rocks, or pebbles, etc.

The Take-Away

By now, you must have gotten an idea of how vital Perlite is. In addition, it is also evident that the preparation of soil mixture, when appropriately done, will only add to the advantages of the mineral. 

Just remember, if you are up for some experiments, it's okay to play around with the basic mixing of the mineral a little bit, here and there. As the need for different plants isn't the same, you can try the tricks that work for you. 

But, at the same time, you should also consider the problems that excess Perlite can cause to your plants. Succulents need drainage-friendly soil that is properly aerated. Plus, Perlite is rich in components that allow the proper growth of succulents. While Perlite offers all that, it is always wise to follow promising practices to ensure that you do not end up harming your plants instead. 

With that said, you can certainly enjoy the benefits of Perlite for succulents as long as you abide by some essential tips. So, go on and grow some beautiful plants and make your garden even greener and more vibrant.


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