Perlite and horticultural grit have similar uses and can be used by themselves or together in different proportions. Back in the day when I was footloose and fancy free I would actually tear them up by hand into the size I needed. A can of worms indeed. Vermiculite and perlite are minerals, as indicated by their –ite suffixes. If the OP is from humid hot Florida, growing orchids in bark outside is an easy way to kill them. I'm a sphag girl myself, but I've rescued orchids from work in straight bark and they've done fine. Unless plants are exceptionally sensitive to the higher pH of perlite or to the extra moisture in vermiculite, you can usually substitute one for the other in a homemade soil mix. The simple answer is that perlite is used often because of its low cost and extensive advantages. These products are more complementary to perlite than useful as … perlite and vermiculite are considered non-renewable resources. Mostly the water retention will vary with the medium and you adjust your frequency of watering to match the medium. Craft stores sell plastic bags full of the tiny styro balls and I can't imagine they are too exprensive. For lightening soils, use rice, peanut and pecans hulls in potting soil mixes or garden beds. AliFlor makes a small size that is about perfect for you circumstance. Overview of agroperlite uses and recommendations. Both are odorless, sterile, disease-free, insect-free, and seed-free. 3. Botanical Gardens of USF use either pure sphag, treefern mixes or mounts.My phals are all in either straight sphagnum (in clay pots) or mounted on treefern. Once the dark grey perlite is heated at a temperature above 850 deg C it becomes soft. Perlite is also used in pharmaceuticals and municipal swimming pool water filtration as well as an abrasive in polishes, cleansers and soaps. You can cut down/eliminate the dust by opening the bag under water (bucket). To replace peat moss, some gardeners use compost, leaf mold (decomposed leaves), or rotted horse manure. Continuando, accetto che il gruppo Houzz utilizzi cookie o tecnologie simili al fine di ottimizzare i suoi prodotti e servizi, fornirmi contenuti rilevanti e personalizzare la mia esperienza. Corn syrup and honey are equal replacements (meaning you can substitute 1 cup honey for 1 cup corn syrup). Since most applications (in soilless mixes or in systems like Bato buckets ) use a relatively small amount of the medium, perlite is fairly cost-effective. Pure bark is fine but needs to be changed yearly. However, it is not comparable in weight because it is much heavier. It's found in feed and farm supply stores. From the Latin “vermiculare,” which means to breed worms, vermiculite is so-named because of its heat-expanded appearance. I've never priced the Styrolite … Finely ground pine bark, also called “pine fines,” is a principal ingredient of most potting mixes. Not saying bark wont work, but it never worked for me growing outside. Perlite is used for better aeration, whilst vermiculite is used for more water retention. Appreciate all the replies. Perlite is exellent for amending soil used for container grown plants and for starting seedlings in a soil or soiless medium. Styrofoam is an economical alternative to perlite, according to the University of Connecticut. Like perlite, vermiculite is a mined mineral that is heated to yield a soilless ingredient of potting mixes. Other Uses. I found that perlite worsens my asthma, even though I wear a mask when handling. Other uses of perlite include masonry construction, cement and gypsum plasters, and loose fill insulation. Because it is so lightweight, perlite lessens the weight in containers, which makes them easier to lift, move and hang. Shredded bark and charcoal are used in special instances, as for growing orchids and bromeliads. Unlike perlite, vermiculite absorbs and retains water and nutrients. Another common usage of perlite is root cutting. Has anyone tried using ground up styrofoam as a substitute for perlite? Charcoal as mentioned is also a really good one; it helps purify the medium. Check out . http://homeguides.sfgate.com/alternatives-vermiculite-perlite-43502.html. i would not use styro it is made of oil and i think that to many stages of dry and wet would speed up the process of releasing harmful stuff Their irregularly-shaped pieces break down slowly, making these hulls an excellent substitute for perlite. Some alternatives to vermiculite and perlite give gardeners options for substituting renewable products that fulfill the same purposes. Now I use Perlite or Sponge rock. Perlite is used as a component of soil-less growing mixes, allowing aeration and moisture retention. Napa floor dry #8822 is used as a substitute for turface. report. She is also a former mortgage acquisition specialist for Freddie Mac in Atlanta, GA. you do NOT want anything based with bark fines, absolutely not, will sequester nitrogen, and drive your ph … The water that was trapped inside the rock vaporizes and tries to escape. It’s commonly asked why perlite is so often used in gardening and if it is possible to replace perlite with other growing media products. Their differences lie in their origins and uses. pH neutral: Ideal natural pH level for uptake of nutrients; Completely Organic & Sustainable: it is created as a byproduct from coconut farming. Three different products, three different uses. Per saperne di più. You can also use vermiculite. Can I use only bark when potting my Phalenopsis? Of course, the decision to use perlite or vermiculite does not have to be all-or-nothing. I use a coconut mix from Repotme.com. It helping soil to retain more water, and creates a lighter, more aerated soil structure. I'm sure some nurseries have some. 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