mixing perlite uniformly in blends

rjbcrestFebruary 27, 2008

I hate using perlite for my violets, but seems to be a necessary evil. My main problem in mixing it with standard AV mixture (which is too heavy to use as is) with 20% vermiculite and 20% perlite. It is difficult to form a uniform mix that doesn't segregate when handling and pouring it. The perlite tends to float to the top. I was wondering if the perlite was first wet, would it tend to stay put when mixed with the other constituents? Any other suggestions?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I make up a batch of mix, I first wet the perlite mostly to keep the dust down. It is very unhealthy to breathe the dust, and also wearing a mask could be done. Also, by first wetting it, it seems to mix in a little better.

Incidentally, the standard mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite is 1 part of each, or 33%. At 20% it is still a little too heavy. If you are going to wick water, I would up the perlite to another 1/2 measure, resulting in a 1-1.5-1 ratio.

If the mix dries out after mixing, re-wetting will solve the floating perlite problem.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Barbara. I think you are correct and I will up the perlite. as time goes on. The only caveat is that I am putting in even more of the stuff that now seems to float to the top. But maybe pre-watering the perlite will result in a more uniform mix.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm curious - are you mixing your ingredients with water in some type of container before potting? I never thought of doing that. I make a dry mix (no floating perlite that way), then water it after it is in the pot. How do you like the results of wet mixing?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I mix up a batch, I use the gray tubs that are used for bussing tables. I wet the perlite (with the kitchen sink sprayer)AFTER I measure it and put it gently in the tub. This keeps the dust down. I then add the peat and vermiculite, add some warm water, and mix with my hands. Add more warm water as necessary, just until the whole mix feels damp. I then put it into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. I add water as I use it and it dries out.

I like the results of wet mixing much better, the perlite doesn't float, and no perlite dust. And, I can get as dirty as I want!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 7:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Photographing AV's Question
This AV is a very dark shade of purple in real life...
Does anyone recognize this AV?
I was given a leaf last summer, identified as Optimara...
Violet Barn?
Has the Violet Barn stopped selling leaves?? I love...
learning the NEW way
Just trying to find out how to post. Pembroke
Messaging, no following
Over on the Antique Roses forum (my other hang out)...
AnneCecilia z5 MI
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™