Using perlite as the sole growing medium

lunajade(6)June 13, 2002

Hi folks,

I was just curious to know if anyone else out there has been experimenting with using perlite as the sole growing medium for any plants. I have been using perlite that way for several plants and have had rather good success. My dahlias seem to be growing pretty well in the pot that has just perlite in it. I water and fertilize them as needed and they seem to be doing just fine. I am interested in hearing from anyone who may also have been playing around with this technique. I got the idea from the Schundler Company website. Evidently in Israel many public spaces use perlite this way in large containers for trees and shrubs. I am curious to know if anyone has experimented with vegetables or small fruits such as strawberries. I have also grown begonias this way and have a small fig tree in perlite. Everything so far seems to have grown fairly well this way. Let me know your successes or failures with this technique. I don't like to reinvent the wheel if I don't have too. :-) Thanks!!!

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shakaho

You might be interested in the Hydroponics forum.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2002 at 10:04PM
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rushaheart(z7-8 TX)

Have you started your plants from seeds or were they already established? Im looking for a solution to control gnats from eating all my seedlings.
Paula

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 1:00AM
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lunajade(6)

Hi Paula,

No I didn't plant seeds in the perlite I used cuttings or tubers. But I have a question for you. Are you sure gnats are eating your seedlings? I have never heard of gnats eating plants. They just seem to eat me alive in the garden though. With all the rain we've had this year they are especially bad. :-( But you could try perlite and see what happens. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Good luck with your seedlings. Maybe slugs are getting them????

    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 8:48AM
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rushaheart(z7-8 TX)

Lunajade: The gnat larvae are what is eating my plants and seedlings...not the adults. Ive been using some sticky traps, and just ordered gnatrol to finally get rid of most of the larva.....just hoping it helps!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2002 at 10:05AM
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Millie_36(Z6b MO)

I used to grow house plants in nothing but perlite. I was still working and trying to put up garden crops, so was short on time for houseplants. I read about growing them in nothing but water and using perlite for a medium...lets air get to the roots. I used any kind of container with no holes in it...filled it with water up to surface of perlite. You fertilize by using 1/4 strength solution.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2002 at 7:35PM
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Tony_Thiel(Sunset z14 CA)

Funny that I ran into this area. I just posted a message regarding using Aquatic Soil on Plumerias to keep it from getting overwatered and give it aireation.

I just have a feeling that this would work just fine.

Could also mix half and half with potting soil.

T2

    Bookmark   August 16, 2002 at 11:58AM
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deldoyle

I'VE DONE SOME EXPERIMENTS USING A VARIETY OF MIXTURES AND PERLITE SEEMS TO SHOW THE BEST GROWTH , THE FASTEST GROWTH AS WELL AS THE HIGHEST PERSENTAGE OF SEEDS TO GROW. THIS WAS DONE WITH 500 SPRUCE SEEDS AND SOON WITH OTHER SEEDS. THE DATA HAS BORNE OUT OVER 7 MONTHS SO FAR.
IT IS HARD TO FIND DATA ON THIS, ONLY ANECDOTAL STORIES SO FAR. IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY SCIENTIFIC STUDIES, I WOULD APPRECIATE AN ANSWER.
THANKS

    Bookmark   October 11, 2002 at 9:01PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

I grow and cut 100# of basil a week on perlite beds. It is called Hydroponics. You need to be sure you used a complete nutrient with all of the micro and macro nutrients in order to ensure good long term growth.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 7:57PM
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nancycarolyn(7b)

My dayliliy bed is nothing but perlite, asbestos-free vermiculite and peat moss. Twelve years ago I removed the soil (red clay) from the bed and replaced it with that mixture. The daylilies have thrived. Also over the years as leaves and pinestraw have decomposed, the daylily bed has started turning into a rich humous. If I ever get up the energy to remove that much soil again, I will put in another bed with the same mixture. Works great in Georgia.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2002 at 6:55PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

I'm a hydroponic grower and I container-grow strawberries in 100% perlite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perlite Strawberry Photo Gallery

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 2:33AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

I use a mixture of peat moss, pearlite and screened garden soil rich in organic matter, composted and rotted leaves for seedings. worm castings are also good.
But for established plants, good balancedgarden soil is sufficient. organic matter (compost, plant cellulose, manures) works better than pearlite and the are in aboundance. With some small seeds, I have heard that it would be better to sterlize the potting soil, chemically or just baking it (in oven , by fire outside ).
perlite peat moss mixture good for growing small seeds, as the seed can push easily through it and the roots also can penetrate with ease. It also holds moisture and nutrient .
to me , it is just an infancy type of care for plant not for establishe plants. I think that the best way to grow things is to look at the nature and mimic it the best you can.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 6:58AM
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