Coco And Perlite Mix Ratio
What’s the perfect Perlite and coco-coir mix ratio?
Most coco coir growers like to add around 25% perlite to the coir for optimum results, although a number of growers will choose to use a larger ratio of perlite, sometimes 50% with the coir which also works great and allows for excellent airflow.
A downside to using a 1:1 ratio is that it leaves less room for other additives such as vermiculite which will help increase water retention and drainage, If you’ve been thinking about enriching your coir with perlite, why not consider adding some vermiculite or even clay pebbles?
I’ve included a handy table below which lists the most used mixes.
So, why do people mix Perlite and coco-coir?
Because of its high silicon content (75%), Perlite carries the ability to hold onto oxygen very easily creating a highly aerated environment for your plant’s roots to thrive. Perlite is often used alongside Vermiculite which has a similar ability to hold onto water.
People have been adding perlite to coco-coir for decades, with incredible results to show for it, although not everyone shares the same passion for adding perlite, people have reported that using perlite alongside coco-coir provided no noticeable improvement. So it’s up to you to run your own side-by-side experiments.
Isolate one or two plants, and mix perlite, experiment with your ratios, starting at 10% and working your way up and see if perlite is beneficial for you. Remember different strains thrive under different environments, so what doesn’t work for someone else might just be your missing piece to the puzzle.
Perlite & Vermiculite Mix Ratio
If you decide to mix Vermiculite and Perlite, we recommend using a ratio of 50/50.
Like Perlite, Vermiculite is a mined mineral, in its natural state it’s a crystal but when exposed to high temperatures it undergoes a significant expansion. Exfoliation also occurs when the mineral is heated which allows Vermiculite to retain 300% of its weight in water, making it the ideal additive for growth mediums and when used in conjunction with Perlite, you can drastically enhance the oxygen and water retention your plants desperately need.
How much Perlite do i add to potting soil?
Perlite is also often used in many pre-mixed soil blends, but if you’re making your own, we recommend that you use:
10-20% perlite: If you don’t plan on using many nutrients, you should opt to use a smaller ratio of perlite as the addition of perlite will cause improved drainage and can lead to many of the nutrients simply draining off.
Add 30-50% perlite If you are planning on adding lots of nutrients and/or supplements to get the fastest growth from your plants, we recommend adding a higher ratio of perlite to prevent nutrient build-up, however – you will need to water slightly more often as perlite dries out quickly!
What about growing in Perlite only?
If you’re wondering whether you can grow in just Perlite on it’s own, the answer is yes. I have personally grown in Perlite exclusively in the past and successfully yielded 12 high quality plants.
Finer grade Perlite is recommended as it allows the roots to navigate easier, note that a cannabis plant receives 95% of its nutrition from the water in the roots, Perlite is one of the best natural mediums for water and oxygen retention.