How Much Perlite To Add To Potting Soil

Last Updated on August 1, 2021 by Marco C.

So how much perlite to add to potting soil when planting succulents?

Perlite is one of the common additions to many potting soils. If you are growing some succulents, you have come to the right path.

Perlite is used to store water efficiently. It improves soil aeration and enhances soil drainage. Drainage is very important for succulents. Since most of these succulents come from the desert, it is important that your potting mix and pot have good drainage. Adding perlite to your soil also makes it better for succulents.

Moreover, perlites can help optimize the structure of the soil in the long run. It stimulates plants and keeps them thriving. However, growing a healthy succulent also requires knowing the right perlite ratio.

How Are Perlites Formed?

How much perlite to add to potting soil depends on the size of your pot and its succulence. But first, let’s get to know what perlite is and you need it.

Perlites are volcanic glasses. At first look, they look like dull crystals. They are hard and rough. Scientifically, they are rock structures formed after many weathering and transformation processes.

From hard obsidian, they become loose rock because of the numerous replenishments of volcanic materials.

Professional planters use inflated perlite. This rock is formed after being heated up to 1000°C. This process increases the volume up to twenty times. Bloated perlite has a low density. They often appear in white color and looks like popcorn.

How Much Perlite To Add To Potting Soil – Tips For Succulent Lovers

Perlites are considered additives. Therefore, you cannot consider it as a fertilizer. However, it can improve the soil properties or the structure of the soil making it more conducive for growing succulents. It has a neutral pH level, is low in salt, and has a high pore volume. Your succulents are going to love to grow in soil with perlite additives. 

So how much perlite to add to potting soil? In the private garden area, perlite can be used on souls that are difficult to retain moisture. It includes sandy soils or those areas that are not sufficiently covered by precipitation. The ideal perlite soil ratio is 10 to 20 percent. For example, if you have 100 percent potting mix, 20 percent of it should be perlite.

Adding perlite to the soil helps prevent root damage to the plant. If your potting mix is bone dry, perlite helps retain moisture needed for succulents to thrive with very little care. When you have perlite, you do not have to water all the time.

 perlite soil ratio

Read more about: When To Plant Propagated Succulents

The Ratio Of Perlite To Potting Soil

Perlites are usually available in a three-grain size. When you add perlite to your soil, you should also know the grain size of the perlites you are adding. 

The following are the options for the grain size. 

  • 0-3mm
  • 0-6mm
  • 2-6mm

The 0-6mm perlite size is ideal for growing media. It is also perfect material as a soil improver. If you want to use perlite for your own mineral substrates or potting soil, you should select the 2-6mm grain size. Otherwise, the substrate will silt up. However, you can use all the grain sizes to loosen the potting soil.

Despite the popularity of perlites, they are relatively difficult to obtain. Many plant sellers and hardware stores rarely offer aggregate. If there is no local dealer, you can buy perlites from online stores. Some can be bought at 100 liters per packaging. 

Why Is It Important To Know The Ratio Of Perlite To Potting Soil? 

Knowing the ratio of perlite to potting soil is important in keeping your soil healthy. Putting too many perlites on the soil can make your plant wilt. Since perlite can retain the moisture in your soil, adding too much perlite can potentially harm the roots of your plant. 

Observe the proper ratio and your plants will thrive. The following are the common benefits of perlite. 

  • Perlite is physically stable. It retains its shape even when the soil is saturated.
  • We love that perlite doesn’t decompose, which means that it will keep the soil as it is. It is perfect for potting mixes that are always not repotted all the time. It maintains the coarseness of the soil and makes it an ideal home for succulents whether indoor or outdoor.
  • The neutral pH level of perlite make it perfect for a container or garden bed. If you are preparing a bigger place for your succulents, you can increase the ratio of your perlite. 
  • Perlites are organic rocks. This non-toxic characteristic makes your succulent healthy.

How Much Perlite To Add To Potting Soil – Basics Of Using Perlite 

As mentioned earlier, perlites offer many benefits for your succulent garden. Whether you are planning indoor or outdoor, perlite makes your soil healthier for succulents.

Drainage is important for succulents. As a natural filtration system, it allows excess water to easily drain away while retaining a little moisture. It also catches nutrients that plants need to grow.  Take note how raised beds and container gardens are done. 

Once you have your potting soil ready, mix 10-20 percent of perlites. This allows airflow in the soil which consequently improves the bed for your plants. Since it is mineral glass, it helps slow down the compaction between soil. It makes your soil fluffy and lightweight.


However, do not add too many perlites. Too many perlites on the soil will decrease the quality of your potting mix. Moreover, perlites are considered as an addition. That means you cannot grow succulents solely with perlites. Using perlites, the right way will help you grow strong and thriving succulents. 

Are you ready to start using perlite for your succulent garden? We hope that this article has answer how much perlite to add to the soil. Gardening is such a nice and relaxing hobby. Moreover, succulents are one of the best plants you can grow. If you find this article useful, feel free to share it on your social media.

Learn more about: How To Make Your Own Terrarium With Succulent Plants

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