PERLITE: Composition

Culture Orchid Doctor

by Robert M. [Bert] Hamilton (Compiler)

Originally published in The Orchid Doctor in 1980 and 1988

Posted by Sys Admin almost 5 years ago.

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It is a calcined mixture of, principally, gypsum (Calcium sulphate) and white clay, with small amounts of other materials all heated to very high temperatures to cause incipient fusion and causing the gypsum to decompose, releasing gas to expand the mix. AU80-24
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Perlite Comments
PERLITE: Aggregate Additive to potting mixes: white, light product of volcanic origin; inert, holds water, does not decay; keeps medium open; use agricultural grade. OD77-4; RMH 0
PERLITE: As a Culture Medium Coarse perlite alone with a half-inch topping of pea-gravel makes for a healthy root system on a cattleya with normal watering and feeding;a test of two parallel sets of phalaenopsis plants, one in bark and one in perlite, showed superior growth in one month in perlite; a fertilizer with all trace or growth elements is essential. A81-1321; A83-806; 1304 0
PERLITE: As Potting Medium Screen out the fines through a window-screen mesh; place some drainage in the bottom of the pot; position the plant then pour in the Perlite to within an inch of the pot top then cover with half an inch of pea gravel so it won1t wash out; trace elements must be supplied in the fertilizer. Ca8lMar-9Use only the coarse grade and sift out the fines; start with 20 litres of it, add 2 litres of German peat moss, sieved fine, to make it look like Canadian peat moss, add also one cup of superphosphate, one cup of dolomite lime and one cup of hoof and horn meal, not so easy to obtain these days; when potting, top off with pea gravel; recycle old perlite at new repotting time because it contains micro-organisms which revitalize the new mix. AU88-17; Ca81Mar-9 0
PERLITE: As Potting Mix A processed volcanic material, sized, but best for orchids over one-eighth inch in size; inert; inorganic; requires a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 if used alone; mainly used as an ingredient, is easy to work with, easy to obtain, does not break down, and a bundle can be bought for ten bucks. A86-499 0
PERLITE: Opinions of the Experts Some use up to 50% in cynbidium mixes and get excellent results; the horticultural grade #3, is coarse and stimulates root development; several growers believe it retains too much moisture at the bottom of the pot. OA82-5; 392 0

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