Do you need to soak perlite before use?

Answered by Robert Dupre

It is important to dampen or soak perlite before using it. Perlite is a lightweight and porous material that helps with aeration and drainage in soil mixes. However, when perlite is dry, it can create a dusty environment that is not ideal for handling or breathing.

To dampen perlite before using it, you can follow a simple process. If you are using a whole bag of perlite, pour a couple of liters of water into the bag. Make sure to seal the top of the bag tightly and then shake it to distribute the water evenly. After shaking, let the perlite soak in the water for about 15 minutes before using it.

Soaking perlite before use has a few benefits. First, it helps to reduce dust particles that can be harmful when inhaled. By dampening the perlite, you can minimize the amount of dust released into the air during handling. This is especially important if you are working in an indoor or enclosed space.

Secondly, dampening perlite helps to improve its performance in soil mixes. When perlite is moist, it helps to retain moisture in the soil while still allowing for good drainage. This can be particularly beneficial for plants that require well-draining soil, as perlite helps to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

In my personal experience, I have found that dampening perlite before use greatly reduces the amount of dust and makes it easier to work with. It also helps to create a healthier environment for both plants and humans.

To summarize, soaking or dampening perlite before using it is recommended for several reasons. It reduces dust, improves its performance in soil mixes, and creates a healthier environment. By pouring water into the bag, sealing it, shaking it, and allowing it to soak, you can ensure that the perlite is ready for use.