USING PERLITE IN YOUR GARDEN Seed Starting It's used for starting seeds or rooting cuttings as the drainage provided encourages rapid root production. Fine perlite can also be lightly scattered across your lawn's surface, where over time it'll work down into the soil and improve drainage. Potting Soil making your own potting soil, perlite is one of the most used components in the industry for the above reasons. It's lightweight, and easy to blend into coco peat or other water-retaining ingredients (Add 1 portion of perlite in to 20 portion of expanded coco peat in litres ratio) Hydroponics Use Perlite has its place in soil, but it is extremely useful in hydroponic gardening as well. One of the most popular ways to use it in hydroponics is in propagating plants by cuttings. As roots grow in response to the plant searching for a water source, a well-draining media like coarse perlite tends to provoke them to grow rapidly as they search for the tiny pockets of nutrients and moisture hidden within the mineral base. Ensuring that your cuttings are well-drained also prevents root rot. Perlite vs. vermiculite When comparing perlite vs. vermiculite, vermiculite is very moisture retentive. It'll absorb water and nutrients and keep them in the soil, which makes it perfect for seed starting blends or for plants that prefer lots of water. In conjunction with perlite, the vermiculite will absorb water and nutrients to feed your plants, while the perlite will help drain the excess water away. So both have their own place in your garden, even in the same container or bed, but they're not interchangeable.