Wee Trees Bonsai Help Forum Advice for all

Perlite for Bonsai?
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Author:  NickB [ 17 Aug 2023, 18:14 ]
Post subject:  Perlite for Bonsai?

As the molar clay cat litter products become harder to come buy, I am considering new potting mediums for next season.

I am looking for something with good drainage but some water retention. We have a very wet climate round here, (July was non-stop rain) and it can cause problems with root rot on certain trees. I heard Perlite was less water-retentive than Vermiculite.

I usually mix some grit in there also.

Anyone with real-life experience of Perlite as a Bonsai medium, or is it one to avoid?


Author:  Paul B [Swindon] [ 18 Aug 2023, 10:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Perlite for Bonsai?

Never used perlite, but many years ago we used to order in Perlag, which was a bigger lump [approx 10mm max] and add this to the other stuff, like composted bark etc. it worked ok with trees being grown on but didn't look good if you were displaying. We had to order it in by the lorry load and a number of sacks to make the delivery worth it.

Grit takes in no water and just takes up valuable space in a small pot, when roots would appreciate a soil to grow in. If you use the right medium it will stay open for air without grit.

Lava, Pumice, Kiryu, etc are all tried and tested additives.

Author:  Jay [ 18 Aug 2023, 13:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Perlite for Bonsai?

I have used Perlite. As a growing medium I think it's fine. For bonsai it does have drawbacks such as colour and floating away when watering. After a few months the colour darkens and the particles are held together by surface moss or trees roots establishing. Overall I think it's ok.

Author:  NickB [ 22 Aug 2023, 11:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: Perlite for Bonsai?

Cheers, guys. I may look into ordering some of those mediums, Paul.

I used some B and Q peat-free multi-purpose as part of the mix, and it seems to binds together and stay soggy, whereas the old, peat compost would perform better.
I dont think I will use it again, but look to composted bark or similar.

Its not all the trees, but certain ones seem to be suffering this year.

Author:  johnbaz [ 29 Aug 2023, 20:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Perlite for Bonsai?

I put some Acer seeds in perlite and ericacious compost last year, I was shocked when so many sprouted in early spring!!

The only trouble using Perlite is that it's too white!!, In plant pots with new plants it's ok but in Bonsai dishes with advanced trees, I think it doesn't make for a nice addition :???:





John :smallthumb:

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