Contact Us: 011 824 4600 - Email:

Perlite or Vermiculite for the Optimal Growth of Fruit and Vegetables

Gerbrand Haasbroek

If the goal is to optimise the growth of fruit and vegetables, you will be faced with a decision between growing in perlite or growing in vermiculite. These options promise to enhance air flow within the soil (Air filled porosity) and regulate moisture to help plants thrive. (water holding capacity) However, there are small differences to keep in mind too. Here are the benefits of each.

Why Use Perlite? 

Perlite works well as an additive to the soil, but it can also be used as a soil replacement. It can hold around three times its weight in water, and yet still aids in maximising drainage. It is extremely porous and therefore allows plenty of soil aeration, making it a top choice for growing succulents as well as fruit and vegetables that require fast and effective drainage. 

Why Use Vermiculite? 

Vermiculite can  hold up to four times its weight in water and is known to be able to trap moisture near plant roots. Unlike perlite which maximises drainage, vermiculite acts more like a sponge. The combination of the two substrates in your growing media ensures optimal air filled porosity and water holding capacity Vermiculite also has excellent cation exchange capabilities and hence absorbs nutrients form the irrigation system and then slowly releases it to the plants . Vermiculite also finds extensive use as a capping material for the germination of seeds.

Why Not Use Both? 

There is evidence to suggest that utilising a mix of both perlite and vermiculite is beneficial to the growth of fruit and vegetables. Here at Sun Silicates, due to the fact that we not only manufacture both bulk perlite and vermiculite, but we also have the ability to mix and bag in-house, we are in a unique position to supply premixed products that are custom-made to our customer’s requirements. Our laboratory facilities can also assist in optimising your growing media as we can measure the air-filled porosity and water holding capacity and thereby optimise it for your specific crop.

Bulk Perlite and Vermiculite From the Leading Manufacturer and Supplier in SA 

Now that you know the various benefits of growing in perlite and vermiculite, you will probably be in search of a reputable supplier. Here at Sun Silicates, we are bulk perlite and vermiculite suppliers that you can count on for quality. Contact us today to learn more. 

The Role of Perlite in Hydroponic Culture

Gerbrand Haasbroek

Perlite has been utilised successfully  in a wide range of horticultural applications, and its role in hydroponic culture is no exception. There have been a number of studies that have demonstrated the superiority of perlite in comparison to numerous other substrates  used in hydroponic culture. 

Benefits of Perlite in Hydroponics

One of the benefits of using perlite in  hydroponics is the fact that it has been proven to drastically increase crop yields. It  also works better as a rooting medium when compared to another popular choice within hydroponic culture, namely rockwool. Perlite boasts maximum capillarity and, as a result, has the ability to maintain a constant supply of water and nutrients when the plant container is placed in a shallow reservoir of a solution rich in moisture and nutrients. The perlite effortlessly draws the solution up from the reservoir, complementing the rate at which the plants naturally absorb water. 

Perlite is also the ‘greener’ choice from a reusability perspective. Contrary to rockwool, it is able to retain its superior water and air balance for a number of years as long as treated correctly. It can be reused over the course of a number of growing seasons, following which it can be used as part of a nutritious potting mix or to aid in conditioning the soil. Disposing of rockwool may be problematic as it is not a natural mineral.

Finally, it is also known that perlite is especially straightforward to manage. And, it is extremely affordable, particularly when bulk perlite is purchased from a reputable supplier.

Buy Bulk Perlite for Hydroponics in South Africa 

Are you looking to embrace perlite hydroponics in South Africa? If so, you will require a supplier that you can trust for quality. Look no further than Sun Silicates. We focus on supplying high-tech products to, amongst others, the chemical, metallurgical, construction and agricultural sectors. For more information about investing in bulk perlite for hydroponics, please do not hesitate to get in touch

Sun Silicates Logo

Sun Silicates (Pty) Ltd focuses on supplying high-tech consumable products to the chemical, metallurgical and agricultural industries. The company is customer and performance focused and we ensure our customers of quality products at competitive pricing.

Read More


Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.