The Schundler Company
PLANTSCAPES AND INTERIOR CONTAINER GROWING WITH
100% PERLITE AND PERLITE/PEAT MIXES
For over forty years, perlite has been used in the floriculture and horticultural industries. At first it was used in potting soils to improve aeration and drainage. It was light, easy to use and mix, and it was consistent. But increasingly it is being used for its water-holding capacity and for many other applications
to full sunshine until 2 PM everyday!
Because of its surface areas, perlite can hold phenomenal amounts of water---178 to 453% by weight and from 18 to 55% by volume. (See tables at www.schundler.com/spec.htm) In fact, with some finer grades of perlite, even more water can be held (up to 80% by volume.)
With water shortages becoming more prevalent and the cost of maintaining plants being both expensive and complex, the attributes of perlite are being re-evaluated, and it is being used more and more in applications ranging from hydroponics to green roofs, and from container gardening to interior plantscapes.
In the hydroponic industry, perlite usage is growing because it is more forgiving than any other media, it can be used again and again, and it can be easily recycled or used after two or three harvests. Among the 74,000 acres of hydroponic greenhouses in Almeria, Spain, for instance, the use of perlite has increased from 36% to over 65% (see www.schundler.com/spain.htm). And in the end, more produce can be grown with less water and less fertilizer on less land.
Green roofs are another application for perlite that is growing rapidly. Essentially perlite can solve a number of problems:
Containers have used perlite for both light weighting and water holding capacity. In very large roof top containers, larger percentages of perlite have been used to avoid problems with dead loads. And at the same time, perlite usage reduces the need for frequent watering and irrigation. In Israel, for instance, where wars have been fought over water, palm trees, orange trees, and regular plants and flowers have been grown in 100% perlite or mixes with very high levels of perlite. (See www.schundler.com/israel-sod and/or www.schundler.com/israel).
Increasingly, professional and interior landscapers are beginning to use more and more perlite. For instance, in Israel extremely large hanging containers have been developed and made possible because of use of perlite (see www.schundler.com/contain) With planning and proper design, plants can be grown in containers that weigh less and require less maintenance.
For more information about these uses of perlite in containers, landscaping, and/or gardening, please call or contact us at:
The Schundler Company
10 Central Street
Nahant, MA 01908
(ph)732-287-2244 (fax) 732-287-4185
Back to Horticultural Main Page