Perlite is one of the most beneficial minerals that growers can add to their soil. Created from heated volcanic glass, perlite is a lightweight soil conditioner used by growers to enhance the effectiveness of growing mediums such as soil. In this article, we provide an overview of the benefits of adding perlite to soil when growing autoflowering cannabis.
Perlite is produced by heating naturally occurring volcanic glass to extremely high temperatures, which causes the original material to expand into perlite. During the process of this expansion, water evaporates, resulting in bubble-like holes throughout the structure of the resulting perlite. As a result, perlite is lightweight, and can be used to reduce the weight of soil for plants that require moving and handling.
When added to a soil growing medium, perlite has major benefits for autoflowering cannabis plants.
Perlite and Proper Drainage for Autoflowering Cannabis
First, perlite guarantees proper drainage, which is essential for autoflowering plants in particular. Because there is little margin for error in the short growing window for autoflowering cannabis, overwatering can cause you to drown your plants. Yet when perlite is added to soil, drowning your plants is practically impossible. Perlite maximizes drainage, which is especially beneficial for autoflowering cannabis plants, which thrive in mediums with optimal drainability. In fact, ensuring proper drainage can actually increase your autoflowering cannabis yields.
Perlite and Aeration for Autoflowering Cannabis
Perlite also optimizes aeration, allowing air to penetrate soil while changing its structure and texture. By aerating your soil, perlite makes it less dense and more penetrable for new, expanding roots. Proper aeration also allows your growing medium to absorb more water, which ensures optimal nutrient absorption to help your autoflowering cannabis thrive.
By facilitating soil aeration, perlite allows air to encompass the roots of your autoflowering plants as they grow. This enables the roots to penetrate the soil more effectively, making it easier for them to move downward and absorb nutrients.
When added to soil, the surface of each perlite granule is surrounded by a film of air. This creates air pockets throughout your growing medium, even if your soil is oversaturated from overwatering. The resulting increase in aeration and drainage helps to prevent excess nutrient buildup, which can stunt plant growth, while eliminating the risk of drowning your plants from overwatering. Moreover, proper aeration from perlite increases oxygen availability, which is essential to healthy plant growth. Altogether, these factors can have a major impact on the quality of your eventual yield.
Perlite and Root Penetration
Perlite stimulates cannabis growth by maximizing root penetration. Because perlite is lightweight, when it is added to soil, it enables roots to spread through the growing medium with ease. New, emerging roots can penetrate perlite because it changes the structure of soil, making it easier to penetrate.
These root zone benefits allow for faster root growth and maximum root penetration, which accelerates the already-rapid growing rate of autoflowering cannabis plants.
The Benefits of Perlite for Growers: Reducing the Weight of Your Growing Containers
As aforementioned, perlite is extremely lightweight. As a result, your growing containers will weigh far less when the volume of your medium comprises a significant percentage of perlite, as opposed to the far greater weight of soil alone. This makes plants easier to handle for growers who may need to move their plants during the growing cycle.
In short, perlite has amazing benefits for autoflowering plants and growers alike. Added to soil, perlite prevents common mistakes such as drowning and overfeeding, which can stunt plant growth and negatively impact your yield. Meanwhile, perlite ensures proper aeration, drainage, and root penetration – all of which are well-known methods of increasing your autoflower yields. Taken together, these benefits ensure healthy plant growth, making perlite an essential grower’s tool for optimizing yields and improving harvests.