compost


stumorph
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What are the view on using perlite in compost for VFTs . I noticed most commercial growers use it but when I read the VFT section in Adrian Slacks book 'carnivourus plants' he states just plain peat and avoid perlite like the plauge. Is it not safe or did he just not like perlite :moderator:

Edited by stumorph
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Thanks I really couldnt see perlite bieng a problem but best to check

I believe you have to be careful about breathing the dust, i.e. don't!

From one website I found:

Perlite is considered a "nuisance dust" by regulatory agencies, which means that efforts should be made to control perlite dust. Eye and mouth protection are recommended to prevent the dust from being ingested. Perlite dust can aggravate existing respiratory conditions and cause eye irritation. Perlite does not cause cancer, although some commercial perlite products may also contain a very small amount of quartz, which is listed as a carcinogenic substance.

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Personally I don't like perlite, purely for cosmetic reasons, but have not found a decent alternative. I've tried alternatives in the past, such as sand and grit, but I found them to contain alkaline grains so stopped.

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Perlite is good for air too. Even though Carnivorous plants stand in water, roots need oxygen. Perlite helps break up the compost mix and lighten it up.

I too don't like the look of Perlite cosmetically. So after the original soil mix has settled down in the pot I top dress the pots with just plain peat moss by itself. I find this looks neat and clean. In addition helps Sphagnum moss develop and grow evenly over the top and give a nice carpet of green at the base of the plant. Which I like.

Sometimes I use just peat moss. Sometimes just sand and peat moss. Sometimes Perlite, Sand and Peat moss. It's all fine as long as it's low in pH and nutrients - which all 3 of those are.

But my usual mix is perlite 20%, sharp sand 30%, peat moss 50%.

Edited by Heisenberg
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I use it but don't like it much, mainly because it's always getting washed out of my pots outside. I see the likes of Slack and D'Amato recommending pumice and lava rock but I've never actually seen either of these, now that annoys me more than perlite does. Perlite is good for hanging pots though as it's far lighter than grit etc.

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I see the likes of Slack and D'Amato recommending pumice and lava rock but I've never actually seen either of these, now that annoys me more than perlite does.

I think that pumice is commonly available to growers in the USA, though sadly this is not the case here for some reason.

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