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How to Propagate in Perlite Successfully – 8 Incredible Tips

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Traditionally, the most widely used medium for growing plants is soil. However, several growing mediums can be used to grow plants and successfully sustain them. One such medium is perlite which has become widely popular among gardeners.

Perlite is an amorphous and granular form of volcanic glass. Perlite is porous and can retain a lot of water. It retains water, but it also provides good drainage and aeration. Learn everything on how to propagate in perlite and keep your baby plants healthy.

Perlite serves in several ways due to its ability to retain water and provide good drainage. It can be mixed with our growing mediums such as soil and peat moss or used on its own. Learn all the helpful tips and tricks on how to propagate in perlite in the following text.

How to Propagate in Perlite 1
Can I reuse perlite I propagate in?! – via Reddit

What is Perlite?

Perlite is a volcanic glass formed by the sudden expansion of glass at a very high temperature. That makes the glass pop like the kernels in popcorn. Perlite consists of white-colored, lightweight chunks or granules of porous minerals.

These granules have very good water retention capacity as well as good drainage. Perlite is sterile and has a neutral pH value that makes it ideal for gardening.

Perlite is often mixed with heavier and compact growing mediums like soil to make it lighter and increase aeration. You can also use perlite on its own to start new cuttings. Perlite has been certified to be used in organic gardening and agriculture.

Why Should You Use Perlite?

Perlite makes an excellent choice to be used for any propagation and new cuttings. There are some cases in which using perlite excels over using any other growing medium. One such case is the propagation of leafless nodes, e.g., monstera.

Perlite is a remarkable choice for propagation because perlite granules are lightweight and airy, with enough spaces in between. It allows the plant to establish and grow its root very easily.

Another reason perlite is considered good for propagation is that it provides excellent support to the small plant. You must have noticed how small plants keep flopping around and falling over in water and soil. It can be frustrating. However, you don’t have to face this problem with perlite since it can hold its structure and shape and provide good enough support for the plant to stand tall.

Moreover, new cuttings can be very sensitive, hard to propagate and require suitable conditions to grow properly. Perlite provides these conditions to plants so they can grow and sustain themselves. Too much water, poor drainage, compact soil, and poor aeration are major problems using other mediums like soil. Perlite provides a balanced ratio of water and air to help the plant’s growth.

In addition, the cuttings propagated in perlite develop much stronger roots that easily be transported to the soil without any damage and shock. On the contrary, roots of propagations done in water result in very weak and delicate roots.

On top of all these excellent reasons, perlite is affordable, easy to maintain, and easy to work with.

How to Propagate in Perlite 2
Perlite propagation is amazing. – via Reddit

How to Propagate in Perlite

Now that you have learned about all the excellent reasons for how perlite can be helpful in propagation, we will proceed with how to propagate in perlite.

Items You Will Need

Miracle-Gro Perlite, Helps Improve Drainage and Aeration in Potting Mixes, Enriched with Plant Food, (2-Pack)
  • Helps prevent soil compaction and promote strong root development
  • Enriched with Miracle-Gro Plant Food
  • Lightweight media helps start root cuttings
  • Improves drainage and aeration in potting mixes
  • Use only with container plants
CYS EXCEL Glass Dome Cloche (H:9.25" D:5.5”) with Black Wood Base Decorative Showcase Display for Antique Collectible Bell Jar Terrarium Dessert Cover
  • Dimensions - Outer Dimension(Including The Base)- H:10.75" D:7" | Inner Dimension(Inside The Glass)- H:9.25" D:5.5" | Black Wood Base- H:1" D:7"
  • Quality - Hand-blown crystal clear glass not machine made. Crafted with thick glass for the perfect Dome Cloche. (Minor imperfections may exist due the product being handmade) Dimension Deviation ≈ 0.1"-0.25"
  • Uses - The intentional use for Glass Dome was for protection. But now they have a better purpose. Due to its unique design, each item that the dome holds seems like it has an extraordinary story behind it. Not only do these cloches provide a characteristic display, or a trophy like feel to the item.
  • Looks- The curves of the dome bends the light that shines upon it. As if the glass guards the outside world against what lies within. This simple design is somewhat mystical as it shields what lies within, yet also showing the treasures to all who look inside. It gives a cherishable feel for the person looking towards the object.
  • Occasions - Domes give a powerful display storage vibe to the surrounding environment. It attracts attention due to the natural character of the item. So if you want a particular object to be the star of any occasion or event, having the dome over that item will be the centerpiece of all eyesight.
Mkono 5.5" Plastic Plant Pots for Plants with Saucers, Indoor Set of 5 Plastic Planters Modern Flower Pot with Drainage Hole for All House Plants, Herbs, Flowers, and Seeding Nursery, Maccha
  • Durable Plastic Material: Made from lightweight yet sturdy polypropylene plastic for long-lasting use.
  • Modern Minimalist Design: Sleek round shape with matte finish for stylish indoor display.
  • Includes Drainage System: Drill hole at the bottom for water drainage to prolong plant life.
  • Flexible Usage: Can be used for indoor or outdoor plants, herbs, flowers, and more.
  • Set of 5 Planters: Contains 5 plastic pots in 5.5" diameter and 4.8" height for versatile gardening.
Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel Hand Shovel - Stainless Steel - Rust Resistant - Ergonomic Grip - Perfect Tool for Gardening, Weeding, Transplanting and Digging in Garden Beds
  • ONE TOOL ALL GARDENERS USE - Planting, transplanting, removing stubborn weeds, mixing soil and compost or scooping fertilizer, the Hand-E Garden Trowel is the Gardeners Go To Tool.
  • POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL - Rust Resistant Blade is Thick for Strength and Durability, Wide and Concave for Scooping, Properly Designed for Professional Grade Applications.
  • COMFORTABLE ERGONOMIC HANDLE - Large and Thick with Thumb Rest on top and Finger Grooves on bottom. Well Designed for those in search of an Agreeable Grip that Minimizes Hand Stress and Fatigue.
  • NOT JUST FOR GARDENING - Strong, rugged and well suited for nearly all outdoor assignments. Placer mining for gold, metal detecting for lost treasure or camping with friends, this trowel will come in handy for all your digging purposes and you will be glad to have it stowed away in your backpack.
  • Responsibly Produced: Garden Guru uses recycled and recyclable materials where possible, and is committed to reducing environmental impact. This product is certified carbon neutral, and all emissions impacts are offset from the start of manufacturing to the end of the product's lifecycle.

How to Propagate Cuttings in Perlite

  1. Begin with collecting all the items from your list and set them up. Before you begin, it is recommended to wear a face mask as perlite may have a lot of dust. After wearing a face mask, thoroughly rinse your perlite in a tub and collect it in a cauldron. Now it is ready to be used.
  2. Now take a ceramic pot of your choice and fill it with about 1/4th of perlite. This part of perlite will allow the water to soak up so it won’t rot the plant. Fill the bottom part of your pot with perlite at a height higher than the saucer so your plant will not have to sit in water.
  3. Now place your cutting in the middle of the perlite and add more perlite over it. Fill the pot with perlite until it is 3/4th full. You can easily adjust your cutting between the perlite if it is not sitting right.
  4. Water your perlite thoroughly once the cutting has been placed, and let the excess water drain from the drainage hole at the bottom. Place your pot in the saucer, and the water will recollect in it. Be sure to keep your saucer filled with water. It will keep the bottom layer of perlite wet, providing enough moisture and humidity for the propagation. Never let your cutting dry up.
  5. Finally, cover your whole system with a plastic bag or a glass dome. If the pot is small enough, you can place it in a Ziploc bag. However, for larger pots, you will need a glass or plastic dome to cover them.
  6. You can even cover the pot with some cling wrap. Make a hole in the cling wrap to let the plant stick out. The important thing is to maintain the humidity in the perlite.
  7. One very important thing to remember is to remove the dome or plastic bag every other day. It will provide your plant with fresh air and prevent mold and fungus from growing.
  8. Propagation of nodes or any succulent or cacti requires the same process. Be very careful while propagating a succulent or a cactus because they can rot easily. Don’t let them sit in water and reduce the humidity and watering for them.

Bonus Tips

  • To ensure healthy growth, provide your propagation with a warm environment. Place it somewhere that receives warm indirect sunlight. A windowsill makes an excellent place.
  • Do not expose the propagation to the sun as the cuttings are young and delicate and can get burnt easily.
  • If you do not receive sufficient sunlight indoors or do not have the option to place the pot on the windowsill, you can use grow lights. Buy an LED grow light to provide your propagation with enough light to sustain its growth.
  • Keep checking on your propagation regularly. Check the development of roots weekly.
  • Once your roots have established, remove your propagation from the high humidity environment and replant your cutting in the soil.
  • While watering your propagations, add diluted liquid fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for growth.


Growing and propagating plants is a very rewarding process though it requires a lot of patience and care to achieve the results. Propagations are generally a little trickier to care for as they are delicate and vulnerable and need just the right conditions to grow. Perlite serves as an excellent growing medium to start propagations and sustain their healthy growth.

This article has covered everything you need to know on how to propagate in perlite. We have also added some expert tips to ensure your propagations thrive. Share your propagation tips and queries in the comments below!