Perlite VS Pumice – Which Is The Best Alternative For Gardening

Our soil needs a proper mixture of stone particles, nutrients and compost to grow a healthy plant. Now that horticulture is expanding in the market, and as a career too, people have become more cautious about the products they will be using for plants. All my home-growers and gardeners here will be aware of perlite and pumice. To those who are unaware of the terms, let me clear it first. Both perlite and pumice are substances that can help your soil mix to be more effective. These substances are derived from volcanic erupted rocks, and you can find them in various soil mixes. Each one has a special characteristic. You can find pumice for succulents in daily usage also. 

So in this article, you will find pumice vs perlite, which one is the best alternative and why. So please keep reading and wait for the final verdict. 

Perlite VS Pumice

If you are a beginner, then let me tell you that the basic garden soil available in the market has enough plants. There are such plants that need perlite and pumice to hold the plant well. So let’s understand each one by one. 


Perlite is made from volcanic glass, and it has 70% of silicon dioxide and other minerals like iron oxide, potassium, sodium oxide and aluminium oxide. It is cheaper and very common in the gardening world. It generally has a dark grey colour and looks different than that the readymade soil mix has.

To transform perlite soil into the white balls that you often see in the succulent mix, you need to crush it and heat it to 1700 degrees. While doing this, it will expand up to 20 times its original size. Now, these porous balls can be fine, medium or coarse solid form. 

The course perlite will have better airflow and drainage opportunity while fine perlite can be dusty and do not serve the purpose. It floats to the top of the plant, which is why it does affect/work to its maximum extent. It can also be blown away by the wind as it stays up and the fine perlite form has dust. 


Pumice is also a volcanic stone and porous in nature. These are formed during the volcanic eruption, and one can find pumice after the lava is extremely cool down. Unlike perlite, it varies in colour from white to grey. This also depends on mining. Most gardeners opt for pumice to dress up the soil just because it looks more attractive.

You might be shocked, but pumice mining is doing throughout the world, and its production is also done on a large scale. You can find it in various home and beauty products along with horticulture. 

The pumice mining is also considered to be the most eco-friendly process that requires very little time to get the final product. You can find it in various sizes as per the mechanical crushes. Pumice for plants is one of the ebay ways to grow them.

Pumis is very beneficial for aeration and drainage of your plant. It is formed with minimal damage and processings. Also, it is very heavy to let air blow away, and that’s why it sticks to the soil, unlike pertile. You will also notice in the succulent soil mix. 

At the same time, there are chances of fine pumice dusty particles that are of no use and pumice is very expensive. It is also not available in your local market and can be a tough job to find it. 

Pros and Cons 

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is available in the local market
  • It is available in different sizes
  • It helps in improving soil aeration and drainage.
  • It is made of minimal damage from mining and thus has minerals. 
  • It has very small processing. 
  • It is very heavy and wind cannot affect it. 
  • It improves soil aeration and drainage. 
  • It floats on the soil 
  • It can be blown easily by the wind. 
  • The finest particle is dusty and of no use. 
  • It is expensive. 
  • It is not locally available.

Final Verdict:

In my opinion, both pumice and perlite can be the winners as both serve the purpose of better drainage and aeration to the plant. But when it comes to improving the quality of succulent soil, you must choose pumice as it has all the natural minerals that grow your plant well. But as we compare completely, both are equal and can be used as each other alternatives. You can choose as per your budget and necessities.

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