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What would you get ?  or are they interchangeable.

What do you want it for? I use Perlite to add to compost to keep the structure open. I use fine vermiculite to top off seed pots - it's translucent so light can still get through.

Thank you, I didn't appreciate the difference.

I clearly need both products, will be getting new potting shed at end of month and am looking forward to seed sowing And repotting.

I have also made a new year resolution to keep it clean and tidy, fit it with shelves and organise the general clutter that has been accumulated.


Perlite helps drainage, so good for plants that need sharp drainage. Vermiculite keeps the water, so is not as good for succulents etc.


I used to use Vermiculite on top of sown seeds but I now follow Carol Klein and use grit most of the time, which I find generally works fine and is a lot cheaper in my experience.




The Range has Perlite at a good price as well I think it's 10 lt for £9.00



I buy Perlite from Amazon warehouse (£14) with free P&P for 100L

Michael (GW) Morton

You can get 100 litre bags or Perlite (£19 + free pp) and 100 litre bags of Vermiculite £24 + free pp) on Amazon.  I found the prices slightly cheaper than my local garden centre, but not by much.  I've got a bag of 100 litre perlite which should last me a few years.

With the Perlite, it's very dry and dusty so it can be a good idea to give it a soaking before you use it otherwise you'll get a lung full.

I only use very little of either and have a full bag of perlite not opened.  I will start to use this for seeds in future.  I use vermiculate to prevent moss on pots which grows at a terrific rate here.


Fine grit is usually used on seeds which need a long time to germinate and are left outside over winter. Vermiculite tends to be used on smaller seeds which need heat and light to germinate. I mix perlite into compost to improve drainage, but it tends to float to the top when watered so needs to have some compost on top to hold it down.

I use Perlite mixed in with seed'n'cutting compost to improve drainage.   Fine grit over seeds seems to work, and I also put grit on my bonsai pots to keep the squirrels at bay!

I haven't managed to find a source of horticultural grit locally, and the weight must make large bags of the stuff difficult to handle? I did have a small bag but it ran out years ago, and I've never seen it since.


I tried Vermiculite on some seeds last year OOoo thats a first time I've said "last year"

and all the Vermiculite floated around the seed tray so I suppose watering from the bottom with watering mats



Landgirl. I get fine grit from the pet shop, Aquarium dept

Bit expensive but I never see anything that fine in GCs


I use vermiculite for mixing with my own compost to aerate it, and I find it works well. The last lot I got here at £15.50 for 50lts:

They do all sorts of vermiculite grading so you can choose fine or course. I use the courser grade for mixing with compost. It's not as cheap as the 100lt perlite recommended by Michael above, but it may be a handier amount to store (100lts is quite big!!).

Perlite for mixing into seed composts or for composts requiring good drainage.  Vermiculite for top dressing pots.  However, I use plenty of perlite but prefer grit, gravel, etc to top dress pots so vermiculite is rarely on my shopping list.

I've had problems with damping off in the past so use vermisculite when sowing seeds and potting up seedlings. Perlite is mixed in the compost for hanging baskets, I won't be using it in pots around the garden this year unless permanent features as it doesn't decompose very quickly, my compost bin is currently full of tiny white balls from last years pots  

I'd probably use perlite then zoomrr44 !vermiculite is the one that holds 500 times it's weight in water. Perlite is great for drainage. I'm happy to have that in my compost heap