Judy asked Annie:
Q I heard you say on one of your episodes that you use perlite in the bottom of your pots. I believe that there are different schools of thought on using perlite in the bottom of pots. What is the advantage to using perlite in the bottom of the pot?
A Judy – this is a great question and I’m glad you asked it!
First – just to clarify: I use coarse perlite in the bottom of the plastic pots you see on my stands. When I am using a self-watering pot (like the one the Big-Box Violet is in) I do not use any perlite in bottom.
Now – to answer you question. :-) I use what is called the Modified Texas Style of potting, and that layer of coarse perlite is part of that potting style. The coarse perlite in the bottom of the pot gives the roots of the plant airspace, which they need in order to grow well. In addition, that layer provides some “insurance” against over-watering. I will explain this style of potting and why I use it, in the next episode of the podcast. :-)