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These globular bodies are, in fact, merely the more coherent portions of a perlite; the rest of the rock falls down in a fine powder setting free the glassy spheres.
The amount of water adsorbed on the surface of Perlite is a function of particle size.
Make a propagating compost from three parts sphagnum moss peat to one part perlite, sieved bark or acid sand.
The first dish uses just water, but they are difficult to keep upright so I now use perlite soaked with water.
Water retention by horticultural perlite is not an indiscriminate action.