The Best Potting Mix For Indoor Plants: 2023 List
Dart Hill Mar 31, 2023 6:01 PM
When it comes to growing healthy houseplants, the right potting soil is essential. A good soil environment for your plants can make all the difference in the world to your success. Here, we'll explain the fundamentals of potting soil and show you how to find or make the ideal potting mix for your houseplants.
When it comes to indoor plants, what's the best kind of potting soil? There is no need for plants to be concerned about specific materials; they simply need a medium with the right qualities. Roots require a soil mix that drains well while retaining enough moisture to support the plant's growth. Soil that is aerated and nutrient-rich at the pH level that plants prefer is essential for healthy growth.
FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity StakeView on Amazon
- BrandThe Hydroponic City
Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Mix: Fertilized, Perlite Soil for Indoor Gardening, Designed to Be Less Prone to Gnats, 4 qt.View on Amazon
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix (6 qt.) and Indoor Plant Food (8 oz.) - Bundle for Growing and Fertilizing HouseplantsView on Amazon
Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix, 6 qt. - Growing Media for Tropical Plants Living in Indoor and Outdoor ContainersView on Amazon
Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix - All Natural Potting Mix For All Indoor & Outdoor Containers Including Herbs & Vegetables. For Organic Gardening, 8qt. bag. Pack of1View on Amazon
Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix - All Natural Potting Mix For Indoor & Outdoor Containers For Organic Gardening, 4 qt, Pack of 1View on Amazon
House Plant and Tropical Plant Potting Soil - Re-Potting Soil for All Types of Indoor House Plants, House Plant Re-Potting Soil - 8QTsView on Amazon
- BrandSoil Sunrise
WONDER SOIL Organic Potting Soil | Ready to Plant Coco Coir Fully Loaded with Nutrients | 3 LBS Bag Expands to 12 Quarts of Indoor Outdoor Soil for Gardens & Plants | Incl Worm Castings, PerliteView on Amazon
- BrandWonder Soil
Noot Organic Indoor Plant Soilless Potting Mix Coconut Coir Perlite Pre-Hydrated Root Stimulant Mycorrhizae Fertilizer. Houseplant, Aroid, Succulent, Monstera, Orchid, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Cactus. 1 Gal.View on Amazon
House Plant and Tropical Plant Potting Soil (2 Quarts), Re-Potting Soil for All Types of Indoor House Plants, House Plant Re-Potting Soil, 2qtView on Amazon
- BrandRio Hamza Trading
- BrandFiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food
Jessi Mae - Air Cleaning Plant Soil - Acidic Organic pH Balanced Potting Soil - for Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Pothos, Parlor Palm, and Other Indoor Plants - Well-Draining Potting Soil - 4 QuartsView on Amazon
- BrandJessi Mae
Back to the Roots Natural & Organic All-Purpose Peat-Free Potting Mix - Nutrient Rich Ready to Use Square Foot Gardening Soil Mix for Indoor and Outdoor Plants, Vegetables, & Flowers, 6 Dry QuartsView on Amazon
- BrandBack to the Roots
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix - Blended for a Wide Variety of Container Plants, 16 qt. (2-Pack)View on Amazon
Last update on 2023-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Soilless ingredients that provide structure, water retention, and aeration are the foundation of an ideal potting soil for indoor plants. For a complete mixture, fertility supplements are added.
Structure, aeration, and water storage are all provided by this natural plant material. It's light, sterile, and a little acidic, all at the same time.
As time goes on, sphagnum decomposes and becomes more compact. An excellent starting point for beneficial microorganisms even if fertility isn't its primary function. Fertilizers are often added to it to make it more palatable.
In recent years, this natural material has gained in popularity. Coconut husk fibers make it even more water-resistant than peat moss, which is made of cellulose. Coir is less acidic than peat moss because it has a pH close to neutral. It also does not compress.
Despite the fact that coir is lightweight and easy to handle, it lacks the microbial foundation of peat moss. Because of its high potassium content, it may interfere with some plants' ability to absorb calcium.
Aeration And Drainage Materials
In addition to absorbency and structure, plants need air and drainage. It is provided by these common amendments:
In order to break it up into smaller pieces, volcanic glass is heated to an extreme temperature. It's non-toxic, reusable, and decomposes over time, but it's also naturally occurring. In addition, it is sterile and has a pH of 7.0.
Perlite's most important quality is its ability to aerate the mixture. An insulating material that makes your soil fluffier and more open is what this is. To prevent it from becoming compacted, perlite is often added to the peat mixture. Water and fertilizer are more readily available to roots in Perlite because of the micro-pores that the material contains.
Perlite's tendency to float to the top of the soil is a nuisance. Potting mix may look odd and water may leak out of the pot when using this method.
Pumice, like perlite, is a naturally occurring soil conditioner made from the porous volcanic remnants. Because it's so heavy, it doesn't float around as much, which is a relief.
Improved aeration and drainage are two of the many benefits of using pumice. As a result, it helps to maintain the stability of the soil. It has pH-neutral pores and is nutritionally inert, but water and nutrients cling to its irregular surface.
More water-absorbent than perlite or pumice, this processed mica is ideal for thirsty plants (or plant owners who forget to water them). Plants that prefer their soil to dry out between waterings may struggle if this property is used.
Vermiculite is a non-decomposing substance with a neutral pH. It's easy to move around, and it aids in the aeration of the soil.
So far, we've talked about soil that drains well, absorbs well, and has good structure and aeration. Nutrients are the final topic we'll cover.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three most important nutrients for your plants. The NPK ratio is a number that appears on the label of fertilizers to indicate the amount of each of these ingredients. The NPK ratio of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer might be 20-10-10, whereas the formula for a balanced fertilizer might be 10-10-10.
Trace elements like calcium and magnesium are also needed, as well as a few other nutrients that aren't listed here.
These water-soluble chemical fertilizers provide immediate nutrition to your plants. Organics are more expensive, but these are less complete. The concentration is higher, making it easier to use too little and harm your plants.
Inorganic fertilizers are commonly used in retail mixes, and they can be effective. We recommend using a well-balanced formula when making your own soil with synthetics.
The term "organic amendments" refers to anything derived from or derived from plants or animals. Despite the name, it does not imply that the food is organically grown.
In general, organic fertilizers are safe for your plants, and they are particularly good at supplying trace elements and food for beneficial microbes. They are also environmentally friendly. In general, natural products cost more than synthetics.
High-fertility amendments like compost are commonly used in potting soil. Decomposition of plant material results in an organic fertilizer and soil conditioner for your plants.
Make sure your compost is well decomposed, whether you buy it or make it yourself. The aroma of a well-aged compost pile is a pleasant one.
Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of vermicast, also known as "worm poop," for good reasons. Worm castings are rich in microorganisms and trace elements that plants need to thrive, making them an excellent source of all-around nutrition.
Determine the amount of potting soil needed for your project before making a purchase. To find the cubic inches needed for outdoor gardening, multiply the length, width, and height of your plot by 27 to get the cubic feet. For potted plants, you can use an online calculator to get an estimate by typing in your measurements.
Soil and Mix Type
Urban Plantscapes LLC horticulturalist Evan Davis Santi says, "Most potting soil isn't really soil at all and is considerably lighter than garden soil." In fact, a "soilless" mix of ingredients is found in many commercial potting soils.
Plants require different soil or potting mix depending on what they are growing. According to him, all-purpose blends are most likely to be your go-to. However, for cacti and succulents, a sandy blend is best, while finer or lighter blends are ideal for seed starting.
Plants thrive in soil that is properly drained. Determine if your soil promotes drainage or water retention before planting in the ground. If you're unsure, dig a 12- to 18-inch hole and fill it with water to test the drainage. Observe how quickly the water drains after you re-fill it. It should drain about an inch an hour.
"Bags that are dense and wet" should be avoided when purchasing potting soil, according to Charlie Nardozzi, a regional Emmy Award-winning garden author, radio, and television personality. "Too heavy for most pots."
Can I use garden soil for indoor plants?
My apologies to Charlie, but I am afraid the answer is no. Even for potted indoor plants, most garden soil or topsoil is too heavy and dense for them. The roots of the plants will be suffocated by the compacted soil over time. Instead, a potting mix is required.
Do you need peat moss?
Despite the fact that peat moss eventually regenerates, the process takes a long time, and peat bogs are unable to keep up with the harvesting rate. Because of this, some countries, like the United Kingdom, are considering banning the use of peat moss in the production of potting soil.
Coconut coir, a sustainable alternative to peat moss, is becoming more common in potting soil mixes. Shredded coconut husks, otherwise known as "coco coir," are the raw material for coco coir.
Should I Sterilize Soil Before Using It?
Your plants could become infected if any of the materials you use contains pathogens, seeds, larva, or any of the other aforementioned contaminants. If you're using compost, recycled soil, or anything else you've grown yourself, it's a good idea to treat it as you would commercial products.
As opposed to sterilizing your soil, you want to pasteurize it. Using a lower temperature, pasteurization kills insects and plants and reduces disease pathogens without wiping out the beneficial microorganisms. (Toxins can also be released by overheating perlite.)
Spreading soil on a baking sheet and baking it at 350°F for 45 minutes is one simple pasteurization method.
You can microwave two pounds of soil at a time in the microwave oven without damaging it. Microwave for one and a half to two and a half minutes. Make sure the soil temperature is at least 180°F (82°C) by using a thermometer.
Keep the soil in an airtight container to avoid contamination.
Does potting soil expire?
In the opinion of Santi and Nardozzi, potting soil has an indefinite shelf life. For best results, Nardozzi recommends "fluffing it up again before using" if the soil has been exposed to water. Adding water and nutrients will reactivate the blend, says Santi. Reviving the soil by adding compost is a viable option.
How much potting soil should you put in your planter?
Nardozzi recommends filling pots and planters 2 to 3 inches below the rim. You should wet the potting soil before filling your container so that you don't have to add more later, he explains.
Every time you adopt a new plant, I'm sure you experience the same anxiety and concern for its well-being that I do.
Even though I've been dealing with houseplants for years, every time I bring a new species home, I feel like a new parent.
When it comes to finding out what kind of soil your houseplant needs, and where you can get it, I took the liberty of providing you with the information.
Here are some of the most common houseplant requirements to ensure that your plants have a smooth transition to your home.
With no help, researching soil criteria and making a potting mix can quickly turn into an overwhelming, time-consuming, and confusing process!
What makes finding the perfect potting soil for a particular plant so difficult is that plants have a wide range of needs, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the ideal soil for a particular plant.