Best soil for indoor plants

Indoor plants have different requirements than outdoor plants. The right potting Mix will make them flourish.

Indoor plants require soil that retains moisture and drains well, allowing the roots access to air and water. Some potting mixes also include slow-release fertilizer to encourage plants to grow.

Choose a soil specifically formulated to meet the needs of your plants.

What Houseplants need from the soil

Plants need light, air, water, and nutrition to grow. Your choice of soil will allow roots to reach air and water and stretch.

Most commercial potting mixes are not soil. These soils are often made of wood products and enhanced with ingredients to help aerate the soil and deliver nutrients to the roots. These soils are lighter and fluffier and are usually labeled “potting mix.”

A good quality potting mixture will have a crumbly, loose texture. Too much water in the soil can cause root rot and mold to grow.

Indoor Potting Mix

Ingredients like these can be used to create a custom-made potting mix.

  • Compost. Whether homemade or purchased organic compost, compost provides structure and nutrition to your indoor plants.
  • Sphagnum peat moss. Peat moss is a natural ingredient that provides structure, aeration, and water retention ability. It is also slightly acidic.
  • Coconut coir. Coconut coir is a sustainable alternative to peat that remains fluffy and doesn’t compress. Coir has a lower acidity than peat and is better for protecting plants from over- and under-watering.
  • Vermiculite, a mineral compressed into granules that expand when water is added, can be used in seed-starting mixes. Vermiculite is a component of seed-starting mixtures. It is non-decomposable and has a pH of neutral.
  • Perlite is very similar to vermiculite, and it is used in the same way. It is made of super-heated volcanic sand. Perlite works well for plants like epiphytes that require high humidity. It is not found in succulent mixes. Use 25% perlite or vermiculite to ensure optimal drainage in your homemade potting mixture.

Additional ingredients:

  • Sand for citrus, palms, and cactus.
  • Pine bark for orchids

Experts suggest pasteurizing homemade compost. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread compost evenly on a baking sheet and bake it for 45 minutes. Allow to cool down to room temperature before use.

Succulent and Cactus Planting Mix

Indoors, succulents and cacti need potting soil that drains well. Cactus soils mix wood products, peat, sphagnum moss, and sand.

Succulent Potting Mix does not contain sand and is usually packaged with fertilizer. Fertilize your indoor succulents and palms 30 days after they are planted.

Sand also gives weight to containers that might otherwise topple over.

Orchid Potting mix

Some orchids are epiphytes, which means they draw nutrition from the air. Their roots are, therefore, partially exposed. Orchids require good air circulation and a growing medium that can hold moisture but drains quickly so the roots do not stay wet. Orchid potting mixtures may include fir bark (also called coco coir), sphagnum, moss, perlite, coco fibers, or a combination of these materials. If you are an orchid enthusiast, consider specialty mixes for different orchid types, like dendrobiums and phalaenopsis (moth or moth orchids).

Some mixes include slow-release fertilizer. Regularly feed your orchids with an orchid fertilizer.

Bonsai Potting mix

Bonsai soils have been designed to provide the nutrients bonsai plants and trees need. Bonsai potting soil is packaged with pumice, lava, and calcined clay. This Mix is sometimes used to grow other plants, such as cacti or succulents.

Citrus Potting Mix

Indoor Citrus plants such as kumquats or Meyer lemons require a rich loamy soil that drains well. Add slow-release fertilizer when planting citrus soils. This will nourish your plants throughout the growing season.

Citrus plants indoors are heavy feeders and thrive with a regular fertilization schedule. Three times per year, fertilize.

Soil Covers For Indoor Plants

Indoor plants enhance your decor. Decorative soil covers are a great way to add style to your houseplant collection. Glass beads, lava stones, polished stones, and mosses will add texture and color to your containers.

Soil toppers also increase humidity and improve drainage. The soil toppers are always neat. Top layering with lava rock is ideal for bonsai and succulents. In terrariums, glass beads and marble chips can be used.


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