Best Potting Soil Mix for Indoor Plants | Easy DIY Soil Mix
Updated: Feb 5, 2022
Did you know there are many different ways to mix your soil. Knowing your soil mix is very important, as it determines which plants will thrive and to choose the plants best suited to your home! In this video you can learn about making your own DIY soil mix ( even for beginners)
Plant care is very holistic, and your plant care routine is incomplete without the right soil mix. The soil mix or potting mix determines crucial things like which plants will thrive on it. Many factors determine plant growth, and I have already discussed lighting, humidity, temperature, and fertilizer. To add on, potting mix is also essential because different plants prefer different kinds of soil.
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Different Kinds of Soil
Plants are quite resilient and can live in any kind of potting. However, they thrive better in certain kinds of soil. If possible, it is always better to tailor your potting mix to the plant you are growing to make it happier.
Take a look at what kind of soil some types of plants like:
Philodendron and Hoyas like chunky, bark-based potting soil with good drainage and organic matter.
Cactus and succulents seem to prefer coarse, well-drained soil since they are used to dry conditions in their native habitat.
Seedlings should be grown in a light, moisture-retentive potting mix.
Fittonia and ferns prefer potting mixes with more peat moss or sphagnum for better moisture retention.
Many kinds of orchids are happiest growing in nothing but bark or sphagnum moss.
Different Kinds of Potting Mixes Available
Potting mixes are readily available at most big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. The most popular brands that are present include Miracle-Gro, Black Gold, Fox Farm and Espoma. I usually go for the cheapest brand available. Here are some of the commonly used potting mixes.
Cactus Soil Mix - These are made to be well-draining as they have added perlite. Click here for cactus soil mix for $12.
Orchid Bark Mix- This kind of potting mix contains coco coir and is specially formulated for quick drainage. It is ideal for plants that require good air movement and drier conditions between watering. Click here for Better-Gro orchid mix for $14.
Indoor Plant Mix- It has been blended for various container plants and is designed to be less prone to gnats. This mix has an easy-to-water formula that helps the soil re-wet. Click here for Fox Farm indoor plant mix for $16.
My Easy DIY Potting Mix
At the beginning of my plant journey, I used to use whatever I could buy in stores. Once I got more comfortable in my abilities to keep plants alive, I started to experiment with making my own potting mix. I don’t make it from scratch. Instead, I like to enhance the ones I buy in stores.
The most important consideration to make, when you are purchasing or blending your own potting mix, is to ensure that the mix is light enough to provide adequate pore space for air, water, and healthy root growth. Month after month of overhead watering, without the benefit of earthworms and weather to aerate the soil, usually results in an unhealthy, compacted root zone.
Here is the potting mix that I use for my philodendrons, hoyas, and snake plants.
MY SOIL INGREDIENTS
All Purpose Potting Soil : ⅓ regular potting soil , which I buy according to what is on sale or available.
Coarse Perlite / Fine Perlite: ⅓ Perlite, derived from volcanic rock that has been crushed and heat-treated into white, lightweight particles. When added to soil, it helps increase air space and improves water drainage.
Horticultural Charcoal :Charcoal for $10 that rids the soil of impurities and prevents mold and odors.
Better-Gro Orchid Mix ⅓ orchid bark for $10 provides quick drainage with adequate amounts of water but does not dry out quickly.
You can click here to get list of ingredients I use for my soil mix on Amazon.
You can also dress the top of the soil with stone or leca. Not only does this add to the aesthetics, but also prevent gnats from laying eggs in the soil. Make sure your soil does not stay too wet as it can lead to the growth of fungi and, subsequently, gnat infestations. In that case, sprinkle some cinnamon powder on the top for a quick solution. To know more about how to destroy them, you can check out my detailed video on fungus gnats.
Should You Make Your Own Potting Mix?
Although it might seem more expensive to add your own enhancement to potting mixes, it helps you have more soil. Once you have a sizable plant collection, getting your own potting mix is a good idea. To store excess potting mix, you can simply put it in any suitable container. However, make sure to air it out once in a while.
To let your plants live their best life, it is essential to choose the right potting mix. There are a variety of brands and types available. Depending on the type of plants you own, and your own watering habits, you can choose an appropriate potting mix. Moreover, creating your own potting mix can help you feel more in control of your plants.