The perfect potting soil for indoor plants provides the right drainage, nutrients, and moisture to help the plants thrive throughout the year.
Potting soil is essential to keep plants growing well. Here are the things that you will want to consider before you start your potting soil recipe to make sure that your plants are getting what they need.
Potting Soil For Indoor Plants – Getting Started
Potting soil has several benefits over other types of soil, including no weeds or unwanted insects, excellent drainage and moisture retention abilities, and lots of nutrients.
Potting soils usually have peat moss which adds even more nutrients, along with perlite or vermiculite to provide great drainage and aeration properties.
These soils usually have time-released fertilizers built into the mix, which keeps your plants fed throughout their lives.
These soils come in three shades of color – red-browns, dark browns, and black loams. Potting soil for indoor plants is sold in bags and large cheap bulk quantities. They can easily be made from scratch, or you can purchase a ready-made mix.
Mixing Your Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
You can very easily mix your potting soil. This is the cheapest and greenest option; and also will provide the exact blend that your plants need. Potting soils are usually some combination of 5 ingredients – peat moss, composted bark, perlite, vermiculite, and fertilizer.
You will want to mix these five ingredients thoroughly with water before using them to ensure that they are evenly distributed throughout the mix.
The Perfect Potting Soil Ingredients
When mixed properly, this soil mix should drain well, but not completely dry out, and should have a pleasant smell. Potting soil shouldn’t contain any weeds or insects that can be harmful to your plants.
Ideally, you want the potting soil for indoor plants’ pH level to be between 5.5 and 6.3. Potting soils are available in many different brands at local garden centers, home improvement stores, and other retailers. Many of these large commercial mixes meet all of the best potting soil for indoor plants’ needs, while still being affordable and readily available.
Potting soil is usually sold in bags, but you can also get it from places that sell bulk topsoil. The cost will depend on the quality and the retailer, but it can usually be found at a reasonable price.
Repurposing Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to buy potting soil, then repurposing the soil that is already in your home will do the trick!
The technique of choice used to be recycling old coffee grounds into potting soil for indoor plants, but there are now many different options.
All potting soil made using coffee grounds also has a very pleasant smell. You can also use potting soil for indoor plants that you find in the woods, or mix it with other ingredients such as compost and manure.
Using Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
When it comes time to plant, all you need to do is add water and mix your potting soil. It will retain moisture well but still drain properly, keeping your soil moist without leaving a soggy mess.
If you are using potting soil for indoor plants that have been repurposed from other pots, make sure that it is free from any harmful chemicals or pesticides that were used before. Your soil can be a great way to give your plants a healthy boost, and it won’t break the bank!
Using the right potting soil for indoor plants well will keep your plant fed through its life.
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Differences Between Potting Mix and Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
These differences include:
The materials that make them
Potting mix is usually made from shredded bark or peat moss, Perlite, and Vermiculite, while potting soil is made from the regular soil enhanced by manure.
Potting soil is easy to make yourself at home by mixing equal parts of sand, compost, and peat moss. Potting mix can be bought in bulk at home improvement stores.
Potting mix lasts longer than the potting soil, giving you value for your money.
Holding in moisture
Potting soil easily gets overwatered, in comparison to the potting mix.
Potting soil will retain its nutrients, but potting mix won’t.
Potting soil has a low pH level of 5.5, while the potting mix has a pH level between 6 and 7.
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Learning the qualities and differences of both potting mix and potting soil for indoor plants is an eye opener for every gardener. If you try making your own, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Potting Soil for Indoor Plants?
Potting soil for indoor plants can be used when it is damp and free from stones or other contaminants. Potting soil is ideal to use for growing most plants indoors.
How Do You Prepare the Soil for Indoor Plants?
Mix equal parts compost, peat moss and perlite together. Then add these ingredients to the regular soil by mixing them in a large container until they are well blended.
You might need a little bit more soil if you find that your mix is too dry or too wet after thorough blending.
It should not contain any harmful chemicals or pesticides that can be bad for your plants. Your potting soil for indoor plants should have a pH between 5.5 and 6.
What is the Difference Between Potting Mix and Potting Soil?
Potting soil is essentially just dirt, sometimes with manure added. Whereas potting mix is usually made from shredded bark or peat moss, Perlite and Vermiculite.
Can I Use Bagged Topsoil for Potted Plants?
You can use bagged topsoil, but it may not achieve the same results as using a soil that is better suited.
Can You Reuse Potting Soil?
It is not advisable to reuse potting soil as it may contain harmful bacteria that could destroy your new plants. However, you can do so if you wish.