Not all plants are created equal. The care that one type of plant requires is different from another type. It can be a challenge trying to determine what’s best for your houseplants, but here are a few tips that can help you choose the best potting soil for your indoor plants.
The Best Potting Soil for Indoor Plants
Potting mixes contain little or no soil. You shouldn’t’ use garden dirt – it contains insects, disease and becomes hard when it dries in the pot. Houseplants need soil that provides plant support, allows air to circulate to the roots and can keep plants hydrated without being overwatered. A great potting mix will balance the size of the particles in a mix with the organic material. Organic bases like peat, ground bark or coir coconut wastes have sand, rocks and minerals added that loosen the mix and avoid compaction, which can kill your plants. The mineral vermiculite soaks up water and releases it slowly to keep the environment nice and moist.
The best potting mix has to go well with the type of plant you have. Ferns, African violets and begonias thrive in moist potting soil like a coconut or peat moss-based mix. Bromeliads and orchids flourish in a coarse potting soil that has bits of bark and twigs to keep the soil loose to promote air circulation and drainage. Composted bark is best for these house plants. Potting mixes with sand are perfect for cacti, most succulents and palms. These plants need soil that drains well. The best sand for potting mixes is coarse horticultural grade or well washed and free of salt and impurities.
Make Your Own
If you’d like, you may want to create your own potting mix. This will allow you to meet your individual plant’s needs. Finding a nice balance between organic material such as peat moss; ground bark or coconut wastes and sand, vermiculite or perlite is pretty easy and guarantees the best quality materials for your indoor plants. Some commercial mixes are made with an all-purpose fertilizer; if you make your own potting mix, add enough fertilizer to satisfy the needs of your individual plants.
If you find that your plants are beginning to show signs of disease or insects, treat the problem with Pure 3-Way, a natural insecticide and fungicide. This product ensures your plant will be healthier than ever.