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Best Potting Soil for Optimal Plant Growth

  1. Wonder Soil Potting Soil
  2. The Good Earth Organics Potting Soil
  3. THE VALLEY GARDEN Organic Potting Soil
  4. Mother Earth Products Potting Soil
  5. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Soil
  6. Buyer's Guide

Potting soil is an essential ingredient for any garden. A great potting mix will enrich the plants with nutrients, develop strong roots, and resist bugs. With so many options on the market, it could be confusing which one is best for your particular plants, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best potting soils in 2022 for any garden.

Comparing the Best Potting Soil for 2022

Wonder Soil Potting Soil - Top Pick

This organic potting mix contains coco coir, which has excellent water retention and aeration, promoting plant growth. This high-quality mix can help you grow more of your favorite garden plants. This potting soil is nutrient-rich and supports fast germination both indoors and outdoors. It is pre-mixed and ready to use.

The Good Earth Organics Potting Soil - Runner Up

The Good Earth Organics Potting Soil is a rich source of nutrients and a great choice for rapid root development. Clean Green Certified, this potting soil is a good option for seed starts and can be purchased in many different sizes from 2.5 gallon bags, 5 gallon, and 10 gallon for the small or large gardens.

THE VALLEY GARDEN Organic Potting Soil - Honorable Mention

This potting mix by The Valley Garden is imported from Canada and is perfect for cacti and succulents. It contains organic ingredients and is pH balanced for plants. When using this potting mix, the roots will have excellent breathability and helps prevent against rhizome rot from stagnant water.

Mother Earth Products Potting Soil - Contender

Mother Earth Coco Plus Potting Soil is a mix of 70% coconut coir and 30% perlite that will help keep your plants healthy and strong. Place indoor or outdoor plants directly in the mix. No need to mix other soils with it. Outstanding drainage and compaction resistant, Mother Earth mix is a great choice for any gardener.

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Soil - Consider

If you're a gardener, you know the name Miracle-Gro. This potting mix is made for indoor plants only and contains coconut coir like many others on the list which helps with drainage and resists compaction. It is specially formulated so that you won't get a lot of those pesky gnats that tend to sprout from your indoor plants.

Buyer's Guide

Does potting soil make a difference?

Yes, potting soil does make a whole lot of difference. This particular nutrient-packed soil provides your plant with the right structure to grow.

To understand this, let's have a look at a plant's soil requirements.

Fundamentally, the soil serves as a growing medium and enables roots to anchor. Plants also depend on soil for water, oxygen, and nutrients.

In an ideal environment (the field), plants can adjust and alter themselves to fulfill these needs. They may spread their roots to access nutrients and resources.

However, a pot is an example of a contained environment. Your plant does not have an abundance of soil to scavenge things from, and so you must ensure that the soil fulfills the needs.

Apart from this, the best soil for pot plants must also be capable of providing good aeration, better drainage, and ample space.

Since potted plants do not have bulks of the soil underneath, the water will accumulate in the roots. There's no room for roots to grow either. As a result, the roots remain constantly submerged in water that can inhibit growth.

Most soil types, such as garden soil, also are dense. The soil clumps together and prevent oxygen from entering. Your plants can suffocate too.

So, you need a looser yet better draining soil. It will provide ample space, better gaseous exchange, and the right moisture for the plant to grow.

Surprisingly, potting soil is the only type to fulfill all these requirements. Plants will indeed grow in any soil. However, only potting soil can help it grow healthily.

Types of potting soils

Potting soils come in a lot of variations, and each type serves a specific purpose. For healthy plant growth, you need to evaluate them and choose the one that fulfills your plant's needs the best.

Generally, there are four types of potting soils. These include:

All-purpose potting soil

If you're a beginner and do not know much about gardening, it's best to opt for all-purpose potting soil. It has a generic composition and works well for all plant types. So, you can get successful results while exploring and learning things.

Outdoor potting soil

The outdoor potting soil is specifically for plants meant to survive in the outdoor, harsh environment. It usually comes packed with fertilizers to boost growth.

Seed starting mix

This particular type focuses on the development of a seed and not a plant. It is a fine mixture that contains little nutrients. With it, the seed germinates successfully.

Also, since nutrient quantity is less, the roots branch out hunting for nutrients. Hence, it helps them grow faster.

Moisture control potting soil


At times, the moisture content of potting soil experiences extreme changes due to the weather. It may dry up quickly or remain wet.

In this case, opt for moisture control potting soil. It contains unique pellets that regulate moisture levels in the soil.

Choosing the Best Potting Soil

Once you've selected the type, it's time to move on to other significant features of potting soil. You need to consider each of these to ensure effective and quality results. Read more!

Organic VS Non-Organic

Potting soil has another prominent category; organic and non-organic. The organic potting soil comprises natural, plant/animal-based materials. It decomposes with time and releases nutrients.

Comparatively, a non-organic potting soil contains fertilizers. It does not last as long as organic but is equally efficient.

Composition


Although we know the components of potting soil, we do not know the ratios used by individual manufacturers. Different brands use different portions of nutrients to create potting soil. And so, we must evaluate it according to our plant's needs.

Quantity


The quantity of potting soil matters a lot. You need to consider the frequency of soil changes. Does your plant require fresh soil multiple times a week or gradually over weeks?

Purchase the pack size depending on the needs of your plant. You will find potting soil available in all sizes, ranging from small to bulk bags.

Potting soil VS potting mix

Often, people confuse potting soil with potting mix. While they do sound similar, these terms refer to two entirely different things.

Potting soil refers to a mix of different materials. These include compost, perlite, sphagnum moss, vermiculite, etc. Also, depending on the type, it may or may not contain garden soil and sand.

Since it contains a lot of material, it is heavy and non-sterile. Pathogens may make their way into the soil if not maintained properly.

Comparatively, potting mix is a soilless, sterile medium. It is perfectly safe to use for plants and won't cause any disease.

Potting mix mainly consists of organic matter and minerals. It may also include fertilizers. Plus, it is quite lightweight and fluffy.

Best Potting Soil FAQS

Does potting soil go bad?

No, potting soil does not go bad. However, its quality decreases over time that might not provide as good results as fresh soil. It is best to use potting soil within 6 to 12-months of opening the packet.

Is potting soil expensive?

The cost of potting soil varies with a lot of factors, such as type and quality. You will find potting soil prices ranging from $10 to $200+. Some premium brands even sell up to $500!

Generally, expensive potting soil options tend to offer more nutrient-rich composition. Using these, you do not need to add any extra fertilizer or growth-boosting chemicals. Your plants will grow healthy and strong organically.

Should I mix sand with my potting soil?

Yes, it's important to mix sand with potting soil thoroughly. Sand aerates the soil and gives it good drainage capabilities.

To mix, simply put potting soil and sand in a pot. Then, either use your hand or a tool to mix. Most people prefer wooden spoons for this purpose.

What can you use in place of potting soil?

Potting soil is a dense, nutrient-packed option for your plants. But, since it can be expensive, you can opt for its alternatives too. These include peat moss, compost, and sand.

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