Best Potting Soil For Houseplants of 2020: Top 6 Picks

Last update: Oct 25, 2020

For those who find choosing a proper potting soil for indoor plants overwhelming – this article is for you. We’re confident that our research will help you find out the best potting soil for houseplants to meet your needs. Start with the following top list.

Here are the best potting soils for houseplants you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix
  • Best for a Fungus Gnat Control: Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix
  • Best for Moisture Retention: Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix
  • Best for Succulent: Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
  • Best for Root Growth: Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
  • Best for Orchids: PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix
6 Best Potting Soils For Houseplants
Best Overall
Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix
    Best for a Fungus Gnat Control
    Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix
      Best for Moisture Retention
      Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix
        Best for Succulent
        Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
          Best for Root Growth
          Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
            Best for Orchids
            PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix

              Best Overall: Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix

              Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix
              Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Organic

              • High moisture retention

              • Slow-release, up to 3 months

              • No gnats infestation

              • Affordable

              Cons
              • Over-watering or rainfall may cause water-logged issues.

              For organic use and excellent performance, the Burpee products are our most favorite. They bring you superb water holding capacity with a balanced NPK ratio formulated in an affordable package.

              What’s worth mentioning is their main ingredient - coconut coir, which is one of the best amendments for water retention. Coconut coir is natural and very lightweight, which doesn’t compress the soil but makes it airy and fluffy.

              Gardeners also don’t have to water their plants so often because this kind of dirt can maintain moisture well. The 8-quart bag helps nourish the soil up to 3 months but also gives fast-acting on the soil condition.

              It results in the healthy growth of houseplants and prevents bug infestation, which rarely presents in an organic one.

              Because of the specific characteristics of indoor potted plants, you are supposed to control the right amount of water to keep the soil from water-logged problems.

              Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              coconut coir

              pH

              6.5

              Container Size

              8 quarts

              Fertilizer Analysis

              0.12-0.12-0.12

              Highlight Features

              Organic, bug-free, slow-release (3 months)

              Verdict

              All-in-all, highlighting a high water-holding property at a cost-effective price point, the Burpee potting mix is a perfect choice for anyone.

              Best for a Fungus Gnat Control: Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix

              Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix
              Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix
              9.6Outstanding
              Pros
              • Good fungus gnat control

              • Lightweight

              • High water retention

              • Long time use, up to 6 months

              Cons
              • Need to add more sand or perlite to reduce the moisture content

              Try this if you feel tired enough of gnat infestation that is ever there when you take care of indoor container plants.

              With the mix of coconut coir, the soil benefits from its holding adequate moisture. The soil-building material also enables the roots to grow strong and be easy to breathe with a good condition of aeration and nutrition.

              The manufacturer confirmed there is no compost bark, which is an ideal environment for fungus gnat development.

              Moreover, the product is well-designed with a unique formula that is less prone to gnats. That’s why you don’t have to worry about the appearance of gnat eggs or black things any longer.

              Although gardeners can feed their plants once for 6 months, we recommend their succulents need repotting regularly because the soil may be compressed and poor-drained, which causes bug infestation or fertilization is also a great alternative.

              Miracle-Gro 72776430 Indoor Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              coconut coir

              pH

              6.5

              Container Size

              6 quarts

              Highlight Features

              No compost bark, slow-release (6 months)

              Verdict

              If fungus gnat infestation is your serious concern, we believe that this Miracle-Gro potting soil will surprise you.

              Best for Moisture Retention: Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix

              Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix
              Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Superb water retention

              • Organic

              • Good environment for root growth

              • Suitable for both indoor or outdoor containers

              Cons
              • Quite pricey

              The Espoma AP4 reminds us that for an indoor container soil to meet high recommendations of moisture retention; we don’t have to go big.

              For those who have never heard of Myco-tone, it is Mycorrhizal fungal soil additives that aid in promoting root growth. The Espoma company registered the trademark in 2009.

              Then, the blend of Myco-tone and several natural soil materials is beneficial to houseplants’ structure and drainage improvement.

              Sphagnum peat moss and peat humus are super light and acidic, but they offer an excellent base for beneficial microorganisms that promote soil quality.

              And, perlite and dolomitic limestone are a key plus which increases drainage capacity and balances soil PH level.

              Besides, the Myco-Tone water saving formula retains the adequate moisture level for indoor plants to be against root rots or being soggy.

              Despite a small package, it is worth your money thanks to its reliable performance for both indoor or outdoor plants.

              Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Sphagnum peat moss, peat humus, perlite, dolomitic limestone with Myco-tone

              Container Size

              4 quarts

              Highlight Features

              Organic, Myco-Tone water saving formula

              Verdict

              Are you searching for the best one for moisture retention? The Espoma AP4 is a great option that you won’t regret picking.

              Best for Succulent: Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

              Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
              Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Perfect for succulent plants

              • Proper drainage

              • Good aeration

              • Balanced soil pH

              Cons
              • A drainage hole needed for water to soak up the roots

              This potting soil comes with all the things you would need for succulents. Much as we researched, succulents or cacti prefer soils which can drain well and aerate for better root development.

              Whereas peat moss is the material for compact soil builders, sand and limestone help to break up the heavy soil and improve soil drainage. A balanced soil pH level makes the soil perfect for both different environments, jungle and desert.

              These kinds of succulents don’t have moisture preference, so gardeners are supposed to water them once a week. A tip for cactus care is to make a drainage hole on the soil to have water fill up the pot and soak the roots.

              Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Reed Sedge Peat, Perlite, Sand, and Limestone

              Container Size

              4 quarts

              Highlight Features

              Organic, a formula for both jungle and desert cacti, pH balanced

              Verdict

              While the majority of potting mixes on the market are either quick drainage or low moisture level, the Hoffman 10404 can give you both environments.

              Best for Root Growth: Premium All Purpose Potting Soil

              Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
              Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
              8Good
              Pros
              • Ready to use

              • High air porosity

              • Quick drainage

              • Sufficient for root growth
              Cons
              • Not lightweight

              The Premium All Purpose Potting Soil has some exclusive features to be the perfect potting soil for houseplants.

              As a medium-weight soil, the dirt is suitable for outdoor or potting situations. If you look for indoor container soil, it may be light and fluffy. Despite being a bit of heavy soil, the kind of product still benefits your plants by its highlights.

              With the ingredients of peat moss, bark, lime, perlite, the soil medium is airy at a proper retaining moisture level.

              It enables us to keep the soil drain quickly and absorb roots well that provides a plant full of nutrition. Consequently, it produces vibrant blooms and healthy root development.

              The plus benefit is to prevent the soil from bugs. It also feeds their plants up to 6 months and is super easy to use.

              Premium All Purpose Potting Soil Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Canadian sphagnum peat moss, processed softwood bark, perlite, dolomite lime, a controlled-release fertilizer, and a wetting agent.

              Container Size

              1.5 cubic feet

              Highlight Features

              Feed up to 6 months, perfect for flowering plants, bug-free

              Verdict

              The Premium All Purpose Potting Soil referred to as the champion potting soil in our top picks, making it the best choice for root growth.

              Best for Orchids: PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix

              PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix
              PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix
              8.4Good
              Pros
              • Good root growth

              • Proper drainage

              • Aeration

              • Resealable bag

              Cons
              • A little unpleasant odor

              With four natural ingredients, the PERFECT PLANTS product is persuasively the best potting soil for orchids in our test group.

              While pine bark provides aeration and reduces acidity, charcoal is helpful for pest control. Besides, coconut chips and sponge rocks are key amendments for substantial root growth.

              Next, the dirt enables the plants to drain well and hold water for a week, so you don’t need to water your orchids so often. Besides, excess moisture can lead to root rots and fall-off leaves.

              The product is packed in a resealable bag, which is user-friendly, allows you to store easily and reuse later.

              PERFECT PLANTS All Natural Orchid Potting Mix Specifications

              Primary Ingredient(s)

              Charcoal, sponge rock, pine bark, coconut chips

              Container Size

              4 quarts

              Highlight Features

              Organic, natural ingredients, resealable bag

              Verdict

              Packed with a resealable bag and many valuable features, the All-Natural Orchid Potting Mix is an easy-to-use and good quality potting mix for orchids.

              How To Choose The Best Potting Soil For Houseplants?

              Before considering the best potting soil for houseplants, we recommend searching the factors that all houseplants require.

              Water, air porosity, fertility, and anchoring are essential for indoor plants. Therefore, a proper potting soil has to meet the needs of such requirements.

              Our review mentioned three common types of potting soil: an all-purpose potting mix, succulent mix, and epiphyte mix.

              As you have read, the first kind can hold moisture and drain well at a relatively neutral pH. Conversely, succulents prefer quick drainage and low moisture level. Orchids and other weak-rooted plants need solid structure and medium aeration.

              For each type, there are many ingredients built up with four components like soil builders, aeration and drainage materials, fertility amendments, and water. Please carefully read the instructions on the elements and how to use a product properly to have the best results.

              One more thing is adjusting pH. There is a proper soil pH level according to each plant. Roots need the right pH to absorb nutrients, so you can refer to the ways of adjusting pH: limestone for raising pH and sulfur to lower pH.

              Which Brands Make The Best Potting Soil For Houseplants?

              Burpee

              Burpee Seed Company is considered one of the first companies worldwide in manufacturing seed and gardening supply products.

              It’s well-known for the innovation to the seed market and an ideal address for horticulturalists to refer gardening techniques and recipes. Their products also succeed in giving their customers a great experience to take care of plants at a low price.

              Miracle-Gro

              The Scotts Miracle-Gro is a leading global brand for garden products. Their products are natural and organic solutions for indoor gardening with high recommendations from consumers.

              Espoma

              Espoma is an American brand with a plentiful supply chain to let it offer a broad range of organic products like potting soils and plant fertilizers.

              Fifty million pounds, an average amount of organic fertilizer available on the market per year, proves that their products ranked the top-notch position and trusted by consumers over 90 years.

              FAQs

              What is the difference between soil and potting mix?

              Soil is not recommended for houseplants because it contains pathogens or bugs and is too heavy for roots to breathe, even suffocates plants in a container. On the other hand, a potting mix is formulated by unique ingredients that help a plant grow well in a pot.

              What can I use instead of potting soil?

              You can mix your potting soil by yourself. And avoid using compost or manure because its nutrients and pH are not suitable for houseplants.

              Can I mix garden soil and potting mix?

              Yes, you can. But garden soil is not suitable for potted plants because it is heavy and less aerated.

              Can you make potting soil for indoor plants?

              Yes, you can. Please refer to some gardening book or experts’ advice before mixing. Gardeners recommend your potting soil combines 60% of soil builders and 40% of nutrients and aeration material.

              Why are there bugs in my plant soil?

              Because bugs love to live and breed in moist soil and organic matters, your plant soil is an ideal condition for their residence.

              Conclusion

              To conclude, it may be struggling for you to take the best potting soil for houseplants. So, before making a purchase, we recommend you clarify the most important features to you. Hope you read the guide until the end.

              Thanks for reading!


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