The Best Potting Soil Mixture You Can Make at Home

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There’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to plant care, and that is most certainly true with potting soil mixtures. Why get store-bought when you can create the perfect mixture for your plants at home? Build a solid foundation for your plants using the following tips (and maybe a little trial and error).

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DIY Potting Soil Materials

Optional

If you cannot get your hands on the Fox Farms soils mentioned above, Miracle Grow Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Potting Mix is a great choice. You can use this type of soil for your other houseplants as well.  I would consider adding a bit of Worm Castings to the mixture for extra nutrients.

Why You Should Make Your Own Potting Mix

An important part of keeping a plant healthy is providing soil that has a good balance of water retention and aeration. This perfect balance will allow your plant to obtain the necessary nutrients for their roots. Not all plants like the same soil mixture, and rather than buying a different soil for each type of plant, it could be easier (and cheaper) to buy the materials. If you want to go the extra mile, you can use a balance to determine the density of your soil.

Many people start this process with customizing an existing soil mixture. Using a potting soil like the Fox Farms will create a fantastic foundation with some amazing nutrients to start. The amount of aeration will depend on a couple of items: 1) the type of plant you are looking to repot and 2) your watering habits.

Plants such as Calatheas, Marantas, Stromanthe, Ctenanthe, Alocasia, etc. really like water and humidity, so plants like this may need less aeration. Succulents, Cactus, and some Aroids like to dry out between waterings so more aeration may be needed.

If you are heavy-handed with the watering can, consider adding more amendments. If you tend to forget about your plants, add less!

That is the beauty of customizing your soil.

We strongly recommend you adding a small amount of Mosquito Bits to your soil. This product is great for preventing/eradicating fungus gnats. When you add this product to your soil, the active ingredient, BTI, will be released when you water your plants and kill fungus gnat larvae. This won’t last forever, but it’s a great way to passive deal/prevent a big issue!

DIY Potting Soil Proportions

Here is a good baseline recipe you can use for your plants (this a good mix for your aroids, especially philodendrons!)

  • 65% potting soil
  • 30% aeration materials
    • Majority of this will be Pumice with a bit of the Charcoal mixed in as well
  • 5% mosquito bits

Succulent Recipe

  • 50 potting soil
  • 45 aeration material
    • Majority of this will be Pumice with a bit of the Charcoal mixed in as well
  • 5% mosquito bits

Extra Notes: Perlite vs Pumice/Charcoal

Perlite is a great, accessible material if pumice is hard to find. However, perlite is much less dense than pumice and charcoal. After the first couple of waterings, it can float to the top of the mixture (thus not be as effective for aeration)

Vermiculite – moisture retention. Unless you are willing to change watering habits or already underwater, you may want to avoid this ingredient!

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