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Best Potting Soils Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: 06.04.20

 

Best Potting Soil Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide

 

Finding the best potting soil for your needs is not easy. Buying a product of this sort takes a lot of research, and this takes quite a bit of time. To help you out, we did the legwork for you by assessing the best-rated choices currently available. As a result, we have concluded that the Organic Harvest Potting Mix Soil is the option that you should consider. This product is made of natural and organic ingredients and it can be used for all types of container-grown plants, including vegetables, flowers, and herbs. The mix contains no animal or human waste and it is simple to use. This soil facilitates water circulation and drainage and it aids root penetration. If this kind of soil is out of stock, feel free to consider the Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm And Citrus Potting Mix, as it has also received outstanding reviews from previous buyers who have tried it.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

10 Best Potting Soil For Plants (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

Buying a bag of potting soil that is both affordable and rich in nutrients is a lot trickier than you might think. Currently, the market is filled with countless alternatives that you can try and, as a result, selecting one product can prove difficult. Here is a list of options that have received great reviews from previous buyers.

 

 

1. Organic Harvest Potting Mix Soil 

 

This potting soil is environmentally friendly. It was made of all organic and natural ingredients and it can be used when planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables. It is especially suitable for all container-grown plants.

What is more, it is worth pointing out that this option was made using no animal or human waste. The soil has a lightweight and porous consistency and, as a result, it facilitates root penetration as well as water drainage and air circulation.

Before you use it for planting, it is recommended that you soak the root of the plant in water and that you also wet the soil. By doing so, you can prevent it from drying at a fast pace. The bag of soil that you will receive if you decide to purchase this product is 4 quarts and it can be used for seed starting or for transplanting a plant into an 8-10″ pot.

 

Pros

This soil is made of organic and natural ingredients and it is a good choice to use for planting herbs, vegetables as well as flowers.

Its formula allows for root penetration and air circulation. Plus, this soil allows the water that you add to drain correctly.

Instructions on how to use the soil in order to prevent it from getting too dry are also included in the deal. So, this product is perfect for beginners.

This option was not made using animal or human waste. It is suitable to be used for container-grown plants.

 

Cons

Given the size of this bag of soil, it could be argued that it is rather expensive. Still, this soil can be used for a wide array of applications.

You should know that this mix includes some rocks and sticks. However, the choice is still easy to use and packed with nutrients.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

2. Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm And Citrus Potting Mix 

 

This alternative has a fast-draining formula that makes it suitable to be used when growing cactus, citrus, palm, and succulents. According to the seller, the plants that you grow using this soil will be beautiful in color.

Moreover, this potting mix is enriched with special ingredients that can provide the plants with the added nutrients that they need to grow healthily for up to six months. To use it, you need to drain a hole in the container that you intend to use, to fill 1/3 parts of it with the mix and to place the root into the container. Finally, fill the remaining part of the container with more soil and press lightly.

If you own a citrus plant, it is recommended that you re-pot it annually as this will encourage fruiting. Because it contains forest products, perlite, and sand, this soil will not become compact as other mixes often do.

 

Pros

This is the ideal product for you if you need a soil mix that you can use to plant succulents, citrus plants or cacti.

It is shipped alongside clear instructions that can help you plant your favorite plants easily and safely. This is especially handy for novices.

This product has a fast-drying formula and it is specially made so that it will not get compact easily.

Because it is enriched with many nutrients, this mix can help your beloved plants grow fast and beautifully. It can supply them with feed for up to six months.

 

Cons

The soil might contain fruit flies. This is not a drawback that many previous buyers have pointed to and, consequently, it should not discourage you from trying it.

Moreover, this mix contains forest products such as sticks. Still, it should be noted that the sticks help keep the soil loose and that they make it fertile.

Buy from Amazon.com

 

 

 

3. Bliss Gardens Premium Organic Potting Soil Mix 

 

This choice is suitable to be used for a wide array of applications. You can utilize it for seed startling, to plant flowers and herbs, as well as in terrariums. It is handmade in the USA using organically sourced ingredients that can supply your plants with the needed nutrients.

Among the ingredients that were used to make it are bat guano, mycorrhizae, peat moss, perlite, horticultural charcoal, and coconut coir. The mycorrhizae that it features create a network of what the seller describes as filaments. These filaments can encourage the plant to grow as they help the root of the plant get fixed better into the soil. This soil is shipped in a bag that contains 4 dry quarts.

It can be used with succulents, as well as with carnivorous plants. So, if you own a Venus flytrap, this might be just the soil that you need. The mixture is simple to use.

 

Pros

This soil mix is hand made and it contains plenty of nutrients that can help your plants grow healthy and fast.

All the ingredients that were used to make this mix are organic and natural. So, you don’t have to worry about the wellbeing of your plants.

The soil can be used for seed starting, for growing flowers and vegetables, as well as with terrariums. It is shipped fast.

One bag of the mix is one gallon in size. The soil is perfect for succulents because it is lightweight and well-drained.

 

Cons

Because you only get one gallon of soil, you might need to order more than one bag to be able to re-pot all of your plants.

The choice is not necessarily budget-friendly, especially given the quantity of soil that you get for the money. However, the soil is packed with many nutrients and it is organic.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.5)

 

 

 

4. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Organic Mix 

 

This soil can be used for both indoor and outdoor plants. It is made of organic ingredients and it features added fertilizers that can help your plants grow fast and healthy. The bag of soil is shipped alongside a pair of very practical protective gloves that you can use when doing potting work in the comfort of your home.

This particular kind of soil can be used right out of the bag and it is the ideal environment for seeds to develop into vigorous plants. It has an aerated and lightweight composition that makes it suitable to be used with a wide array of plants.

Besides, it is worth noting that the pH level of the soil is adjusted from 6.3 to 6.8 so that it can allow for fertilizer uptake. The soil is packed with many micronutrients that enrich it and make it a suitable choice for container-grown plants.

 

Pros

You can use this product right out of the bag. It has a lightweight and aerated consistency that makes it perfect to use for growing plants from seeds.

The soil is organic and it can be used to grow both indoor and outdoor plants, depending on your needs and preferences.

Its pH level was adjusted from 6.3 to 6.8 so that the fertilizer that it includes can perform as expected.

This choice is a versatile organic medium that can help you create a versatile planting environment. By using it, you can create your own garden at home.

 

Cons

There is a small chance that the soil is shipped in a box that is a bit flimsy. It all depends on how the soil is transported.

When compared to other models, this soil is a bit pricey. Yet, it features fertilizers and it is specially formulated to be used both indoors and outdoors.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($94.99)

 

 

 

5. Michigan Peat 1460 Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil 

 

This is an all-purpose lightweight soil that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It comes along with a fertilizer package that includes both slow-release and starter fertilizers. Therefore, you don’t have to buy extra fertilizers for your plants.

The soil is made of a blend of various ingredients, including pre-moistened sphagnum peat. You can use it right out of the bag for potted plants, rooted cuttings, starting seeds and bulbs. The pack includes 8 quarts of soil.

It should be said that this soil has a light constancy. Therefore, one bag of it might not be sufficient for you to re-pot all your plants. So, keep this aspect in mind before you place your order.

This option is fairly easy to use by both novices and seasoned plant lovers. To keep your hands protected at all times, it might be best that you use gardening gloves when doing the potting.

 

Pros

This premium potting soil is very versatile as it can be used with plants of all types. You can utilize it outdoors, as well as indoors.

It comes with fertilizers that can supply your plants with the needed nutrients for them to grow fast and beautifully.

You can use it with starting seeds because of its rich formula, or with bulbs, rooted cuttings or with plants that have to be repotted.

The soil is lightweight and it was made using pre-moistened sphagnum peat as well as other nutrient-rich ingredients.

 

Cons

If you are on a strict budget, this product might not be the right option for you. If you want to you can combine it with another potting soil.

This soil might contain some bugs. This should not be an issue provided that you use the soil outdoors. Also, not all bags of the soil contain insects.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.14)

 

 

 

6. Fox Farm Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil Mix 

 

If you want to repot your beloved plants and you need an organic soil that is rich in nutrients, this product might be just what you need. Because it includes soil microbes, this soil can actively improve the root efficiency of your plants and it can help them uptake more nutrients so that they grow faster.

This model was specially made to be used for container-grown plants and, as a result, you can use it when growing flowers, herbs or even vegetables. It is recommended that you use it for container gardens. For added convenience, this soil can be used right out of the bag. Its formula was pH adjusted so that it allows for an optimized fertilizer uptake.

On top of that, this product comes shipped alongside protective gloves that you can use when gardening. They are made of sturdy materials and can keep your hands dirt-free at all times.

 

Pros

This soil is rich in nutrients and, consequently, it can provide your plants with all the nutrients that they need to grow.

Because it is pH adjusted, this mix allows the plants to better use the nutrients that it contains than other similar counterparts do.

The option can be used with various types of plants, including vegetables and flowers. It is perfect to use for container gardens.

Given that the product comes with a protective set of gloves, you don’t have to spend extra money before you start repotting your beloved plants.

 

Cons

This soil does not come cheap. So, if you are on a budget, this product might not be the right choice for you.

In rare cases, the soil contains gnats, However, this is a rare occurrence and, thus, you should not feel discouraged from trying it. Plus, it contains fertilizers and it comes with a pair of gardening gloves.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

7. Dr. Earth 749688008136 813 Gold Premium Potting Soil 

 

This option comes in an 8 qt. bag and it is made of organic materials like alfalfa meal, cold water kelp, wild-caught fish and other nutrients. In fact, the product is OMRI listed. It was specially formulated to be used for both indoor and outdoor potting and container use and it is marketed as being safe for both humans and pets.

It is a perfect choice to use with flowers, herbs and vegetables alike. On top of that, the soil can also be used for soil amendment and it is a good purchase if you intend to utilize it for in-ground plantings of trees, bare roots, and shrubs.

Another feature that makes this soil stand out is the fact that it contains special soil microbes such as ecto and endo mycorrhizae that help the plants grow faster.  This type of soil is highly versatile and it can be used for a wide array of applications.

 

Pros

This choice can be used for both indoor and outdoor potting. It is suitable to be utilized with potted plants.

Because it contains numerous nutrients, it can keep your plants looking healthy and thriving. The model is made of organic ingredients and it is OMRI listed.

The soil contains ecto and endo mycorrhizae, also known as soil microbes that can help your plants grow fast and beautiful.

It is safe for people and pets and, by using it, you don’t risk endangering your family and loved ones.

 

Cons

When compared to other products, this soil is a bit drier. This does not mean that the plants that you plant in it will not thrive in it.

Given that a bag of the soil only contains 8 quarts, it could be argued that this model is a bit expensive. Still, it is made using organic ingredients and it features many nutrients.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.86)

 

 

 

8. FoxFarm FX14053 + FX14054 Ocean Forest 

 

This is a unique mix of mycorrhizal fungi and soil microbes that actively expand root development. The forest humus that it contains helps the plants retain moisture more easily so that the vegetables or the flowers that you plant in it grow beautifully.

Moreover, this soil contains a blend of various ingredients such as crab meal, bat guano, earthworm castings and moss, a combination that makes it highly nutritious for various plants. This soil is also pH adjusted so that it can allow for optimum nutrient uptake.

Because it is well aerated, it allows for root growth and extension, thus, you can use it for container gardens. Given its consistency, this soil can be used right out of the box for numerous applications, including for raised beds. Differently from other products, this deal includes two bags of 12-quart soil. You do not need to use it with additional nitrogen fertilizers.

 

Pros

This soil contains beneficial soil microbes and fungi that encourage root development. It has an aerated texture that makes it easy to use.

Because of its composition, this soil can help your plants get all the moisture that they need in order to thrive.

The pH level of the soil was adjusted from 6.3 to 6.8 so that your beloved plants can extract the optimum amount of fertilizers that they need.

Plus, this model comes with many benefits as it encourages healthy growth habits and strong branching. It can be used with plants of all kinds.

 

Cons

If you are a novice, it is recommended that before you use this product for the first time, you go online and read instructions on how to use it.

Even though it is marketed as an all-round type of soil, if you own plants that need a certain kind of nutrition, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients that this model features.

Buy from Amazon.com

 

 

 

9. Michigan Peat 1440 Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil 

 

You can use this soil for both indoor and outdoor applications. It is particularly suitable for potted plants, starting seeding, rooted cuttings and bulbs. The bag of soil that you will receive if you decide to order it is 40-quart. Therefore, you will surely get enough soil to repot most of your plants.

The product comes ready to use out of the bag and it features a fertilizer package that can come in handy, especially if you want to provide your plants with a boost of nutrition. Because the fertilizer is already mixed into the soil, you don’t have to spend extra time figuring out how to use it. The choice has a lightweight and aerated formula that makes it simple to maneuver.

Among the ingredients that it includes is moistened sphagnum peat that is especially good for germination. By using it, you can help your plants develop beautifully and even thrive.

 

Pros

This soil contains pre-moistened sphagnum peat, an ingredient that can actually encourage germination. Thus, you can use it for starting seeds.

It contains a special type of fertilizer that is already mixed into the soil so that you don’t have to waste time trying to figure out a safe way to do so.

You can use this unique mix indoors, as well as outdoors. It is suitable to be used with potted plants, rooted cuttings, and bulbs.

The formula of this soil is also worth considering because of its lightweight consistency that makes it particularly simple to use.

 

Cons

This choice is somewhat pricey. However, given that it comes in a 40-quart bag, you can use it to re-pot many of your plants.

This option is not entirely organic. So, if you want to buy a kind of soil that is eco-friendly and made of natural ingredients, you need to explore other options.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.57)

 

 

 

10. RePotme African Violet Imperial Potting Mix 

 

This soil is made of a combination of forest humus, peat moss, sponge rock and vermiculite and, thus, it can supply your plants with the needed nutrients. The one aspect that makes this product worth your while is the fact that it was specially formulated to be used with African violets. This plant is very popular in spring as it is considered a symbol of faithfulness, devotion, and loyalty.

If you own an African violet, you probably know that it has to be repotted every six months or at least once a year. This 2-quart bag of soil is perfect for the job. The consistency of the soil allows it to remain moist for a longer time so that your plants can thrive in a humid environment.

In the spring and summer, when the African violets enter their growing season, it is recommended that you use some extra fertilizers to provide your flowers with an extra boost of nutrition.

 

Pros

If you own African violets, this is the best option for you, as it was specially formulated to be used with this type of plant.

The soil is made of a special blend of ingredients such as sponge rock, peat moss, vermiculite, and forest humus.

It comes in a 2-quart bag that contains a fresh batch of soil that you can use for repotting your beloved plants in the comfort of your home.

This soil bag is packaged in such a way so that its contents won’t spread over during transportation.

 

Cons

This deal includes a small bag that contains 2 quarts of soil. However, you can opt for a bigger sized bag if you need more soil for your plants.

It could be argued that this soil is expensive. Still, it is specially formulated to be used with African violets and it can supply your plants with an optimum growing environment.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

Searching for the best potting soil for indoor plants is a task that takes quite a bit of research and effort. If you are a complete novice looking for a new bag of soil that you can use to re-pot your plants, this buying guide is packed with tips and tricks that can help you make an informed decision.

Organic vs. non-organic

One aspect that you should consider according to most potting soil reviews is whether or not you want to buy an organic or a non-organic product. Each of the two choices come with both advantages and disadvantages.

Organic soils are often preferred by those buyers who do not want to invest in products that contain added chemicals. However, these options are not enriched with as many nutrients that can help the plants improve their growth rhythm. Some of the most common ingredients that you are used in the best organic potting soil are bone meal, compost, fish meal, mushroom compost, and soybean.

Non-organic alternatives contain, as their name suggests, ingredients that are not entirely natural. These soils include, among others, added ingredients such as bark, peat moss or vermiculite. When compared to organic options, a non-organic potting soil mix is, usually, much more affordable. So, if you are on a budget, this alternative might be better suited for you.

 

Nutrients and density

If you have read a potting soil review before, you probably already understand the importance of nutrients in a product of this kind. The main reason why this is the case has a lot to do with its ability to supply the plants with the minerals that they need to grow vigorously and healthy.

No matter if you want to buy a non-organic or an organic potting soil, be sure to take a close look at what the manufacturer has to say about the ingredients that the soil features. A soil that has a good formula can retain nutrients better and it can ensure that your plants are well nurtured at all times.

The best potting soil for herbs is a soil that has a suitable density. If the soil is not aerated accordingly, as time goes by, it will become compact and, thus, it will interfere with the health of the roots of the plant. Even more so, in some cases, the wrong type of soil can cause the plant to suffocate.

Additional tips and tricks

There is no such thing as a miracle grow potting soil. However, if you understand the requirements of the plants that you own, you can opt for specific types of soil that can help your plants to grow and flourish as expected.

To make sure that you find a soil that works for you, we recommend that you search specifically for potting soil for orchids, African violets or succulents. These mixes are carefully formulated to provide the specific kind of plants that you are growing with the right type of nutrients.

The indoor potting soil that you decide to get should contain a variety of nutrients, and not just one type, as this will mean that your plants will not be able to thrive. This is the main reason why it is recommended that you make your decision after carefully assessing the ingredients that a product features.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is potting soil and what can you use it for?

Potting soil is an umbrella term used to describe a wide array of soils that are used for plants that are grown in containers and pots. By comparison to garden soil, potting soil has a much more lightweight consistency and it often features added fertilizers that supply the plants with the needed nutrition that they need in order to thrive.

When searching for an affordable potting soil, it is recommended that you consider the type of plant that you own. Because each plant has specific needs, you will need to supply it with a particular type of soil that can provide it with the substances that it needs to grow. If you are a novice, keep in mind that all-purpose potting soils are also available.

Some of the main features that you should not neglect when shopping in this line of products are density, air circulation, and the presence of certain nutrients.

Q: How long does potting soil last?

No matter if you buy an expensive or a cheap potting soil, you have to remember that the age and the improper storage of this kind of soil can cause it to degrade. In general, the use life of a product of this sort varies depending on a number of factors.

In simple terms, unused soil can last for about six months, while used soil has to be replaced yearly or once every two years. Depending on the plant that you own and its growth habits, you might have to replace its soil at different times.

As time passes, plants soak up all the nutrients that they can extract from the soil. This is why repotting your plants is a step that you should not overlook. If you don’t want to throw away the soil that you already own, you can mix it with fertilizers to enrich its composition.

 

Q: Can I reuse the soil from a dead plant?

Yes, you can reuse the soil from a dead plant. However, because soil can harbor anything from fungal spores to insects and bacteria, all of which can prove deadly for your new plant, you should sanitize it before you use it again.

To start, you have to remove the dead plant, including its roots, from the soil. Next, use a disposable roasting pan and fill it with the old potting soil. Add water so that the soil gets moist, and not muddy or soggy. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and poke a hole in its center. Place an oven meat thermometer in the hole.

Preheat the oven to 200 Fahrenheit degrees and place the pan in the oven. Bake the soil at140 Fahrenheit degrees for 30 minutes. Finally, wait until the soil cools down before you use it again. You can mix it with fertilizers.

If your previous plant died from a disease, it is advisable that you throw the soil away and that you don’t try to sterilize it. In most cases, viral organisms can actually survive the sterilization process.

 

 

 

 

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