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Best Soil For Pots | Australian Buying Guide

Choosing the right soil for pots is important. Indoor plants require well-draining, but moisture-retaining soil. Unlike top soil, soil for potted plants is far lighter and filled with a larger variety of organic material.

Still, the best soil will depend on what you’re trying to grow. Here’s our guide on everything you need to know when it comes to the best soil for pots. 

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Can You Use Regular Soil in Your Planters?

Potting mix are designed specifically for potting

Using regular soil for your planter is not recommended. Garden soil is far too heavy and tends to compact very easily. Indoor plants require loose porous soil, so you’ll struggle to get your roots to grow if you use regular soil. 

Plus, when using regular soil, you run the risk of transferring bacteria, pests and other soil issues along with it. 

Pot soil, potting mix or container mix is specifically designed to drain well, but still retain the much needed moisture. This soil is aerated and sterile with a lightweight balance of organic materials like peat, coir, bark and perlite or vermiculite. 

How Do You Make Soil For Pots?

The best soil for pots planters has a good balance of organic materials and keeps the roots aerated. Of course, the exact right soil will depend entirely on what you’re growing. 

Herbs, for instance, prefer a perlite heavier soil mixture. Whereas basket container plants, like baby tears or philodendron prefer a solid mix between peat, bark and vermiculite.  

Garden soil is a common option for your soil pot

So, what are the main components of a good soil pot? 

  • Perlite/ Vermiculite. 

    Both perlite and vermiculite are comprised of volcanic materials and form the mineral aggregates within the soil. These little ‘rocks’ are naturally filled with air, which will keep your soil aerated.

    Plus, they prevent any important nutrients from washing away with watering. 
  • Peat Moss / Sphagnum Moss

    The moss component helps the pot soil to retain moisture. It helps to add substance to sandy soils and holds nutrients more effectively than perlite.

    Having a lower PH, peat moss also helps to balance soil PH levels
  • Sand/ Sawdust/ Shredded Bark

    These elements add just the right amount of texture to the soil. Sawdust and shredded bark are known to be super-high in carbon and will boost your plants ability to absorb nutrients.

    Sand is used to supplement additional drainage. 

More commercial soil mixes will also offer soil pot mix which has added fertilizer or compost. Modern mixes for particularly moisture-needy plants will even include hydrogels and water storing crystals.

The Best Soil for Pot Plants

The right soil pot mix will depend entirely on what you’re trying to grow. So, here’s some recommendations for:

Plants & Flowers:

For most plants and flowers, a decent general potting mix will do the trick. Anything with a good mix of peat, vermiculite and perlite, such as:

Debco Premium Potting Mix

Source: Amazon

This multi-use potting soil is ideal for indoor and outdoor plants. It offers a premium blend of horticultural ingredients designed, enriched with seaweed fertilizer which promotes biological activity.  For thriving indoor plants, choose Debco.

Garden Essentials Multi-Purpose Potting Mix

Source: Amazon

This reliable potting soil offers a rich blend or perlite, sphagnum moss and humus, enhanced with a Myco-Tone water saving formula to keep your soil moist and nutrient filled. Perfect for indoor and outdoor containers. 

For Herbs & Vegetables: 

Herbs and vegetables love a good gritty soil pot mix. Choose something with a variety of organic matter like:

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix

Source: Amazon

This enriched growing mix is filled with a slow-release plant food just perfect for vegetables and herbs. Whether indoors or outdoors, this potting mix is the way to go for fresh, delicious herbs and veggies.

For Succulents & Cacti:

Succulents thrive in porous, sandy soil mixes. The more coarse the soil, the better. We recommend: 

Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

Source: Amazon

This pot soil is perfect for tropical plants and cacti. It provides a PH-balanced, highly aerated soil mixture which drains quickly. Developed for both jungle and desert succulents and cacti. 

Espoma CA4 4-Quart Organic Cactus Mix

Source: Amazon

This all-organic cactus mix provides just the right amount of water retention. Enhanced with myco-tone, this soil mix will keep your plants happy and root rot free. 

For Orchids: 

Orchids require a very particular mix of organic ingredients to ensure roots get the right amount of moisture. For these particularly picky plants we recommend: 

Sun Bulb 50000 Better GRO Special Orchid Mix, 4-Quart

Source: Amazon

This potting mixture combines bark, charcoal and sponge rock to promote healthy roots and proper drainage. You won’t go wrong with this expert-engineered potting mix. 

For Seedlings & Cuttings: 

Baby plants require far more nutrients and growth stimulates, so you’ll want to choose a seeding mix when it comes to the beginning stages of growing new plants. Choose something like:

Debco Seed & Cutting Mix

Source: Amazon

This mix is specifically designed to promote fibrous root growth and give your plants the exact right nutrients and the right time. Tested, textured and balanced this seeding mix will hope you grow plenty of new little plants. 

What’s The Difference Between Topsoil and Potting Soil

Potting soil is the ideal choice for anything in a container. Alternatively, top soil is what you’ll want to use to enrich the soil in your garden. 

Top soil is considered to be dirt. It’s an equal mix of sand, clay and compost which will be far too grainy and rough for any indoor plant. 

Potting soil is light and enriched to make sure your plant’s roots have plenty of space and nutrients to grow. 

Soil For Pots Australian Buying Guide

Final Thoughts on the Best Soil For Pots in Australia

Whether you’re planning to mix together your own ideal soil mix, or whether you want to just buy a pre-made mix, the best soil for planters is one that drains well while holding moisture. 

Always check exactly what your plant needs when it comes to the right pot soil. Buying the best soil for pots doesn’t need to be difficult when you really know what you’re looking for.

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