15 DIY Potting Soil Ideas for Your Houseplants (With Pictures)
The beautifying effect of houseplants can quickly become addicting after you bring the first few pots into your home. Who wouldn’t love the refreshing look and feel of lush greenery filling their space? But as your houseplant habit grows, so will the cost to maintain it.
Homemade potting soil is an excellent way to feed your love of indoor gardening without draining your wallet. Here are eight DIY potting soil ideas for your houseplants to test out today!
The 15 DIY Potting Soil Ideas for Your Houseplants
1. Simple Homemade Potting Soil Recipe by Hearth and Vine
You don’t have to overthink your DIY mix, as these super-simple homemade potting soil instructions illustrate. The creator of this potting soil enhancement uses perlite to increase the drainage and aeration of a store-bought soilless potting mix.
After wetting the perlite, combine it with the potting soil. Mix the soil and perlite in a 3:1 or 3:2 ratio, using more perlite for a lighter blend. Since it costs around $10 or less, this mix is a great way to improve the soil quality for your houseplants and stretch your gardening dollar.
2. The Best Potting Soil for Indoor Plants from Smart Garden Guide
Houseplants are as diverse as garden varieties, and tending to individual preferences can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this walkthrough for the best potting soil, you gain essential insights for building the most beneficial mix for your plants. By teaching why the recipe works, it spells out a simple approach to an often complicated concept.
The author ends with a breakdown of their preferred combination for optimal potting soil. Before you get there, you’ll learn about each component’s role, different materials you can use, and various types of complete mixes. From foundation to fertilizer, you develop an understanding of how to tweak each ingredient for optimal growth.
3. Botanical Paperworks Indoor Potting Soil Mix
Exact measurements are less of a concern in this indoor potting soil mix recipe. The author notes that you can affect the nutrient balance, water retention, and aeration to suit different plants by playing with the ingredients. The critical consideration is the quality of the components. A video tutorial breaks down the characteristics of great potting mixes and offers suggestions on achieving the most benefits from yours.
4. The Peculiar Rose DIY House Plant Soil
Quality potting soil can help your plant in several ways, and it’s easy to miss an essential benefit by skimping on a particular material. With this five-part potting mix, you don’t have to worry about short-changing your plants. A well-measured combination of coconut coir, fir bark, perlite, worm castings, and charcoal delivers a potent source of nutrients and organic pest prevention.
5. Easy Homemade Potting Mix from Feline Jungle
A lighter potting soil makes for healthier houseplants, and sometimes your everyday all-purpose mix can use an extra kick to give those roots the best chance to thrive.
Store-bought soil is the foundation for this easy homemade potting mix the author uses for snake plants, hoyas, and philodendrons. With the addition of perlite, charcoal, and orchid mix, you can improve the soil’s aeration and moisture retention while adding volume. It’s an easy and inexpensive opportunity to get more miles out of your houseplant potting soil.
6. Nourishing Joy Three-Part Potting Mix
The straightforward approach to making potting soil offered in this tutorial allows you to formulate a scratch-made mix without stressing your skills or finances. Vermiculite, peat moss, and compost combine to form the perfect balance of nutrition and structure for healthy plants. The creator offers ideas for optimizing the blend for succulents and tips on making big batches of homemade potting soil.
7. Potting Soil for Soil Blocks from The Art of Doing Stuff
Who ever heard of potting soil without the pot? A soil block uses dense soil compaction for container-less gardening, a quirky technique that is both fun to try and convenient for seedlings you plan to transplant. And while the maker of this DIY potting soil bases it around the soil block method, it’s equally effective as a standard indoor plant mix.
Alongside the coconut coir, peat moss, and perlite typical of most houseplant potting soils, this recipe includes the rare addition of native garden soil. The nutrient-diverse ingredient is one of several fertilizing layers. The potting mix is more complex than most other items on this list, but its rich composition will make even the pickiest indoor plants happy.
8. Natalie Linda’s DIY Succulent Soil
Succulents are some of the most attractive houseplants available, and they deserve quality potting soil to help them flourish and brighten your space. Regular potting soil typically isn’t suitable. Following this simple DIY recipe, you’ll learn how to blend potting mix and mineral material to the perfect consistency for an airy, well-drained soil your succulents will love.
9. Succulent Potting Mix by Maison de Pax
One thing succulents absolutely need to thrive is soil with excellent drainage. These plants cannot survive in moist or soggy water and prefer being left unattended than overwatered. Due to succulent’s sensitive nature to being overwatered, finding the ideal soil type can be challenging. This is why you need to create your own potting mix, allowing your succulents to grow in soil with proper and adequate drainage.
The best mix to use is the one that contains regular potting soil mixed with perlite and coarse sand. Simply create this mix, pour it into a large plastic container and watch your succulents thrive.
10. Deuce Cities Hen House DIY Cactus Soil Mix
To grow your own cactus collection at home, it is absolutely crucial to provide them with the right type of soil. We all know the specific conditions a cactus needs to grow and thrive, so finding the proper soil is essential. Cacti need extremely porous soil, dry and with excellent drainage properties. The best soil for cacti is the one that is rich in organic material and coarse particles.
To create your own potting mixture for a cactus, you must mix potting soil with pumice, coarse sand, or poultry grit. Granite, coarse sand, or aquarium rock can work instead of poultry grit.
11. African Violet Potting Mix from Baby Violets
African Violet is another plant with specific requirements when it comes to soil type. For this plant to thrive, the soil needs to be loose and well-aerated. The best potting soil mix for the African Violet is peat moss with vermiculite and perlite. It is important to remember to repot African Violet every 6 months.
While you may be urged to repot the plant in a slightly larger pot each time, it is recommended to keep it in the same pot.
12. Cori Sears Potting Soil Mix for Aroids
Creating an ideal potting soil for Aroids is not a challenging thing to do. The best soil mixture you can provide for your Aroid houseplants is a mixture of peat moss, perlite, orchid bark, and all-purpose potting soil. Some of the most popular Aroids are Monsteras and ZZ plants. These plants love chunky soil with good drainage and high organic content.
If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can add to your mix compost, worm castings, or even manure.
13. Orchid Potting Mix from Every Day Orquids
If you are passionate about your houseplants, especially about growing orchids, you surely know how difficult this task can sometimes be. Orchids have particular requirements when it comes to their ideal soil, and everything needs to be perfect for your orchid to thrive. A typical Orchid potting mix will consist of perlite, charcoal, moss, coconut fiber, bark, and tree fern.
When choosing the perfect mixture for an orchid, it is recommended to select the one with large chunks of bark without any fine particles, dirt, dust, and degraded materials.
14. Liquidambar Girl Gardening Peace Lily Potting Mix
The Peace Lily is a very delicate plant, and many owners find themselves having trouble pleasing it. For this plant to survive and thrive, it needs to have some of its basic needs met precisely. Since the roots of Peace Lily are so sensitive, any soil which contains fertilizer will burn the roots. The plant won’t die from this type of malnourishment, but it won’t thrive and be happy.
To ensure your Peace Lily grows strong and sturdy, you need to create an ideal potting mix containing perlite, orchid bark, coco coir, worm castings, and charcoal. Doing so may save your Peace Lily even after being neglected.
15. Potting Mix for Pothos from Housestead Gardener
Many people face difficulties growing Pothos in a particular type of soil. An inappropriate selection for the potting mix for Pothos can cause the plant to wilt slowly, and while this plant can survive many environmental conditions, the proper soil type can make a significant difference. Pothos plants enjoy well-drained but not dry soil that is slightly acidic.
To make a perfect Pothos potting soil mix, you must mix peat moss with compost, coco coir, sand, perlite, vermiculite, and shredded bark.
How Do I Make Potting Soil for Houseplants?
With limited space for roots to grow and water to linger, houseplants need potting soil to be loose, aerated, and well-draining. Soilless mixes are generally the best option. They’re sterile, so pests and disease won’t be an issue, and the light blend offers the most permeability for oxygen and moisture.
Some of the most common potting soil ingredients include:
- Peat moss or coconut coir for moisture retention and aeration
- Perlite or vermiculite for improved drainage and porosity
- Pine bark boosts air
- Sand for better drainage
- Lime for balanced pH levels
- Compost and fertilizers to supply nutrients
These and other ingredients merge in different quantities to suit succulents, flowers, herbs, and assorted houseplants. To make life easier, you can also buy commercial potting soil and bolster it with perlite and other amendments to improve its structure for indoor pots.
Potting soils should stay in sealed plastic bags or bins to prevent moisture or pest problems. Keep your containers in a cool, dry place. When stored properly, your homemade potting soil may last well over a year.
Can You Use Outdoor Soil for Indoor Plants?
Sporting loads of beneficial nutrients and microbes, you’d think that topsoil would have the same positive effect on your indoor plants as it does on your garden. But there are several good reasons why topsoil isn’t part of the average DIY potting soil for houseplants. It’s heavy and prone to compaction, and the nutrients you’ll find in it may not suit your indoor plants.
Topsoil works best when roots have plenty of space to spread. Using it for indoor containers will negatively impact aeration, drainage, and root growth. The roots won’t receive enough oxygen or the proper amount of water with denser soil. Water will either fail to travel through the soil or get trapped around the roots and drown them.
Outdoor soil, whether topsoil or otherwise, isn’t only a poor fit for indoor plants; it could be a health hazard, too. Along with root rot and stunted growth that come with poor drainage and aeration, plants may also suffer pest attacks when planted in outdoor earth.
Dirt is teeming with mites and microbes, some good and some bad. Harmful bacteria, fungi, and insects in outdoor soil could infect your plants and spread to neighboring specimens. By using store-bought or homemade potting soil, you’ll ensure it’s free of pests and chemicals and breathable enough to promote healthy roots.
When you begin a love affair with indoor plants, you’ll soon start looking for ways to cut costs without compromising your greenery. Homemade potting mix is one of the savviest choices for your indoor garden. It takes little time and even less effort to make an inexpensive and tailored foundation for your various plants. And with these DIY potting soil ideas, you’ll have a solution for any indoor gardening need!
- Related Read: The 9 Best Soils for Pothos
Featured Image Credit: Teona Swift, Pexels