Potting Soil

Best Potting Soil

Plants require optimum conditions to grow and flourish, which is why gardeners highly recommend the use of potting soil. Contrary to its name, potting soil is a soil-less mixture that grows plants, herbs, and vegetables in pots and containers. It is a healthier alternative to the traditional soil which contains pests and weeds.  You can find here all there is to know about potting soils.


Read our Best Potting Soil Review to find out.

To help you further in shopping, below are the shortlisted top 5 potting soils with their respective product reviews:

FoxFarm FX14054 Happy Frog Rapid Growth Garden Potting Soil Mix Ready to Use, 12 Quart


FoxFarm FX14054 Happy Frog Rapid Growth Garden Potting Soil Mix Ready to Use, 12 Quart

Pros

  • Nutrient rich
  • Light
  • Well-aerated
  • Good for both indoor and outdoor plant containers
  • Optimum pH

Cons

  • Issues on bug and fungal contamination
  • Trace element deficiency e.g. Ca, Mg
  • Costly

This potting soil from Happy Frog is one of the most preferred products of many gardeners. It is enriched with plant nutrients that encourage root development, vegetative growth, and flowering. It is also packed with alive soil microbes and mycorrhiza that enhance the capability of roots to acquire nutrients from the soil.


Manufacturers also brag about the soil’s readiness for use. Its pH was pre-adjusted and made optimum for the fast absorption of plant nutrients.


One can also notice how well-aerated and light the potting soil is due to its peat and perlite components. Remarkably, the water flows well that it reaches the lower portions of the pot rapidly. But even so, this soil can retain just enough water for the plant to survive.


However, occasional cases of unwanted fungal growth and stunted plant height can be observed. Stunting is a distinct symptom of mineral (calcium or magnesium) deficiency. It is also seemingly costlier than most competing brands.


Nonetheless, this all-purpose potting soil remains a highly recommended mix for gardeners growing herbs, veggies, and ornamentals. 

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The Bliss Gardens Premium Organic Potting Soil Mix - 1 Gallon (4 Dry Quarts)


The Bliss Gardens Premium Organic Potting Soil Mix - 1 Gallon (4 Dry Quarts)

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Drains water well
  • High water retention
  • Comes with high quality ingredients
  • With beneficial Mycorrhizae

Cons

  • Costly
  • Packaging may seem too small for some

This potting soil from Bliss Garden is also one of the best recommendations. They are made from the finest organic materials like peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, and bat guano. These materials ensure to provide the plants with optimum amounts of nutrients needed for plant growth and development.


The soil also comes with extremely beneficial mycorrhizae that aid the plant roots in water and nutrient absorption. The plant- fungi interaction is proven to accelerate root development.


You can also find this product with impressive water retention capacity. This property can be very reliable to busy people because it reduces the need for frequent watering.


It is significantly well textured that promises your plants maximum aeration. The moisture flows evenly within the plant. The soil also encourages a healthy circulation of air within the container while allowing roots to elongate.


Due to its rather voluminous appearance, in some cases, the packing of the potting soil may seem inadequate for more than five 1.5-gallon-sized pot. The price is also more expensive than many of its competitors.


In general, you can rely on this product, especially when you are trying to nurture succulents, bonsai, flowering, and even carnivorous plants.

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Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil, 1.5 cu. ft. Bag


Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil, 1.5 cu. ft. Bag

Pros

  • Made from professional grade soil ingredients
  • Consistent release of nutrients for plant uptake
  • Even and thorough water distribution
  • High porosity
  • Good drainage

Cons

  • Prone to contamination
  • Expensive

This is a high-quality potting soil from Proven Winners that was made from top-notch ingredients. Manufacturers blend the premium Canadian sphagnum peat moss, composted bark, and horticultural-grade perlite to create a potting mix suitable to both indoor and outdoor plants.


Each bag of soil is also packed with complete fertilizers – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The product ensures that your plants are well fed and that the nutrients are constantly released for immediate absorption.


One of the unique features of this potting soil is that it is medium weight. Yet it still has high porosity and drainage. The soil particles aid in an even distribution of moisture while holding enough for the continuous growth of the plant.


However, one should be wary of fungal and bug contamination that can be due to storage and current environment. Cost is another factor you may have to think about. Common to most potting soils, this product comes with a price too.


But even so, this product remains on the top choices for its capability to care and nurture the growth of beautiful and delicious plants.

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Organic Plant Magic Compressed Organic Potting-Soil for Garden and Plants


Organic Plant Magic Compressed Organic Potting-Soil for Garden and Plants

Pros

  • Packed with plant nutrients
  • Convenient storage
  • High water retention
  • Good drainage
  • Well- aerated
  • Safe and organic materials

Cons

  • Lacks some volume
  • Costly
  • Cases of bug contamination 

Compressed soil such as this can expand up to four times or at least 3 gallons worth of soil just by adding water. The compressed soil saves a lot of storage space without compromising the amount.


The potting soil is made from all-natural and environment-friendly ingredients that could encourage the growth of safe and beneficial organisms. These organisms are known to promote further the growth of your potted plants.


Moreover, the potting soil is blended with appropriate kinds and amounts of nutrients that can support the healthier and faster growth of plants. According to the manufacturers, the nutrients can last up until the seventh month since planting.


You may also opt to water less because the soil has an excellent texture and porosity that can hold enough volumes of water for the plant. The water flows evenly all through the plant container, ensuring that no plant parts are left behind.


The only issue against the product is that sometimes, it does not expand as much. For this reason, the product tends to come short. This is also why some customers find this product too costly for its price. Cases of bug infestation also seem to occur.


In general, many gardeners remain patrons of this product for its high-quality performance.

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Esbenshade's Professional Potting Soil (44 Qt)


Esbenshade's Professional Potting Soil (44 Qt)

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Grower grade ingredients
  • Less infestation
  • Porous and well-aerated
  • Drains water well
  • Nutrient rich

Cons

  • Cost

This potting soil can provide you with an excellent combination of grower grade Canadian sphagnum peat moss, perlite, pine bark, and lime. Its formulation guarantees that your indoor and outdoor potted plants are supplied with adequate nutrients. The ingredients also encourage your plants to thrive and flourish in a shorter period of time.


The soilless potting mix has high porosity that enables the plant roots to elongate freely. You could water the plant just once a week because of the soil’s excellent levels of water retention and drainage.


The texture of the soil provides as much available space to let the plant breathe and for the oxygen to circulate well. The product is relatively lightweight and voluminous.


Interestingly, this soil is less prone to bug infestation and other forms of contamination.


This potting soil is recommended to all types of plants ranging from fruit-bearing to flowering plants. It can also safely nurture the growth of hard-stemmed plants. Aside from its rather expensive cost, this potting soil could be worth your money and time.

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What Are the Benefits of Using Potting Soil?

Potting Soil

There are many advantages of using potting soil for your plants. Here are some:

It grows indoor potted plants and outdoor garden beds better than traditional garden soil.

Potting soil is packed with all the vital nutrients needed by your plants to grow. As a beginner, it would be extra difficult to determine how much fertilizing your plant needs. Fortunately, potting soil has an optimized amount of fertilizers suited for every type of plant.


Potting soil is made up of materials that balance its capacity to hold and drain water. With this, you are sure that your plants get sufficient amounts of water without drowning. This would also mean that you don’t have to water your plants frequently, therefore saving time and effort.

It prevents disease occurrence.

Garden soil is teeming with microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Some of these organisms are harmful to plants as they can cause diseases and eventually plant death.


Potting soil decreases the chances of plant diseases from happening. Commercially available potting soils are sterilized to kill potential plant pathogens and to remove chemicals that are toxic to plants.

It is very convenient.

Creating a healthy environment for your plants is no easy job; it requires a lot of reading and first-hand gardening experience. Thus, potting soil is a problem solver. It aids in taking care of plants without too much effort.


Potting soil is made specifically for a type of plant or an environmental condition. Therefore, you can save the time you'll spend on mixing your own or worrying about what you’re doing wrong. Just pop a bag of ready to use potting soil and feel at ease. Your plants are in good hands.

What to Look for in Potting Soil?

Not all potting soils are the same. For you to be able to select the best and what suits your need better, here are some things you must consider when buying:

Porosity

Porosity is one of the most important properties of potting soil. It refers to the available spaces in the container that permit air and water to circulate while providing as much room for the plant roots to grow and expand.


Porosity also determines how well the soil can drain water. This translates to an even distribution of moisture to the entirety of the plant without drowning it.


The recommended air-filled porosity (AFP) to grow healthy plants is within 15-30%. You can easily find this on the label. 

Weight and Density

Good potting soil must be less dense and lightweight. You can gauge this property by lifting a sack of potting soil. Ideally, good potting soils are voluminous but light. Thus, a relatively heavy weight would mean that the potting soil is mixed with fillers – mulch or sand.


These components will make your containers extra heavy, especially when you water them. Heavy and dense potting soil may affect negatively certain types of plants especially the sun-loving kinds. 

Nutrient Content

Good potting soil must contain the top 3 most important plant nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as other trace minerals like calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and carbon. They can be incorporated in the potting soil in the form of sphagnum moss, peat, perlite or vermiculite, and composted bark.


Always remember that a responsible manufacturer always indicates the contents of the bag on the label. To make sure your plants are supplied with the right kind and amounts of nutrients, always check the label.

Pest-free

It is equally important that the potting soil is free from bugs, toxins, fungi, and other harmful microorganisms. Manufacturers may include in their labels that the soil has undergone proper treatment and sterilization that remove traces of any pathogenic and toxic components. There is no easy way to assess this except by relying on customer reviews and personal experience.

Amicable to Storage

Potting soil is not something you use every day in your garden. Therefore, it's well-recommended to select brands whose products can be stored for longer periods without deteriorating. Good potting soil must be able to retain its innate physical and chemical properties throughout storage.

Cost and Availability

Price is one of the consumer’s major concerns. On top of that, potting soil is generally costlier than regular garden soil. However, it should still not be overly expensive. There are high-quality potting soils available in the market that need not break your bank.


You should also consider the availability of the soil. There are times when you have to re-pot and transfer your plants. Hence, it's better if you can get a steady supply of soil from any nearby shop.

Conclusion

From experience, I’d say that the best potting soil among the top 5 is the one from Esbenshade's. I definitely liked how voluminous and airy the mix is, which enables the roots of my plant to penetrate easily. I also find transplanting and re-potting hassle-free because of the very light and less dense potting soil. Most importantly, the soil encourages the growth of my plants.


My plants – herbs, ornamentals - seem to love the potting soils as well. They thrive and survive well. There is also no incidence of pests, be it weeds, fungi, or microbes. It's kind of true that this product comes with a price, but it's worth it. The outcome of my indoor and outdoor garden is thrilling!


Nevertheless, all these potting soils are good for your plants. The choice will just depend on your judgment, needs, and budget. Trust your greenstincts.

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