Having a green thumb isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. Gardening — whether you’re tending an outdoor garden or keeping houseplants alive — simply takes time, attention, and a willingness to do a little research on what will make your plants the happiest and healthiest they can be. Different plants will grow best in a certain season and need different amounts of light and water. And you should know your types of soil as well — healthy soil means healthy plants! If all this sounds like a lot, take heart. There are tons of low maintenance plants (think succulents, snake plants, rubber plants, and more) available and a wealth of information online, only a click away. Let’s talk about the best soil for potted plants, what you want to keep your eye on when it comes to your soil, and why investing in plants (and landscaping) is a good move.
Pay Attention to Your Dirt
The healthiest soil is mostly made up of minerals (45%), with equal percentages of water and air (25% each) and 5% organic matter. Good soil is determined based on its fertility and its texture, all of which are determined by the health of the soil. Interestingly, soil contains about 0.01% of all the water on Earth, as well.
When planting, keep in mind that most plants want a low acidic or neutral pH range to properly grow and flourish. So you want testing for a pH level of 6.2 to 6.8. pH measures soil acidity or alkalinity, ranging from 1 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most basic). If your swings too far one way or the other, your plants may not grow, or not be as healthy as they could be.
Luckily, lime or organic material can tip the balance one way or another and help even out your soil for thriving plants!
What’s the Best Soil for Potted Plants?
Different companies will sell various kinds of soil for potted plants (and honestly, outdoor plants as well) that focus on good drainage, the right kind of nutrients, and maximizing growth. You want the right balance between retaining moisture and giving your plants the nutrients they need to grow versus letting air circulate and letting in enough air in the first place. Too densely packed soil that doesn’t allow for this circulation can produce rot or mold in your plants.
Picking up the bag of potting soil is a good test — if it’s pretty heavy, that means there’s not just soil in there, but also some fillers to round it out, which can lead to denser soil and less room for fertilizer. Not really what you want!
Organic and non-organic potting soil generally tends to be the buyer’s preference, but adding some natural compost to your plants always makes them happy! You should also keep in mind that some plants need a special type of potting soil that will be sold separately from the more generic soil, so keep that under consideration as well.
Why Should I Sink Money Into Plants and General Landscaping?
Good landscaping has been proven to net good results. Indeed, according to studies, landscaping can bump a home’s resale value by as much as 14%. And even spending just 5% of your home’s value could give you a return on investment of as much as 150%!
Truth be told, nice landscaping elevates not just your property, but the whole neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but a tidy, well-kept yard brings satisfaction to more people than just you.
Plus, gardening gets you outside and yes, involves some physical labor! Many people report feeling more relaxed when they garden and it can be a wonderful and nurturing feeling, tending to your plants, whether they’re in a lush and sprawling garden, or in pots in your apartment.
Finding the right soil for gardening or soil for potted plants can yield bumper results. Playing around with bagged mulch, topsoil, and natural fertilizers also isn’t a bad idea and any gardening expert in stores will be happy to advise.