Soil-Shopping Tips

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Blooming, Care and Culture, Growing Indoors, Growing Outdoors

In this post I’ve come up with a list of tips to use when shopping for soil for your plants!

  • Look for products labeled as potting soil or potting mix, with houseplants mentioned somewhere on the label. You can pot up container-grown outdoor plants with the same potting mix you use for houseplants. Do not use products labeled as garden soil or topsoil, which are too heavy for houseplants. Exceptions to this rule are noted in plant profiles, because a few long-lived houseplants benefit from having clean, bagged garden soil added to their growing medium.
  • A few potting mixes contain insecticides that are taken up by plants. These can be an answered prayer if your palm is plagued with scale, but they should not be used to pot up plants with edible parts, such as calamondin orange or rosemary.
  • If you are not sure how much potting mix you need, check the label. Many products have charts on the package to help you compute how much is needed to fill containers of various sizes. When in doubt, buy a little more rather than less.
  • Store leftover potting soil tightly sealed in a cool, dry place. Use packing tape or clothespins to secure the top if the bag does not have a zipper-type closure.
  • If you grow orchids, bromeliads, or other plants that need special potting soil, mail order the potting medium you need if you cannot find it locally.
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