This is my recipe, ‘the Best Potting Soil EVER’ that I use for tropical plants, succulents, and cactus. I use this on my Australian Finger Limes, Miracle Berry, Aroids, Gesneriads/African Violets, Hoyas, Epiphyllums, Sansiverias, and pretty much any other houseplant that isn’t an orchid.
This Houseplant Potting Soil Recipe Pairs Well With…
The SUPER-AMAZING, Magical, Best Houseplant Potting Mix Recipe
Note: I’ve made this recipe as percentages. If you want direct measurements, use cups and remove a “0” from the %. For example 40% == 4 cups
Goal: 60% organic / 40% inorganic + Slow Release Ferts
– 30% Peatmoss
– 25% Bark
– 20% Topsoil from outside (optional or use more peatmoss)
– 15% Compost / Leaf detritus (optional or use more bark)
– 10% Horticulture Charcoal
– Other amendments: Insect frass, fish emulsion, worm castings, etc
– 50% Large-chunk perlite (ideally you want perlite grains around the size of your pinky nail)
– 35% Sharp-medium grit and porous rock (turface, pumice, or lavarock).
– 15% Sand
Note: If you can’t find any of these items (like turface), then you can adjust the ratio in favour of another ingredient within the grouping; it’s not the end of the world—your goal with these inorganic additives is to give the potting mix structure and allow for drainage many months later as the organics begin to degrade and fragment. The more closely you can follow these ratios, the better it will be for the overall mix (and the more balanced your soil and nutrients it holds will be), but don’t stress if you don’t have access to a bunch of these things. This mix at any ratio is going to be better than whatever “out of the bag” potting mix you’ve been using.
Slow Release Nutrients
– 1tsp/gallon(4L) Rock Dust
– 1/2tsp/gallon(4L) Bloodmeal
– 1/2tsp/gallon(4L) Bonemeal
Step 1. Mix the organic ingredients together and add a good amount of water to hydrate the soil, but avoid getting it “sloppy-wet”. You want it to be dark, and hold form in your hands.
Step 2. Add the slow-release nutrients by lightly sifting 20-30% across the top of the mix; mix it in; repeat until all of the slow release nutrients are added and evenly distributed through the soil.
Step 3. Rise and flush the inorganic medium numerous times until the water runs clear.
Step 4. Slowly add and mix in the inorganic medium into the substrate; thoroughly mix it throughout as you add it
Step 5. Add additional water if required to rehydrate the mix.
Step 6. Prepare the pot and fill the bottom 1” with a layer of LECA, broken terracotta pots, stones, styrofoam peanuts, or other large-sized inorganic material. This ensures that the bottom layer drains better and has more airflow making the soil oxygen-rich at the lower root zone.
Step 7. Pot plant with the new soil. Fill in bottom later with soil, add plant, fill in around plant, shake plant and sift new substrate around the roots to evenly distribute it. At the end, you want the soil to be about 1/2″ down from the edge of the pot — this will give you room for water and it will sink down over time as the medium settles.
Step 8. Water the crap out of your plant. Take it to the shower (or sink if possible) and thoroughly wet all the dirt. Add more potting mix if you need to. Let the water run through the soil 2 or 3 times and then turn off water and let drip dry.
Step 9. Put plant in drip tray, place near a window and and repeat watering by actively irrigating the pot until water flows out the bottom (just like you did in the previous step); repeat weekly or as the potting media approaches dryness.
That pretty much covers my top secret, most amazing, spectacular, flawless potting mix. If you have questions, you can send me a message via Facebook from the Here But Not page.