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Can You Use Garden Soil For Potted Plants?
So you’re here because you want to know can you use garden soil for potted plants? The short answer is no it’s better not to. This is because the soil used in gardens is often very heavy and traps a lot of water. It also has the ability to drain water into the ground where as the water in your plant pots can stay trapped even with a good drainage system. Garden soil can be suitable for the type of plants that grow outdoors in your country. If you want a houseplant that could grow outside naturally then this type of soil might be ok (assuming your pot has very good drainage!) but otherwise you want to avoid garden soil.
Rather than using garden soil for potted plants, try an all round indoor potting mix. This will work well for most houseplants but for some like Cacti, Succulents that like drier soil and Calathea or Prayer Plants that prefer moist soil, you may need to customise the potting mix you use for these plants or buy mixes specifically made for them.
We love this Indoor Potting Mix by Miracle Grow on Amazon. It’s a great mix for most houseplants, especially if you’re just getting started and is much better for potted plants than garden soil.
To get good drainage in your potting mix we would recommend using perlite, this is the white stuff in potting soil that you might have seen. It resembles small white rocks and is actually volcanic glass. Perlite is used to aerate soil and helps with drainage.
For moisture loving plants, peat moss can be a great addition to your potting mix. If you’re potting Cacti or Succulents we would recommend using a Cacti mix. Orchids also have their own soil mix and orchid bark. It’s very important that you use the appropriate potting mix for whatever plant you’re potting because they all have different requirements and what could be the perfect soil for one plant could kill another.
So to summarise: can you use garden soil for potted plants? No you should use specialised potting mix depending on what type of house plant you’re growing. Generalised potting mixes can be great for the majority of houseplants but try and keep your garden soil outdoors as you can’t use your garden soil for potted plants.