Finding the perfect houseplant potting mix can be frustrating. That’s why I came up with my own DIY recipe that is both easy and budget friendly! In this post, I am going to show you exactly how to make potting soil for indoor plants, from scratch.
Making your own homemade indoor potting soil may sound difficult, but it’s actually super simple! This mix only has three ingredients, and is perfect to use for growing houseplants.
Below I’m going to show you exactly how to make an all-purpose DIY houseplant potting mix. So, if that is what you’re looking for, then you’re in the right place.
However, if you have succulents or cactus plants, they require a special medium. So, you should use this recipe instead.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide for how to make potting soil for indoor plants…
- The Best Soil For Houseplants
- Benefits Of Making Your Own
- How To Mix It
- Storing The Leftovers
The Best Soil For Houseplants
I’ve been growing indoor plants most of my life, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used just about every type of retail houseplant soil mix in existence. It always amazes me how different they can be, depending on what brand you buy.
I find that many types of commercial mixes either don’t have enough drainage, won’t retain water, contain a lot of sand, or have large chunks of rocks or sticks in them (so annoying!).
Most houseplants need a light and fluffy mix that has both good drainage, and moisture retention. Otherwise the soil can become compacted, and won’t retain moisture at all. Or it can hold too much water, and become overly saturated.
Neither of these scenarios will end well for your houseplants, and you will struggle to keep them thriving. But, if you don’t want to make your own, then this is a good mix that you can use instead.
Benefits Of Making Potting Mix For Houseplants
Not only is it easy to whip up a batch of homemade houseplant potting soil whenever you need it, there are other benefits too. Getting the ingredients in bulk and mixing your own is cheaper than the buying the pre-made stuff.
Plus, you have complete control of what goes into your mix. So, since you know exactly what’s in it, you can feel good about using it for all of your indoor plants!
And, since you control the ingredients, you can easily modify my recipe to come up with your own. That way, all of your houseplants can have the exact type of soil that they need.
How To Make Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
I guess you could say I’ve become a bit of a houseplant potting soil snob over the years, LOL. Yes, I admit it. And that is exactly why I’ve come up with my own mix.
Plus, I use the same ingredients in other soil mixes that I make. So they will never go to waste, and I always have them on hand when I need to whip up a fresh batch for my houseplants.
Houseplant Potting Soil Ingredients
To make this really simple, you will only need three ingredients! You should easily be able to find all of these at any garden center or home improvement store where houseplant soil is sold. Here’s a quick description of each one…
Peat moss or coco coir
This is your base ingredient, and adds moisture retention to the soil. The main difference between these two is that peat moss is very slow to renew, and isn’t as sustainable as coco coir (which is the bi-product of coconut processing). I personally prefer using coir, but you can choose either one.
Perlite or pumice
Perlite is the white pieces that you see in most potting mixes. It adds drainage, and helps to prevent compaction. If you can’t find it, then you can use pumice instead. Both of these options are all-natural, so no worries there.
Vermiculite is a natural mineral that helps to prevent soil compaction, keeping the mix light and fluffy. Another benefit is that it retains moisture. It is also very lightweight, so won’t add any extra heft to the mix.
- Measuring container (I use a 1 gallon bucket, but you can use any size measure you want)
- Soil scoop or hand trowel
- Large garden tub, bucket, potting tray, or wheelbarrow
- Safety mask (you don’t want to breath in the dust)
DIY Indoor Plant Potting Mix Recipe
** Peat moss is acidic, and most houseplants prefer an alkaline soil. So, if you use peat moss, you should add one tablespoon of garden lime per gallon to balance it out. You can use a pH tester to make sure it’s neutralized, if you want.
What does “part” mean?
A “part” could be anything, it’s just a generic unit of measure. One “part” can be a cup, a gallon, a scoop, a handful… whatever makes the most sense to you, and how large of a batch you plan to make.
How To Mix Potting Soil For Houseplants
If it’s a small batch, and you’re using a container with a lid for mixing, you could shake it up to combine the ingredients.
Whichever method you choose, just make sure that everything is mixed together evenly. After you’re done, you can use the soil right away for repotting houseplants, or save it for later.
If you are going to use it right away, then this would be a great time to add in some all-purpose granular fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the package so you know exactly how much to add.
Storing Leftover DIY Houseplant Soil
I make my DIY houseplant potting mix in large batches, and then store the leftovers so I always have some on hand. It’s easy to store, and you can keep on a shelf in the garage, your basement, or even a shed.
Just be sure to put it into an airtight container. Soil is a breeding ground for indoor plant bugs, and even the stuff that’s sitting in storage can become infested. Yuck, you don’t want that.
Making homemade indoor plant soil is easy and economical. This recipe is perfect for most types, or you can adapt it to fit the needs of your specific houseplants. Now that you know how to make potting soil for indoor plants, the possibilities are endless.
If you struggle to grow healthy indoor plants during the coldest months of the year, then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is just what you need. It will teach you everything you need in order to keep them thriving all year long! Download your copy today.
More Houseplant Care Posts
- How To Make Potting Soil For Containers (with recipe!)
- How To Make Your Own DIY Seed Starting Mix (With Recipe!)
- How To Water Indoor Plants: The Ultimate Guide
- How To Fertilize Houseplants: The Ultimate Guide
Share your recipe, or tips for how to make potting soil for indoor plants in the comments below!