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Potting soil: the right one for your plants
Potting soil: the right one for your plants

Video: Potting soil: the right one for your plants

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Video: Potting Soil Mixture for Indoor Plants : Make Your Own! 2023, January

Gardening is not rocket science! With our tips on the perfect potting soil, your garden and house plants will soon bloom in all their glory.

Good potting soil is the most important prerequisite for successful plant cultivation and care. Cheap soil is often inferior in quality - it is not structurally stable, clumps and the nutritional information often does not correspond to reality, as various horticultural research institutes have shown.

Good potting soil, on the other hand, is loose and crumbly, so that air gets to the roots and no moisture builds up. So you'd better pay a little more right away so that your green darlings are happy for a long time. But how do you find the right potting soil?

Potting soil for potted and container plants

A rule for plants that are in pots or pots for a long period of time is that a correspondingly high proportion of mineral components must be added to the potting soil. They prevent the substrate from sagging over the years due to the decomposition processes of the organic components and losing its pore volume. Commercial soils for tub plants often consist of a mixture of peat, sand, lava or expanded clay. In addition, such soils usually have significantly more weight than normal potting soil.

Soil for sowing and growing

A particularly fine-crumbly potting soil is important for cultivation, sowing and pricking. It must be loose, guarantee good water drainage and must not contain too many nutrients, otherwise the small plantlets cannot develop strong roots. In addition, the seeds should ideally sprout at the same time and produce uniformly strong seedlings. With these growing, sowing or spiking soils, it is unfortunately difficult to do without peat, because most substitutes have a coarser structure or a higher salt content, which is harmful for the delicate seedlings.

Tomaten pflanzen
Tomaten pflanzen

Soil for growing, sowing and pricking should be particularly fine and loose.

Photo: fotolia / Cora Müller

Potting soil for rhododendron and bog bed plants

Peat bed plants such as rhododendrons, blueberries or azaleas are sensitive to lime and like an acidic environment. For this reason, substrates for bog bed plants or rhododendrons have a low pH and are largely lime-free. These special soils are suitable for improving the soil for those garden areas in which you want to plant bed plants, but also for pot culture. You also need a rhododendron soil if you want to plant blueberries in the garden. As a heather family, the berry bushes are also very sensitive to lime and need a humus-rich, loose soil.

Substrate for orchids

Orchid soil consists largely of pieces of bark. They give the roots good hold and loosen up the substrate. The earth also contains coconut fibers, peat, sometimes orchid fertilizer and granules. The water can flow off through the granulate - there is no waterlogging - and sufficient air gets to the roots. Planted in normal potting soil, the orchids rot, because the roots of the epiphytes have a very high air requirement.

Soil for bonsai

Normal potting soil is not suitable for small bonsai trees. They grow in very small containers, so the soil must be able to store nutrients and water particularly well. In addition, it must allow enough air to pass through and offer the tree a certain stability. Otherwise, the bonsai would have to be attached to the vessel with wire. The earth is best made of a mixture of peat, sand and clay in a ratio of 2: 4: 4.


The best soil for bonsai is a mixture of peat, sand and clay.

Photo: fotolia / Delphotostock

Earth for cacti

Normal potting soil is not suitable for most cacti because it contains too much humus and too many nutrients. Special cactus soil is better: it has a high mineral content and is also very humus-poor. So that the cacti do not have to deal with waterlogging, cactus soil often has a high proportion of lava chippings, expanded clay or pebbles.

Soil for the pond

Pond soil is also a special case: it must neither float nor cloud the pond water. In addition, it must not be too rich in nutrients, as this would promote algae formation. Conventional potting soil containing humus is therefore not suitable for planting the pond. Mostly pond soils are substrates with a very high clay content. If you want to do without special soil in your pond, you can also use gravel or lava chippings.

Earth for the grave

What is special about earth is the color. It is very dark because it has been mixed with soot, ground charcoal or manganese. The additives also ensure that the soil is heavier than standard potting soil and therefore remains there for longer. If the dark color is not particularly important when planting graves, classic potting soil with a bark mulch cover will do the same.

Organic earth

Organic soils are potting soils whose substrates contain purely organic fertilizers, such as horn shavings. However, the organic label says nothing about the peat content on earth. The use of peat is ecologically questionable because the degradation continues to destroy important ecosystems, especially in Eastern Europe, and is responsible for the disappearance of many plant and animal species. In addition, the decomposition of the peat releases additional carbon dioxide, which promotes global warming. Rather rely on potting soil that contains peat substitutes such as bark humus, wood or coconut fibers.

Mix potting soil yourself - how it works

In a 3: 2: 1 ratio, mix about one year old, well-decomposed compost, garden soil and bark humus. It is important that you sift through the compost and garden soil beforehand. Tip: Garden soil, which is well suited for potting soil, provides the moles in your garden - just remove the hills. If you add some organic fertilizer such as horn shavings after mixing the potting soil, you give your plants a good basis for growing.

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