For newbie gardeners, the plethora of terms and definitions in the gardening world can get quite overwhelming. One such term is potting soil, which is known by many other names including soilless potting medium or soilless mix. What potting soil is, however, is the material you use in place of regular ground soil in container boxes for flowers. The question that arises next is “which soil is best for plant growth?”. To answer that, here are the types of potting soil and their pros and cons:

‘Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth’ Answer #1: Airy Potting Soil
which soil is best for plant growth-airy soil
This gives the roots room to grow

Make your potting soil mix light and airy by mixing it and not packing it tightly into the container. A good potting soil mix is one with at least 25% air. The air, in this case, indicates space between particles, which gives the roots room to grow and expand in their natural direction. If restricted, you can almost immediately see plants wilting and not giving rise to buds or new stems. Porous potting soil also retains water that’s just enough to provide nutrition; over-watering plants is a complete no-no.

‘Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth’ Answer #2: Moisture-retaining Potting Soil
which soil is best for plant growth-moisture retaining soil
Consistent moisture is a boon for plants

When deciding on which soil is best for plant growth, keep in mind that moisture-retaining potting mixes are good for your plants, as they retain moisture for longer periods of time. For plant roots, consistent moisture is a boon; any fluctuation in the amount of water they get could cause them to wilt or dry up. This also means you’ll have to water these plants at more spaced out intervals.

‘Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth’ Answer #3: Heavy or Light Potting Soil
which soil is best for plant growth-heavy soil-light soil
Choose the right soil for the right plants

The myriad guidelines on the weight of potting soil beg the question ‘which soil is best for plant growth’. The logic behind this is simple– heavy potting soil is perfect for taller or thicker plants to prevent them from falling over, as well as for use in particularly windy areas. Conversely, light potting soil is good for container boxes that hang off railings or need to be moved about continuously due to seasonal or decorative changes.

‘Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth’ Answer #4: Potting Soil with Peat Moss
which soil is best for plant growth-soil with peat moss
Increases acidity when mixed with soil

Peat moss is a moss residue that is added to potting soil to increase its acidity. Peat moss is light and airy and mixes well with potting soil or regular soil. When making a potting soil mix with peat moss, ensure that your plant can handle the acidity levels; if not, consider mixing in some lime or regular soil to reduce the acidity and help your plants thrive.

Keep these dos and don’ts in mind when deciding which soil is best for plant growth:

Mix in standard or slow-release fertilizers for additional nutrients. Add peat moss to increase moisture and maintain acidity levels. Avoid garden soil in containers because they can choke your plant and deprive them of water. Ensure that the potting soil is moist at all times, so there is no fluctuation in water absorption at the root level!

These tips should successfully answer your ‘Which Soil is Best for Plant Growth’ question; they’re also practical ways to keep your plants healthy and blooming!

After you sort out the type of soil you want to use for your plants, take a look at this: Top 10 Low Maintenance Plants You Can Grow Indoors.

Send in your comments and suggestions.