10 Best Potting Soil in 2020: Top Organic & High-Quality Soil

Best Potting Soil

When you’re trying to grow a gorgeous garden, you may have wondered where to buy good potting soils. While potting soil on sale is not hard to come by, finding good potting soil is really where the adventure begins.

While you want well-draining potting soils that will also be inexpensive, settling for cheap potting soils– or a potting soil that won’t get the job done for you– is a mistake. Instead, consider this roundup of the best potting soil in 2020.

FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix EnRoot Products SpongEase
Best Overall Best for Succulents Best Value
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Pros:

1. Well-balanced potting soil with several types of fertilizers

2. Can be used right out of the bag

3. Long-lasting without the addition of more fertilizer or organic matter
Pros:

1. Organic ingredients are formulated specifically for growing succulents

2. Has excellent drainage

3. Ready to be used right out of the bag
Pros:

1. All-purpose soil with extra fertilizers

2. Economical, as it can be used multiple times

3. Does not attract gnats or flies
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Factors To Consider When Buying Best Potting Soil For Your Needs

While you’re shopping for potting soils, there are several factors you will want to take into consideration. When looking for potting soil whether if it is for indoor plants, consider the following factors:

  • Aeration: How light and fluffy is the potting soil? The lighter it is, the better– but it does need to have some structure to keep your plants rooted.
  • Moisture retention: How well does the soil hang on to water? You want it to remain moist after you’ve watered it with the garden hose, yet not too waterlogged. Depending on the type of plant you are growing, your desired level of moisture retention might vary.
  • Organic or regular: Are you interested in growing organic vegetables or herbs? If so, you will need an organic potting soil. You can always add more organic fertilizers later, too, like homemade compost or seaweed.

Nutrients: Your chosen potting soil needs to be able to retain essential nutrients to help your potted plants grow. Check out the nutrient formulation of your soil and make sure it contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus; three ingredients critical to plant health.

Potting Soil vs. Potting Mix: What You Should Keep In Mind Before Making Decisions

As you shop for potting soils, you may find yourself wondering what the differences between potting soils and potting soil mixes are. Although these phrases are generally used interchangeably to refer to the medium in which a plant begins to grow, there are some small differences.

Potting soil refers to a growth media that contains dirt. Potting mix usually contains a soil-less media that was specifically engineered to produce better soil for container gardens. Both products can be fully organic, and both can last for long periods of time. While it’s recommended that you choose organic potting mix for seed starting, potting soil is better as a long term growing medium.

Do Specific Plants Need Certain Kinds of Soil?

Some plants need special potting soil in order to thrive. If you are growing unique potted plants like cactus, rose, or orchid, you will need to purchase a potting soil, like Vigoro potting soil, that is formulated specifically for those plants. Succulents like cacti, for example, need soil that is fast-draining and light, while orchids need soils that are exceptionally aerated. If you are a beginner, keep in mind that potting soils are made up of three basic ingredients: peat moss, pine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite.

10 Best Potting Soils That You Should Consider in 2020

Ocean Forest potting soil, arguably the best potting soil for indoor plants, has some of the most unique, and numerous, types of natural fertilizers you’ll find. This makes it an excellent choice for people who want to add diverse sources of fertilizer to their gardens to keep them healthy and productive. 

You’ll find a wide range of ingredients in this regular potting soil, including sandy loam, forest humus, peat moss, bat guano, ocean fish, worm castings, and crab meat. It’s guaranteed to be tested at a pH of roughly 6.3 to 6.8, helping it work well every time. The fertilizers last for well over a month, so as the soil breaks down, you won’t need to add additional fertilizer. It’s a great choice for novice gardeners who want a no-fuss solution.

What We Liked: 

  • Well-balanced potting soil with several types of fertilizers
  • Can be used right out of the bag
  • Long-lasting without the addition of more fertilizer or organic matter

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Heats up quickly in the summer sun

This organic potting soil is one-of-a-kind in that it uses unique fertilizers like perlite, pumice, worm castings, and other organic componentes. If you’re growing organic plants, this brand is the one to know, as it’s certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute.

In addition to the ingredients listed above, this potting soil, which is the top-rated potting soil for herbs, also has a state-of-the-art RESiLIENCE silicon compound which helps reduce wilting and to promote early flowering and extensive growth. It is also said to increase moisture retention. This soil has a starting pH of 8.5, which is balanced to help most potted plants grow with ease.

What We Liked: 

  • Certified organic 
  • Has added ingredients to improve moisture retention, aeration, and drainage
  • Has a neutral, earthy smell

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Easily develops spores when wet
Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

Cultivating cacti and other succulents can be challenging, but not if you have the right organic potting soil. This potting mix is the best potting soil designed specifically for succulents and contains reed sedge peat moss, erlite, sand, limestone, pine bark and Canadian sphagnum peat moss. This unique blend is light and airy, providing exceptional drainage to plants that absolutely hate being waterlogged. In addition, the pH is perfectly balanced to meet the unique needs of succulents— you don’t have to add or amend anything else.

What We Liked: 

  • Organic ingredients are formulated specifically for growing succulents
  • Has excellent drainage
  • Ready to be used right out of the bag

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Poor moisture retention– not ideal for other types of plants
Michigan Peat 5720 Garden Magic Potting Soil

Michigan Peat is a small company that has churned out reliable gardening supplies for well over 50 years. This regular potting soil is formulated to offer your plants the specialized nutrition they need, and it has excellent drainage and water retention capabilities. 

This potting soil, which is perhaps the must-have potting soil for vegetables, contains a unique mixture of reed sedge peat moss and other materials, and retains enough moisture to sustain active plant growth during dry spells. It is a general-purpose potting mix that can be used right out of the bag for both indoor and outdoor plants.

What We Liked: 

  • Available in 20 lb and 50 lb bags 
  • Excellent moisture retention
  • Designed for outdoor and indoor use

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • May require the addition of perlite to make it less dense

Miracle-Gro is a household name when it comes to potting mixes and other garden products. This Miracle Gro potting mix is a great choice, not just because it’s offered at an affordable price, but because the brand has a reputation for growing plants that are large, beautiful, and healthy. You can use this Miracle Gro potting mix both for indoor and outdoor plants.

What makes Miracle Gro the best potting mix is the special formulation of fertilizer, perlite, and peat moss to help your plants develop healthy roots. It also contains a unique wetting agent to help retain moisture when you water it with your watering can or sprinkler. Miracle Gro includes ample portions of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash to help supply your plants with the nutrients they need.

What We Liked: 

  • Readily available online as well as at most garden stores
  • Results are guaranteed or your money back
  • Product is certified by the Mulch and Soil Council

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Has a tendency to attract flies with its odor

The Espoma organic potting mix includes peat humus, peat moss, worm castings, perlite, and a unique ingredient known as Myco-tone. All of these ingredients are organic, making for an excellent growing medium for just about any kind of plant. This potting mix, among the most popular potting soils, is also said to be safe for use around pets, which you won’t find with all potting soils.

What’s truly unique about this potting mix is the inclusion of the Myco-tone ingredient. This addition utilizes eleven different strains of mycorrhizae to help your plants resist stress and to encourage healthy root development. This is helpful at all stages of growth and development, but particularly if you are in the process of transplanting your plants. 

What We Liked: 

  • Guaranteed fertilizer analysis with ideal ratios of 7% nitrogen, 2% phosphate, and 2% potash
  • Produced by a small, family-owned organic operation
  • Does not attract pests

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Does not retain moisture well

This regular potting mix contains two type of limestone. This balances out the soil acidity, making it a great choice for seedlings, outdoor plants, and indoor planters. It’s a lightweight mixture, adding minimal weight to planters. This potting mix also contains ingredients like coarse perlite and Canadian sphagnum peat moss. It comes in a convenient eight-quart bag, making it easy to carry around.

What We Liked: 

  • Limestone balances out soil acidity 
  • Contains a starter nutrient charge and wetting agent
  • Comes in a manageable eight-quart bag

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Lightweight, so you may have to weigh down your planters outside

If you’re looking for a truly unique potting soil option, look no further than EnRoot, made by SpongEase. This highly fertile soil mix acts more like a sponge than a potting soil. Nevertheless, it is likely to make your plants grow rapidly and healthily. 

This soil serves as a sponge to absorb excess water from the soil. It helps maintain the appropriate balance of nutrients and oxygen in doing so. Made out of natural coconut fibers, the soil mix also contains other organic ingredients to help keep your plants fed and happy. This soil is unique in that it is not designed for a one-time use– you can use it again and again to keep growing your plants.

What We Liked: 

  • All-purpose soil with extra fertilizers
  • Economical, as it can be used multiple times
  • Does not attract gnats or flies

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Not designed to be used with all types of plants

The brand name might sound silly, but if you want your plants to develop big, healthy roots, you really ought to consider this potting soil! This soil is made out of worm castings, triple washed coir, compost, and peat. It’s incredibly fertile and pH adjusted, it’s also enriched with mycorrhizae to help your roots develop appropriately.

This is a great option for novice gardeners, as it requires minimal usage and offers quick results. It’s all-purpose, so you can use it with both indoor and outdoor plants. It is even used in many greenhouses, allowing gardeners to cultivate verdant gardens quickly as this mixture is so fertile. Its small bag size makes it one of the best potting mixes for container gardening, too.

What We Liked: 

  • Product undergoes numerous quality checks to ensure appropriate levels of fertilizers
  • Adjusted pH levels
  • All-purpose soil that can be used indoors and outdoors

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Does not contain as much fertilizer as other types of potting soil

This superb all-purpose potting mix is comprised of sponge rock, charcoal, pine bark, and coconut chips. It’s perfect for orchids, whose roots like to be able to expand and climb. Because this mixture is textured, it gives them more prom to do so. 

This organic potting soil has exceptional drainage, allowing for good aeration without suffocating or compacting the roots of your plants. Orchids are sensitive to water, and this organic potting soil makes it easier for the roots to get the moisture they need without becoming waterlogged. 

What We Liked: 

  • Comes in a heavy-duty, resealable bag
  • Well draining potting soil that moderates moisture well 
  • Designed specifically for orchids with all-natural ingredients 

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Fungus gnats are not uncommon

Buyer's Guide For Choosing The Best Soil in 2020

Think you don’t have the green thumb needed to grow a healthy, thriving garden? Think again! When you pick the best potting soils for your plants, you’ll give them the jumpstart they need in order to grow and thrive.

Comments (2)

  1. what do you think about substituting used coffee grounds for coco coir? coffee grounds can be free from the local coffee houses.

  2. IS THIS POTTING MIX GOOD FOR VEGTABLE PLANTS. LIKE TOMATOES AND PEPPERS

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