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Article: What Is In My Soil?

What Is In My Soil?

What Is In My Soil?

My favorite thing we do at the shop is repot plants. If you buy a plant or pot from us we will repot your plant for free. I know, I know it’s a great service.

We did write a blog about what happens when we repot your plants so in case you forgot that it’s here:

The thing I want to touch on here is what is going in your pot? It feels like I’m going to start writing a blog about cooking a stew and I would encourage you to think about mixing soil in the same way. Stew is pretty hard to screw up and it turns out as long as you have the right ingredients soil is as well. To the surprise of no one I get really annoyed reading recipes online when they fill the page with clickbait and bury the ingredients at the bottom of the page. I will NOT do that.

What is in my soil?

The ingredients:

  • Peat Moss

  • Perlite

  • Compost (I like leafgro if you are in the DMV)

From a macro view of our ingredients, we are trying to create an environment where our plant can get lots of nutrients from the soil. Your plant’s roots suck up nutrient rich water from the soil, that’s how they feed. The soil doesn’t have to be perfect but if it compacts easily or doesn’t drain well we make it harder for our plant to feed. If our plant has trouble feeding then our plant will have trouble living!  Compost is our nutrients. It’s got stuff like calcium, magnesium, nitrates, and phosphorus which your plant loves. Peat Moss regulates the water in your soil. You want your soil to stay moist after you water but not be sopping wet. Perlite is a volcanic rock that adds some “coarseness” to your soil. What it really does is create lots of little air pockets so that the compost and peat moss don’t compact. Compacted soil is very hard to get water into. If you can’t get water to your roots you can’t feed your plant!

Tropical Plants:

  • 35% Peat Moss

  • 50% Compost

  • 15% Perlite

Desert Plants:

  • 25% Peat Moss

  • 40% Compost

  • 35% Perlite

The reality is this: if you are reading this, you probably won’t mix your own soil. If you do mix your own soil the above ratios work very well. You will notice I don’t use sand in my desert plant mix. A lot of people do and I think it’s pretty bad. If you want to know why reach out to me. It’s nice to know what’s going on in your soil and you can keep an eye on a few things to keep your plant happy. If you have “moisture control soil” but want to pot a desert plant.

You don’t have to start from scratch, but use certain ingredients to modify your soil based on the environment your plant is used to in nature, or to solve certain issues. You can buy some perlite to turn it into a more coarse soil that is suitable for desert plants. If your soil is compacting really easily you can add some peat moss and perlite to loosen it up. Amending your soil or adding some extra soil is always helpful for plants that have been in your home for a long time. Don’t stress about getting the perfect mix for your exact plant. I spend a lot of time on the plant internet and see all these crazy mixes. Your plant needs nutrients and soil is the medium for which they feed. If your plant is sitting in water it can’t feed. If the soil compacts it can’t feed. If the soil is super old and all the nutrients are tapped out it can’t feed. Just make sure your plant can feed off the soil you have and you will have a happy plant. Some plants need slightly different food if you want them to flower but that will have to be another blog… 

Be well,


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