Easy Homemade Potting Soil Mix


Many home gardeners make their own potting mixes, as they figure out what their plants grow best in. Soil mixes can be made to order for the type of plant you are growing or for germinating seed. Having your own compost pile will give you added nutrients to mix into your potting mixes too. In some cases fertilizer is required and can be added to the mixture easily before planting. Lately soilless potting mixes have become popular for their lightness and the fact that they don't normally carry disease or insects with them.

Step 1

Mix one part sterilized loam soil, one part sphagnum peat moss and one part sand to make a soil based potting mix. Adjust the soil by adding more sand if it feels sticky and more peat moss if it feels to gritty. This soil works well for many houseplants including desert type cacti and succulents.

Step 2

Mix one part peat moss and one part perlite to make a soilless potting soil. This potting soil is often used for germinating seed.

Step 3

Add a slow-release general-purpose fertilizer to either of the mixes if needed for certain plants.

Step 4

Combine equal parts of sterilized loam, compost, peat moss and shredded bark to make a potting mix for Epiphytic succulents, as they require higher in organic matter than do those of the succulents.

Step 5

Adjust any of the potting mixes to hold more moisture or less for individual plant needs. To hold more water, add more garden soil, peat or shredded bark. To create a better draining soil, add more sand or perlite.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterilized loam
  • Sphagnum
  • Course sand
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Shredded bark
  • Compost


  • Penn State: Homemade Potting Media
  • University of Rhode Island: Cacti and Succulents
  • University of Vermont Extension: Potting Mixers for Organic Growers
Keywords: potting soil mixes, soilless potting mix, homemade potting soil

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.