Types of Potting Soil


Potting soil is a mixture of organic and sometimes inorganic materials used to create dirt to encourage the growth of flowers, shrubs and other kinds of plants. To select the right type of potting soil, it is necessary to know what type of plants you intend to grow as well as what sort of conditions the plant thrives in and type of soil is found naturally in your yard.


Potting soils are classified based upon their ingredients, with each type having its own benefits.

Types of Potting Soils

Common types of potting soils include humus, manure, peat moss and sand. Inorganic materials sometimes found in potting soil include wood chips, charcoal and silicates like Perlite.


Sand provides quick drainage for plants that prefer dry conditions, while peat moss provides excess moisture for plants that thrive on water. Humus-based potting soil is beneficial for plants that prefer greater acidity.


Bagged varieties of potting soil typically comes in large five- or 10-pound bags that can cost as little as $2 or per bag for basic soil to as much as $25 to $30 for varieties that provide higher peat moss or humus content.


It is also possible to create your own potting soil at home by mixing ingredients like sand, peat and manure to tailor a variety specifically for your plants.


  • Choosing Potting Soils
Keywords: potting soil, what to plant in, choosing the right dirt

About this Author

Hayley Harrison has writing experience since 1996 with more than 6,000 articles appearing on Answerbag, eHow, Trails and other websites. Harrison holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania, and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.