How to Use Potting Soil


Whether you just don't have good, workable soil in your backyard, or you live in an apartment building, but still want to flex your green thumb, often planting flowers and vegetables in pots is great way to garden. If you aren't sure what to do, or don't know how to use potting soil, however, it can seem like a challenge to grow a container garden. With a good potting soil, you can be gardening inside and outside of your home.

Step 1

Select a container that has drainage holes and a saucer or tray with it. If no saucer is provided, a simple shallow bowl or plate large enough to support the base of your pot should be sufficient.

Step 2

Fill the bottom inch of your pot with small rocks or terra cotta pieces. This will improve the drainage of your pot and keep your roots from drowning.

Step 3

Select your potting soil based on the type of plants you want to grow. There are multiple types of soil, from succulent soil for cacti to moisture control for those who can't water as frequently as the plant may need.

Step 4

Add your potting soil over the gravel and fill the remaining area of your pot up to the top rim. Don't press the soil down or you will block out room for growing roots.

Step 5

Plant seeds or seedlings directly into the soil according to your specific plant's needs. Water as needed to take care of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Container or flower pot
  • Gravel, stones, or terra cotta pieces
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Fertilizer, optional


  • "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual;" Barbara Pleasant; 2005
Keywords: how to use potting soil, using potting soil, how to work with potting soil

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.