Difference Between Different Potting Soils


The variety of potting soils offered can be confusing. There are soils for general use, but for the optimal growth and health of your plants, you need to understand what is available. The difference between the use of one potting soil over another can mean a withered plant or a bountiful harvest.


Potting soils offer a nutrient-dense medium for the growth of both indoor and outdoor plants. Many commercial brands are sterilized to remove contaminants.


There are soil mixes for nearly every type of houseplant or garden application. Each mix has been engineered specifically for that plant's needs whether it be acidic, loamy, well-draining or fertilizer-infused soil.


Depending on the type of soil, ratios of organics and inorganics will differ. Inorganics are added for drainage and fertilizing requirements--such as perlite, tree bark, sand and rock.


Low-cost potting soil often has a high inorganic additive ratio and does not give the same results as more costly premium soil.

Fun Fact

You can make your own inexpensive potting soil by mixing compost with inorganics.


  • Professor's House
  • Home Depot
  • Door Garden

Who Can Help

  • The Dirt On Potting Soil
  • Make Your Own Potting Soil
Keywords: potting soil, planting soil, potting mix

About this Author

Julia has been writing professionally for 4 years and has appeared in WNY Family, Baton Rouge Family, Unique Magazine, Familyresource.com, and MomGadget.com, just to name a few. Julia attended Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Part of her health care education was provided by training through Elderwood Skilled Nursing Facilities.