x
 
 
Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow a Plant With Charcoal

By Leigh Walker ; Updated September 21, 2017

Many growers are familiar with the benefits of using soil additives such as peat moss and nitrogen when growing plants. Charcoal is another additive that has positive effects on plant life. It adds a source of carbon to plants, speeds water drainage, allows good air flow in the soil and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. Horticultural charcoal is not the type of charcoal that you put in your grill. That type of charcoal has had chemicals added to it and can damage/kill your plants. Horticulture charcoal can be obtained at garden centers and plant nurseries.

Charcoal Option #1

Place charcoal in the bottom of a garden pot. While charcoal is porous, which means water can seep through it, avoid covering up the pot’s drainage hole. How much charcoal you put in the pot is dependent on the size of your pot. An average size pot that is 6 to 8 inches in diameter should have a 2-inch layer of charcoal placed in it.

Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil leaving 2 inches of space free of soil at the top of the pot.

Dig a hole for your seeds/plants. Place them in the hole and refill the hole with the potting soil.

Water your seeds/plants and plan to water them whenever the top layer of soil dries out.

Place the pot in an area where it can receive the required amount of sunlight.

Change out the charcoal whenever you re-pot your plant.

Charcoal Option #2

Mix 1 part horticulture charcoal and 2 parts of potting soil and mix together.

Place the mix into your pot leaving 2 inches of space free of soil at the top of the pot.

Dig a hole for your seeds/plants. Place them in the hole and refill the hole with the potting soil.

Water your seeds/plants and plan to water them whenever the top layer of soil dries out. Place the pot in an area where it can receive the required amount of sunlight.

Make a new potting mix of soil and charcoal whenever you change out your pot.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Horticultural charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Pot
  • Seeds/plants
  • Water

Tip

  • Many growers feel that the best results are obtained when the charcoal is mixed directly in with the potting soil, versus lining the bottom of the planting pot with charcoal. Whichever option you choose is up to you.

About the Author

 

Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.