The Q&A Archives: What's the best potting soil to use?

Question: Hi -

I bought potting soil from Home Depot and transplanted my house plants 6 months ago or so. My problem is the soil is like mulch - the water runs through the pot out on to the carpet, and the roots of the plants dry out very quickly. My plants are very stressed now since it took me a while to figure out what's wrong. What potting soil do you recommend I use that I can find at Home Depot? I need something with more soil than woody material so the moisture stays in the soil and not all over the carpets! Thank you.

Answer: I like Kellog's or Miracle Gro potting soil for my houseplants. Either will work for you and both are available from Home Depot. What you might want to do, whether you replace the potting soil in your houseplants or not, is to treat your potted plants to a good soaking. Soil in containers can develop air pockets around the roots after a while. You can water and water and the soil will remain dry. To overcome this, periodically immerse the potted plants in a larger container of water. Let them sit for 15 minutes, or until no more bubbles appear at the surface. Then set the pots somewhere to drain. This will thoroughly saturate the soil and the plants will get all the moisture they require. I do this every 3-4 weeks and my potted plants are quite happy.

Best wishes with your houseplants.

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