Soils, for plants in containers

birdsnbloomsOctober 15, 2009

Howdy. I hope someone can help. I've Googled, Bing'd, but found little information.

For one, does anyone know what soil/soil-less medium can be used in place of Compost? For example, when I search a plant for soil type, it says use All Purpose Soil, Peat, Perlite and 'Compost.'

I have a compost bin in the yard, but it's filled with worms and can't imagine using in house plants..

Anyway, here's the list of plants that need potting.

Serissa, Variegata....

Carissa macrocarpa, Boxwood Natal Plum...?????

Breynia Variegata 'Snowbush'


Pindo.. 'Jelly Bean Palm'

Natal Plum

I'm a tad baffled about the C. macrocarpa. When I placed the order, I 'assumed' it was a standard, Natal Plum/Carissa grandiflora variegata, but the foliage is unlike C. grandiflora..

I can post pics if necessary..Thanks so much..Toni

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Hi Toni,

I use Fafard 3B or Happy Frog potting mix for all my container plants including some that you mentioned. I'll occasionally ammend the mixes with other ingredients like coir, sharp sand, leaf mold, etc but both are high quality mixes and for most plants can be used straight from the bag. Fafard makes several different blends but 3B is the basic all purpose mix.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 6:22PM
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john_dr(SEQLD AUST)

Try looking on the web for John Innis composts. They were developed in the 1930s by the John Innis Institute in the UK for containerized plants. I think there were 3 formulars for seedlings thru long term potted plants.

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 3:31AM
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Almost every plant I have is in fast draining cactus soil.

I'm sure some of the long-timers and experts here will remember Tapla's soil post - drainage.

If you can find any soil called "cactus soil", it's worth checking out.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 1:48AM
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Karen and problem living in IL, most stores, nurseries or big box, don't have a variety of mixes. The main brand is Miracle Gro. Mail order shipping would be outrageous...
When I buy black soil, peat, perlite, etc. I get 40 and 50lb I have way too many plants to bother with 4 or 5lb'ers..

If you go back to my original question, (I've read somewhere that certain mediums make-up compost and leaf mold,' but can't recall where I read it..I hoped someone here had an I thought perhaps someone knew what soils/amendments made up Compost.
You guys are fortunate finding different brands in your area without having to have it shipped..

Erict..I use Cactus soil for cacti and succulents, but even then add course sand and/or Perlite..Even though Cactus soil is well-draining, it still holds water when used alone. Perhaps it's the type I buy, but once again, the main brand sold here is MG..sigh.

Thanks for everyones help..Sorry I didn't respond sooner.,.I've been super busy hauling plants indoors..takes

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Toni you can buy compost (at least in the Spring) in most nurseries. It's usually cow compost or sheep compost, but you can probably use what you have, just strain it to remove worms and centipedes. If you are concerned that something unwanted will hatch, then you can bake your compost in the oven (not certain of temp or time but I think it's 250F for 2 hours).

Compost is a soil additive and is most likely too rich to use alone.

For my potting mix, I like to use MG potting soil, to which I add stuff like: turface (clay bits), perlite, pine bark, wood mulch, peat moss, compost. This basic mix is used for all my plants - citrus, succulants, ferns, african violets, gardenias, houseplants, amaryllis, palms, but not my orchids.

I used to get Schlutz' cactus mix but one one sells it any more around here. That was my favorite. I used to mix that with other stuff, too. I do not like soiless mixes because somehow I've killed plants whenever I've used it. It just holds too much moisture.

It sounds like you have all the components at home already.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 2:01AM
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