Categories
BLOG

black gold potting soil home depot

Best Potting Soil for Any Plant – Buying Guide and Recommendation

MorningChores Staff is a team of writers and editors who collaborate to create articles. If the article you are reading is authored by MorningChores Staff, it means multiple people contributed on it.

If you buy an item via links on this page, we may earn a commission. Our editorial content is not influenced by commissions. Read the full disclosure.

Most people aren’t just born with a green thumb – they acquire it through careful research, planning, and practice. One of the biggest considerations for growing gorgeous plants is what type of soil to use. For potted plants, it’s even more important to find the best potting soil available for drainage, nutrition, and growth, as these plants are confined to a smaller space.

The 7 Best Potting Soil

  1. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
  2. Black Gold SURRBG16QT Organic Potting Soil
  3. Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Soil
  4. Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
  5. Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil (Our Top Pick)
  6. Michigan Peat 5720 Garden Magic Potting Soil
  7. Sun Bulb 5019 Better-Gro Orchid Bark

Our Top Pick for the Best Potting Soil

Our top pick for the best potting soil is the Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil.

Foxfarms’s Ocean Forest potting mix is the best option if you are just starting out, as it provides an excellent base for most plants and is incredibly easy to use. With well-rounded nutrition and good water retention, it’s the best choice for beginning gardeners.

What to Look for in Potting Soil

There are a lot of different types of potting soil available, but not all of them are up to the task of providing a solid base for your potted plants. When you are looking for the best potting soil for your potted flowers, vegetables, or herbs, you’ll need to consider a few different aspects of the product.

One of the biggest things potting soil has to do is retain moisture and nutrients for your plants.

On the flip side, they also need to be able to provide your plants’ roots with air and circulation. The best potting mix is going to be light and fluffy upon opening the bag, and not too dense even once you get it wet. Otherwise, the roots of the plant may get smothered. They could also develop rot or mold. The soil should have some give if you poke your finger into it.

If the soil becomes really hard after watering, your plant won’t be able to expand and grow its roots through the potting mix.

To judge the density of potting mix before you make a purchase, just pick up the bag! It shouldn’t be too heavy – a very heavy bag of potting soil, before it’s been exposed to moisture, usually means it has a lot of fillers like sand or mulch, which leads to a dense, thick soil that isn’t suitable for most sun-loving plants. Fillers also take up valuable space which could be used by some type of fertilizer.

The other big factor here is considering what’s inside the bag.

Good potting soil will have a variety of nutrients for feeding plants, as opposed to just one or two. Look on the bag for a list of included ingredients; a potting soil that just says ‘fertilizer’ on the bag probably doesn’t include many different nutrients.

Remember: a trustworthy brand will be open about what is in their product by including a detailed label.

Organic or Non-Organic?

Foods and products that are organic are gaining in popularity, but is it worth it to go organic with your potting soil?

Honestly, it’s a personal preference.

Both types of potting soil can work well if you get a reputable brand’s product and follow the considerations above.

Personally, I’ve had very good luck with natural ingredients, so I usually look for natural fertilizers like seaweed, worm castings, and compost. One of the best benefits of these fertilizers is that they will work on pretty much any potted plant, from veggies to herbs to flowers.

It’s also easier to supplement these fertilizers yourself, using your own compost or seaweed mixture, as the soil starts to break down.

Plant-Specific Choices

Some plants will require special potting mix in order to thrive.

If you have a unique plant such as a cactus or other succulents, roses, or orchids, you may want to find a specific potting soil for their growth. Plant-specific potting soils for these unique plants will have specialized nutrients and density ratios to ensure they are healthy.

This is also true if you are trying to start plants from seeds.

Regular potting mix may not be the best choice for this endeavor. Potting soil specifically for seed-starting will be lighter and airier than regular bags, so it allows more sunlight and warmth to reach the seeds, giving them a better chance at germination.

Best Potting Soil – Reviews

1. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

The Miracle-Gro Potting Mix is the gold standard in the potting world and it is so popular thanks to its affordable price and great track record for growing plants big and beautiful. This potting mix is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

This product uses peat moss, perlite, fertilizer, and a wetting agent to create a suitable potting mix for plants. The specific ingredients may vary depending on where the bag was made.

This potting soil is guaranteed to include at least .21% nitrogen, .11% phosphate, and .16% potash for fertilizing needs.

  • Affordable option
  • Easy to find at most stores
  • Designed for also all potted plants
  • Easy to use
  • Results are guaranteed or you can get a refund
  • Product is certified by the Mulch and Soil Council
  • Can have a strange odor
  • Fertilizer can attract flies
  • Not organic
  • May get too dense with a lot of water

Check the price on Amazon

2. Black Gold SURRBG16QT Organic Potting Soil

This organic potting soil from Black Gold uses worm castings, perlite, pumice, and organic fertilizers to care for your plants. All ingredients are certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

This mix includes Black Gold’s RESiLIENCE silicon compound to help reduce wilting, encourage stronger growth, and produce earlier flowers in your potted plants. This addition is also said to increase moisture retention in the soil.

Upon purchase, this soil has a pH level that is right down the middle: around 8.5. Additional products can be added to customize the pH as needed.

  • Certified organic product
  • Excellent drainage and aeration
  • Multiple fertilizers for growth
  • Good ingredients for moisture retention
  • Product has a nice earthy smell
  • Product can attract gnats
  • Wet soil can grow spores
  • Expensive price

Check the price on Amazon

3. Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Soil

This potting soil from Espoma is a blend of peat moss, peat humus, Espoma’s Myco-tone, worm castings, and perlite. All ingredients are organic and the company states that their products are safe for use around pets.

This potting soil uses Espoma’s proprietary Myco-tone addition, which utilizes 11 different strains of mycorrhizae to promote root growth and reduce stress in your plants. This can be especially useful if you need to transplant a plant outdoors or to a new pot.

The label of this product stats that there is a guaranteed analysis for the fertilizers. You can expect to get a least 7% nitrogen, 2% phosphate, and 2% potash when you purchase a bag.

  • Organic ingredients
  • Not attractive to bugs
  • Excellent fertilizer ratio
  • Small, family-owned business
  • Poor moisture retention
  • Expensive product
  • Soil is very loose
  • Not certified

4. Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

The Hoffman Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix is specifically designed for cacti and succulents. It uses a blend of Canadian sphagnum peat moss, reed sedge peat, limestone, perlite, and sand to create a mix that is suitable for these unique plants.

This is an organic mix that is designed to provide excellent drainage for these plants that don’t need a ton of water. The pH is also already balanced for succulents, so the soil is ready to use right out of the bag.

  • Best choice for succulents
  • Organic ingredients
  • Excellent drainage
  • Ready-to-use
  • Poor moisture absorption
  • Few sizes options available
  • Not certified organic

Check the price on Amazon

5. Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil

Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil made for containers contains forest humus, sandy loam, peat moss, and natural fertilizers including bat guano, worm castings, ocean fish, and crab meat. The product has a pH of 6.3-6.8 to allow the fertilizer to work as efficiently as possible.

The fertilizers in this bag are meant to last over a month, so even as the soil breaks down, no additives are needed. This makes this soil a good choice for beginners or someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to garden.

  • Several different types of fertilizers
  • Good value
  • Ready-to-use right out of the bag
  • Long-lasting
  • Bag may include large pieces of organic material
  • Soil can heat up a lot in the sun

Check the price on Amazon

6. Michigan Peat 5702 Garden Magic Potting Soil

Michigan Peat Garden Magic Potting Soil mix is ready to use straight from the bag and uses a dark blend of materials including reed sedge peat. perlite, and sand. Their potting soil can be used in pots or garden beds indoors or outdoors.

Michigan Peat is a smaller company that’s been in business for over 50 years, and they spent a fair amount of time developing their potting soil so it would offer good nutrition, water retention, and drainage in one package.

  • Great moisture retaining properties
  • Designed for use indoors and outdoors
  • Soil may get too moist due to high water-retentive abilities
  • Dark-colored soil can heat up quickly
  • Low amount of fertilizers

Check the price on Amazon

7. Sun Bulb 5019 Better-Gro Orchid Bark

Orchids are difficult, picky flowers that require a lot of special care. This includes unique potting soil requirements. Sun Bulb’s Better-Gro Orchid Bark potting mix is designed specifically for potted orchid flowers.

It is perfect for potting, re-potting, or spot refilling, making it the ideal emergency potting mixture. This blend is suitable for any epiphytic orchid.

  • Specialized care for orchids
  • Designed for orchid growers
  • Superior drainage for root growth
  • Can also be suitable for a wide variety of other ornamentals
  • Expensive
  • Dark-colored soil can heat up quickly
  • Large particles can cause trouble for smaller plants

Check the price on Amazon

Our Top Pick for the Best Potting Soil

Our top pick for the best potting soil is the Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil.

Foxfarms’s Ocean Forest potting soil is the best option if you are just starting out, as it provides an excellent base for most plants and is incredibly easy to use. With well-rounded nutrition and good water retention, it’s the best choice for beginning gardeners.

Choosing the best potting soil is important, it'll make or break your gardening project. Here we recommend the 7 best potting soils for any plant.

Soils & Mixes

Please refine your filter selections, select a different vehicle, or select Show All <2>>

“, “noResultsEtiresWithoutVehicle”:”Sorry, there are no results for <0>.

Please refine your filter selections, or select Show All <1>>

DOWNLOAD THE APP

‡ Total savings reflects sale price and instant rebate. Government of Canada Energy Savings Rebate Program get 25% Instant Rebate on selected ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers, smart thermostats and air purifiers. Taxes payable on price before rebate. Valid until September 30, 2020. Funded by the Government of Canada. Available in Ontario only. See details in store.

Financing available is “Equal payments, no interest” for 24 months (unless otherwise stated) and is only available on request, on approved credit and on purchases of $150 (unless otherwise stated) or more (Gift Cards excluded) made with your Triangle credit card at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s, L’Équipeur, Atmosphere, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey and participating Sports Experts. Interest does not accrue during the period of the plan. However, if we do not receive the full minimum due on a statement within 59 days of the date of that statement, or any event of default (other than a payment default) occurs under your Cardmember Agreement, all special payment plans on your account will terminate and (i) you will then be charged interest on the balances outstanding on such plans at the applicable regular annual rate from the day after the date of your next statement, and (ii) the balances outstanding will form part of the balance due on that statement. There is no administration fee charged for entering into a special payments plan. Each month during an equal payments plan you are required to pay in full by the due date that month’s equal payments plan instalment. Any unpaid portion not received by the due date will no longer form part of the equal payments plan and interest will accrue on that amount from the day after the date of your next statement at the applicable regular annual rate. Offer subject to change without notice.

Additional information for residents of Quebec only: The regular annual rate for persons applying for the Triangle Mastercard and the Triangle World Elite Mastercard is 22.99% for cash transactions and related fees and 19.99% for all other charges. Some applicants may receive a higher or lower regular annual rate depending on a credit evaluation. The minimum payment is the sum of (a) the greater of: (i) interest and fees shown on your statement + $10; or (ii) 5% of the New Balance, excluding amounts on special payment plans, (b) any balance over your credit limit, (c) any amounts past due not included in (b) above, and (d) the amount of any equal payments plan instalments then due. Balances under $10 are due in full. For residents of Quebec, the period between the statement date and the due date for payment is 26 days. The billing period covered by each statement can be from 28-33 days. The Triangle Mastercard and the Triangle World Elite Mastercard do not have an annual fee. Examples of borrowing costs (rounded to the nearest cent) assuming that all charges are purchases bearing interest at the regular annual rate of 19.99%, a 30 day month, no charges made on special payment plans and no other fees, additional payments or other changes are:

If your average balance is: $100 $500 $1000 $2000
Total monthly credit charges will be: $1.64 $8.22 $16.43 $32.86

ƒ Additional Information for the Triangle Mastercard:

† In the form of electronic Canadian Tire Money ® (CT Money ® ). You cannot collect paper Canadian Tire Money on bonus offers. Any bonus multiplier is based on the base rate of collecting CT Money. Not all items sold at Canadian Tire earn CT Money. The offered rate is exclusive of any bonus or promotional offers or redemption transactions. CT Money is collected on the pre-tax. Bonus CT Money collected from online orders will be applied to the member’s Triangle Rewards™ account within 5 weeks of the purchase date. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://triangle.canadiantire.ca/en.html for more information.

®/TM Unless otherwise noted, all trademarks are owned by Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited and are used under licence.
®/TM Mastercard and World Mastercard are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

®/TM Mark’s is a registered trademark of Mark’s Work Warehouse Ltd, used under licence

®/TM Sport Chek is a registered trademark of FGL Sports Ltd, used under licence.

◊ Pricing, selection, and availability of in-store clearance items are determined by each store. Items may be display models or not exactly as shown and may not be available in all stores. Quantities may be limited. Contact your store for more information. We reserve the right to limit quantities. Sorry no rainchecks (excluding Quebec).

‡‡ Shipping fees apply. Shipping fees and delivery times vary depending on location, size and weight of the item(s) and is only available within the province of the Canadian Tire retail location (“Store”) from which the item(s) was purchased. Bulk items will only be delivered within a 100km radius of the Store. Not available in Recontre East, NL. Conditions and restrictions apply. Visit https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/ship-to-home.html for more information.

1 Excludes Diesel. Additional fees and charges will apply for vehicles that require more than 5L of oil. Additional oil filter charges will apply. Eco fees, taxes and additional fees where applicable, are extra. Coupon valid for one-time use only. Coupon has no cash value and must be presented and surrendered at time of redemption. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer, coupon or discount. One coupon per vehicle. We reserve the right to limit the number of coupons redeemed per person. Limited time only. Altered or modified coupons will not be accepted. Coupon valid for intended recipient only. Some restrictions apply. See in store for details.Offer valid January 31- February 27, 2020.
2 Standard Message & Data rates apply. You can withdraw your consent to receive text messages about Canadian Tire Auto offers at any time by texting STOP to 38667. Contact us at P.O. Box 2000, Welland, ON L3B 5S3 or 1-800-387-8803 or [email protected]
3 You will receive electronic messages about Canadian Tire Auto products, tips and services that may be of interest to you from Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. You may unsubscribe at any time.

ΔΔ The Triangle Rewards Program is owned and operated by Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. The Triangle credit cards are issued by Canadian Tire Bank. Rewards are in the form of electronic Canadian Tire Money® (CT Money®). To collect bonus CT Money you must present a Triangle Rewards card/key fob, or use any approved Cardless method, at time of purchase or pay with a Triangle credit card. You cannot collect paper CT Money on bonus offers. Any bonus multiplier is based on the base rate of (0.4%) collecting CT Money and will be added to whatever the Member would otherwise collect, without the bonus. Example: On a $100 (pre-tax) purchase with a 20X bonus multiplier a Member would earn a bonus $8 in CT Money (20 X .4% X $100). Not all items sold are eligible to earn CT Money or to be redeemed for. Conditions apply. Visit triangle.com for full program rules and Partner location information. The offered rate is exclusive of any bonus or promotional offers or redemption transactions. CT Money is collected on the pre-tax amount of the purchase.
ΔΔ Bonus CT Money collected from online orders will be applied to the Member’s Triangle Rewards Account within five weeks of the purchase date.

†† $25 GIFT CARD: Total qualifying purchase must be $125 or more before applicable taxes and shipping fees and must be paid for using Masterpass. Purchasing of gift cards cannot be used towards qualifying purchase amount. $25 Gift Card will be mailed to you within 8 weeks of your qualifying purchase. The Gift Card is only redeemable for merchandise and services at Canadian Tire retail stores or at Gas+ locations. The Gift Card may not be exchanged for cash, used to purchase other gift cards or applied as a payment on any Canadian Tire credit account. Applicable taxes will be charged on the total transaction value before deducting the Gift Card value. Canadian Tire and Mastercard International Incorporated are not responsible for replacing the value on this Gift Card if it is lost, stolen destroyed, damaged or used without your knowledge or consent.

Unless otherwise noted, all trademarks are owned by Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited.

®Mastercard and Masterpass are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Canadian Tire’s selection of high-grade soil mix supplies the best nutrients for healthy indoor and outdoor plants. Buy online; pick up at one of 500+ stores.