10 Best Potting Soils – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Potting Soil

The healthy growth of the plants starts by getting the best potting soil. The potting soils are well aerated, lightweight, and sterile for better growth of all plants.

Besides this, the potting soils are either organic or non-organic, which makes them great for growing different plants.

They have improved nutrient and water uptake plus healthy ingredients to boost the growth of plants.

Additionally, the potting soils are versatile as they can be used for both indoor planting and outdoor gardens.

For the plants to grow healthy, you need to find a top-rated potting soil. This is by checking out on the below potting soil review plus the buyer’s guide.

10 Best Potting Soils – Reviews

1. Fox Farm FX14000 – For Containerized Planting

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Fox Farm FX14000
  • Purpose: Containerized planting and adjusting the pH level

When you prefer containerized planting, Fox Farm FX14000 is an organic potting soil ready to use out of the box. The good news is that the potting soil contains micronutrients, bat guano, and earthworms for the healthy growth of plants.

Second, to this, the potting soil is well aerated with light texture thus, the air content of the soil is amazing. More interestingly, it consists of sphagnum peat moss, sandy loam, and compost forest humus.

The potting soil provides more than enough moisture content for the plant. Due to this, you can use it for all your indoors plantation needs.

With up to 1.5 cubic feet, it is perfect for use in larger areas. The soil doesn’t bring about pungent smell within the house, making it appropriate for indoor use.

However, Fox Farm FX14000 requires regular maintenance to enhance growth. The soil is also not great for outdoor use.

Pros:

  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Well aerated with a light texture
  • Offers adequate moisture
  • No pungent smell indoors

Cons:

  • Not for outdoor use
  • Requires regular maintenance

2. Fox Farm FX14053 – Optimum Fertilizer Uptake

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Fox Farm FX14053
  • Purpose: Containerized plantings plus encourages strong and sturdy branching

With Fox Farm FX14053, the soil provides you with all you need in one bag. Again, the pH is adjusted from 6.3 to 6.8 to bring about optimum fertilizer uptake. The premium composition of bat guano, earthworm castings, and crab meal makes it very fertile.

That said, the potting soil also features sandy loam, compost forest humus, and sphagnum peat moss. This combination gives the soil its aerated and light texture.

More interestingly, the potting soil doesn’t need much water thanks to the optimum moisture level. Due to this, it suits planting a variety of plants including indoor containerized plantings.

Additionally, due to the high level of nutrients, it greatly boosts sturdy and strong branching for healthy growth habits.

Despite the inclusion of seafood organic material, the potting soil doesn’t attract flies.

On the downside, Fox Farm FX14053 is kind of costly compared to the cheapest product. The potting soil also has a low content of fertilizers.

Pros:

  • Offers optimum pH intake
  • Quality aeration with a light texture
  • Optimum moisture level
  • Boost sturdy and strong branching

Cons:

  • Low fertilizer content
  • Kind of costly

3. Michigan Peat 1440 – Starter and Slow Release Fertilizers

Editor's Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Michigan Peat 1440
  • Purpose: For rooted cuttings, bulbs, starting seeds, and indoor and outdoor potted plants

Introducing the Michigan Peat 1440, this is a fertile potting soil with the starter and slow-release fertilizers. You, therefore, don’t need to add fertilizers separately. That said, the potting soil consists of nutrients like reed sedge peat, limestone, and perlite to enhance the growth of plants.

In addition to this, the content has been perfectly aerated with essential qualities and, therefore, suits both pot and garden soil.

Because of the high water-retentive ability, the potting soil doesn’t need a lot of maintenances. This also makes it widely applicable for starting seeds, rooted cuttings, and indoor and outdoor potted plants.

With a capacity of 4-Quartz, the potting soil is great for use on the garden soil. The ready to use soil has perfect pH balance thus, ideal for the desert and jungle cacti.

Due to the higher cost, Michigan Peat 1440 is not a perfect selection for many users. Due to the high moisture level, the soil gets too moist.

Pros:

  • Contains a high level of fertilizers
  • Aerated with essential qualities
  • High water-retentive ability
  • Great for potted and garden soil

Cons:

  • Soil gets too moist
  • Very costly

4. Hoffman 10404 – For Succulent and Cactus

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Hoffman 10404
  • Purpose: Planting succulents, cactus, aloe, spider plants, and shady water-loving plants

The cactus and succulent plants need soil with an improved drainage system. Hoffman 10404 is made of up to 50% sand for improved soil drainage to support healthy growth. The potting soil has been professionally formulated using the desert cacti and forest nutrients.

Moreover, due to the quick drainage and high sand content, the potting soil delivers excellent aeration that fastens the growth of the plants.

Even though it drains water faster, the moisture content is superb. This is why the potting soil is great for potted plantation.

The pH level of the soil perfectly balanced so that it stimulates a healthy and faster growth of the plants. It comes in a 4-quartz package including the useful growing information.

One drawback of Hoffman 10404 is the low level of fertilizers. Due to the high drainage system, it demands a lot of care.

Pros:

  • Formulated with forest and desert cacti nutrients
  • Delivers excellent aeration
  • Superb moisture content
  • Perfectly balanced pH

Cons:

  • Demands more maintenance
  • Low fertilizer level

5. Espoma AP8 – Myco-tone Water Saving Formula

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Espoma AP8
  • Purpose: For indoors and outdoors planting

With Espoma AP8, you don’t need to use a lot of water when irrigating the plants. The potting soil mix has been perfectly infused with different organic nutrients to enhance the growth of plants.

Utilizing 11 mycorrhizae strains, the potting soil brings about excellent soil aeration. This also enhances the growth speed of the plants as it keeps them stress-free.

One amazing thing about the potting soil is the sufficient moisture level. With the myco tone formula, the potting soil can keep sufficient water for better growth. Because of this, you don’t need a lot of water during irrigation.

Indeed, the potting soil brings about amazing plant growth by providing the plants with nitrogen, potash, and phosphate of 7%, 2%, and 2% respectively.

The high organic ingredient makes it great for both indoor and outdoor plantation needs. Since the potting soil retains a lot of water, you don’t need to check out on it frequently.

The soil content of Espoma AP8 is kind of loose and you will need to add some fertilizer for better growth of the plants.

Pros:

  • Infused with organic nutrients
  • Offers excellent soil aeration
  • Sufficient moisture level
  • Great for indoors and outdoors use

Cons:

  • Soil is kind of loose
  • Additional fertilizer is needed

6. Black Gold GL56714750 – 100% Organic Base

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Black Gold GL56714750
  • Purpose: All gardening applications like house plants, patio containers, hanging pots, and small plants

For the healthy growth of both indoor and outdoor plants, Black Gold GL56714750 provides a 100% organic base. This provides key nutrients including Canadian sphagnum peat moss and screened earthworm castings. The soil also contains the forest and compost humus. 

That said, the organic potting soil features both pumice and perlite that bring about optimum aeration thus, boosting sturdy growth of the plants.

Featuring the multicote, it easily regulates the process of releasing the fertilizers. This also aids in retaining more water for better growth.

Despite being ideal for all gardening purposes, Black Gold GL56714750 cost will keep you away. It is costly plus the soil gets very wet, which may promote the growth of spores.

Pros:

  • Suits both indoor and outdoor plantation
  • Offers optimum aeration
  • Provides healthy and faster growth
  • Contains both compost and forest humus

Cons:

  • Highly pricey
  • Promote the growth of spores

7. Black Gold 1302040 – Cheapest Organic Potting Soil

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Black Gold 1302040
  • Purpose: Patio containers, herb gardens, hanging baskets, and vegetable planting

Made up of quality and tested organic ingredients plus its low cost, Black Gold 1302040 is the best organic potting soil. The rich loamy soil has been regionally formulated with the forest humus to boost the growth of plants.

In addition to this, the rich loamy soil has an improved aeration system, which aids in enhancing the growth speed of the plants.

That said, the high level of moisture makes it versatile for growing different crops. With the Multicote, it perfectly aids in the control of fertilizer release.

The fertile potting soil is also made of gold’s resilience silicone. This plays the role of boosting stronger growth plus reducing wilting.

Due to the slow release of fertilizer, the soil offers healthy growth as it keeps the plant stronger and sturdy.

However, Black Gold 1302040 has a smaller quantity, which doesn’t suit it for large gardens. The amount of fertilizer included isn’t to the optimum level, which implies that more fertilizers should be added.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective and fertile
  • Have an enhanced aeration system
  • Great for growing different plants
  • Promotes healthy and sturdy growth

Cons:

  • Smaller quantity
  • Low level of fertilizer

8. EnRoot Products SEC10QT – SpongeEase Fibers

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

EnRoot Products SEC10QT
  • Purpose: Great for growing landscape plants, roses, fruits, and vegetables among others

The EnRoot Products SEC10QT is known for its excellent water absorption and retention thanks to the SpongeEase fibers. These are tubes that fill with water then allow the excess water to go through. The soil contains quality coconut husks fibers for the healthy growth of plants.

Apart from this, the unique microscopic tubes aid in creating quality oxygen to the plant roots. This is what enhances the aeration system of the soil.

The potting soil has excellent moisture content thanks to the sponge-like properties that increase the drainage for less overwatering. You can, therefore, use this, potting soil for most plants.

Again, it is an eco-friendly potting soil that is great for both indoor and outdoor use. It has been made from abundant resources plus coconut husks.

The neutral pH level also makes it versatile for the easy growth of any plant.

On the downside, EnRoot Products SEC10QT requires the addition of fertilizer or compost.

Pros:

  • Excellent water absorption and retention
  • Enhanced soil aeration
  • Increased drainage system
  • Eco-friendly potting soil

Cons:

  • Requires composite or fertilizer addition

9. Big Rootz BR000001 – pH-Adjusted

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Big Rootz BR000001
  • Purpose: For outdoor greenhouses, indoor growing, and adding to existing soil

Whether you need to grow indoors or outdoors, Big Rootz BR000001 provides better growing conditions. The adjusted pH perfectly suits it for different species of plants. It is formulated with ingredients like worm casting, compost, peat, and triple-washed coir.

The high-quality potting soil has been enriched with mycorrhizae that greatly maximizes the growth of the roots. This also increases the nutrient intake for better soil aeration and plant vigor.

Mycorrhizae is also vital in enhancing the water uptake process. Due to this, it provides excellent moisture content for growing different plants.

The natural ingredients also ensure that the plant grows strong and sturdy. The 1.5 cubic feet potting soil is great for use on a large garden.

Unfortunately, Big Rootz BR000001 is the most expensive unit, which implies it is not a selection for all users. Additionally, the fertilizer level would have been better.

Pros:

  • Suits different plants
  • Increased nutrient intake
  • Improved moisture intake
  • Improved water uptake

Cons:

  • Most expensive
  • Demands extra fertilizers

10. Miracle-Gro 70551430 – All-Purpose Potting Soil

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Miracle-Gro 70551430
  • Purpose: In-ground and outdoor planting

Due to the finest composition of nutrients, Miracle-Gro 70551430 is an all-purpose potting soil. It can be used for in-ground and outdoor gardening needs. The potting soil comprises nutrients like peat moss, fertilizers, and pertile to safeguard the quality growth of different plants.

The good news is that the potting soil quality aeration system, which makes it suitable for growing all plants.

More interestingly, it also offers a perfect moisture balance to keep the plants healthy. The high moisture-retentive means that no much maintenance is needed.

The quality potting soil will feed the plants for up to three months. In addition to this, the versatile soil is great for vegetables and herbs, flowers, trees, and shrubs.

Fortified with iron and phosphorus minerals, it also builds stronger and sturdy roots and branches.

The cost of Miracle-Gro 70551430 is favorable as compared to most products on the list.

Pros:

  • Suitable for in-ground and outdoor gardening
  • Quality aeration system
  • Perfect moisture balance
  • Feed plants for 3-months

Cons:

  • Relatively costly

How to Buy the Best Potting Soil

How to Buy the Best Potting Soil

The potting soils differ in nutrients, air, and moisture retention levels. Due to this, they are meant for growing different plants. You can find the best potting soil by checking for things like.

1. Organic or Non-organic

Apart from the cost, the organic and non-organic potting soils also differ in the nutrients.

Organic

For the organic soils, they have intact nutrients and organic mixes. Due to this, the plants will get to feed on the natural ingredients.

Apart from this, the best organic potting soil is free from chemical nutrients. This will, therefore, assure of healthy and natural growth of the plants.

The most common organic potting soils have been made from organic mixes like fish meal, bone meal, soybean, and mushroom compost among others.

For the healthy growth of the plants, you should use the organic potting mix with organic soil. The organic potting soils are relatively costly yet reusable.

Non-organic

For the non-organic potting soils, they have been made from combinations of industrial ingredients. For instance, they include peat moss, bark, pertile, and vermiculite.

They are mainly used for indoor growing needs as they enhance the growth of plants with no natural nutrients.

Besides this, they have also been blended with the Styrofoam. This is meant for creating additional spaces or air and water. Despite being cheap, they are not usable.

2. Air Circulation

Efficient air circulation is vital for the growth of plants. This is why you need to check out for the ultimate potting soil with improved air circulation.

For the best air circulation in the soil, consider a fluffy potting soil that is light. Additionally, ensure that the soil isn’t too dense when wet. Such soil will limit the growth of the roots.

There should always be a proper balance of air, nutrients, and moisture. So, whether you need an organic or non-organic soil, make sure that the aeration is sufficient.

#3 Moisture and Nutrients

Again, it is vital to check for both the moisture and nutrients content of the potting soil you wish to buy.

Moisture

For the moisture level, it should be perfectly balanced with the air and nutrients. The moisture level differs depending on the type of plant the soil is meant for.

For instance, when you need to plant succulents and cactus, consider potting soil with high drainage level.

On the other hand, plants like vegetables and fruits will need rich loamy soil with moderate and balanced moisture content.

Nutrients

The nutrients included in the potting soil will determine what type of plants it can support. Besides this, the nutrients included also determine the water retention level of the soil.

The nutrients included in the organic soil always differ from those that make up the non-organic soil. The organic soil nutrients are natural while the non-organic nutrients are mainly industrial products.

It is, therefore, vital to check out for a potting soil that will provide the needed nutrients depending on the plants you wish to grow.

Apart from the nutrients, you also need to ensure that fertilizer has been included. With such potting soil, you don’t need to add more fertilizers.

4. Density

The density of the potting soil is another vital consideration to check out for. Find the ultimate potting soil that has an accurate density for the healthy growth of the plant.

To hamper the growth of the plant, don’t go for soil that is too hard or too soft. With the hard soils, the growth of the roots will be limited.

You can test this by poking your finger into the soil to feel the texture. Apart from this, you can test by checking the weight of the soil bag.

Don’t go for the extremely heavy potting soil bags since they contain more fillers, which means they are not great for planting.

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Tips for Filling Garden Pot with Soil 

Tips for Filling Garden Pot with Soil

By following the right tips of filling the garden pot with soil, you will greatly enhance the growth of the plants. Here are the vital tricks you need to follow when filling the pot with soil.

1. Don’t Fill the Whole Pot Using Potting Soil

Filling the whole pot with the potting soil is not only wasting the soil but also makes the pot heavier.

Several plants like vegetables only grow roots 10 to 12-inches deep. Due to this, there is no need for filling the whole pot with potting soil.

Instead, you need to add some empty milk bottles and plastic soda bottles at the bottom. You should then cover with soil. Such a container will be lightweight and portable.

2. Never Use Garden Soil to Fill the Pot

Secondly, whether you got the best soil in your garden, don’t use it for filling the pot. The garden soil contains things like weed seeds, bugs, and bacteria. It is also heavy, which makes the drainage system very poor.

Instead of garden soil, you need to use the potting soil since it is lightweight, sterile, and well aerated. The potting soils also provide an excellent balance of air, nutrients, and moisture.

3. Don’t Use Same Soil Every Year

Replacing the potting soil every year will enhance the growth of the plants. Planting on the same soil each year will deplete the soil nutrition.

The old soil in the pot should be thrown in the garden.

Conclusion 

Healthy growth of the plants starts by getting the right potting soil. Whether it is indoor or outdoor gardening, the potting soil provides better nutrients, air, and moisture balance for better growth.

The potting soils are either organic or non-organic. You can, therefore, find the right soil for your planting needs. Non-organic are great for indoor planting while organic mix needs organic soils.

Besides this, they also have different nutrients and moisture levels. You need to replace the potting soil every year for the healthy growth of the crops.

Despite the numerous potting soils, you can still find the ultimate potting soil by checking the above potting soil review that provides both organic and non-organic options.