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How To Make Potting Soil For Indoor Plants

Updated October 16, 2021 by admin

As a plant owner, it can be quite frustrating to find the perfect soil mix. After all, you need to make sure they’re getting the essential nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy- but you don’t want to break the bank.

Have no fear! If you have ever been concerned about how to make potting soil for indoor plants, you have come to the right place. All you need is peat moss, vermiculite, pumice, and a container to mix it all up in. This is a budget-friendly, easy recipe.

This mixture will work for just about any plant- except succulents or cactus plants. Those particular plants require a special mixture.

Best Soil For Houseplants

There are lots of different houseplant soil mixtures and somehow, they are all so very different and have issues such as:  

  1. Not enough drainage
  2. Don’t retain water
  3. Contain too much sand
  4. Have large sticks or rocks in them

In order to thrive, houseplants need a light, fluffy mix with a nice balance of drainage and moisture retention. If not, you’ll end up with compacted soil that won’t retain moisture, or it will hold in too much moisture. Neither of which ends will for your houseplants. It will be difficult to keep them alive.

Advantages To Making Your Own Potting Mix

Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy to whip up a batch of your own homemade potting soil mixture when you need it. Additionally, making your own has some advantages, such as buying the ingredients in bulk is actually less expensive than buying the pre-mixed stuff.

Plus, you are in control of what is going into the mix. You know what is in it and how much. You can play around with the recipe that we’ll provide here to come up with what works best for each of your plants.

Making Your Own Potting Soil For Indoor Plants

Once again, this is a pretty easy and budget-friendly mixture. You can change up the amounts that you use and customize it to each of your plants once you figure out exactly what they each need.

Ingredients For Homemade Houseplant Potting Soil

This recipe only uses three ingredients: peat moss/coco coir, perlite/pumice, and vermiculite. All three of these ingredients can be found in most garden centers, near the pre-made soil mixtures. If you can’t locate them on your own, find someone to ask for assistance.

Peat Moss/Coco Coir

This will be your potting soil base and is the ingredient that brings in the moisture retention component. The primary difference between peat moss and coco coir is that peat moss is not as sustainable and slower to renew than coco coir. The coco coir is actually a byproduct of the processing of coconuts. Either one will work just fine.


Those tiny white pieces that you see in many commercial potting mixtures are perlite and is what helps with drainage and to keep the soil from becoming compacted. If you’re not able to find this, you can use a pumice. Both are all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about adding chemicals to your homemade potting soil mixture.


This is a natural mineral that also helps in the prevention of compacted soil. It is the component that keeps your soil mixture light and fluffy. It also helps with moisture retention as well. Additionally, it is lightweight, so it won’t add any extra weight to your mixture.

Supplies For Making Your Potting Soil Mixture

In order to make your own potting soil mixture, you will need to gather a few supplies:

  1. Measuring container
  2. Hand trowel/soil scoop
  3. Large wheelbarrow, garden tub, potting tray, or bucket
  4. Safety mask
  5. Water

Homemade Potting Soil Mixture Recipe

Here is the moment you’ve been waiting for: the recipe for making your own potting soil mixture:

  1. 2 parts peat moss/coco coir
  2. 1 part perlite/pumice
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 parts vermiculite

Keep in mind that houseplants do typically prefer a more alkaline soil and peat moss is acidic. Therefore, if you are using peat moss, you will need 1 tablespoon of garden lime per gallon. If you want to be sure, you can use a pH tester to make sure the soil has been neutralized.

Many people wonder what is meant by the word “parts/part” in a recipe. This is simply a unit of measure. You can use any unit you want. For example, if you use a cup to measure, you’ll need 2 cups of peat moss/coco coir, 1 cup perlite/pumice, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vermiculite. It’s just easier to say “part” because not everyone will make the same amount of soil mixture.

Mixing Your Homemade Potting Soil Mixture

Once you have added all of your ingredients to your container, you will use your scoop, trowel, or hands to mix it together. If you’re only making a small batch in a small container, you can use one with a lid and shake it up.

Whatever you do, make sure that you mix it as evenly as possible. You can use it now to pot your houseplants or you can save it for later. If you do plan to use it right now, you might want to add a bit of granular fertilizer. Make sure to read the instructions on the package to find out how much to use.

Storage Of Homemade Houseplant Soil Mixture

If you have a lot of plants, you might want to consider making this mixture in large batches so that you always have some. Just make sure that you keep it in an airtight container because soil can potentially become infested with bugs– even if it’s sitting in storage.

Bottom Line

Believe it or not, making your own homemade potting soil mixture is actually the most economical- especially if you have a lot of plants. Plus, it’s a really easy DIY project.

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