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If you’re a gardening enthusiast, then you know how important potting soil is for growing and maintaining healthy plants. It’s the lifeblood of any home garden, and investing in high-quality potting soil can make a world of difference in plant health. You want to give your plants rich soil with great consistency so they can grow tall and vibrantly green.

Not only will this promote plant health, but you’ll also get livelier flowers and tastier fruits and vegetables. Also, good soil means that more seeds will grow into plants, making your garden look full of life. But, finding high-quality potting soil from the tons of options available is no easy task. So, to help you better navigate the market, we put together a list of our favorite potting soils.

Buying Guide: Potting Soil

Plants need nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to grow, which they get from the soil. But, in the confines of a pot, you’ll need a combination of fertilizers and potting soil to keep plants alive and healthy. When it comes to choosing the right potting soil for your garden, however, there are many features to take into consideration. So, to help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a detailed guide to buying potting soils. Let’s take a look!

What to Look for When Buying Potting Soil

Moisture retention

When in the market for potting soil, look for an option with good moisture retention capabilities so your plants can stay hydrated and healthy. This helps plants absorb water much easier and also reduces their watering needs, so you don’t have to water them too often.

Nutrient distribution

For optimal plant health, pick potting soil with a balanced nutrient distribution. This will give your plants all the essential nutrients they need to thrive without any extra supplementation or fertilizer. If the potting soil’s formula doesn’t contain essential nutrients, be sure to use a fertilizer with it for optimal results.

Tips for Buying Potting Soil

Buy organic

Organic potting soils are the safest choice because they’re naturally derived and contain only ingredients that are non-toxic and beneficial to your plants. As such, you should choose an organic option for the healthiest and most sustainable soil. You can check the potting soil’s product description to see if it is organic or not.

Keep drainage in mind

Good drainage is essential in any potting soil if you want to keep your plants safe from root rot. This is why you should opt for well-draining potting soil so that water won’t pool and cause damage to your plants’ delicate roots. Instead, the soil will retain the amount of water needed to keep the plant healthy, and the rest will drain out.

Our Criteria for Picking the Top Potting Soils

Aeration capacity

Aeration capacity is a key factor to consider, as it allows oxygen to reach your plants’ roots and helps them absorb necessary nutrients from the soil. Because of this, we made sure to choose potting soil with good aeration capacity for healthier plant growth.

Neutral pH balance

Most plants prefer neutral pH levels as it is not damaging to the roots in any way. We only chose potting soils that had a neutral pH balance so you can plant a larger variety of plants using the same soil without having to worry about roots rotting or burning.

Other Important Considerations

Container suitability

Not all potting soils are created equal when it comes to container gardening. Some soils may be too heavy or dense for containers, while others may lack adequate drainage or aeration capacity. Be sure to pick the right type of potting soil for your needs; remember, potting soils are usually only suitable for potted plants.

Weed control

You don’t want weeds taking over your garden or containers, do you? So make sure that the potting soil you choose doesn’t contain any weed seeds. This will save you time and energy in removing these unwanted visitors later on – one batch of weed-infested soil could ruin the whole garden. You can check if the potting soil you pick has weed seeds in it or not by going through its product reviews.

Reviewing the Top Potting Soils

The Cat Ladies Potting Soil

– Best Overall


25% Off

Buy on Amazon

For the first product on our list, we have The Cat Ladies Potting Soil, which contains the vitamins and nutrients needed to help your plants thrive. You can grow all kinds of plants in it thanks to its unique consistency, which is ideal for most plant types. It is made with coconut coir, which provides good drainage and root aeration, as well as boasts antifungal benefits to protect your plants. Meanwhile, this potting soil’s excellent water retention capabilities ensure that the plants don’t become stressed due to lack of water.

Aside from its effective formula, this pick is very environmentally friendly because it’s not highly acidic, meaning no soil amendments are needed. In fact, since its pH is close to neutral, plants can thrive in it both indoors and outdoors. And, for convenience’s sake, this potting soil even comes packed in a disk form for easier storage and use. Thanks to its antifungal properties, long-lasting fibers, and additive-free constitution, this potting soil has definitely earned our top spot.


  • Available in 12 and 24-packs
  • Holds water well
  • Neutral pH for better plant health
  • Provides good drainage


  • Soil discs are too small for some

Miracle-Gro Potting Soil

– Excellent Quality


Buy on Amazon

Our list’s runner-up is Miracle-Gro Potting Soil, which comes in five varieties to pick from. What makes this pick stand out from the others is that it’s specifically designed to be less prone to gnats, making it much safer for plants susceptible to gnat infestations. This is because it contains no compost or bark, which are known to shelter fungus gnats; it instead utilizes coconut coir which can hold water for much longer, aiding your plant’s water absorption.

This potting soil’s formula is designed to accommodate all kinds of plants, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding the right mix for each plant. That said, this pick is specially made with the needs of indoor plants in mind, so you can have a healthy garden inside your home without worrying about unhealthy plants or stunted growth. As the cherry on top, this pick feeds for up to six months, meaning your planets can stay in the same pot for much longer.


  • Good water retention
  • Accommodates all kinds of plants
  • Feeds for up to six months
  • Resistant to gnats


  • The bag cannot be resealed

FoxFarm Potting Soil

– Most Nutrient-rich


Buy on Amazon

FoxFarm Potting Soil is packed with everything needed to nourish a diverse array of plants, both indoors and outdoors. It contains ingredients like earthworm castings, sea-going fish, forest humus, crab meal, and moss to provide essential nutrition for plants of all kinds. Additionally, the soil’s pH levels have been adjusted carefully for optimal growth conditions for plants, resulting in stronger branching and healthier overall growth.

This pick is especially well-suited for containerized plantings thanks to its light composition, which helps promote root growth without becoming heavy or waterlogged. And, with a variety of pack sizes available, you’ll be able to stock up for all of your future gardening needs. So, if you’re looking for nourishing, effective potting soil to take your plants to the next level, this product may be for you.


  • Perfectly balanced pH
  • Lightweight for improved aeration and weight balance
  • Protects and strengthens roots
  • Produces vibrant, fast-growing plants


  • A bit pricey

Espoma Organic Potting Soil

– Most Balanced Formula


Buy on Amazon

Great for indoor and outdoor container gardening, Espoma Organic Potting Soil is suitable for herbs, vegetables, and flower growth alike, meaning you won’t have to worry about what plants you use it with. Along with this, it features a blend of sphagnum peat moss, perlite, humus, alfalfa meal, earthworm castings, and more. All of these natural ingredients provide a strong root system, better nutrient absorption, and optimum nutrition for healthy plant growth, especially in seedlings. The enriching effects of the alfalfa meal help to promote vigorous growth, while the use of kelp meal provides essential minerals and trace elements plants need to stay healthy. Aside from these ingredients, feather meal is also present to enhance soil structure and increase water retention. As you can tell, this potting soil’s well-balanced formula is chock full of ingredients that will help your plants truly thrive, which is why it’s such a good choice.


  • Provides essential nutrients for your plants
  • Drains well and allows air to enter
  • Contains beneficial organic matter
  • Suitable for herbs, veggies, and flowering plants


  • Susceptible to gnats

Burpee Potting Soil

– Sustainable Choice


Buy on Amazon

Last but not least is Burpee Potting Soil, which is made up of plant food and coconut coir to help promote seed and root growth while also improving the health of your plants. What really sticks out about this soil, however, is how it releases essential nutrients instantly. Even better, after the first release, it keeps on providing nutrients for up to three months!

Further, the use of sustainable coconut coir helps retain the perfect amount of moisture for both indoor and outdoor potted plants. This makes this potting soil mix an excellent choice for those who are looking to maximize the success of their garden. As the cherry on top, this product has even been OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed for organic use and comes in varying compositions for different plant types as well.


  • Comes in a resealable bag
  • Lightweight for better balancing
  • Natural and free of additives
  • High-quality, sustainable formula


  • More size options would be nice

People Also Ask

Q: What should I look for in good potting soil?

A: The ideal potting soil should be lightweight and well-draining with a mix of organic materials like compost, peat moss, and perlite. It should be able to hold moisture while also providing adequate aeration for plant roots. The potting soil shouldn’t be acidic either, as most plants don’t thrive in that. All these factors combined will produce the healthiest and liveliest plants.

Q: What are the benefits of using potting soil?

A: The benefits of using potting soil include improved aeration and drainage, better moisture retention, and higher water-holding capacity. It also improves nutrient availability to plants and lets you customize the nutrients depending on your plant’s needs. Additionally, potting soil provides a sterile environment for seedlings and transplants to grow and thrive in.

Q: How often should I replace my potting soil?

A: Most types of potting soil should be replaced at least once every year or two, depending on how heavily it has been used and how many different types of plants have been grown in it. Heavily fertilized soils may need to be replaced more often due to the leaching of nutrients over time. Be sure to check the potting soil’s product description to see what its feed life is. Never exceed the feed life provided by the manufacturer to avoid plant health degradation.

Q: Can I use potting soil indoors and outdoors?

A: Yes, most types of potting soils can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is important to note that some plants may require different types of potting soil consistency depending on where they are planted, whether indoors or outdoors. Also, you may want to consider the weight of the container and soil you pick if you plan on moving it between indoor and outdoor locations frequently since heavier containers will be harder to move around.

Q: Are there any special instructions for handling and storing potting soil?

A: When handling and storing potting soil, you should avoid letting it come in contact with your skin and eyes. This is due to the potential irritation that can be caused by organic materials like peat moss or decomposing compost mixtures. As a result, it’s crucial to always wear gloves when handling potting soil. Potting soil should also be stored in an airtight container to avoid loss of moisture. This also helps prevent contamination from microorganisms or pests from outside sources such as dirt or other debris.

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Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

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