Correct Potting Mix??

holly12September 24, 2013

Hi there!

I've got a bunch of spider plants, polkadot plants and peace lilies that I had originally just planted in Micracle grow potting mix.

After the spider plants almost dying to nothing, as well as the same with the polkadot plants, I read that a potting mix, peat/sphagnum mix, pearlite mix is the best, because it allows soil to drain and keeps it aerated.

Today, I took out all the soil, put back some of the potting mix, added pearlite and peat/sphagnum (about 1/3 of each media), mixed it all up and re-potted all my spiders, polkadots and lilies. (I noticed that the soil was HORRIBLY compacted in most pots and had rotted roots away!)

Is this a good mix? I really don't want to have to re-pot everything again, lol. So, to re-cap, everything went from a potting soil only media to a 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 pearlite, 1/3 peat/sphagnum mix that I made my self. (I even added pearlite to my succulent pots, as they aren't doing so hot in the "cactus miracle grow" media alone.)

Thanks for any tips/tricks/advice!

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most potting soils are primarily peat to begin with so what you have here is 2/3 peat and 1/3 perlite. i have some stuff potted the other way around 1/3 ps 2/3 perlite. i still dont like it as much as i like the "gritty mix". there are a million very informative threads about al's gritty mix on here. you should check them out. idk about the peace lily. i had it in 1/3 ps 2/3 perlite but have since moved it into a semi hydro situation to keep it constantly moist (but still letting the roots breath). so my best advice is to explore that search tab, kind of a lot to digest at first but i am very happy to have found this site and the info/discussions particularly about this topic.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:09PM
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The miracle grow mix is mostly peat?? Crap... does that mean I've killed my plants now? I've been researching for a while on good mixes, and I keep reading that a mix of peat/sphagnum, potting soil and pearlite is great for most plants, so that's what I went with..... so, does this mean there is NO nutrients for my plants now? I literally re-potted 23 pots this way today... some of them quite large.

This post was edited by holly12 on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 18:19

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:12PM
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I wouldn't say you have killed your plants just yet...

For me using that kind of mix would be a death sentence and that is why I use mixes with mostly pine bark and perlite..

If you are not up to repotting again, I would make sure you did not over pot them, keep a close eye on your watering, make sure you give them the right amount of nutrients at the right time, and think about repotting in spring if you start to see them decline..

By then you will have learned much about how soil mixes and containers get along and what is best for your plants...This is an awesome garden forum for that..
Take a trip to the container forum where you will learn a wealth of info..

I think there are a few here that do well in the mix that you made and they just might come along and help you..

Good luck


    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:36PM
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Thanks. I didn't do exact measurements of each element, it's just "roughly" a 1/3 of each. I figured the potting soil would help with nutrients, and the pearlite and sphagnum/peat would help with aeration and drainage.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 9:15PM
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