What kind of soil should I use?

PortispearlsSeptember 19, 2012

So I am new to gardening and I would like to make sure all of my plants have the correct soil. I have had a few plants die recently and I realized that the soil may be the issue.

I purchased a seed starting soil from miracle grow for all of my plants. I figured that I could use the soil for the plants that were not starting from seeds as well. Now I am starting to think otherwise as of today. I think the plant's roots had been rotting.

Now, I have one plant that may be a Dieffenbachia. This is the plant that I pulled out of the soil today and decided the roots were rotting.

I have the following plants:


Parlor Palm

Purple Velvet plant (three to a pot)

Pepperomia (Mini Watermelon)

Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta

What I think is a Chinese evergreen

I have the two Pepperomias and the Dracaena in the same pot

After looking through different websites it seems like they all need well-drained soil. I am thinking that I may be able to get the cactus, palm, and citrus mix for all of the plants above since the website say to use peat moss, sand and soil for the majority of the plants.

Is this possible or should I purchase a different mixes?

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You can use it as is but as with most plants it's best to give it a good combo. I use peat moss and the Cati soil for my cacti and bromelaid

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I wouldn't use seed starting mix..It's much to fine.

Instead, I'd mix Cactus & Succulent soil, bark, tiny pea gravel together. And a little Peat with the Peperomia, Chinese Evergreen and Dracaena.

Dieffenbachia rot if soil is kept too wet. Especially in a cool/cold room. Toni

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:28PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You should use a soil that allows you to water properly without worry about impaired root function or root rot due to the soil remaining soggy for an extended period. That precludes most commercially prepared soils as they come from the bag because they support a layer of soggy soil at the bottom of the pot that inhibits your plants' roots from functioning efficiently, or often causes root rot - a fungal infection that takes hold most easily in soggy soils with inadequate volumes of air in them. It's not impossible to grow healthy plants in these soils, but it's much more difficult than it would be in well-aerated soils that drain freely.

If you're starting to get the idea that your soil choice is a very important consideration, one that plays a significant part in how easy (or difficult) it is to ensure your plant's best opportunity to grow as close to its genetic potential as possible - you're right.

If you're up for it, I'll leave you a link that gives a good overview of growing in a way that allows you to avoid the pitfalls that bring most growers to the forums looking for remedial help. If you find that link helpful, and think a closer look at soils specifically might be in your best interest (I do), let me know and I'll link you to a thread with information that many container gardeners have found extremely beneficial. From there you can expand into fertilizers and other specific areas that should be very helpful.


Here is a link that might be useful: This should be helpful

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 7:24PM
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