Essential Soils: the potting mix ratios that I use

Using the right mix is really important to ensure your plants stay healthy. Most store bought mixes are not good enough for our houseplants, so they need to be combined with other substrates in order to work. So what potting mix ratios should you be working with?

For the first few of months of lockdown in 2020, it was pretty much impossible to buy any gardening supplies. I ran out of soil early on and desperately needed to repot a bunch of plants, so I did some research, shopped for some essentials at Hortishop and came up with my own potting mix!

Essential soil

Potting soil or mix is a soilless blend of substrates used to grow plants. Making your own potting soil is great because you’re able to tailor the mix to match what your plants need. Some plants thrive on more (or less) of a specific substrate, and making your own mix ensures that they will get what they need. It can be costly to set up because you have to purchase the different substrates upfront, but I think it’s more cost effective in the long run.

Here are the potting mix ratios for the OLD mix I used to experiment with:

Essential soil

7 parts coconut coir peat or peat moss
3 parts orchid bark
1 part vermiculite
2 parts perlite
1 part worm castings

Since then, I’ve been watching how my plants have responded to their repot and experimenting with some alternative mixes. Nurseries are also open again, so it’s been much easier to source different substrates! I’ve now come up with a mix which introduces compost, excludes vermiculite and is less coir heavy.

Here is the new and improved mix:

3 parts fine bark
2 parts perlite
2 parts general potting mix
1 part vermiculite
(optional) 2 parts coco peat or peat moss

I use this as a base… You can change these ratios slightly depending on what it is that you’re potting.
Given the fact Winter is approaching soon, I’ve only been repotting when necessary, but I’ve been very happy to see how the plants have adapted to this new mix. So much new growth!

If you’re able to, I’d really recommend you have a go at your own potting mix 🌱 It’s really fun and you’ll learn a lot about substrates and your plants in the process.

Want to learn more? View my other post to learn more about the different substrates used in my mix.