Choosing the best soil for indoor plants is not as easy as it seems. You have to do a lot of research and trial and error before you find out what the right one is. There’s a big difference in the soil suited for indoor plants than that used for outside. There are also several other considerations to think about when deciding on the best soil for indoor plants
There are two types of indoor plants soils; organic and inorganic. Organic soils are made from organic materials, while inorganic soils are made from inorganic materials like rock salt, limestone and chalk. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Organic soils, generally, contain more potassium and sodium than inorganic soils. They also tend to drain well and they’re easy to keep sterile. On the other hand inorganic soils require more water and they don’t drain well.
It’s important to add organic materials to your indoor plants potting medium. When growing plants in a hydroponic system, the medium’s main function is to provide nutrients to the plant. Soil which has been contaminated or has an excess of nutrients will not work as well for the hydroponic system. Also check how well your medium drains. Poor drainage can lead to water retention, which is the number one problem in indoor growing systems.
Soil rich in potassium and magnesium will provide your plants with all the trace elements they need for good root growth. Potting media such as rock salt, perlite, gypsum and chalk work well in this situation. Be sure to let the media dry thoroughly between applications. An excess of water can encourage root rot, which can ultimately kill your plant. Rock salt has a very high salt content and should only be used in extreme drought conditions. Gypsum is also good but works best combined with chalk or rock salt.
If you’re growing plants indoors in a well drained environment, slow release pellets work very well as the only fertilizer needed. Soil aerators, pre-compost and compost can also be used to increase the amount of soluble fiber in your indoor growing medium. These supplies work very well on a variety of indoor growing systems.
In a well-drained environment the drainage is excellent from the plant’s point of origin. As the water flow is redirected towards the plant, a fine textured soil with good drainage is created. Plants use water, so good drainage is essential to get the most out of your plants. Plants with a higher concentration of nutrients tend to grow best in a well draining soil. This means using organic fertilizers like compost and gypsum instead of chemical fertilizers.
The ideal soil will have a medium to high percentage of clay or silt for good water retention and a medium to low percentage of sand or fine sand for adequate water drainage. The texture can be loosely sandy or slightly loamy. Some prefer a coarse texture for better root development and to prevent too much water soaking in. Humidity is important, so the ideal potting medium should have excellent drainage and is rich in nutrients for your plant. If you’re growing plants for consumption make sure that the potting medium is not too dry or too wet.
Organic potting mediums are available in a wide range of organic types and shades of colours. They work equally well in hydroponic and soil mixes. There is no need to use salts or chemicals when growing plants in hydroponic media as organic materials will do just as well if not better. Potting media for hydroponic use is available from a wide range of suppliers.