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potting soil

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by dotty, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. dotty

    dotty Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,

    What type of soil should I use for indoor plants? I recently bought anthurium and peace lily and would like to plant/move it to a bigger pot. Can I mix top soil and potting soil or just use one of them is enough?

    Thank you.

    Sam
     
  2. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    Hi Sam, welcome to the forum! For houseplants, any "multi purpose compost" sold in supermarkets is good. Personally I wouldn't use garden topsoil, it's too variable in structure which is fine when there is tons of it around, but in a small pot you might not be lucky to get the best bits.

    And garden soil will have a lot of creepycrawlies that are great outdoors but not so nice in the living room. :biggrin:

    Some bits of broken pots to cover the drainage holes is a good idea, it stops the compost from leaking out and from getting into a soggy mush.

    Daily misting with a cheapy misting bottle will help new plants to settle in after they have been grown in ideal greenhouse conditions in the nursery.

    Good luck with the plants, please do post photos to show how they start getting on. :)
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Hi,

      Both of those plants are said to like very free draining compost so when using MPC its good to add about 25% by volume of medium grade Perlite, available at most garden centers.

      Some info found on the web for your plants -

      One of the most common mistakes in the care of peace lilies is overwatering. Peace lilies are far more tolerant of underwatering than overwatering, which is one of the most common reasons for a peace lily to die. It is because of this, you should never water peace lily plants on a schedule. Rather, you should check them once a week to see if they need to be watered. Simply touch the top of the soil to see if it is dry. If it is, water your peace lily. If the soil is still damp, the plant does not need to be watered. Some people will go so far as to wait until their peace lily is starting to droop before watering their plant. As these plants are very drought tolerant, this method does not harm the plant and will prevent overwatering. Peace lilies do not need frequent fertilizing. Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer one to two times per year will be enough to keep the plant happy.

      Anthurium plants can tolerate all levels of indirect light, but anthuriums growing in low light will have fewer flowers and will grow slower. These plants cannot tolerate direct light, however, as this can burn the leaves. They grow best in bright, indirect light. Anthurium care also requires that the soil be free draining but hold some water. If you are growing this plant as a houseplant, a half and half mix **of potting soil and orchid soil or perlite will provide the kind of soil anthuriums prefer. Outdoors, plant in a well-drained location. Anthurium plants don’t like continually moist soil. Make sure to water your anthurium plant regularly, but don’t overwater. Only water your anthurium when the soil is dry to the touch. The plant is susceptible to root rot, so too much water can cause the roots to die. If you allow the plant to become too dry in a pot, it will slow down its growth and the rootball will be difficult to re-wet. If the rootball becomes too dry in the pot, soak the pot the anthurium plant is in for an hour to rehydrate it. Care of anthurium plants does not require too much fertilizer. The plant only needs to be fertilized with a one-quarter strength fertilizer once every three to four months. To get the best blooms, use a fertilizer that has a higher phosphorus number (the middle number).

      **
      they suggest half and half, but if that was 50% perlite it would be exceptionally free draining.
      We use a 25% Perlite /MPC mix on some of our houseplants that similarly need to be free draining and find thats more than enough.
       
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      • gks

        gks Gardener

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        When we make compost for house plants we like to make it an airy mix. We use 50% peat, 25% coir husk chips and 25% perlite with added fertiliser. Find this is an ideal mix for house plants, especially tropical plants like orchids and anthurium.
         
      • dotty

        dotty Apprentice Gardener

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        Thank you for the replies.

        I'll try those recommendations. I saw multi purpose and peat free compost at my local supermarket. Is it ok to mix them or just stick to one (multi purpose)?

        Thanks.
         
      • ricky101

        ricky101 Total Gardener

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        Hi,

        Its down to personal choice, though the peat free composts still have a long way to go to be anywhere near as good as peat.
        The plant producers still use masses of peat because the peat free stuff is either not good enough for their plants or too dear.

        If you look on the back of the compost packs it usually says what percentage of peat it uses.

        As mentioned in the forum, the quality of some own name brands can vary from year to year, the the better known brands are more consistent. Jacks Magic is a high peat compost liked by many in the forum.
         
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