How to make potting soil for indoor plants?

Naturally, plants are made for outdoors. They need full sun and sky full of stars at night.  So Planting them inside is a difficult job- isn’t it? No, Actually not. It is pretty easy to grow any plant indoors. You just need some information and proper care.

Today’s topic is all about potting soil for indoor plants and I will show you my favorite soil mix for house plants.

Quality of Soil is an important aspect of any plant and if its a house or indoor plant then its better to be careful than sorry.

How to make potting soil for indoor plants?– Clean the soil, Mix some fertilizer, add some fungicide and that’s it. your soil is ready for the indoor plants. Keep reading for details.

How to make potting soil for indoor plants
How to make potting soil for indoor plants?

Things you should know

1. Type of Plant

Knowing the needs and requirements of your plant is the first priority. The first step for indoor gardening is the selection of perfect plants for your home.

Think once what you actually want- just flowers, fruits or foliage or something with special meaning.

You can grow a flowering plant, it will add some color with fragrance to yours indoors. Else you can grow some foliages for greenery and fresh air. Fruiting plants are generally not good for the indoor garden yet you can grow them with regular care.

Succulents are one of the best choices for indoors. In fact, I have some on my tabletop. Some of these are older than 10-12 years. These are quite easy to grow & handle.

The preparation of soil greatly depends on the type of plant you choose. So always be careful with this step.

Read this interesting article- How to Grow and Care Marigolds Complete guide.

2. Size of Plant

The size of the plant also matters a lot for indoor gardening. It is Ok for creepers to grow long, you can manage it somehow. But a big bush is difficult to manage inside the house. The main problem is with the movement.

Bigger the plant the heavier it gets. So my advice is to choose a soft plant with a manageable height. Everything depends on your choice if you are comfortable with it then no problem in having anything big.

3. Nature of Soil

Before making soil for any indoor plant, you should be aware of the soil type it requires.

Some plants love acidic soil with low pH whereas others may like basic alkaline soil with relatively higher pH value. Some plants are more tolerant of variable pH values than others.

4. Amount of Moisture Required

Different plants need a different amount of moisture. Also, the moisture remains for a longer time if the plant is kept inside for long. So Selection of plants and understanding their moisture requirements is an important task.

just for example, if you grow any succulent or cactus then the moisture should be fairly low. It can even thrive in completely dry soil. No need to water regularly.

All these factors are important for preparing the soil for indoor plants. I hope you are ready now, So let us start the preparation.

Make Potting Soil for Indoor Plants

Quality of Soil is an important aspect of the healthy growth of a plant. So it is better to prepare it specifically for the requirements.

Preparing soil for indoor plants is not that difficult. The only consideration is with the selection and availability of products required for this purpose.

Before proceeding let us answer one question- Would you like to grow your plant organically or inorganically?

The comparison or details are mater of another discussion. Here we just have to decide one or the other. I personally prefer a hybrid mixture, including both in definite proportions.

No matter what you choose, I have a straight solution for you. It is 100% tried and tested. But before that check out these products required for the preparation of the soil.

Things Required for Soil  Preparation

  1. Good Quality Clean Garden Soil.check out the price.
  2. A metal pan or a clay one if you have.check out the price.
  3. Gas Stove or any heat source.
  4. VermiCompost.check out the price.
  5. Cocopeatcheck out the price.
  6. Perlitecheck out the price.
  7. Mustard cake powder.
  8. Cowdung Compost.
  9. Any Contact fungicidecheck out the price.
  10. sprinkler or spraycheck out the price.
  11. NPK(10-10-10) or any will do for this step.check out the price.
  12. Urea, DAP, and Potash.check out the price.
  13. Wood ash.
  14. A pot to grow the plant. At least an 8-inch pot is preferred.check out the price.

Obviously Garden soil is required for preparing potting soil. Next, you will need a metal pan used for the heat treatment of the soil. Both vermicompost and cow dung compost is organic manure required for plant growth.

Cocopeat and perlite are optional. You can use either one or a mixture of both. I would recommend cocopeat as it is cost-effective. If cost is not the matter then you can choose anyone.

You need something to water the soil, I generally use a sprayer. NPK, Urea, Potash, and DAP all are inorganic chemical fertilizers. These are highly effective but use them carefully. Follow my steps for details of use.

Preparing Potting Soil Organically for indoor plants

  1. Clean The garden Soil. The soil collected from the garden may contain some plastics or debris, remove them carefully. Always remember soil should be perfectly clean.
  2. Place the soil in direct sunlight for 3-5 days. The soil should be completely dry. In this process, you should turn the soil upside down once every day. This will help in drying the soil quickly.
  3. Take your pot and measure 1 post full of garden soil, 1 pot cocopeat and 1 pot compost- vermicompost or cow dung compost. Mix it thoroughly. You can use both composts together in a 1:1 ratio. Everything should be in equal proportion.
  4. Take the soil in the metal pan and heat it for 10-15 minutes. This process is also known as “DryFry” or Roasting soil. This is an important process used by almost every commercial gardener. It will remove any possible moisture left in the soil mixture. Also, it will kill all the insects and fungus spores present in the soil. After this let the soil cool down completely.
  5. Mix just 30 gms or 2 tablespoons of Mustard cake powder in 1 post of this prepared mix. You can ignore this step but I follow this always.
  6. Mix the soil thoroughly and sprinkle some water. Just make it moist, don’t water too much. Let the soil mix in the pot for the next 5-6 days.
  7. Mix soil well and pot your plant after a day or two. This is an ideal organic mix for Indoor plants.

Note:- Add 1 teaspoon of wood ash to the potting mix for plants loving alkaline soil. Also, Add 5-10 spoon Perlite and sand with the soil mix for succulents.

Don’t use mustard powder, it is mustard cake powder. Using mustard directly can be harmful as it contains a high concentration of vegetable oils. Always use mustard cake where oil is completely extracted. First dry and then use it.

Organic growing plants are the best way of gardening but there are some drawbacks. It is a natural but slow method of growing plants. Most of the manure we used in this step are slow-release fertilizers. that’s why you will not see any sudden growth in your plant. This is obvious and natural.

This method is ideal for long term soil and plant health. Alternatively, you can follow my way using a hybrid mixture for indoor plants.

Hybrid Soil mix for Indoor Plants

I have made a few effective changes in the above method to get faster and healthier growth in my house plants. You can follow these steps for similar results.

  1. Clean, dry and Roast the soil mix as stated above. These steps are common for all types of plants.
  2. The changes I made are with the proportion of the mixture. Add 1 part garden soil, 1 part vermicompost, 1/2 part cocopeat, 1/2 part perlite, and 1 spoon mustard cake powder.
  3. Next, I have added a few inorganic chemicals to the soil mix- 1 teaspoon NPK, 1 teaspoon DAP,1/2 teaspoon Urea and 1/2 teaspoon potash.
  4. Mix the soil completely. Spray it with water and just moist it. Leave the mixture in shade to dry for 6 days.
  5. Don’t leave it in direct sunlight as these chemicals are volatile in nature. Further Heating will reduce the concentration required for healthy plant growth.
  6. After six or seven days, Mix the soil again and Fill the pot with it. Now prepare the plant and its ready to grow inside.

Note:- Don’t use Excess of inorganic Fertilizer in the soil. It can make a sudden change in the pH value of the soil. Overusing these fertilizers can kill the plants instantly. So follow the guidelines carefully.

Tip of the Day:- After placing the plant in the pot with this potting mix water it thoroughly. Add 1 teaspoon of any quality contact fungicide with the water and then apply it to the potting soil.

Quick Changes According to Plant Type

For better results, you should make specific changes according to the plant type you choose.

First, for succulents, Reduce the cocopeat and compost and add clean river sand in equal proportion.

Second, for Cactii, Reduce garden soil and compost by 25%  and add sand or perlite accordingly.

Third, for Plants loving acidic soil,  Reduce cocopeat and increase vermicompost, add cow dung compost accordingly.

Fourth, For Plants loving alkaline soil, Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of fine wood ash with the soil. Always remember don’t add more than the recommended amount. Wood ash can make the soil highly alkaline in nature and this can harm many plants.

Special Tips for indoor plants:-

  • Water only if the soil gets dry. Don’t overwater your indoor plants. It can cause root rot.
  • Place the plant is the morning sunlight for at least 2-4 hours every day. This will help in the healthy growth of your plant.
  • Use clay pots as much as possible. You should recycle and plastic or metal container and use it as a planter. Be creative and it will look beautiful.
  • Indoor plants lack sunlight and are more prone to pest attacks. So spray a mixture of Neem oil, Epsom salt and liquid detergent to your plant once every 15 days.  If the plant is already infected then spray this mixture for 3 days every 2 days interval. Sometimes only placing the plant directly in sunlight is more effective.

Final words

I have tried to show everything you need to know for making potting soil for indoor plants. Still, there are few more things you should consider with this process, Some of these are Temperature in your locality and Moisture in air.

I’m concluding here with this much information. If you liked it then share it. Or if you think I missed something then let me know I will try to update this post ASAP.

Keep reading and keep gardening. Do share your views about which is your favorite method and share your experience after trying these methods.

Live the Green.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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