Something that can be very easy to forget about when starting your houseplant journey and potting soil. It can seem like a very easy thing you can just pick up while running to a home improvement store. But after being on the plant side of Instagram, it can be a whole different world when it comes to caring for your plants and cracking the code to soiling your plants.
There are people who I have seen who swear that using Miracle Grow is one of the worst things you can use for your plants and if you aren’t making your own soil mix, you are doing something wrong. The longer I am on the plant side of Instagram, the more I have seen something that can be a fun and creative way to connect with nature turn into an exclusive hobby that, if you aren’t going broke buying “rare” plants, you aren’t doing it right.
I started my plant journey getting clearance plants at Lowe’s so that if I killed them, I wouldn’t be stressed about throwing away my money. Now that I have grown in my gardening abilities and discovered my green thumb, I have definitely branched out (no pun intended) to trying more “difficult” plants and taking more risks. However, I still frequent that clearance section looking for a good deal (I just found a HUGE monstera for $25, I couldn’t possibly find that kind of deal anywhere else and loved that I was able to give this beautiful plant a second chance). But whatever gets you into this amazing hobby, don’t let things you see online discourage you.
That being said, this is supposed to be soil. Like I said, I have alway used a basic Miracle Grow potting soil. I will say, the things I have seen online about big box store potting soil being bad has been true in my experience – i.e., finding Styrofoam in my potting soil so it looks like Perlite. However, using Miracle Grow has allowed me to care for my plants and enter this hobby the way that worked best for me. My plants have done well and I have had great success.
Something you may see frequently online is the use of additives to your soil. I will say, this was something I haven’t done in the past, but have started doing and would recommend. It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune, but investing in some additives for your soil can make a difference to how your plants can grow. I started adding Perlite to my potting soil to help reduce compacting and ensure drainage. I have also mixed orchid bark into my regular potting soil to encourage better drainage. I mainly try to use the things I have and mix what I need to meet my plants needs.
The main takeaway from this is don’t be afraid to get into houseplant because you don’t know what the correct ratios you need to mix 5 different types of soil and additives and intimidated by the rare plants you see online. Find a cheap plant that makes you smile and try your best not to kill it. That is where it starts, and if it is for you, that is awesome and welcome to the plant fam! If it isn’t, no harm no foul and thanks for trying. If you are just getting into plants, there are tons of blogs and Instagram pages to learn more, or even reach out to! I have met some really amazing fellow plant bloggers in my plant journey, so don’t be afraid to reach out to pages you think are cool or informative, even if it is to just say hi or ask question!
Afraid to get started? Have more plants than sense? Let me know about your plant journey and what got you started!