Best Potting Soil For Indoor Plants — Which Indoor Potting Mix To Use?

Last Updated on March 12, 2022 by Grow with Bovees

How difficult can it be to buy the best soil for your indoor plants? You’d be surprised at just how many different kinds of soil mix and potting mixes there are available.

You want your indoor plants to be the healthiest possible.

This means choosing the best potting soil for indoor plants.

There is a huge difference in the soil needed for your houseplant than that used for outdoor gardening.

There are also lots of different factors to consider when choosing the best soil for indoor plants.

What type of plants are you going to be growing and where will they be? If they’re in the sun, they will need different soil to those in a damp bathroom.

In a hurry? Here’s our top picks

Best Overall
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 72776430 6 Quart (2 Pack)
Best Water Retentive
Espoma AP4 4 Quart Organic Potting Mix12
Miracle Gro Indoor
Espoma AP4
Best Overall
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 72776430 6 Quart (2 Pack)
Miracle Gro Indoor
Best Water Retentive
Espoma AP4 4 Quart Organic Potting Mix12
Espoma AP4

Succulents need different soil to orchids, whereas a Philodendron Micans can thrive in the same soil as a Calathea or a variegated Monstera. As you can see, it’s not the easiest thing to choose.

We’ll help to make the decision easier by reviewing the best indoor potting soil out there and giving lots of advice in our buying guide.

  • Miracle Gro Potting Mix—Best Overall
  • FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog Potting Soil—Best Nutrient Rich Soil
  • Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix—Best for Water Saving
  • Black Gold Natural and Organic Potting Soil—Best Organic
  • SunGro Black Gold Indoor Natural and Organic Orchid Potting Soil—Best For Orchids
  • All Natural Succulent and Cactus Mix by Perfect Plants—Best For Succulents

Reviews of the Best Potting Soil for Indoor Plants

Miracle Gro Potting Soil Mix—Best Overall

Miracle Gro has a great reputation in the world of planting and it’s easy to see why.

The potting mix is affordable and can feed your plants for up to six months. It can be used straight from the bag so is easy to use with no wastage.

The Miracle Gro potting soil contains coconut coir, which adds a great balance for water retention and releasing any excess water from the soil.

It is made from Canadian sphagnum peat moss and has large cell structures that allow it to absorb air and water just like a sponge.

This recipe doesn’t contain compost or bark, which have been known to shelter fungus gnats. It does have an all-purpose fertilizer added to the mix to give your plants the nutrition that they need.

The Miracle Gro product has been blended so that it can be used on a wide variety of houseplants. It can be used in different conditions throughout your home and gives great results.

Can Miracle Gro Potting Mix Be Used for Indoor Plants, and Is It Well Draining?

Yes, indeed, this can be used for all your indoor plant requirements. It has excellent moisture retention, while being suitably well draining, helping to avoid developing root rot, a common condition caused by overwatering. See our article on how to treat and prevent root rot here.

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  • Easy to use.
  • Good value.
  • Can be used on a variety of plants.
  • Doesn’t contain bark or compost.


  • Non organic materials.
  • Be careful not to overwater.

FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog Potting Soil—Best Nutrient Rich Soil

The FoxFarm product is nutrient rich and made from all organic materials to give your plants the goodness that they need.

It contains bat guano, earthworm castings, and composted forest humus to give your houseplants a nutritious base to grow from.

The soil has a unique blend of beneficial soil microbes, mycorrhizal fungi, and sediment. This  will develop the roots and give them the strength that they need.

The pH is adjusted for the ideal environment for your plants, and it has a light texture, which aids in aeration. This gives the soil good drainage to keep your soil moist but not overly wet.

It’s ready to use straight from the bag and can be used for most indoor plant types, giving them strong leaves and enhanced flower production.


  • Rich in nutrients.
  • Organic ingredients.
  • pH is adjusted for maximum results.
  • Ready to use.


  • Some large pieces of wood and stones in the bag.
  • Expensive.

Espoma AP4 Organic Potting Mix—Best for Water Saving

The Espoma potting mix has a rich blend of sphagnum moss, humus and perlite, and is suitable for all types of houseplants. All ingredients in this product are organic, and it contains no chemicals or synthetic foods.

It’s enhanced by Myco-tone, which is a water saving formula. This is great for container plants as it reduces water stress and increases water uptake.

It promotes root growth, giving them stronger roots. .

The organic material included in the mix is a rich blend of natural ingredients to give you strong, healthy plants. It’s suitable for all types of plants and can be used straight from the bag.

No mixing of ingredients needed.


  • Water saving formula.
  • Organic materials.
  • Full of nutrients.
  • Suitable for all indoor containers


  • Bugs appeared in the mix.
  • Soil is loose.

Black Gold Natural and Organic Potting Soil—Best Organic

The Black Gold potting soil is certified as organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and is full of nutrients. The soil mix includes a RESiLIENCE silicon compound to encourage stronger growth.

The soil also contains the following ingredients to provide the nutritious food needed; Canadian sphagnum peat moss, earthworm casting, aged bark and compost.

The balanced pH level isn’t too acidic or alkaline, so it’s suitable for the majority of houseplants.

It is well draining potting soil for indoor plants and is good at retaining moisture, keeping the soil moist but not drowning the roots.


  • Certified organic.
  • RESiLIENCE silicon compound for stronger growth.
  • Good water retention.
  • Includes fertilizers.


  • Can attract gnats.
  • Some reports of the soil growing spores.

SunGro Black Gold Indoor Natural and Organic Orchid Potting Soil—Best For Orchids

If orchids are your thing then this is the orchid mix for you. It provides a rich and porous soil for your favorite plants to give them the nutrients that they need.

It will have your orchids looking amazing and give them beautiful, vibrant colorful flowers. The soil offers the right amount of air and drainage to give your orchids the moisture and breathability that they need.

It contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss, bark and horticultural grade perlite. It also contains dolomite lime that gives the soil a balanced pH level, which is perfect for your semi-terrestrial or terrestrial orchids.


  • Rich nutrient filled soil.
  • A balanced pH.
  • Ready to use.
  • Fine texture.


  • No bark in the soil.
  • Reports of mold growing.

All Natural Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix by Perfect Plants—Best For Succulents

This has been specially formulated for succulents and gives the perfect balance of air and moisture that’s needed for these plant types.

The soil mix offers good drainage and includes garden coir, composted pine bark, perlite, and sand. These plants require little water, so the drainage needs to be good for them to thrive.

The added lime gives a balanced pH to the mix, giving them the correct balance of acid and alkaline in the soil.

The soil comes in a resealable bag to keep it fresh between uses.



  • Holds too much water.
  • Small bags only.

What Is Potting Soil?

Indoor potting soil is made up from different ingredients to help you to grow stronger houseplants, herbs or flowers in containers.

It’s generally based around coconut coir and a peat moss base and includes perlite, vermiculite or sand for drainage.

Fertilizer is included with some of the indoor potting soils as this will give your plants the nutrients that they need.

There are different kinds of house plant formula, and some are specifically suited to certain plant types, such as orchids and succulents. These require a certain amount of nutrients for them to grow healthily.

Others can be used for all types of plants, such as Miracle Gro potting mix.

What Makes a Good Potting Soil Mix?

The best potting soil includes the right nutrients for your containers. It specifically has the right mix of air, moisture, structure and nutrients.

Miracle Gro is a good example of a great mix.

The air flowing through the soil allows the roots to breathe. The mix should hold onto enough water for your plant to get what it needs, without drowning it.

Any excess water should easily drain away.

The structure of the soil will help the root system of the plant to grow strong and healthily and the nutrients should feed your plant.

Most good nutrient rich potting soil mixes contain peat or sphagnum moss to give your plants the rich nutrients that they need.

They also include perlite and vermiculite for drainage as the root ball of your house plants shouldn’t be sat in water for long periods, which leaves them susceptible to root rot.

What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Potting Soil?

Soil used for indoor potted plants has all the ingredients that are needed for an indoor container plant. They generally contain sphagnum moss, vermiculite, perlite, coir or compost to give your plants the nutrients that they need along with the moisture retention and drainage that it needs.

Indoor potting soil mix is sterile, making it safer for indoor plant types as it doesn’t contain pathogens such as fungus or other diseases.

Outdoor bagged potting compost is generally a heavier texture and is more like a topsoil than a fully balanced mixture.

The drainage in outdoor potting soil is not as good as indoor potting mix and it holds onto water for longer.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Topsoil For Indoor Container Plants

Topsoil contains lots of nutrients that would be good for your indoor plant types. It can also contain pot worms that could become a pest to your indoor plants.

However, it’s too heavy compared to peat or peat-free products. Your indoor pot plants will struggle to get a strong root in this soil.

It contains lots of nutrients but not enough to be able to keep your house plants strong and healthy. They require a very rich potting soil to grow well.


The best potting soil for indoor plants will depend on the types of plants that you are looking to grow but for Philodendrons and plants that need a loose soil, our choice would be Miracle Gro Potting Mix.

This mix by Miracle Gro is easy to use and can be used for almost all indoor potted plants with great results. The Miracle Gro indoor potting mix is ready to use straight from the bag which saves lots of time and work.

Our second choice of indoor potting soil would be the FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog Potting Soil. This potting soil is full of rich nutrients which are naturally sourced.

The pH levels of this potting soil have been adjusted to give you the best results.

We hope that you enjoyed our guide to the best potting soil for indoor plants and buying guide. Hopefully you’ve got some great tips and now know the best way to look after your Calathea and other houseplants, giving them the best life.