Keeping your plants healthy and thriving is tricky. But with the right tools, it’s much easier. Moisture control potting soil is one of those tools. It helps keep moisture levels consistent, which prevents your plants from either drowning or drying out. To understand how moisture control works in soil, you first need to know about two different types of pots—self-draining pots and non-self-draining pots.
Both have their own advantages, depending on what kind of plant you’re growing. The same goes for moisture control potting soil and standard potting soil – they both have pros and cons depending on your specific needs as a gardener. Let’s explore each in greater depth so you can choose the best option for your next planting project!
When you use a self-draining pot, the drainage holes are placed at the bottom of the pot instead of the sides. As a result, water runs out of the bottom of the pot instead of staying around the roots. This setup is ideal for indoor plants that don’t have much access to natural drainage. A self-draining pot is also a great choice if you live in a very humid environment.
Humidity can be harmful to indoor plants, causing their roots to rot through over-watering. Self-draining pots come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including round, square, and rectangular pots. They are often made out of plastic, ceramic, or wood.
A non-self-draining pot has holes that are placed on the sides of the pot instead of on the bottom. This setup allows excess water to run out of the sides of the pot and back into the soil below. To prevent your plants from drowning in too much water, a saucer is placed under the pot to collect excess water.
The saucer can be made out of a variety of materials, including ceramic, plastic, or even metal. As with self-draining pots, non-self-draining pots are also made in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be made out of ceramic, plastic, or wood, just like self-draining pots.
Moisture Control Potting Soil
Moisture control potting soil is designed to keep your plants’ roots moist while preventing the rest of the soil from getting too wet. This is accomplished by adding certain ingredients to the soil, such as vermiculite and perlite, which help the soil retain moisture while also draining water at the same time.
Another type of potting soil is called “standard potting soil.” Standard potting soil has the same ingredients as moisture control potting soil, but the proportions are different. Standard potting soil has more organic matter, less perlite, and no vermiculite.
Standard Potting Soil
Standard potting soil is ideal for outdoor plants that need a lot of access to the earth. It is also good for plants that like to be planted in a loamy soil that drains well. These plants include vegetables, roses, and some types of flowers like lilies. Standard potting soil is high in organic matter and low in minerals.
This makes the soil loamy and easy to work with, but not as good at retaining moisture as the moisture control potting soil. For this reason, it’s important to use a watering can with a long, narrow spout when watering plants in standard potting soil. The narrow spout can easily reach the roots and prevent over-watering.
Pros of Using Moisture Control Soil
Moisture control potting soil is engineered to drain water more efficiently. This is great for plants that like to dry out between watering. These plants include cacti, succulents, and orchids.
Keeps the Roots Moist
Plants with sensitive roots, such as African violets and begonias, prefer to have their roots kept moist at all times.
Plants that flower, such as impatiens, like to be watered less often. But they need more consistent moisture levels than other plants. Moisture control potting soil is great for impatiens because it provides consistent levels of moisture without letting the soil get too wet.
Plants that are overwatered are more susceptible to root diseases. But by using moisture control potting soil, you can make sure each plant gets the right amount of water.
Since moisture control potting soil drains more efficiently than standard potting soil, it’s less likely to attract weeds.
Cons of Using Moisture Control Soil
One drawback of moisture control potting soil is that it’s often more expensive than standard potting soil.
Bad for Some Plants
Moisture control potting soil isn’t a good option for plants that like to be watered regularly, such as tomatoes, peppers, and melons.
Bad for Loamy Soil
If you use moisture control potting soil with plants that prefer loamy soil, such as roses, it’s important to supplement the soil with more minerals. Otherwise, the plants won’t get enough nutrients and will die.
Bad for Loamy Lovers
Loamy lovers, such as impatiens and African violets, prefer to have their roots kept moist at all times. But they don’t like constantly soggy roots. For these plants, regular potting soil is a better choice.
Bad for the Environment
Another drawback of moisture control potting soil is that it’s not biodegradable. So if you plant flowers in it and they die, there is no way for the soil to break down naturally.
When it comes to enriching your soil, you can’t go wrong with compost. But you want to be sure to use it correctly. If you’re using soil, you can add compost to the top of the soil or mix it in. If you’re using pots, there are two types of potting soil you can use. You can use a moisture control potting soil, which keeps the roots moist but doesn’t get soggy, or you can use standard potting soil, which is better for plants that need more water. Now all you need to do is find a place to start planting.