MAY FLOWERS BEE

A little guide on soils and pots

SOILS AND SUBSTRATES

Understanding different substrates or soils can be a bit complicated for a beginner, so here are some tips:
– Avoid the cheapest options as they often contain large, undecomposed pieces that can cause root rot;
– Prefer organic ones ;
– Of course you can make your own mixes, but in the beginning, it’s way easier to choose soil recommended for your type of plant;
– Lastly, don’t forget to add drainage at the bottom of your pot like clay pebbles or volcanic rock (pumice). I prefer to use porous materials instead of simple rocks so that i can water my plants by the bottom, i have way better results in doing so and less problems with watering. For very small plants drainage also helps to weigh down the pot.

POTS

For me, the choice of pot depends on the plant’s growth:

– If your plant has slow growth, such as Crassula barklyi, prefer a terracotta pot with at least one hole at the bottom; terracotta allows watering from the bottom thus minimizing watering errors;

– If your plant has rapid growth requiring repotting annually, I recommend plastic pots as they are often a cheaper option. Don’t forget to have at least one hole at the bottom;

– Transparent plastic pots are ideal for most orchids as their roots can absorb light.

MULCH

Mulching involves covering the soil with a protective layer of organic or mineral materials. It is often used in gardens but can also benefit indoor plants, limiting watering, inhibiting weed growth, and protecting roots from temperature variations.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of products you can use for your indoor plant:

– Bark or wood chips are aesthetic and retain soil moisture well;

– Sphagnum retains water effectively, providing constant moisture to plant roots;

– Perlite or vermiculite are lightweight substrates that improve soil drainage and prevent root rot;

– Coconut coir is a durable and ecological option that retains soil moisture and promotes root growth;

– Pumice is quite decorative, offering excellent drainage capacity, and its lightweight texture allows good air circulation in the soil.

FERTILIZERS

The use of fertilizer can play a crucial role in the growth and health of your indoor plant. However, there is a huge variety on the market.
Here are some indications to guide you:

– Liquid fertilizers are diluted in your plant’s watering water, allowing for rapid absorption and fast visible results. However, use them sparingly to avoid burning the roots;

– Granular or stick fertilizers are buried in the soil near plant roots and gradually release their nutrients. But they are often more expensive to purchase and less suitable for plants requiring immediate nutritional inputs;

– Organic fertilizers nourish the soil and promote the overall health of the ecosystem in the plant’s pot. However, they can sometimes attract insects or produce unpleasant odors;

– Mineral fertilizers are used to correct specific nutrient deficiencies and stimulate plant growth. Use them carefully to avoid excessive accumulation of mineral salts in the soil.

LASTLY

By ensuring you choose the right soil, appropriate pot, suitable mulch, and quality fertilizer, you will provide your plant with the best care from the start. Always remember to consider the specific needs of the plant you choose, as well as your own lifestyle and indoor environment. With a little research and attention, you can create a perfect space in which your indoor plants will thrive!