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For your houseplant to grow optimally, it is important to use the right kind of soil for your plants. This can be a universal potting soil, but also a substrate or combination of both. A good soil should ensure that your houseplant gets water, nutrition and oxygen in the right way.
What exactly is potting soil?
Potting soil is actually nothing more than a mix of different raw materials, where peat is often taken as the basic material. Depending on the application, this is supplemented with sand, coconut fibres, lime, bark and fertiliser, among other things. By making different mixes, there is a suitable nutrient medium for every houseplant. Below are the most commonly used compositions.
Potting soil for houseplants
Universal houseplant potting soil is actually a basic material suitable for (almost) all green houseplants. Only for cacti and succulents this potting soil is less suitable, because it retains moisture too long. If you buy universal potting soil for houseplants, then it is good to know that it already contains the necessary nutrients for your plant for a longer period.
Potting soil for indoor palms
If you have bought a nice palm and want to pot it up or your existing palm is getting too big, you can pot it up using potting soil for house palms. This soil is suitable for all house palms. The soil contains instant nutrition for several months.
Potting soil for cacti and succulents
If you want to repot succulents or cacti, a more airy potting soil is desirable. This allows the soil to dry more quickly, which is important because cacti and succulents should never stand too long with their roots in moist soil.
Taking your potting soil to the next level
Potting soil is a fairly simple mixture that in principle is fine for your houseplant or palm. However, ordinary potting soil is quite compact and it settles every time you water (as if the soil is being pressed a little each time). As a result, less and less oxygen can reach the roots. With smaller houseplants this generally causes few problems, but with larger houseplants and palms this can be detrimental due to time. With larger plants and palms we therefore recommend mixing the potting soil with Perlite (Perlite) by approx. 20%. These grains are very lightweight and make the potting soil considerably airier, something the roots of the average houseplant/palm can really appreciate.
TIP:Also if you want to take cuttings, it is advisable to add some Perlite to your potting soil. Cuttings root best in airy soil.
Professional substrates such as Zeoponic / Vulcastrat / Lechuza Pon
The potting soil mixes described above are actually adequate for all types of houseplants. However, professionals prefer to use a substrate such as Zeoponic, Vulcastrat or Lechuza Pon. The advantage is that this material does not sink in, can absorb more moisture and is less prone to diseases and mourning flies. Many advantages, but pricier to buy.
Basically, these substrates are almost identical; this substrate/material is very porous and can therefore absorb/ buffer a lot of moisture. The moisture is absorbed by the substrate and slowly released to the roots of your houseplant. In the video below, you can see how an ordinary houseplant is potted with a professional substrate.
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If you go for a professional substrate, I recommend going for the Lechuza Pon. It has the best properties of all three and also comes with nutrition. If you use Lechuza pon, you won't need to feed for the first 6 months.