what’s the difference between potting mix and potting soil

what’s the difference between potting mix and potting soil

How Is Potting Mix Different from Potting Soil?

When it comes to potting plants, you’ve probably heard that you should use either potting mix or potting soil. What is the difference between the two, though? Read on to learn about the differences between potting mix and potting soil.

Potting Mix

Potting mix is the product of choice when it comes to container gardening. It provides many benefits, including:

  • Lightweight: Potting mix is much lighter than potting soil, making it easier to use than potting soil.
  • Pre-fertilized: Many brands of potting mix come pre-fertilized, meaning you won’t need to spend extra money on fertilizer.
  • Better Drainage: Most potting mix has better drainage than potting soil, making it better for plants that need more drainage and allowing roots to breathe.

Potting Soil

Potting soil can be used in container gardening, but is less popular than potting mix due to its several drawbacks:

  • Heavy: Potting soils tend to be much heavier than potting mixes, making them harder to work with.
  • Inferior Drainage: Potting soils tend to have inferior drainage, meaning they can cause root rot.
  • Limited Nutrients: Unlike potting mixes, potting soils typically don’t come pre-fertilized, and can have limited nutrients.

Potting soil can be used successfully if the gardener is willing to add fertilizer, compost, or other amendments.


Ultimately, the decision of when to use potting mix and when to use potting soil will depend on the individual needs of each gardener and plant. When in doubt, potting mix is the best choice. It is lightweight, pre-fertilized, and provides better drainage for plants.