Plant Parenting 101: Soil Amendments
So, how picky are plants when it comes to soil and what they are planted in? The answer is a matter of life and death. Maybe not that dramatic but the health of your plant can suffer if your soil is out of balance from their needs. Some plants, such as Ferns, love holding onto moisture, while Monstera, Philodendron, and may other aroids prefer a chunky mix that prevents their roots from being soggy.
If you put a Fern in the soil you would use for your Philodendron, you would likely need to water everyday to keep it from drying out. On the other hand, if you put your Philodendron in your Fern mix, you would most likely end up accidentally overwatering it which may result in yellowing of the leaves. This eventually could lead to root rot or loss of portions or all of the plant.
When you think about repotting your plant, ideally you want to mix a soil that allows the plant to live in something similar to what it would be growing in wherever it naturally grows. Enter; soil amendments.
We have put together a chart below of the most basic soil amendments. This will help get a basic understanding of the functions each amendment has and how it changes the structure of the soil.
Have questions? Leave us a comment. We are happy to add to the blog to make it the most informative and clear as possible.
Perlite is a volcanic glass that puffs up when heated. It is a great additive to your soil. if you need drainage or your soil to dry quicker This is ideal for not adding weight to your pot.
Pumice is aerated molten lava. It helps with drainage and drying out but it is much heavier than pumice. This can help if a larger plant needs more stability too.
Horticultural Charcoal helps with drainage, but it also helps provide oxygen to the roots and maintain a good ph balance, removes toxins in the soil, prevents bacterial and fungal growth.
Use as a potting medium for epiphytes or add it to other soil mixes to create a chunky, aerated mix. It is perfect for adding drainage while maintaining a bit of moisture.
|VERMICULITE||Vermiculite acts like tiny sponges within the soil. when watered, it helps the soil to stay hydrated longer. this is a must addition for plants that don't like to dry out, like ferns.|
Sphagnum moss has a ton of different uses from making wall mounts and moss poles to helping maintain moisture within soil mixtures. it is especially good for propagations.