Buying an indoor plant can be fun and a real stress buster. But you need to know the basics before choosing your plant to ensure that it remains healthy and grows well in your home environment.
What is Growing Media for Plants?
Growing media or Compost is the soil-like material that is potted in for growing plants. More often we use the term soil for it, but it is more accurately the Compost or the Growing Media for the plant. Perfect for adding nutrients and breaking up heavy soil, it is often referred to as black gold. The best compost will have the perfect level of nutrients, a medium-crumbly texture and good structure. Composts are made up of a combination of soil (loam), decomposed organic matter, aggregates such as sand and grit, and fertilizers and sometimes peat also.
Types of Composts
1. Soil or loam-based Compost
Best for: trees, shrubs and perennial climbers.
2. Multipurpose or All-purpose Compost
Best for: Annual flowering house plants. This is also the best choice if you are planting small patio pots, hanging baskets, herbs, leafy salads and flowering bedding plants.
3. House Plant compost
Best for: most indoor plants, except for those with special needs such as orchids and cacti.
4. Seed and cutting compost
Best for: As the name suggests, this is the best choice for sowing seeds and taking cuttings. It is good for sowing seeds, taking cuttings, potting up young seedlings.
5. Specialist Composts
6. Ericaceous (Acidic) Compost
Requirement of other materials depending on need:
1. Vermiculite and perlite
2. Gravel and grit
4. Peat moss
Sphagnum peat moss has a coarse texture but is lightweight and sterile. It promotes adequate aeration and holds water well. However, it is usually difficult to moisten on its own and is best used with other mediums. It can be placed on the surface of compost to help create the moist conditions enjoyed by some plants, such as ferns. It is also included in the growing medium for carnivorous plants and a few other species that like wet conditions.
The Bottom Line
Reference links used:
1. – https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/peat-moss-information.htm
2. – https://www.gardenfundamentals.com/soil-compost-selecting-right-one/
3. – Practical Houseplant Book (RHS, Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway)