The Best Potting Soil Available

person holding pot with cactus and soil

There are many kinds of soils available for growing plants, but not all of them offer the same quality and performance. Some of the best potting soil includes ingredients other than sphagnum peat moss, which is a common substance that is cheap and effective.

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Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix, 8 quart
  • Burpee Organic Premium growing mix is enriched with Burpee plant food for vibrant flowers and delicious vegetables and...
  • Perfect for container and raised bed gardening, this growing mix feeds plants instantly and provides a slow release...
  • Formulated with coconut coir, a sustainable and renewable resource, that helps maintain moisture between watering's for...
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Black Gold SUGRBG16QT 1402040.Q16U Qt U 16 Quart All Organic Potting...
  • Ideal for all container-grown flowers, herbs and vegetables
  • Enriched with earthworm castings, perlite, pumice and organic fertilizer
  • OMRI listed organic
Sale
Espoma AP4 4-Quart Organic Potting Mix
  • All natural potting mix enhanced with myco-tone for all Potted plants
  • Improves moisture retention and reduces drought stress
  • Promotes root growth
Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix 8 Quart Bag
  • Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Coarse Perlite , Dolomitic Limestone, Calcitic Limestone, Starter Nutrient Charge and...
  • Convenient 8 quart bag for hobby use

Product FAQs

If you are curious about potting soil, and the benefits of using it, read our frequently asked questions to find out more.

What is potting soil?

Why do I need to use potting soil?

How We Reviewed

green leaf plant in brown plastic pot
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Image source: Pexels

Finding the best potting soil meant reviewing what the professionals use and what expert gardeners recommend. We also took into account what products worked the best for users in real-life scenarios.

Product Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Product 

There are a few top contenders when it comes to potting soil so that you can narrow down your options early on. While some brands are much more well-known than others, lesser-known brands may perform just as well and cost a bit less.

If you don’t want a potting soil with amendments or fertilizers added you’ll want to read the packaging carefully to see what it contains. There are often generic brands of potting soil at your local garden store, but sometimes these don’t perform as well as name brand products.

- The Top 6 Products -

Our list of recommended products includes potting soil from a variety of different brands, and products best suited for slightly different applications.

1. Miracle-GRO Potting Mix

Miracle-GRO is a well-known brand when it comes to plant products and gardening supplies, and their potting mix comes with a fertilizer that lasts up to six months.

Pros

  • The fertilizer is mixed in and suitable for all plants
  • Claims to grow plants twice as big as those without fertilizer
  • Packages range from a few quarts to a few square feet
  • Best for container gardening but also suitable in other applications
  • Accessible for beginner gardeners to use

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t have the same moisture holding abilities in a garden bed as a planter
  • Users should wear gloves when handling this soil

Key Features

Miracle-GRO contains a chemical fertilizer that claims to last up to six months and help plants grow larger and more colorfully. The mix is also designed to hold in moisture, reduce the stress on plants due to drought, and maintain a fluffy texture.

Where to Buy

You can buy Miracle-GRO potting mix at The Home Depot, Amazon, Lowe’s, and other garden centers.

2. Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix

Burpee is well known for its high-quality gardening supplies, and their potting mix is designed to be perfect for growing any plant.

Pros

  • Feeds plants for up to three months
  • Contains coconut coir for moisture retention
  • Organic and OMRI listed
  • Available in multi-packs
  • Average pH is 6.5

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No way to know when the plant food has been used up
  • Not ideal for plants that like to dry out between watering

Key Features

Burpee Organic potting mix is suitable for outdoor gardening applications, but it is also perfect for indoor houseplants that require consistently moist soil. The packaging is also resealable which is ideal for indoor use with smaller containers.

Where to Buy

You can buy Burpee Organic potting mix on the Burpee website, Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., and Walmart.

3. Black Gold Organic Potting Soil

Black Gold may not be as well-known of a brand as Miracle-GRO or others on our list, but it's a high-quality organic potting soil perfect for all gardening applications both indoor and outdoor.

Pros

  • Loamy for consistent moisture
  • Uses worm castings for nutrients
  • Contains perlite and pumice for a fluffy texture that drains well
  • OMRI listed
  • Comes in packages of varying sizes

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Earthworm castings may take time to breakdown and feed plants
  • Formulated for specific regions

Key Features

Black Gold potting soil is one of the more expensive options on our list, and that is partially due to it being organic. The price is also a reflection of the worm castings used to supply nutrients where other brands would use chemical fertilizer.

Where to Buy

You can buy Black Gold Organic potting soil on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Ace Hardware stores.

4. Espoma Organic Potting Mix

Espoma Organic potting mix is perfect for container gardening indoors and outdoors. The fluffy texture helps to promote root health.

Pros

  • Uses Earthworm castings and Myco-tone to nourish plants
  • Excellent moisture retention
  • Reduces plant stress from droughts
  • Formulated to save water, and help plants grow

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can be difficult to locate to buy
  • May need to adjust the pH for some plants

Key Features

What sets the Espoma Organic potting mix apart is that it contains earthworm castings and Myco-tone while other brands contain worm castings or chemical fertilizer. This product may be pricey, but the additions to the soil make it cheaper than adding them to soil yourself.

Where to Buy

You can buy Espoma potting mix on Amazon, Walmart, and Sears.

5. Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix

Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix is made from a few natural ingredients, a plant food, and a wetting agent.

Pros

  • Comes in small 8-quart bags for small projects
  • Includes a wetting agent, so the soil stays evenly moist longer
  • Plant food is mixed in
  • Can be used to germinate seeds

Cons

  • Unclear how long the plant nutrients last
  • Expensive for a general-purpose mix
  • May need additional amendments for some plants

Key Features

This potting mix has a limited number of ingredients and primarily uses peat moss, which can be acidic. This mix counteracts the acidity with limestone.

Where to Buy

You can find Fertilome Ultimate potting mix at The Home Depot and Amazon.

6. Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil

This potting mix is suitable for growing all kinds of plants and seeds but doesn’t rely on sphagnum peat moss alone to achieve its consistency.

Pros

  • Can be used in containers and garden beds with equal success
  • Includes plant food that lasts up to six months
  • A lower amount of peat moss, and more softwood bark and other components
  • Medium weight mix that drains well
  • Excellent fluffiness for better root development

Cons

  • Slightly expensive for what you get, but not too bad
  • Comes in a large bag that might be too much for some users
  • May be difficult to find depending on your location

Key Features

This potting mix from Proven Winners is the same mix that they use on all of their plants and can work well in any growing situation from containers to full garden beds. This mix is unique as it includes less sphagnum peat moss and more of other ingredients that make for more fertile soil.

Where to Buy

Proven Winners potting soil is available at Walmart, The Home Depot, Amazon, and eBay.

Comparison Table

Below is a table with more helpful information about our recommended potting soils.

Title/Name

Contains chemical fertilizer?

Organic

Best for?

Miracle-GRO Potting Mix

Yes

No

Container gardens and indoor/outdoor plants

Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix

Yes

Yes

Outdoor vegetables, flowers, and herbs

Black Gold Organic Potting Soil

No

Yes

All gardening applications

Espoma Organic Potting Mix

Yes

Yes

Indoor/outdoor containers

Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix

Yes

No

All gardening applications

Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil

Yes

No

Outdoor gardening applications

Final Verdict

variety of green plants in pots
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The best potting soil won’t rely solely on sphagnum peat moss as its primary ingredient and will include other components for a well-rounded and nourishing soil. Our top pick when it comes to potting soil is the Black Gold potting mix as it uses pumice and perlite to lighten the soil.

The Black Gold potting mix also includes worm castings as the nutrient supply for the plants and this is an effective and safe delivery method. Worm castings can also be replenished so that this soil can stay enriched and useful for many years.

Last update on 2021-08-02 at 11:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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