Most of the time houseplant owners are not aware of the impact of soil on plant health. They just know light and water are the two most important things that a plant needs to thrive.
But soil is not less important than these two growth factors.
Many beginners use normal soil to grow philodendron. They do not think about the draining power of the soil and aeration.
Soil is not just to support the plant in a pot. Soil gives nourishment to the plant, it protects its roots from outside weather and viruses.
The best quality of soil gives all essential nutrients to a growing philodendron and makes its immune system strong.
In today’s article, I will explain how to choose the best soil for philodendrons and what qualities you need to look into the philodendron potting soil.
The best soil for Philodendrons
Philodendrons are tropical rainforest plants. There they grow on the jungle floor. The soil you are going to use must have the same qualities as tropical jungle soil.
You may wonder how philodendrons survive in rainforests and why die because of overwatering when growing in pots.
The reason is the soil of the jungle has excellent draining powers. It sends the rainwater down into the earth in a few minutes. This saves the plants that are growing on the surface.
This clears that your soil must have well-draining abilities to save the plant from overwatering.
Following is the checklist
The soil must be well-draining
Lightweight and well-aerated
Rich in nutrients
The regular soil is not useful because it became heavy and waterlogged when watered. Therefore, using it will be deadly for philodendrons.
In order to use it, you need to amend your regular potting soil with some extraordinary ingredients. Peat moss, perlite, compost, and coco coir are some excellent amendments.
There are also many commercial potting soils available. They are ready-to-use mixes you do not need to mix anything in them. They already contain all essential ingredients except nutrients.
Home-made potting soil recipes for philodendrons
Mix peat moss + perlite + regular potting soil in equal amounts. Mix it well and then use it in plant pots. This formula is perfect but does not contain any nutritional values. But has good draining power with good aeration properties.
Mix 50% peat moss + 25 % compost + 25% regular soil. This formula works well for all types of philodendrons.
Because peat moss is lightweight and can hold moisture for a long time. This keeps the potting mix moist for a long time without being wet.
The compost in the mixture provides many essential nutrients to the plants. It is mainly high in nitrogen.
Nitrogen is required by the green foliage plants to produce green leaves.
Peat + perlite or peat + vermiculite in equal quantities. Philodendrons are easy to grow in a soil-less mixture as compared to other houseplants.
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African violet soil for Philodendrons
You can use African Violet soil for growing philodendrons. Because African violets are naturally found in tropical rainforests.
This means they are also tropical jungle plant-like philodendrons.
The soil found in both jungles has the same qualities. Therefore, you can use African violet potting mix.
This soil contains many organic materials like compost or perlite. Hummus, compost, perlite, and peat are the standard ingredients that you can find in all African violet soil mixes.
This makes the soil porous in nature which increases the air circulation in the root zone. This keeps the roots free from fungal diseases.
It also helps the soil to drain water quickly hence saving your philodendrons from overwatering and root rot.
Is Cactus Soil beneficial for philodendrons?
Cactus are not tropical plants they are succulents and their growing needs are different.
I do not suggest you choose cactus soil for growing philodendrons. If you have it at home and do not have the budget for buying new potting soil.
Then you need to make it the best soil for philodendron. To do so you need to add some ingredients to it. Because the cactus soil contains coarse sand, small stones, and perlite.
Cactus plants do not need much moisture and nutrients but philodendrons do.
So, you should add a good amount of compost to the formula to make it suitable for philodendrons.
Cacti do not need many nutrients therefore the manufacturers do not add organic materials in the soil formula.
Can you mix Pumice in Philodendron Soil?
Professional growers mix pumice in the regular soil to make it the best soil for philodendrons. Pumice is a rock found near volcanos. It is porous in nature like the perlite. Both materials are volcanic rocks.
The main benefit of adding pumice to the formula is it supplies trace nutrients. It has a limited amount of trace elements. They are required for blooming and best leaves.
It also absorbs the extra water from the soil and keeps your plant roots safe. To reduce the chances of root rot you should add pumice in the philodendron soil formula instead of perlite.
Good drainage, best aeration, rich organic material, and lightweight are the top qualities of the best philodendron soil.
Use ready-to-use commercial soil if you do not have good knowledge of potting mixes. African violet mix will a good choice.
Visit the nearest garden center to know the prices of these ingredients. Sometimes they already prepare the potting soil for different plants. You can buy that if they give you a good offer.
I hope now understand everything about philodendron potting soil. For more questions contact us.