Becoming a gardener is something that may seem like an amusing and easy hobby, but in fact, it really takes some time and skill to become a successful gardener.

Creating the right environment, choosing good potting soil, and taking care of your plant is not easy as it seems, but with some time and practice, you will definitely be able to become a great gardener and build your own green nook.

Best Soil for Outdoor Potted Plants

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Outdoor potted plants are the choice of many gardens because they seem to be a lot easier to be taken care of, and they are still very beautiful and help create a beautiful garden.

You can grow different potted plants outside, including roses, begonias, tomatoes, and different types of fan flowers and similar plants.

Different types of outdoor potted plants have different requirements, but in general, all of them are pretty easy to be taken care of, and creating good potting soils is the first step towards a healthy plant.

The best potting soil for these plants is one that is peat moss-based because it will help the plant retain moisture and provide plant roots with nutrients.

You should be aware that they won’t enjoy a succulent soil mix, and you will have to use organic soil mixes if you want your plant to succeed.

Outdoor potted plants really need quality potting soil because even though they need some water, they still can’t survive when there is too much moisture.

When growing plants outdoor, the soil composition should also have some type of organic fertilizers or chemical fertilizer because they really need to be stimulated at the start.

However, once your plant starts developing, you can use a slow-release fertilizer that will successfully feed your garden beds, and it also fits most potting soils.

Container gardens are great if you plan on growing several outdoor potted plants, so if you have enough time and will, you can create a universal organic mix for all of them that can include your own compost, forest humus, reed sedge peat, Canadian sphagnum peat moss, composted manure, and different organic materials.

This all-purpose potting soil can be one of your universal organic potting mixes that will for sure fit most outdoor potted plants, and it is always best to use your own potting soil rather than the premade ones.

However, your outdoor soil can also be a pre-made one from the store, which can also be a good option, especially for those who don’t have too much time.

Here we have gathered some of the best types of potting soil you can find on the market and in your local garden center.

They are 100% effective, and they will fit various outdoor potted plants, especially those in container planting, so we sincerely recommend them to you.

QUICK OVERVIEW: Soil for Outdoor Potted Plants

Espoma AP4
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • 100% organic
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Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro
  • Weight: 5.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 3.5
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Espoma Moisture Potting Mix
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • 8 qt
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1. Espoma AP4

Espoma is one of the oldest gardening companies, and it has been creating great mixes for container plantings for quite some time now.

Their products are sold basically everywhere globally, and their container mix can serve you for a variety of different plants.

This soil mix is completely organic, and gardeners love their products because they know they are packed with ingredients of the highest quality.

Even if you avoid potting mixes, you should give this Espoma product a try because it will definitely transform your plant.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • 100% organic

What plants is it good for?

This organic soil mix is great for different plants, and it will definitely work for many different outdoor potted plants.

Even though it is pretty much regular potting soil, it is a very nutrient-rich potting soil that will feed your plants from within.

However, when using this potting soil, I recommend exposing the plant to a lot of sun to grow without any obstacles.

Key features

This Espoma potting mix is 100% organic, and it is known for having a bit of myco-tone that stimulates growth, which is especially important for outdoor potted plants.

This mixture is rich in kelp and feather meals, and it has an addition of alfalfa meal, sphagnum peat moss, and some organic fertilizer.

It promotes root growth and provides the plant with moisture-retaining treatments that help it revitalize and solve different problems from within.

It also has worm castings that will not only create a stimulating environment for your plant but also provide the soil with enough drainage holes that will help the plant get enough air.

This soil mix is known for being rich in plant food that makes the soil lighter but still provides it with enough nutrients and nurtures it.

Even though there will be enough drainage holes, you should still be very careful when watering the plant because too much moisture can cause different plant diseases.

It is also known for reducing the drought stress of the plants, which can be a great addition too and makes it good both for indoor and outdoor use.

There is also a significant percentage of domestic limestone that controls the pH levels in the plant and helps it create a good environment for itself.

However, this potting mix needs a lot of care because you need to check up on it all the time and make sure there is no powdery mildew or mealybugs in it; otherwise, you may experience many problems.

Even though it has amazing ingredients and is completely organic, this potting mix is not sterilized, and it doesn’t differ too much from regular garden soils because of this.

Non-sterilized potting mixes can really cause you a lot of problems, so be aware of this before you decide to make a purchase, especially if you are a beginner in this.

Pros

  • 100% organic
  • Amazing ingredients
  • Domestic limestone for pH balance
  • Has myco-tone

Cons

  • Not sterilized

2. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro

Miracle-Gro is definitely the most famous gardening company, and they have different types of potting and soil mixes for every plant you can think of.

This is one of the most concentrated potting mixes you will come across, and it will be able to completely transform your plant in just a few weeks, which makes it one of the best products on the market.

For those who want to see fast results and grow their plants as soon as possible, this is definitely the best option because it will give you amazing results in a very short period of time.

Specs

  • Weight: 5.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 3.5
  • Compressed coir

What plants is it good for?

Even though it was aimed at indoor plants, this amazing Miracle-Gro potting mix can fit plants that are potted outdoors too.

In case you don’t have amazing soil or your growing conditions are not the best match for your plant, then this is something that will definitely help it and make your gardening experience a lot easier.

However, you should be very careful while using this potting mix and make sure you add it to a good and neutral soil mix because you don’t want your plant to get oversaturated with different chemicals.

It is one of the all-purpose potting soils that will almost every plant you can think of, which is probably what makes it the best potting mix.

You should also be aware that plants shouldn’t be potted in small pots when you are using this mix because they will be growing very fast, and they need a lot of space to develop properly.

Key features

When using this potting mix, you have to be extremely careful about the mix you are creating, and you always need to pair it with a very simple and natural organic soil; otherwise, your results may not be the best.

It is recommended to water this potting mix very often, even two times per day initially, so you have to be very careful not to overdo it, or you can create some serious problems for your plant.

The water retention capabilities of this mix are 50% better than of other potting mixes on the market, so you really need to control the watering process and even add some natural fertilizers if you think that everything is happening too fast.

Users claim that adding this potting mix to their soil made their plants grow twice faster than with regular mixes, and this is something everything which has used this mix can confirm because it really does miracles with your plants.

However, we have mentioned that you need to be very careful with it, and although they develop fast, you have to be careful and make sure your roots are fine, and there are no bacteria on your soil surface.

As we have already mentioned, this potting mix is completely organic, and it is rich in coarse sand, pine bark fines, peat moss, and many different organic nutrients.

It can also feed the plant for up to 6 months, so you will be able to grow your plant tall with just one bag of this mix.

Pros

  • Helps the plant grow 3 times faster
  • Better water retention capabilities
  • Feeds the plant for more than 6 months

Cons

  • Prone to different types of plant diseases
  • Requires a lot of work

3. Espoma Moisture Potting Mix

Like Miracle-Gro, Espoma also has a variety of different potting mixes, and this is one of the best products for outdoor potted plants.

It is a potting soil specifically made for potted plants that helps them retain great moisture levels and control the pH levels without problems.

The mix is rich in nutrients, and it is made from 100% organic ingredients grown at Espoma farms, just like all other products from this company.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • 100% organic
  • 8 qt

What plants is it good for

This potting soil is made specifically for outdoor potted plants, and you definitely won’t get good results if you use it on other in-ground plants.

It is an ideal organic soil that will provide all the plants in pots with ingredients and nutrients that they might need but can’t get them in an environment like this.

The company also suggests using it for potted plants exposed to direct sunlight because it will give the best and fastest results this way.

Key features

This Espoma product is actually a regular potting mix for outdoor potted plants, and it is similar to most other organic mixes.

It is a completely natural product consisting of coco coir and a lot of earthworm castings that create a nutritive and stimulating environment and help feed the plant.

There is also a lot of myco-tone that helps the plant grow and creates the ideal environment for it that will help it thrive in a short period of time.

Since it is made for potted plants, they have also made the mix very easy to move from one pot to another, which allows you to repot the plant frequently and without any problems.

Unfortunately, plenty of users claim that this ingredient list is a complete fraud and that they have received a completely different product with only perlite and peat moss.

It seems like this is something that has happened to hundreds of people who have purchased this product, so I would really recommend being careful and thinking twice about whether you want to order it or not.

Overall, this looks like a solid and regular organic soil mix, but things like this make the product very questionable, and I definitely recommend getting an alternative in case you decide to order this product.

Pros

  • 100% natural and organic
  • Has myco-tone
  • Easy to repot

Cons

  • Problems with orders
  • The ingredient list is not true

4. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

As we have already said, there is no way you could pursue gardening without buying at least one of Miracle-Gro products.

This is just one out of hundreds of their potting mixes, and even though it is pretty simple and not even made for outdoor plants, it should work well.

Even though it is simple, it is very enduring and is known to be very rich in nutrients, helping the plants thrive.

Specs

  • Non-organic
  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 7.63 pounds
  • Feed up to 6 months

What plants is it good for?

Even though it is an indoor potting mix, this turned out to be a great soil mix for outdoor potted plants, and it seems like they are perfectly able to develop when using it.

Its formula is very simple, and even though it seems like you will not be able to get any results, it still manages to help plants grow and thrive without problems.

Many users claim that this mix has done miracles for their plants, and they recommend adding it to those who have some problems or whose roots tend to rot easily.

Key features

This Miracle Grow potting mix is a blend of various container plants, and you can definitely use it for all sorts of plants and be sure that it will bring you amazing results.

Unfortunately, this is not an organic product, and it has a lot of chemicals and additions that help the plants revitalize.

It contains coconut coir with amazing moisture retention capabilities, and most potting soil mixes don’t have this amazing ingredient.

There is also no bark or compost in this mix so that you can be pretty sure fungus and gnats will not attack your plant, no matter what happens.

This is the type of mix that needs to be watered all the time, so I really recommend you to try to find a balance and create a good environment that will not get too wet; otherwise, you may need to leave your plant in the trash.

The fungus can also appear because of overwatering, so even though there is no bark or compost, you still may struggle with it.

In my opinion, this is something that can cause a lot of problems for a beginner gardener, so I would really recommend you to think well before you decide to make a purchase.

This potting mix will be able to feed your plant for up to 6 months, so you probably won’t need to add any type of chemicals or fertilizers to stimulate its growth.

Users boost about having amazing results and transform their plant while using this mix completely, so I believe it can be a worthy investment.

The price is also very reasonable, and it will definitely pay off in the future, so I encourage you to hurry up to Amazon and get your own bag.

Pros

  • Feeds the plant for more than 6 months
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Stimulates growth
  • Suitable for different plants

Cons

  • Can create problems with fungus
  • Not the best option for beginner gardeners
  • Hard to handle

5. Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil

Dr. Earth is also one of the very popular gardening companies with hundreds of different potting and soil mixes for all types of plants you can think of.

The company is several decades old, and its products are of very high quality and have some of the best ingredients every gardener can think of.

They are also 100% safe for both people and pets, telling you enough about their quality.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5.94 pounds
  • Contains Tru Biotic ingredients
  • Premium organic soil

What plants is it good for?

This Dr. Earth potting soil is made for both indoor and outdoor plants, and you can use it for any type of outdoor potted plant you have.

It has amazing Tru Biotic microbes that stimulate plant growth and help you grow healthy and colorful plants with ease.

Many people compare it to Miracle-Gro concentrated mixes because it really gives you amazing and fast results.

Key features

This is one of the most popular potting mixes on the market, and it has an amazing Myco Apply formula that makes it 100% safe both for people and pets, which can tell you how amazing and natural all their ingredients are.

Its main component is different Tru Biotic microbes with ecto and endo mycorrhizal that will stimulate plant growth and help you grow different types of plants without any problems.

You can also find many different organic ingredients like peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, pine bark, coarse sand, and many more that create nutritive soil.

A big downside is the fact that this soil is also not sterilized, which tends to create serious problems with fungus and bacteria, especially for beginner gardeners who have never come across things like this.

Unfortunately, some people also claim that although their plants have started to grow rapidly after using this mix, their growth seemed to stagnate after some time, and the plants have died.

Even though it seems like a great product, this is something we have no control of, and you really can’t know what the end result will be unless you try it out for yourself.

Since it is a bit pricier than other potting mixes on the market, I would really recommend taking some time and thinking twice before you make a decision whether you will purchase it or not.

Pros

  • Tru Biotic microbes
  • 100% organic ingredients
  • 100% safe for people and pets
  • Stimulates growth

Cons

  • Not sterilized
  • Problems with growth
  • More expensive than other mixes

Things to Consider When Buying Best Soil for Outdoor Potted Plants


Moisture retention

Outdoor potted plants need to have a good balance of moisture and nutrients in their soil, and you should always make this a priority.

Moisture retention is very important because as long as the plant receives enough water, it will be able to thrive and develop properly.

The moment there is some problem with moisture levels in the soil is the moment your plant will start rotting, and there is really nothing you can do to solve it.

As long as your soil is able to retain enough moisture and provide the plant with a good amount of nutrients, it is a good option for your plant, and you can rely on it.

Aeration

Even though retaining enough moisture is very important, you have to make sure the soil is well-drained and that your plant will not get overloaded with water.

When creating your perfect potting mix, you have to make sure you add some ingredients or mixes that will help the plant get enough drainage holes and get rid of excess water.

Many people overlook this and create soil that holds on to way too much water, and after this is done, there is nothing you can do except start all over and start growing a new plant.

Organic soil

A soil that has little to no organic ingredients usually can’t do too much for your plant, so I sincerely recommend you to choose products that are rich in organic matter.

You don’t have to go for a 100% organic potting mix; all you have to do is have a good peat moss or sphagnum moss base and add some perlite and compost that will create an almost native environment for your plant.

FAQ


What is the best soil for outdoor potted plants?

When it comes to outdoor potted plants, you should always choose organic potting soil that has a lot of peat or sphagnum moss so the plant can get enough water.

You will also need a lot of air in your plant’s soil, so make sure it has enough drainage holes, and its soil pH is in accordance with the needs of the plant.

Can I use garden soil for outdoor potted plants?

While garden soil can be a good choice, you definitely shouldn’t put all of it in your plant’s soil but rather mix it with some organic material like peat moss.

A good garden soil, in combination with some perlite and peat moss, will definitely make a good fit and help your plants thrive.

Is it ok to use topsoil for potted plants?

Simple, homemade soils can work just as well as those you can buy in garden centers, so I believe topsoil would be a great option too.

However, before you decide to use the topsoil, you should sterilize it first because you don’t want any fungus or bacteria to appear on your plant.

Which soil is best for inside or outside container plants?

A potting mix is the best thing you can use for container plants, whether they are placed inside or outside. It would be best if you chose or make your own potting mix that will satisfy all your plants’ needs and protect them from different types of diseases.

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