The best soil for indoor plants in 2021

Keep your plants healthy with the best soil

An image of soil and some plants

by Isabel Martins |
Updated on

Let's not beat around the bush, taking care of and having plants can be pretty difficult. You need to monitor them, water them, make sure they're getting sufficient sunlight as well as ensuring the soil isn't too wet or too dry, amongst many other things - it's quite a lot!

One way to help ensure your plants are healthy is by purchasing the correct or best suited potting soil for your indoor plant. As the potting soil or potting mix is what will be feeding and watering your plant, the main issue to consider when purchasing the soil is which would be best for your type of plant, be it for your orchids or hydrangeas.

According to the RHS, for most plants, "A multipurpose compost, houseplant compost or loam-based compost will be suitable for most indoor plants." This is because these types of soil carry plenty of nutrients, holds enough moisture, and then drains the rest properly.

However, for germinating seeds, you'll require a soil mix specifically for them, as this will contain more nutrients and help the seeds grow. For more exotic plants such as cacti or orchids, you'll require an even more specific soil mix.

We've included a wide range of soils in our roundup, so whether you have standard or exotic plants you'll be sure to find it here. If you are new to plant keeping, or you're still not quite sure which is the best soil for you, make sure you check out our FAQ section at the bottom of our roundup.

We have searched high and low for the best soil and have rounded up our favourites below.

Best soils for indoor plants in 2021:

Best soil for germinating seeds

This Wickes soil is perfect for anyone with germinating seeds or growing plants, this is largely due to the fact that it is peat-free. Most peat-free composts are much better at retaining moisture than ones that aren't, this is best for germinating seeds as they require more moisture and nutrients than fully grown plants.


Another excellent option for most standard plants, it has great drainage, plenty of nutrients as well as peat. Peat is ideal for any fully grown plant as it helps with thorough drainage and aeration.

Best soil for exotic plants

As this soil is quite fertile and it's pretty high in organic matter, it's ideal for exotic and tropical plants. Of course, if your plant has specific needs, for instance, succulents require plenty of drainage and soil with peat, make sure you get a specific mix for your plant or purchase separate nutrients to add to the soil.

Best soil for orchids

As equally as they are beautiful they are demanding, orchids are incredibly delicate and this is reflected in their soil needs. They require a mix that is very dry and aerated, so ideally a mix of bark, and coconut husks. This compost mix is ideal for orchids as it contains all those ingredients and is very aerated!


This potting mix by Miracle-Gro is a fantastic option for anyone with standard indoor plants. It's great value for price and contains all the nutrients required to keep your plants happy and healthy.


Another excellent product for any germinating seeds. This product is filled with nutrients and absorbs water efficiently, ensuring your plants have plenty of aeration.

Best soil for Cacti and Succulents

Similar to orchids, cacti or succulents require large amounts of aeration and much more drainage than a standard potting mix usually offers. This potting mix is a fantastic choice as it has all the ingredients required to ensure your plants have plenty of aeration such as grit and sand. It also has added seramis granules, which are small clay granules that efficiently retain water. Seramis clay granules are made of small, light, porous granules with high water retention qualities.


Can I use potting soil for indoor plants?

You may either use a potting mix or a potting soil for your standard indoor plants, this will depend largely on the needs of your plants.

When should I change soil for indoor plants?

It is recommended that you change the soil every 12 to 18 months for indoor plants.

Is potting mix the same as potting soil?

Even though both are used interchangeably there is a difference, potting soil may contain soil whereas a potting mix definitely won't. Potting mix is sterile which can be safer or better for some plants as it won't carry diseases. Which is better will completely depend on what type of plants you own and their needs.

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Isabel Martins is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, specialising in technology.

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