Guide for selection of plant growing media

Posted by Vitthal Narayan on

Growing media is an integral part of pot plants or houseplants' cultivation. Without good growing media, no plant can grow better, no matter how much you have spent on it or how beautiful the plant is.

There are many types of plant growing media available in the market but before you buy one, kindly go through our plant media guide.

The ideal plant growing media should -

  1. Support plant growth and development
  2. Supply essential nutrients required for plant growth
  3. Have good water holding capacity
  4. Provide drainage and balanced air.
  5. Free from any hibernating pests and diseases
  6. Free from any weed debris, rocks, and hardpans
  7. Have breadcrumb texture

The plant growing media can be divided between soil-based and soil-less growing media.

Soil-based growing media

Poyta soil
These soil are general agricultural soils found in most parts of the country. It has light brown to yellowish texture. This soil is rich in organic matter, good water holding capacity but has poor drainage capacity.
It requires a good amount of soil amendments like compost or cocopeat to make it usable for pot plants.
This soil is less preferred for pot plants. It is mostly used for landscape projects.

Red soil
Red soil is mostly used for potplant cultivation, growing all types of plants and for lawns.
It has a good water holding capacity, and good drainage ability, hence it helps in achieving water-air balance in growing media.
Red soil is a moderate source of nutrients and it has low organic carbon content.

Loamy soil
These soils are found in river beds, flood areas, and lakesides. This soil contains a large number of sands followed by silt and clay. These are the most ideal soil for gardening and growing all types of plants. These soils are mostly used in the Kolkata regions.
This soil has good water holding capacity, and good drainage ability and is a rich source of organic matters. This is nutrient-rich soil.

Sandy soil
As the name suggests, these soils are made from sedimentation of sand particles. Sandy soils are generally referred to as poor soil. This soil doesn't contain any organic matter or essential nutrients. It has a poor water holding capacity.
Sandy soil is mostly used for growing cactus and succulents.

Clay Soil
Clay soil is fine-textured soil. It contains a good amount of organic matter and nutrients. It has a very good water holding capacity but drainage is a problem. Over a period this soil turns hard and barren. To use it for gardening purposes may require the addition of natural soil amendments like farmyard manure or compost.

Soil-less plant growing media

Cocopeat
Cocopeat is a byproduct of coconut husk, which is ground in fine powder and kept for composting for a certain period. It is sold either in compressed bricks or in loose powder form.
Cocopeat is the most widely used soilless plant growing media. It is mostly used for potplant cultivation.
Cocopeat is either used as it is or mixed with soil, compost and other soil amendments.
Due to its easy availability, economical values, and versatile use, it has gained good popularity among gardeners.

Cocopeat is used for-

  1. Making seedlings and saplings
  2. It is used as a plant growing media
  3. To improve garden soil texture for good water holding capacity
  4. To improve drainage
  5. For delicate foliage plants have fibrous root systems.

Peatmoss
Peatmoss is a plant-based growing media obtained from bogs or places where the plant materials are submerged in water for hundreds of years to form a type of soil, called peat.
It is mainly found in wetlands and bogs of the northern hemisphere.
Peatmoss is mostly a decomposed sphagnum moss or mixed plant parts. It has crumbled soft texture.
It is a good replacement for cocopeat but it is not easily available in local markets.
Peatmoss can be used as it is or mixed with other growing media.
It is widely used for making seedlings, saplings, and even for making pot plants.
Peatmoss plant growing media

Other than cocopeat and peat moss, there are many soil-less growing media available in the market but they are used with other growing media as an amendment or to improve texture.

For Examples - perlite, vermiculite, soil rite, expanded clay aggregate, leaf mould, rice husk, chopped coconut husk, pine bark powder etc...

The ideal growing media can be made by mixing two or more different media, as per plant type and it's a requirement for good growth and development.



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