Growing plants, and more specifically growing marijuana plants, is quite a complex task. While the process of growing the plant itself isn’t so difficult, it is everything that you need to take care of in the before and after phases that can be quite bothersome. More so if you are growing marijuana plants for the very first time! Even more so if you are growing them indoors. This is because when you grow weed indoors you need to replicate the outdoors environment inside a grow tent and that is quite a challenging task for new growers. The element that we are going to be discussing here today is the soil for indoor growing.
Over the course of this article, we answer the major question of which are the 10 best soils for indoor growing in 2020. However, before that, we discuss a little bit about what soil is, as well as about soil-based growth vs non-soil growth. After that, we take you through the ten best options that you have in the markets and can purchase off Amazon with ease. However, just knowing the ten best soils is not enough. You also need to know how to choose the best soil for your needs – which is why we have our buyer’s guide right after that!
For your benefit, we also take a quick look at some frequently asked questions before we conclude the article. Let us now begin with understanding the basics of what soil is and why is it important for growing plants:
Why is Soil Important for Plants?
Soil is a medium of growth. It consists of many organic and inorganic elements and is mostly muddy or clayey when you look at it. However depending on the components that the soil carries its texture may vary. Nonetheless, the primary function of the soil is to act as a medium on which your plants are held firmly. You fill your pots with soil and place your plants on them. Soil also acts as a great medium for storing water and nutrients – which is the main reason as to why growers need soil.
Water retention is important for plants and having good soil ensures that just the right amount of water is retained. This is an important factor to understand as excess water is bad for the plants as it causes root rots and other problems. Excess drainage too is a problem because that means less water goes to the plants and they begin to dry out. Hence the soil needs to provide just the right amount of compactness as well as space to breathe and aerate. Coming to another important point, water is generally mixed with nutrients and nutrients are critical for the growth of any indoor plant. Hence, the retention of water is also the retention of nutrients and that is essential for all the plants! Using a good soil ensures that your plants get the right nutrients at the right time.
Growing Plants in Soil vs Non-Soil Mediums
While soil is the primary medium for growth, of late there are a number of hydroponic and aeroponic growers who prefer to grow their plants in non-soil mediums. Here, instead of soil the water carries nutrients at all times and the roots of the plants are in contact with water at regular intervals (if not all the times). These include rockwool cubes and other similar substances which can hold some water but are not soil-based mediums.
10 Best Soil for Indoor Growing in 2020
Here’s a closer look at the 10 best soils that you can buy in 2020 if you are planning on growing your plants indoors. While we have curated this list keeping cannabis/marijuana growers in mind, practically all types of growers can take the benefit of this list to ensure that their plants are getting the best possible soil. We have reviewed 10 of the best options that you can find in the markets and can buy easily in just a few clicks off Amazon.
One of the best brands that you could rely on when it comes to buying soil for indoor growing, Fox Farm is quite a credible name in the markets. This is one of the simplest soil mixes that you can get your hands on as it is ready to use the moment you cut open the package. Many times, growers wonder if their soil is PH balanced or not – so to clear this up, this package of soil is PH adjusted, which means the nutrients that you will be pouring in it will go straight to the plants! One of the biggest benefits of getting this soil is the fact that it comes with a number of beneficial bacteria and fungi in it, which make sure that the roots of your plants remain healthy for a really long time.
You get 2 cubic feet of soil in this package, which is good enough for a small-scale grower. While this is one of the best soil for indoor growing, this is also a great option for those growers who want to pot their plants outdoors. Thanks to the bacteria and the fungi present in the soil as well as the adjusted PH levels, your plant will get all the right nutrients which will ensure that they produce maximum possible yield per square feet – giving you huge returns if you are growing cannabis!
At first many growers think that this is soil that they are directly going to use to pot their plants. But truth be told, this is not soil, but a ‘super soil’, which is basically an add-on to your existing soil. Using this concentrate would help you boost everything that your regular soil can do. This is because when you grow plants in soil you need a lot of organic elements which it often lacks in. This package comes with all the organic elements that your plant will need right from the seedling stage all the way to the flowering stage! For those confused on how to use this, you will need to add 1 pound of this super soil on to every 5 gallon of the volume of your container and mix it well with the potting soil.
This super soil carries organic elements such as bat guano, fish bone meal, blood meal, Scleroderma Cepa, Coconut Water Powder, Kelp Meal, and several other kinds of bacteria and fungi which are not just beneficial but essential for the growth of your plant. No matter what you are growing you are certainly going to need these organic elements in your soil and this super soil concentrate offers you everything in just one bag! Do note that when you open the packet you will be met with a very foul and pungent smell but don’t think that this is because the soil has gone bad. This is actually the sign of a good concentrate and the smell will go away in a matter of hours.
Big Rootz is another firm that keeps showing up every now and then in the world of gardening. This is a reliable firm with high credibility and is known for making really good soil. One of the first things that stands out about this potting soil is the fact that it has been designed by growers for other growers – meaning this comes after a lot of research work and this is the reason why it has the perfect PH balance you could perhaps find in any potting soil! This soil could be used as the sole growing medium for your indoor (as well as outdoor) plants, or you could mix it with your existing potting soil too!
There’s peat, coir, worm castings and compost in the product which gives it an extra edge. Thanks to fungi and mycorrhizae, this is the best kind of soil for those growers who want to ensure that their plants are getting the perfect roots (hence also the name of the brand). This is also one of the best potting soil for those growers who want to ensure that their plants are flowering really well and are growing at their best possible capacity. This is because the PH levels are so well adjusted that all the nutrients you pour in will reach your plants in the right quantities!
If you go by the traditional definition of ‘soil’, you might want to skip on to the next one, but if you are a grower who is medium agnostic, this might be something you should really check out. This is a coco coir potting mix which carries 2 cubic feet of the medium in it. Many growers who move from soil-based mediums to non-soil mediums do so because they are unhappy with how the soil drains too much or how it retains too much water. This is the perfect solution for growers who are having waterlogging problems. Coco coir drains really easily but also holds in all the required contents at the same time.
The coir in this potting mix makes sure that the water and nutrients that are needed by the plants are retained while everything that is in excess is drained out. This makes it one of the best choices for people who are planning on growing their plants hydroponically as coco coir is just the perfect medium for them. Since it does not retain too much water the humidity levels will also not be quite high, which will make sure that the roots of your plants remain healthy and do not suffer from problems such as root rot, etc. All in all this is one of the best options for those kinds of growers who are specifically looking forward to buying non-soil mediums.
If you are looking for a potting soil that is based on high quality coco fiber and also carries a lot of organic elements, you need to look no further! This is one of the best soil for indoor growing in 2020 for growers who are looking forward to something that drains excess water while storing nutrients. This is also a great product for those growers who are often complaining about how coco coir based soil doesn’t carry enough organic elements. When you look at the organic elements it carries, it features bat guano, green sand, dust from glacial rocks, humic acid, among many other such elements that your plants need.
Besides that, this is also a great option for those growers who want a simple solution to putting the soil in their pots. This comes with a bag that growers can simply poke holes towards the bottom and hold it over the pot and all the soil will fall into place. This soil is not only good for the overall growth of your plant, but is also great for the health of the roots because like the one above this, the Roots Organic soil too drains water really well and ensures that there is no root rot. For those growers who do not want the 1.5 cubic feet variant, there’s another option that you could perhaps consider which is half its size!
This potting soil from Black Gold is an all-organic product which comes with a number of organic elements mixed into it that are great for your plant. The soil is rich in peat moss, aged bark, compost and earthworm castings as well as a number of other much-needed organic elements that your plants thrive on. This is just the perfect potting soil that you can use indoors as well as outdoors. This soil is also suitable for growing on raised beds, as well as on things such as a hanging basket. This is a rich and loamy soil which neither retains too much water nor drains out excess water – giving your plants the right balance while also ensuring there is no root rot or clogging.
It comes in at under $14 and is one of the most ‘premium’ products that you could get at this price point. For those growers who have a little larger need, you might want to check out their pack of 3 set, where you get three packs of this soil from Black Gold. A little bit of perlite and pumice are also added to this potting mix which makes sure that there is always enough space for the soil to ‘breathe’. The soil can be used for growing a large variety of plants and in our experience we found it to be very effective and one of the best soil for indoor growing in 2020 without a doubt!
If you are a grower who is specifically looking forward to buying a potting soil mix which is great for growing cannabis, you have reached the right place! The potting mix from Perfect Plants offers the cannabis growers with everything that they need. This is a soil that carries worm castings, coco coir, peat moss, perlite, and composted pine bark among other organic elements. This potting mix has been developed keeping in mind the special needs of those plants which grow in pots and containers and is hence the most ‘perfect’ product that you can find in the markets.
Some portions of lime have also been added to this potting soil to provide the growers with a perfect pH balance so that their plants can benefit the most from it. The use of perlite, coir and peat moss ensures that the soil is breathable, as well as does not gain too much humidity that might damage the roots. This mix is great for all kinds of plants but particularly for edibles such as fruits, nuts and vegetables. This is also easy to use for most growers as you don’t really have to put in too much effort and your plants get the best possible growing experience.
One of the best potting mixes for those growers who are looking forward to growing vegetables and flowers indoors. This is particularly a great option for those who are looking forward to growing all-organic products as the mix comes enriched with plant food which will give a major boost to your plants right from the early stages of growth all the way to the flowering stages. Essential nutrients are already carried in the mix and they will be released early on, giving your plants an edge. The plant food in the soil can last your plants for up to 3 months of their growth!
Thanks to the coco coir mix that they make use of, just the right amount of water can be held in this potting mix while the excess is drained off. The potting mix is OMRI certified for organic use, which should give the growers quite a peace of mind. The NPK ratio of this potting mix is 0.12-0.12-0.12 and it is evenly balanced. This product here is a set of three packs of 8 quarts each. However, growers can also buy sets of 1 pack, 2 packs, 4 packs and 5 packs based on their respective needs. One of the best soil for indoor growing in 2020, this three-pack is priced in at $36.99 which is pretty affordable as well and won’t put a burden on your wallet.
When it comes to getting the right kind of organic soil, Coast of Maine is a brand which delivers really well. One of the best option for growers looking forward for buying soil for indoor gardening, this is a ‘super soil’ that comes with a large number of organic elements. These include peat moss, coco fiber, lobster compost, perlite, worm castings, different kinds of meals as well as a number of other organic elements that a plant needs not just to survive, but to thrive! There are a number of bacteria and fungi which are great for the development of the plant as well as for the health of the roots.
Using this soil to grow your plants is also quite easy to do as all you need to do is to take out a bit of soil after you have filled the pot and just place your plant in there and cover it up again. Watering this plant is also an easy task as it neither holds too much water nor drains too much water – giving you the right balance. However, growers need to know that they should provide water to this mix only when they stick a finger in it and it feels dry. What truly makes it a great soil for indoor growers is the fact that not only is it great for the early stages, but all the way to budding and blooming! This is strongly recommended for all indoor growers.
10. Good Earth Organics, Gaia’s Gift Premium Potting Soil, Organic Potting Soil for Heavy Feeding Plants
Featuring a rich mix of coco coir, peat moss, perlite and pumice, this soil from Good Earth Organics is generally considered a great option for outdoors and greenhouse growers. However, in our opinion it is also a really good, in fact among the best soil for indoor growing in 2020. The soil is rich in nitrogen content which gives the plants quite a boost during the phases where they need nitrogen supply. This is a 10-gallon mix but there are options of purchasing a 1-gallon, 2.5-gallon and 5-gallon variants as well. In our experience we found it to be quite a good medium for the plants to grow across all stages but particularly during the nitrogen-intensive phases.
How to Choose the Best Kind of Soil for Plants?
Now that you know which are the 10 best soil for indoor growing in 2020, you also need to know how to choose the soil that is the right fit for your plants. Here’s a buyer’s guide which acts as a quick checklist for everything that you need to know before you buy a plant. Do go through these pointers and compare the soil of your choice against them to get a better understanding of the product you are buying and whether or not that will suit your needs.
1. Check the water retention
Make sure that the potting soil you are buying is one which does not retain too much water, but also does not drain out too much water. There has to be a perfect balance between these two which makes sure that the right amount of water is stored in the soil. Storing water is important not just because plants need water, but also because water and nutrients go hand in hand when it comes to plants. Water is mixed with nutrients and these nutrients are very important for the growth of any plant. Hence you need a soil which retains the right amount of water!
2. Check the volume
You need to measure the volume that your pots can store and compare it with the volume in the package of soil that you are getting. Make sure that you are getting the right volume. If you are buying something like a concentrate, you need to read the instructions carefully because concentrates need to be mixed with regular soil and you need to get the proportions of both the things right as well as correlate them with the size of your pots. These calculations are quite important before buying the soil.
3. Check the organic elements
Any good soil needs a lot of organic elements. Be they bacteria and fungi or be they earthworm castings, bat guano or a number of other ‘meals’, etc. These elements are critical for the overall growth and development and for the health of the soil. These organic elements keep decomposing in the soil and they provide the plants with much needed nutritious boost for months, while also giving them a headstart early on in the seedling/vegetative phase.
Frequently Asked Questions about Soil for Indoor Growing
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about soil for indoor growing. Going through these will help you get a three-sixty degree view of the gardening ecosystem and you will gain a better insight into everything that is needed to grow plants indoors.
1. What else do you need apart from the soil?
Apart from soil you need a lot of other things if you are growing indoors. You’ll need a grow tent, grow lights, ducting and fans, carbon filters, pots, clip-on fans, nutrients, appliances to adjust humidity and temperature, etc. Soil is just the medium to grow plants but there are many, many other things that need to be taken care of when you begin to grow your weed.
2. Can I grow my plants without using soil?
Yes, non-soil growth is possible and many growers make use of that when growing their plants hydroponically. Though if you are a beginner we strongly recommend using soil as the medium for growing your plants.
3. What to keep in mind while using soil?
The texture and composition of soil are two important things that need to be kept in mind by every grower. The texture needs to be neither sandy nor clayey. Sandy soil would lose more water than it can retain and clayey soil would retain more water than it could drain. Hence you need a fair mix of sandy and clayey soil which retains an appropriate amount of water. Besides that, you also need to keep the composition of the soil in mind – what are the organic and inorganic substances that formulate your potting mix is quite important to know!
We hope that by this point in the article you know everything that there is to know about the best soil for indoor growing in 2020. We have provided a list of the ten best options which you can choose from and order instantly. Besides that, we have also tried to provide some basic information that all growers must know about soil, especially when it comes to indoor gardening. If there are any doubts that you still have or any questions you want to be answered, feel free to drop us a mail or let us know in the comments section and we shall get back to you as soon as we can! Till then…
…Happy Growing! 🙂