There aren’t many of us beginner gardeners who know about the different kinds of soils, and even less who know about aroid soil mix – or at least I didn’t!
I had to find out that not all plants need the same soil the hard way! At the beginning of my gardening days, all-purpose potting mix was my go to.
Now, a few dead plants later, I have realized my mistake and learned that different plants need different types of soil.
So, if you have an aroid plant – and these include aglaonemas, philodendrons, zz plants, syngoniums, pothos, and monsteras – you should use aroid potting mix to achieve optimal results.
What Is Aroid Soil Mix?
Aroid soil mix is a type of potting mix that mimics the soil quality of rainforests.
If you happen to have an aroid or a tropical houseplant in your indoor garden, you should know that these are native to rainforests.
Therefore, to provide the best plant care to your philodendron atom, you simply need to keep a bag of aroid potting mix at hand and you’ll be all set.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about aroid soil mix, and even a recipe for making your very own aroid potting mix.
Features Of Aroid Soil Mix
Aroid soil mix is not your everyday soil mixture. It contains additives high in organic content and helps with aeration and drainage. These features are what distinguish good aroid potting mix from ordinary potting soil.
Even though aroids and tropical plants love water, it’s important not to give them too much or you’ll end up with root rot, which is why aroid soil mix is the perfect option for these indoor plants.
It contains additives which provide optimal water drainage, so you can rest assured that your calatheas and monsteras will neither drown nor be parched.
Aeration is incredibly important when it comes to plant care. If the soil loses oxygen, plants can dry out because their roots can’t absorb water as a result of vascular failure.
If you want to grow an aroid as an indoor plant, you need to keep in mind that it requires similar conditions to those found in rainforests, and this includes aeration.
Tropical plants and aroids have an extensive root system, and potting and growing them as houseplants can limit their growth. However, you can avoid this by using the proper soil mix.
They need oxygen to reach their full potential, and not all potting mixes provide it.
Aroid soil mix gives them enough “air” to provide the optimal exchange of water and oxygen a healthy plant needs to grow and thrive.
High In Organic Content
Aroid potting mix is rich in microbial life and nutrients, which are released over a period of time. This improves growth, water drainage, and aeration.
The need for high organic content isn’t restricted to aroids and tropical plants, because what plant would reject a soil mixture rich in nutrients? Apart from those hardy succulents of course!
Aroid Soil Mix Recipe
Now that you know all the features of aroid potting mix, it is time to make your own soil mixture.
You don’t need many additives for a good aroid soil mix – just be sure that you use ingredients high in organic content and provide enough aeration, water retention, and drainage.
The base substrate is potting soil (even Miracle-gro can do the trick), which you can just upgrade to fit your plant’s needs.
The first thing you need to do is add some ingredients that will keep an optimal level of water retention and drainage. You can achieve this by adding sphagnum peat moss.
Other additives that provide water drainage are coir (you can always use coco coir) and at least 1 part perlite or pumice. These two ingredients will be your way of fighting root rot.
Vermiculite is great for moisture retention, so you can always rely on this ingredient if you feel your plants are a bit dry.
Orchid bark and horticultural charcoal are perfect for aeration. Orchid bark will make your mixture chunkier, but also help strengthen your plant’s roots, and all the impurities your soil may contain can be drawn out with horticultural charcoal.
The best thing about homemade soil mixtures is that you control both the type and the amount of fertilizers they contain. The most natural option is using worm castings, and our personal favorite is Earthworm Castings. These provide all the quintessential minerals and nutrients your plant will need.
Now, grab a pen and some paper and quickly write down the following recipe, because once you see the results in your plants you will never go back!
(The measurements refer to the entire mixture, so if you’re making a larger batch you will have to add more ingredients.)
Put it all in a bowl or some other vessel, mix it thoroughly, and get ready to plant!
This is the basic recipe, but you can always experiment with other additives. If you like using fertilizers, just add worm castings, and if you want some extra drainage and oxygen, add horticultural charcoal.
This recipe is great because it can be adapted to your plants’ needs.
However, if you are trying to grow orchids or some other epiphytes, you can use orchid bark only or add sphagnum moss for more water retention.
Here’s a video that can help you make your own aroid potting mix if you’re a first-timer:
What is aroid soil good for?
Aroid soil is good for all kinds of plants that need to stay moist, but not drowned in water, such as alocasia, anthurium, philodendron, etc.
You can also use aroid soil mixture for cactuses and succulents, just be sure to add sand as it is a perfect substrate for these plants because it doesn’t retain water.
You can plant your aroids immediately to your mix, or you can try repotting if you have only just learnt about this mix.
Can I use cactus mix for aroids?
You shouldn’t use cactus mix for aroids because it doesn’t reflect rainforest conditions very well.
Aroids need a well draining mix, and although cactus mix provides this, they also require water and moisture retention for their root growth, and this is something that cactus mix cannot offer.
Cactus mix is also made of inorganic materials, such as sand and perlite, and this does not provide enough nutrients for aroids.
If you want a gorgeous hoya to decorate your hanging basket, or an every-day philodendron to light up your office, all you need is an aroid soil mix and your plants will be forever thankful.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get a monstera and add it to my collection!
Until next time!
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