Best Type of Soil to Nourish Your Plants Best Type of Soil to Nourish Your Plants

Different types of plants require different types of soil for proper nourishment and growth. There are a few guidelines for these soils.

Succulents and Cactus

Succulent plants that are houseplants across the country and outdoor plants in the southwest and desert regions require as you would imagine, a sandy soil. This doesn't mean completely sandy however. It is a good idea, especially if the plant is indoors, to mix a bit of regular potting soil with the sand. A 50/50 mixture is good. Be careful with watering this soil as it will hold dampness and your plant could rot. Feed regularly with a succulent or cactus food.


Ferns are difficult for most people to grow. They require a rich, dark soil that has a lot of compost and natural decaying matter mixed into it. Also add a bit of vermiculite for drainage and to hold just enough water to keep the plant happy. When you think of ferns, whether indoor or out, picture the rich black soil of a forest. This is the type of soil a fern will need to thrive and grow. Commercial fern mixes are available or you can make your own using one part potting or garden soil, one part compost or peat moss and add a bit of vermiculite. Mix well. For indoor plants be sure to feed with a good water soluble fern food on a regular basis and mist regularly.


Roses can be a bit intimidating for some gardeners. Various varieties have different needs. Over all they want a rich soil with a good compost mix added. A little bit of sand can be added for drainage but keep it to a minimum. You can also add a bit of lime to the soil to keep the soil light. Keep the soil around the base of the rose. Don't over water your rose or mulch as this will hold water to the base of the plant and can ultimately cause black spot to form. This is a type of mold and can kill a rose.

Perennials and Annuals

These outdoor favorites will thrive in just about any soil type but to get the ultimate blooms and growth you will want a soil that is well drained and doesn't contain a lot of clay. You can amend your soil with a mixture of a small amount of lime, and 50/50 top soil and peet moss. They need fertilized with a good garden fertilizer such as 12/12/12 and watered regularly.


If you like growing indoors you will have to meet the special needs of plants that don't get the nourishment of rains and direct sunshine and winds to strengthen them. A good brand name potting soil for your particular type of plant is the easiest way to go and in most cases more cost effective. There are blends for cactus, ferns, African violets and regular plants. Be sure to always use a water-soluble plant food for this type of plant per the instructions on the container for the maximum health and growth.

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