Best Organic Potting Mix for Indoor Plants

When it comes to caring for your indoor plants, choosing the right potting mix is crucial. The market is flooded with various options, but not all of them live up to expectations.

Many commercially available potting mixes require amendments to make them suitable for indoor plants. This can be frustrating for plant enthusiasts who want a hassle-free solution.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best organic potting mix for indoor plants. We will delve into the features and benefits of the recommended mix, and discuss its unique qualities.

Additionally, we will address common concerns such as sustainability, the difference between soil and soilless mix, and the shelf life of potting mix.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of organic potting mix and discover the perfect solution for your indoor plants.

Tilth Soil: The Story Behind the Best Organic Potting Mix

To understand the uniqueness of the best organic potting mix, we need to explore the story behind its creation. Tilth Soil, a local Cleveland, OH company, is revolutionizing the world of houseplant potting mixes while making a positive impact on the environment. The company was born out of Rust Belt Riders, a food waste hauling organization with a mission to divert food waste from landfills.

Tilth Soil’s potting mixes stand out because they are compost-based living soil mixes. Unlike many commercially available mixes, Tilth Soil’s products contain a significant amount of compost. This compost is made from rescued food scraps that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. By collecting and composting food waste, Tilth Soil not only reduces methane emissions but also creates a healthy, climate-beneficial soil for plants.

The House potting mix, developed in consultation with experienced houseplant parents, addresses common pain points such as overwatering, under-watering, and the presence of fungus gnats. It is specifically designed to provide indoor plants with all the nutrients they need for a healthy life, eliminating the need for additional amendments.

Sustainability: A Key Feature of Tilth Soil’s Potting Mix

One of the most appealing aspects of Tilth Soil’s potting mix is its commitment to sustainability. Unlike many traditional potting mixes, Tilth Soil’s mixes contain a significant amount of compost.

This compost is made from food waste that would have otherwise contributed to climate change by emitting methane in landfills.

The use of compost reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers, which can have negative environmental impacts. By incorporating compost into their potting mixes, Tilth Soil promotes a more natural and sustainable approach to plant care. Additionally, Tilth Soil constantly reviews its ingredients to ensure the most sustainable options are used.

Understanding the Difference Between Soil and Soilless Mixes

When discussing potting mixes, it’s essential to understand the difference between soil and soilless mixes. Soil refers to a mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. True soils typically contain 2-10% organic matter.

On the other hand, soilless mixes, as the name suggests, do not contain soil. Instead, they are composed of various organic and inorganic materials.

Tilth Soil’s House potting mix falls somewhere in between. It is a compost-based mix that mimics the biology found in true soils. The mix contains a high percentage of organic matter, along with a small amount of sand, silt, and clay.

This unique composition ensures the mix provides the necessary nutrients and moisture retention while maintaining excellent porosity and drainage.

Components of the House Potting Mix

To fully appreciate the benefits of the House potting mix, it’s important to understand its components. Each ingredient plays a specific role in creating a well-balanced and nutritious mix for indoor plants. Let’s explore the key components of the House potting mix:


Compost is the heart of Tilth Soil’s potting mixes. It serves as the source of soil organisms, mimicking the natural soil food web.

Plants have evolved to thrive in the presence of soil organisms, which help break down organic matter and release essential nutrients. Compost provides a rich environment for these organisms and supports healthy plant growth.

Sphagnum Peat Moss

Sphagnum peat moss is a common ingredient in potting mixes. It comes from peatlands in Canada and offers excellent water retention capabilities.

However, concerns have been raised about the sustainability of peat harvesting. While Tilth Soil acknowledges these concerns, they highlight that peat harvesting in Canada represents a very small percentage of peatlands.

Coconut Fiber

Coconut fiber, also known as coir, is a sustainable alternative to sphagnum peat moss. It is derived from coconut husks and provides excellent air and water distribution properties.

Tilth Soil currently uses a small percentage of coconut fiber in their mixes but is actively seeking a more sustainable alternative.

Sharp Sand

Sharp sand, sourced from a quarry in Ravenna, Ohio, is an essential component of the House mix. It has distinct edges that promote root hair division and provide resistance to compaction.

The presence of sharp sand ensures optimal drainage and prevents the mix from becoming too compacted.


Perlite is a lightweight mineral that is heated to create a porous structure. It helps improve airflow and drainage in potting mixes.

Tilth Soil sources perlite from Oregon and ensures it is well-distributed throughout the mix, preventing it from floating to the top after watering.

Kelp Meal

Kelp meal, derived from dried and ground kelp from the North Atlantic, is a valuable source of plant growth hormones and trace minerals.

Tilth Soil uses kelp meal in their mixes to provide additional nutrients to indoor plants.

Bone Char

Bone char is rich in phosphorus and calcium. Tilth Soil sources bone char as a byproduct of the sugar industry.

The bone char they use comes from organic fertilizer companies, ensuring that it is a recycled and sustainable ingredient.

Blood Meal

Blood meal, made from dried blood obtained from slaughterhouses, is a source of protein nitrogen.

It provides readily available nutrients to plants and is sourced from a large re-processor of waste animal parts.


Gypsum, a source of calcium and sulfur, is added to the House mix to provide essential nutrients without altering the pH of the mix.

It is mined around the country and sourced through a farm coop supplier in Wayne County, Ohio.

Paramagnetic Basalt

Paramagnetic basalt, sourced from northern Ontario, is believed to contribute to plant growth. It contains a wide range of trace minerals and is added to enhance the overall nutrient content of the mix.

Additional Fertilization and Potting Mix Shelf Life

The longevity of a potting mix before additional fertilization is required depends on various factors, including plant type, pot size, watering method, and environmental conditions.

In some cases, a well-balanced potting mix can sustain a plant’s nutritional needs without additional fertilization for an extended period.

However, it’s important to monitor the health of your plants and provide supplemental nutrients when necessary.

Tilth Soil recommends using their potting mix within a year of purchase and storing it in a cool, dry place. While the mix can retain its quality for an extended period, it’s best to use it while the nutrients are fresh and active.

Addressing Common Concerns: Fungus Gnats and Root Rot

Fungus gnats and root rot are common problems that can affect indoor plants. Fungus gnats thrive in damp potting mixes and can be a nuisance to plant enthusiasts.

Tilth Soil takes proactive measures to prevent fungus gnats in their potting mixes. Their hot composting process kills fungus gnat eggs and larvae, reducing the likelihood of infestation.

Additionally, Tilth Soil introduces Steinernema feltiae nematodes, which are natural predators of fungus gnat larvae, to further control the population.

Root rot is often a result of poor drainage and overwatering. Tilth Soil’s potting mixes are carefully formulated to provide excellent drainage, reducing the risk of root rot.

The unique blend of organic matter, sand, and perlite ensures optimal moisture retention while preventing excess water accumulation.


Choosing the best organic potting mix for your indoor plants is essential for their overall health and growth. Tilth Soil’s House potting mix stands out as a superior option, offering a sustainable and nutrient-rich blend. The use of compost as a primary ingredient sets Tilth Soil’s mixes apart from traditional options. With the House mix, you can provide your indoor plants with the optimal growing conditions they need to thrive.

Investing in a high-quality potting mix is just one part of the equation for healthy houseplants. It’s important to consider other factors such as light requirements, pot size, watering practices, and overall plant care. By taking a holistic approach to plant care, you can create an environment that promotes long-term success and enjoyment of your indoor plants.

So why not give Tilth Soil’s House potting mix a try? Experience the difference it can make in the health and vitality of your indoor plants. Embrace sustainability and provide your plants with the best possible growing medium. Your plants will thank you for it!

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