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How to: Make Potting Mix

Plants in pots need the right nutrients, water, air and a quality potting mix to live happily ever after.

Most of us rely on purchased mix but it’s very easy and satisfying to make your own. Depending on how much we need, we either mix it up in a bucket or trug, or in the wheelbarrow.



Photo - V.J.Matthew / 


We choose anything from an empty pot to a bucket to measure out the quantities, again depending on how much we need. Any leftovers are stored in a bucket with a lid. When planting into the mix, add a teaspoon of a suitable controlled-release fertiliser at root level. Fancy giving it a go? Here are our most-used recipes.


Everyday potting mix

This standard potting mix provides good drainage with good water retention. Use it in terracotta pots for plants that like drier conditions and use plastic pots for plants that prefer moist conditions.


1 part mushroom compost or well-aged compost

1 part perlite or horticultural sand

1 part composted pine bark or garden soil

Succulent mix

Succulents grow well in pots, some even prefer it to growing in the garden. This potting mix offers the perfect drainage.


1 part mushroom compost

1 part composted pine bark

1 part coir

1 part perlite

1 part horticultural sand



Photo - Stocksnapper / 

Native mix

Native plants need a well-drained potting mix that’s not as rich as the standard mix. Add controlled-release fertiliser specially formulated for natives at planting time.


3 parts standard mix

2 parts horticultural sand

Seedling mix

We love growing our own plants from seed, especially vegetables. We’ve found this is the perfect DIY mix to get them off to a flying start.


1 part perlite

1 part coir

About this article

Author: Linda Ross