Introducing the Base Mix Guide for Houseplant Enthusiasts
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on using the base mix for your houseplants. In this guide, we will explain the purpose of the base mix in our range, different ways to use and customise the blend, and provide example recipes to help you get started on your mixing journey!
What is the Base mix?
The Base Mix serves two primary purposes. First, it acts as a standard houseplant soil suitable for the majority of plants, assuming you have a good grasp of your watering routine. Second, it provides a foundation to which you can add specific components tailored to different plant needs.
When we say the base mix is suitable for the majority of plants as long as you are confident in your watering schedule, it means that each of our Premium mixes has specific water retention properties designed for particular plants. For example, our Alocasia mix retains moisture for longer, ideal for Alocasia plants that require it, while our Cacti and Succulent mix dries quickly to replicate their natural watering patterns.
If you were to use the unmodified base mix for all your houseplants, you would need to be highly confident in your watering skills since the mix no longer assists in water retention. If you tend to overwater, we recommend using amendments with the base mix to provide an extra layer of protection. Adding components to your blend not only increases the chances of your plants thriving but also reduces the risk of rot.
Ultimately, successful plant care is about synchronising your watering routine with your plants' specific needs, taking into account the soil properties and environmental factors. If you are confident in your abilities as a plant parent, using the base mix as is might be a suitable choice for you.
However, if you prefer to customise the mix to provide an additional layer of protection for your plants, our component guide below will come in handy. It is essential to understand the properties and purposes of each component to have fun creating the perfect mix for your unique growing needs.
A few points about the base mix itself: it is packed with aerators, reducing the risk of root rot as long as watering is appropriate. It also contains enough nutrients to sustain your plants for the first few months and features our premium buffered Coco coir for excellent drainage properties.
An aggregate material formed from volcanic rocks. It aerates the soil, stores nutrients, and enhances drainage. Unlike Perlite, Pumice is denser and won't float to the top of the pot with each watering. Use a coarse grade for plants with chunky roots and a fine grade for those with finer roots.
An organic component that improves drainage. Over time, it breaks down naturally, creating microbial hotspots and releasing macro nutrients while significantly lowering pH levels. Fine bark decomposes faster than coarse bark, making it ideal for mixing with young epiphytic plants, while coarse bark is better suited for larger pots and roots. Bark is particularly beneficial for boosting beneficial fungi and favoured by Anthuriums, Hoyas, Orchids, and other semi-epiphytic and epiphytic plants.
An amendment that revolutionises soil and medium cleanliness. Zeolite improves soil structure by enhancing cation exchange capacity, aerating the soil, and acting as a nutrient reservoir. It also absorbs and stores ammonia and potassium, reducing the risk of chemical burns and subsequent root rot. Zeolite can be used as an alternative to pumice for a change in your mix.
Sand creates micro-passages that improve drainage and break up denser substrates, making it ideal for plants with complex and small root systems. It absorbs very little water due to its larger particle size, aiding in faster soil drying. Sand reduces clumping around roots, making it easy to work with during repotting. It benefits plants like Cacti, Succulents, Ficus, and Ferns.
This non-porous aggregate enhances drainage and reduces water retention. Grit's structure allows excess water to pass through easily, absorbing minimal water itself. It improves structural stability, especially in heavier soils, by opening up denser soils with each individual stone. Grit pairs well with Cacti and Succulents.
A golden aerator with superior water retention properties, perfect for thirsty plants. Vermiculite regulates water dispersal within the substrate and holds onto natural nutrients, making it suitable for plants like Calathea, Alocasia, Maranta, and seed starting.
This purifying component traps toxins and bad microorganisms in its porous structure, improving airflow and air quality. It also acts as a pH buffer and absorbs excess water, providing an additional safeguard against overwatering. Adding 10% activated charcoal to your blends offers an extra layer of protection.
After familiarising yourself with the components and their functions, we understand that you might appreciate a general guide on creating a mix similar to our renowned blends.
Remember, there isn't a single prescribed method for concocting the perfect blend for your plants. However, by experimenting and tailoring the mix to your environment and watering routine, you may formulate a blend that complements your plants' needs. Good luck and have fun experimenting!
Side note: It's always beneficial to conduct research on your plants! The substrate plays a vital role in their well-being. To give your plants the best chance of thriving, consider factors such as:
• What are the natural growing conditions for your specific plant?
• How can you replicate those conditions in your UK home?
• Does your plant prefer higher or lower humidity levels?
• What light exposure does it thrive in?
• By keeping these care elements in mind, you will gain a better understanding of your plants and provide them with the optimal conditions for growth.
So go ahead, dive in and enjoy the process! - Buy Soil.Ninja Base Mix Here