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Cannabis, like all other plants, thrives from an ample supply of water, oxygen, and nutrients. These three base components are responsible for your crops’ overall health, growth rate, and final yield.
Of these three factors, soil composition is one of the most easily modified to suit the needs of cannabis crops. Due to this, cannabis-specific soil mixtures are a booming industry.
Although the nutrients themselves aren’t altered, they are added in specific amounts that promote healthy growth for cannabis plants. Without these pre-made soil mixes, cultivators would be left to compose their own.
The main question is: what’s the best soil for growing cannabis?
Pre-made cannabis potting mixes allow beginners and professionals alike to jump into the fast lane for growing marijuana plants. You’ll find everything your plants need in these soil mixes, such as beneficial bacteria, fungi, macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, and more.
Furthermore, cannabis-specific soil mixes provide a more natural form of growth, as compared to the hyper-accelerated growth of hydroponics or aeroponics.
We’ve sifted through countless soil brands to find you the best soil for growing cannabis. Whether you’re searching for an organic solution or an all-in-one soil mix – we’ve got your plants covered so they can grow on cruise control.
Fox Farm’s Happy Frog Potting Soil is one of the best and highly rated organic soil for cannabis plants. It’s perfect for seedlings and young plants because It contains mycorrhizal fungi and other beneficial microbes.
The nutrient source of Happy Frog stems from bat guano, earthworm castings, and forest products, such as wood chips. There are enough nutrients to last an entire cycle, from seedling to harvest.
Fox Farm didn’t overdo the nutrient content for a very specific reason, which was not to burn your plants. Many other soil brands create “hot” soil mixes by placing an overly-high nutrient content, but this is not the case with Fox Farm’s Happy Frog Potting Mix.
This is one of the best potting soil mixes for cannabis, especially for beginners. This is also the best soil for cannabis seedlings because they don’t require a high level of nutrients. If you’ve been looking for a gentle cannabis-specific nutrient mix – this is it.
An ideal composition that doesn’t drain too fast
Perfect soil for seedlings to mature cannabis plants
Comes loaded with worm castings and soil microbes
Doesn’t provide enough P & K for the flowering phase
Contains a large number of wood chips
Similar to standard garden soil mixes
Coast of Maine is a boutique soil mix brand. Their Platinum Grower’s Mix is intended for growers that don’t want to spend additional money on pH monitors and associated products.
Coast of Maine’s Platinum Grower’s Mix is a stand-alone organic soil mixture that contains mycorrhizae, kelp meal, fishbone meal, lobster compost, alfalfa meal, and worm castings. This organic soil mix is jam-packed with everything your plants need to thrive.
However, all of these high-quality ingredients come in at a hefty price. If you’re willing to stomach the bill, you’ll find a hearty harvest of aromatic and cannabinoid-rich flowers come harvest time.
Although Coast of Maine’s Platinum Grower’s Mix is expensive, it performs exceptionally well. This is one of the best soil mixes for cannabis we’ve seen, and it’s highly suitable for both beginners and professionals alike.
High-quality organic ingredients
No need to pH adjust
No supplements needed
Grows cannabis plants from seedling to harvest
Doesn’t contain perlite for optimal drainage
One of the most expensive brands on the market
May contain fungus gnats
Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix is a tried-and-true soil mix for much of the cannabis community. It’s one of the easiest soil mixes to use for all stages of plant growth, whether from seedling to harvest.
A massive benefit for Ocean Forest is the fact that it’s already set to the ideal pH range. 6.3 to 6.8 pH is the ideal range for plants growing in soil for nutrient uptake. This makes Ocean Forest incredibly efficient, and your cannabis plants will likely show it with vigorous growth.
Fox Farm’s went above and beyond by offering a two-pack, which enables cultivators with additional potting soil. However, the price comes to $30 per bag, which is still on the high-end for an organic potting mix.
Although you’ll spend a substantial amount of money for Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest, it will pay for itself, considering you won’t need a pH pen. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use potting soil mix – this is it.
Simple to use soil mix
Two-for-one deal saves money in the long run
Ideal soil mix for seedlings to mature plants
Expensive if only growing a couple plants
Not enough perlite for aeration
May require supplemental nutrients for the flowering phase
When it comes to the best cannabis nutrients for soil, Big Roots falls short. Although the product claims to be built by growers for growers, this potting mix doesn’t appear to stand out.
Their ingredient list, lists pre-washed coco-coir, peat moss, and compost as their base materials. Coco-coir and peat moss are both inert substances, which also lead to pH swings within the soil. If the only food source is compost, then it’s likely that you’ll need to supplement your cannabis plants during the flowering phase.
Furthermore, pests, such as fungus gnats, may find the perfect environment in Big Rootz’ soil bag. Through the humidity of the soil or due to the compost, various pests have been found within this soil mix.
Lastly, the price is double (or triple in some instances) that of competing products. Considering a bulk of the ingredients are technically inert, you’re paying for only a fraction of actual plant food.
If you’re looking for the best soil mix for cannabis, you’ll likely find it elsewhere.
Formulated with mycorrhizae for enhanced root growth
Contains water-retaining peat
Contains pre-washed coco-coir to reduce nutrient lockout
Easy-to-use out of the bag
Possibility of pests in the soil
It’s necessary to pH your water
The Organic Super Soil Concentrated Strength is formulated to create the perfect growing environment for your cannabis plants. They contain a wide variety of beneficial microorganisms and organic nutrients, all of which work synergistically to provide rapid growth and bountiful yields.
Although Organic Super Soil Concentrated Strength is one of the best organic soils for cannabis, it’s still relatively expensive compared to other products with similar ingredients.
A single bag will not fill an entire 5-gallon pot, which makes this an expensive product if you’re growing more than one cannabis plant. Although the instructions recommend cutting this product with a standard potting mix, it won’t last very long.
Furthermore, the Organic Super Soil Concentrated Strength has a strong odor, which is a significant downside if you must be discreet.
Although Organic Super Soil Concentrated Strength is a premier potting mix for cannabis plants, it’s not recommended if you grow more than a handful of plants at once.
Contains a wide range of beneficial microorganisms
Simple to use
Perfect for all stages of growth
Very expensive for its small size
Will not fill a single 5-gallon pot
May contain pests
Buying soil for your cannabis plants might not seem important, but it’s one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to plant health and overall yield.
Cannabis plants take anywhere from 4-6 months from seed to harvest. Clones may take upwards of 3 months to complete their life cycle. Not only is this a significant investment in time, but also the energy needed to fuel their growth.
This is why we’ve compiled this buyer’s guide to help you find the best potting soil mix for cannabis plants.
Before you give your hard-earned money away, how many cannabis plants will you grow? This is the first question you must ask yourself because it’ll paint a clear picture of how much soil you’ll need.
If you’re growing a single plant or 6-plants in small containers, you won’t require a bale of soil to fit your needs. Instead, you can get away with purchasing a single bag to keep your costs to a minimum.
However, if you’re growing multiple plants in large containers, then you’ll need to purchase multiple bags or a large bale-size bag of soil.
Whether you’re growing a warehouse full of cannabis plants or a single plant in your closet, knowing how much soil you need is the very first step you must take.
This is the next important factor that you must consider. Do you want a soil mix that’s filled with all the necessary nutrition for your plants, or are you seeking a mild soil mix that can be amended with additional supplements?
If you choose a stand-alone potting soil product, then it might not be suitable for seedlings due to the overall strength. If you decide to go with a milder soil mix, then you’ll need to purchase additional nutrients.
Some growers find more freedom in purchasing soil mixes that contain fewer nutrients so they can fine-tune their overall overall nutrient content.
However, this method is only recommended for cultivators with experience. If you’re a beginner, fine-tuning your soil mix may prove to do more harm than good.
Beginners will benefit from utilizing a stand-alone soil mix for cannabis because it contains everything your crop needs to thrive from seed to harvest.
Although these products are not packed to the brim with nutrients, they will allow you to grow vigorous and high-yielding crops without the worry of nutrient burn.
This is another essential question you need to ask yourself. Organic soil mixes contain ingredients that are from organic sources, which is scientifically proven to be better for the environment and your overall well-being.
Inorganic potting mixes tend to be cheaper in cost, but the price difference isn’t as large as in the past. Ultimately, this is a very personal question that only you can answer.
Next, you’ll need to understand if you’re looking for a soil mix that contains beneficial microbes or not.
You may question this idea at first, but fungi (mycorrhizae) and bacteria play an integral role in breaking down nutrients for your prized cannabis plants.
In other words, beneficial microbes facilitate enhanced nutrient absorption, promote root growth, and provides a protective barrier against harmful bacteria and fungi.
Although you’ll likely see an increased price tag on soil mixes that contain beneficial microbes, it’s well worth it when you consider the effort it takes to grow high-quality cannabis flowers.
This is the main question that beginners ask. In fact, growing cannabis in soil is one of the easiest methods because it’s by far the most natural.
The vast majority of soil brands offer “plug-and-play” soil mixes. This means that you don’t need to do anything – except water them.
In these cases, you’ll need to look for soil brands that are already within the optimal pH range. By finding a pH balanced soil mix, you won’t need to worry about complicating matters with a pH pen.
Just like animals, your cannabis plants rely on oxygen to thrive. Alongside water and nutrients, air is a necessity when growing cannabis plants in soil.
Perlite is a primary material that cannabis growers use to increase the amount of air inside a soil mix. Not all soil brands contain perlite, so it’s essential to understand if your soil mix is too heavy.
Air pockets within your soil mix not only provide oxygen for the roots, but they also allow the root system to expand rapidly.
Furthermore, consistent air pockets within the potting mix enhance drainage, which will reduce the possibility of fungus and bacterial rot.
Growing cannabis in soil is incredibly straightforward, especially when it’s already pH adjusted. Here are a few tips on getting your soil ready for your marijuana plants.
The first thing you need to do is fill your container 3/4 full with potting soil. Gently place your plant, and carefully add additional soil to cover the roots.
The cardinal rule is never compact the soil. Cannabis roots not only thrive from the nutrients within the soil mix, but also from the air pockets.
These tiny pores keep roots from rotting, so it’s essential that you refrain from pressing down on your soil mix.
If your soil mix is already pH adjusted, then you simply add water. Always allow your plant to satisfy its thirst before adding more water to avoid overwatering symptoms.
Now that you understand the importance of potting soil mixes for cannabis, let’s take a look at the best soil mix for cannabis.
Overall, Fox Farm’s Happy Frog potting soil is the best nutrient mix for cannabis plants. Whether you’re a commercial cultivator or small-scale home grower, Happy Frog is a versatile potting mix for any type of cannabis strain.
Fox Farm’s Happy Frog potting mix is pH balanced, perfect for all stages of growth, inexpensive, and bug-free. All of these factors are crucial when growing cannabis, and Happy Frog delivers each of these with ease.
Furthermore, Fox Farm’s Happy Frog potting soil contains adequate nutrition for your cannabis crop while allowing you to add supplemental nutrients if you decide to. This burn-free nutrient mix is perfect for those that want an easy-to-use soil mix.
As growers, we want the best products for our cannabis plants, and Fox Farm’s Happy Frog potting soil provides exactly that. This is why we recommend Fox Farm’s Happy Frog potting soil as the best soil mix for cannabis.
Do you have a preferred soil mix for your cannabis plants? Join the discussion at The Highest Crop and tell us which products you like best!