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Philodendrons are a much loved houseplant that can bring interest and a tropical vibe to just about any room in your home. They have large, attractive foliage and are a relatively low maintenance plant. 

Despite their non-fussy nature, there are still a few growing requirements that this plant needs in order to thrive. And one big example of this is that you should only grow the plant in the best soil for philodendrons.

In fact, trying to grow it in something other than a philodendron soil mix could actually damage the plant. Keep reading to see just what to look out for.

young philodendron planted on the best soil for philodendron

What’s the best philodendron soil mix?

Philodendrons need soil that drains well and isn’t compact. A mixture that is light and airy, as well as being high in organic matter, is important to the overall health of the plant, while also keeping root rot at bay.

There are some commercially available mixes that work well for Philodendrons, which can definitely be a simple, very effective option for your beloved plant.

Top pick: My preferred soil for philodendrons is the Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix (check the latest price here)

It’s very well draining and will feed nutrients to your philodendron for up to six months. For a tropical plant like the philodendron, it’s got everything you need.

That said, you can also create your own soil mixture that gives the plant everything it needs to thrive and grow strong and healthy. Simply mix 1 part potting mix, 1 part orchid bark, 1 part peat moss, and ¼ part perlite.

Additionally, add some worm casting or compost, just a small amount, into the homemade Philodendron soil mix to increase the organic content in the growing medium. Worm casting and compost can also act as a natural fertilizer, encouraging strong, healthy growth.

What’s the ideal philodendron soil pH?

The best soil for Philodendrons is one with a pH level that is slightly acidic. A good general rule of thumb is to have a soil pH level of 5.0 to 6.0. Thankfully, the Philodendron soil mix recipe above is slightly acidic, making it the ideal growing medium for this houseplant.

You can purchase soil pH kits either online (this one is a great option and super popular – for good reason!) or at home improvement stores and garden centers. They are easy to use and will quickly tell you what your soil’s pH level is currently at. 

You can then add additional amendments to either raise or lower the soil pH so that it is in the ideal range for philodendrons.

It is a good idea to regularly test the soil’s pH level once every few months to ensure the philodendron’s soil maintains the ideal pH level. If you notice a dip or rise in the acidity, sprinkle the necessary items on top of the soil to bring the pH level to the right balance.

a healthy philodendron on a black pot with best soil for philodendron

What can I use to increase or decrease soil pH level?

If the soil pH level is too alkaline, add compost, peat moss, elemental sulfur, or fresh coffee grounds to make it more acidic. If, however, the soil is too acidic, you can add a little bit of lime to the soil to increase the soil pH level.

No matter what the pH level currently is, you should only add a little of the soil amendments at a time, wait a few weeks, and then test the soil pH level again. Adding too much can burn philodendrons, severely damaging them and even killing the plant.

Keep in mind: If you’re unsure as to what you should use to correct your soil pH level, don’t be afraid to speak to an assistant at your local nursery. They can usually give you the best option for your specific situation.

What’s the best soil for philodendrons?

Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix is one of the best soils for Philodendrons that you can purchase. Not only does it provide your tropical houseplants with a light and airy soil that promotes good drainage, but it also features nutrients designed to feed your plants for up to 6 months. 

You can check the latest price of Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix here. It works well for both indoor and outdoor containers, so you can use it no matter where you choose to plant your philodendron, and is relatively inexpensive.

Another option for commercially available soil that is designed for Philodendrons is the Philodendron Potting Soil Mix by Soil Sunrise. This soil mixture contains all the ingredients needed to make a great growing medium for your plants without synthetic chemicals. Additionally, this mixture includes worm castings, which is a natural fertilizer for plants.

While the second option would be perfect for your philodendron, you don’t strictly need soil that’s specifically made for this type of plant. The first one works just as well, with the added benefit that you can use it for other suitable houseplants in your collection.

philodendron on a table planted on a wooden pot with best soil for philodendron

Where can I buy the best soil for philodendrons?

Philodendron soil mix is available for purchase from a wide array of stores both online and off. The first place you should look is at your local garden center/nursery or home improvement stores. These types of stores typically carry a wide array of potting soil and may just have what you’re looking for.

Alternatively, you can purchase the potting soil online (you can check the price online of the potting mix I recommend here) and have it shipped to you. 

Just keep an eye on any shipping costs, given how heavy potting mix can be. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, if you are buying several bags of philodendron soil mix or buying it in large quantities, the shipping costs can quickly add up.

(Or you can just get free shipping with Amazon Prime – grab a free 30-day trial here. You can even cancel it before the trial period is up so you don’t pay anything!)

a person having the best soil for philodendron on hand

Is Miracle-Go good soil for philodendrons?

The Miracle-Gro brand is a good philodendron soil mix, and they actually offer one of the best soil for philodendrons. In particular, the Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix has all the right ingredients that tropical plants, such as philodendrons, need for ideal health and growth.

In fact, I recommended Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix above as my preferred choice for philodendrons.

With that said, Miracle-Gro also produces many other types of soil mixtures that are not a good choice for philodendrons. 

That is, don’t simply use any type of soil mixture just because it has Miracle-Gro on the packaging. Instead, select the soil mixture that will work best for your philodendron.

FYI: One benefit that Miracle-Gro has over many other brands of philodendron soil mix is that it is more readily available at stores all across the United States. This means that you’re going to be likely to be able to find more of this when you repot your philodendron or want to add to your plant collection.

How to make homemade philodendron soil

To make homemade philodendron soil, mix 1 part potting mix, 1 part peat moss, 1 part orchid bark, and ¼ part perlite. Add some worm castings and then fill your pots with the mixture. Make sure to dampen the mixture before you add the Philodendron.

Making a homemade Philodendron soil mix is an easy process that requires only a few ingredients, which are readily available at garden centers and nurseries. You may even have some, if not all, ingredients all ready on hand.

This mixture will allow for excess water to easily drain out, while still holding onto just enough water that the plant needs to thrive. This will help ensure the plant doesn’t experience soggy soil and root rot. 

Additionally, the philodendron soil mix can be made ahead of time and stored in a sealed plastic bag that is kept in a cool, dark location.

healthy philodendron planted on the best soil for philodendron

Can I use regular potting soil for philodendrons?

While you can use regular potting soil for Philodendrons, you should seriously consider amending it with other items, such as orchid bark, peat moss, and perlite. These tropical plants grow best when they have a chunky-like soil that is loose and airy. This helps to prevent root rot and other harmful fungal diseases.

You shouldn’t, however, use just regular potting soil for the philodendron, as this type of growing medium doesn’t provide the nutrients, moisture retention, drainage ability, or pH level that the philodendron needs.

The good news is that all the ingredients you need to amend regular potting soil are readily available at garden centers and online merchants. In fact, you may even be able to find most, if not all, of the soil amendments at your local department store as well.

Do philodendrons like cactus soil?

Cactus soil does provide good drainage, which is something that philodendrons need. However, this type of soil doesn’t have the right pH level that the philodendron requires. Additionally, cactus soil doesn’t have the vital nutrients or ability to retain the proper amount of moisture for Philodendrons.

Because of this, cactus soil isn’t the best soil for philodendrons, and you should choose a mixture designed specifically for this plant. Alternatively, create your own philodendron soil mix that your houseplant will love.

philodendron with big leaves planteed on the best soil for philodendron

Is succulent soil good for philodendrons?

While succulent soil can work for philodendrons if you’re in a pinch, it really doesn’t provide the things that this tropical plant needs. Just as with cactus soil, succulent soil doesn’t have the unique nutrients that philodendrons require, nor does it provide the right moisture retention.

Even though succulent soil can work for this plant, it’s not the ideal growing medium for philodendrons. And when you choose a soil that isn’t designed for your plant, you are opening the philodendron up to future problems, and do you really want to take that chance?

You can help keep the philodendron free from diseases and problems by simply growing the plant in the best soil for philodendrons. The soil that the plant is growing in is vital for the plant’s health. In fact, philodendron soil mix can make or break your success with this plant.

Can I use orchid soil for philodendron plants?

Orchid soil can work just fine for Philodendron plants, if you amend it a bit beforehand. To start, select a chunky-type orchid mix and amend it with equal parts peat moss and perlite. Some gardeners also choose to add 10-percent charcoal to the mixture to help naturally remove toxins that may build up in the soil overtime.

While there are several different soils out there, such as orchid soil, that will work for these plants, they are far from the best soil for philodendrons. It’s always best to find the ideal soil mixture for the species of plant you are growing and then use that instead.

Using a philodendron soil mix that is specifically designed for this tropical plant will go a long way to keeping the plant healthy and strong for as long as possible. In fact, using the best soil possible greatly reduces the chance of diseases infecting the plant.

lovely philodendron on a black pot planted on the best soil for philodendron

Do philodendrons like chunky soil?

Philodendrons like a mixture that is rich in organic matter and chunky. They also benefit when peat moss is added to the Philodendron soil mix, since this helps to improve drainage. Just remember that the best soil for philodendrons is one that allows for good drainage, while also retaining the right amount of moisture.

You should also aim for a soil that is slightly acidic and rich in organic matter. 

If you’re unsure as to which soil to get, consider speaking to your local nursery as they may be able to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, you can discuss the matter with like minded individuals, such as those who you would find at your local gardening club.

Can you use African violet soil for philodendrons?

African violets are native to tropical regions similar to where you Philodendrons are native to. Because of this, they share many of the same or similar growing requirements, including the type of soil they grow in. This means that you are able to use African violet soil for Philodendrons.

Keep in mind, however, that the soil requirements for these two plants are not exactly the same. So, while your Philodendron will grow just fine in African violet soil, you should still consider planting the Philodendron is soil designed specifically for that plant.

healthy philodendron on a rattan pot planted on the best soil for philodendron

Is pumice good for philodendrons?

When added to potting soil, pumice helps to improve drainage and aeration, both of which are needed for Philodendrons to stay healthy and happy. Additionally, pumice naturally contains trace minerals, which help to enrich the soil mixture it is added to. All of this is a win for tropical plants like Philodendron.

Pumice can be used as a substitute for perlite or mix both into the soil. If you decide to use them both together, simply cut the amount of perlite in half and use the pumice as the other half. For example, if the soil recipe calls for 1 part perlite, use ½ part perlite and ½ part pumice instead.

How to know if you’re using the wrong soil for your philodendron?

Using the wrong soil for Philodendrons can quickly take its toll on the overall health of the plant. You will also start to notice signs that something is not right with their plant. These signs include browning or yellowing of the leaves, stunted growth, wilted stems, leaf drop, and soggy soil.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consider repotting the plant in the best soil for Philodendrons. 

Even if it is outside the ideal reporting timeframe, which is during the plant’s active growing season, you should still repot the philodendron. This would be considered an emergency situation.