Choose the Right Soil!

Choose the right soil!

Oh Happy Dirt is designed to provide plants a substrate that feels like 'home' :) These soils mimic native habitats, with key changes to help plants adapt to our indoor environments. For help choosing the right soil for your plant, please read the following.

 

First: what kind of plant do you have?

If you have questions about your plant, plug these questions into your favorite search engine:

"[insert plant name] native habitat" - this should tell you where your plant is from.

"[insert plant name] growth habit" - this should tell you how your plant grows.

A few examples:

Pothos (Epipremnum spp) typically climbs trees and is found in the tropics, so it would be a good match for our Tropical Climber blend.

Syngonium and tradescantia may look like climbing plants, but they actually have a creeping habit, growing along the ground. Typically plants like this root as they grow and develop extensive root systems at every node, so they are used to taking up more water than most true climbing plants.

Sansevieria species are often found in tropical or subtropical environments, which is why our Tropical Succulent was created. This is also why we recommend folks learn about your plant's native habitat. It's easy to assume that every succulent should be in a soil made for desert plants, but that's not the case!

 

Turbo Mix

Environment Match: tropical and sub-tropical plants.

Turbo has a good mix of large and small chunks, providing moderate aeration, good water retention, and our very best blend of seed meals, rock dusts, and insect frass to provide excellent support to a wide variety of plants. 

This blend is AMAZING, but is not tailored to individual types of plants. Many customers use this for most of their tropicals, then use another blend for specific plants that are on the fussy end of the spectrum. I designed Turbo to make things a little simpler for you when choosing soils for repotting.

 

Tropical Climber

Environment Match: climbing plants from the tropics. Includes plants that are semi-epiphytic as well as thirsty epiphytes.

Tropical Climber is super chunky and offers your climbing plants a great 'foothold' and incredible soil structure. This provides great aeration while increasing relative humidity due to evaporation and holding a good amount of water without ever becoming waterlogged. Contains our close-to-neutral blend of 'tasties' (seed meals, etc); perfect for climbing plants.

For 'thirsty' situations I recommend mixing in some of our Thirst Trap or Drink Up mixes to increase the water retention of this soil. Situations include: you live in the desert and relative humidity is ~5%; you exclusively use terra cotta pots (which lose moisture through the pot walls); you use this soil for super thirsty or fast growing plants like Epipremnum or Ficus species; or you plant in pots that are small relative to the foliage size of the plant.

 

Rainforest Floor

Environment Match: upright and creeping/vining plants that grow along the ground in the tropics.

Rainforest Floor is a fluffy, semi-chunky blend that's designed to mimic undisturbed, loamy rainforest soil. It retains more water than our climbing blend but has thousands of tiny air pockets due to the ingredient choice, leading to a mix that drains exceptionally well but holds slightly more water than Tropical Climber.

This blend also contains our Rainforest blend of seed meals, rock dusts, and mycorrhizal fungi. This mix is a bit more acidic, to provide rainforest plants a little taste of home :)

 

Pray for Us

Environment Personality Match: for cranky, thirsty fusspots that often have issues and need some extra help :)

I designed Pray for Us for calatheas, basically to make a joke about how cranky they can be - and to solve our problem(s). This blend has extra neem, a pumped-up blend of rock dusts, and a special starch-based, biodegradable polymer that retains extra water but holds it away from the roots, helping ensure great aeration while giving these plants all the water they need. It's great for any thirsty fusspots: calathea/goeppertia, maranta, ctenanthe, stromanthe, as well as alocasias, crotons, and more!

 

Tropical Succulent

Environment Match: semi-arid to subtropical/tropical region.
Plant match: requires moderate water and fantastic soil aeration.

This is a chunky mix designed for succulents with burly root systems and increased water needs, such as a sansevieria in a sunny window. Great for several types of plants: succulents that are not native to the desert (sansevieria, ZZ), larger specimens of desert-dwelling plants that need more water due to the size of the plant (jade, yucca), and tropical epiphytic succulents (holiday cacti, etc). 

 

Grassland

Environment Match: mimics the rich, loamy, rocky soil found in the African grasslands.

Complete with volcanic ash in our mycelium-rich Grassland blend of seed meals, this mix was designed for tree-type dracaenas. It is rocky, heavy enough to support tall plants, and provides great drainage and aeration while holding enough water for these large plants.

 

Desert Succulent

Environment Match: arid, sandy deserts with a higher pH.

This is what you're looking for when you think "succulent soil" - but it's unlike any other succulent soil you've used. This is an extremely loose mixture that retains water so your succulents won't dry out and lose lower leaves, but provides a fabulous structure for the root system both due to the pumice and vermiculite as well as the mycorrhizal inoculant. Perfect for desert plants as well as tropical succulents kept in lower-than-ideal lighting.

 

Strings of Things

Environment Match: perfect for desert plants with a creeping growth habit.

Because strings of pearls and other strings-of- plants typically root up as they grow along the ground, they are used to a broad root system that has access to more water than you might assume. As we grow them cascading over the edge of a pot, they cannot root as they grow, so this mix holds slightly more water than our Desert Succulent blend to help them adapt.

 

B*tches LOVE Hoyas 

Environment Match: the side of a tree in the rainforest :)

Alright, it's me, I'm b*tches. Maybe it's you too? I created this mix because I absolutely adore my hoyas, and I wanted to make them something fancy and fabulous that would make them feel like my house was a tropical vacation. Because of the addition of tree fern fiber and a beefed up blend of seed meals, this soil is slightly more pricey than the others. You have my full permission to continue using Tropical Climber for your hoyas! This one is pretty damn fabulous, though, and I won't be using anything else :)

 

Heavenly Fluff

Environment Match: BEGONIAS. All of them. Every one!

Yep, you already know: this one is for your begonias! It has a super fine texture for those fibrous roots, a gazillion tiny air pockets, additional water retention in the form of a starch-based polymer that retains extra water but keeps it away from the roots until it's needed, and a blend of seed meals and rock dusts designed to support the most finicky begonia. (But, pro tip: if you struggle with powdery mildew in the winter, add airflow and increase your light!)

Another tip: I like to keep my larger begonias in terra cotta pots with this mix to ensure even evaporation. Any pot smaller than 6-8" stays in a plastic nursery pot, though, as it will dry out too quickly.

 

Zombie Maiden 

Environment Match: Squishy forest floors and leaf-filled pockets in trees.

This is our fern blend, named after one of our original testers told me that it brought her maidenhair fern back from the dead. We make no claims of miracles, but this soil was designed for the most finicky fern - or the most inexperienced fern lover. It was also named after a few metal bands, because clearly ferns are metal.

 

Treehouse Tropical Epiphyte Blend 

Environment Match: You got it! The jungle canopy!

This one is for epiphytic orchids and other low-water epiphytes! Please note: this was designed for the serious orchid grower, and we assume that they want to use a specific blend of fertilizers. No seed meals, rock dusts, or mycorrhizal inoculant is included in this mix. Plan to fertilize this blend with a liquid as you water.

 

Grit City Citrus 

Environment Match: for citrus trees that spend half the year indoors.

Welcome to Grit City: Tacoma, WA, where we refer to winter as "the long dark wet." If you're keeping an orange tree here, you need a soil that will support lush growth while providing enough drainage to be caught in the occasional rainstorm - and to spend 4 months in lower light because you don't want your baby tree to die of the cold. This one is great for all citrus trees, but if you live in a hot or dry climate, plan to use 60% Grit City and 40% Drink Up to provide additional moisture retention.

 

Thirst Trap 

Environment Match Thirst Level: HIGH.

Got a plant that you can't keep watered? This soil is for you. Great for avocado trees, Geogenanthus ciliatus, tradescantia, and any other plant that needs some drainage and texture and a whole lotta water.

Pro tip: when repotting avocado trees, do your best to avoid disturbing the roots. They can be extremely delicate and wilt dramatically or drop all of their leaves after a re-pot. If you're starting a new avocado, plant in the soil you intend to keep it in (this is a good choice) and keep it in a plastic nursery pot or other pot with smooth, tapered sides to make repotting as easy as possible. Do NOT remove soil from the roots at re-potting time, and do not loosen the roots.