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plant growth

How to make Well Drained Soil for Plants

Healthy plants start with the right foundation – the soil. One crucial aspect of soil health is drainage. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of creating well-drained soil for your plants, ensuring they thrive in optimal conditions.

Understanding Well-Drained Soil

Before diving into the practical steps, let’s understand what well-drained soil means.

  • Essentially, well-drained soil allows water to move freely, preventing waterlogged conditions that can harm plant roots.
  • Poorly drained soil, on the other hand, can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.

To assess whether your soil needs improvement, conduct a simple DIY soil drainage test.

well-drained soil
soggy soil

  • First of all, check whether the soil is well-drained or not.
  • Give water to the soil slowly.
  • If the soil promptly absorbs the water, it indicates good drainage.
  • If water accumulates on the soil’s surface, measures should be taken to improve its drainage.

Look out for signs like wilting plants, standing water after rain, or a foul odor, which can indicate poor drainage.

Improving Drainage for potted plants during rainy season

In situations of heavy rainfall where moving our plants indoors is not feasible, there is a risk of overwatering and subsequently damaging our plants if the soil in their pots becomes too soggy.


Steps to make Soggy soil into Well-drained Soil

To improve drainage and prevent this, carefully loosen the soil inside the pot as deeply as possible without disturbing the plants and their roots.

  • Remove this loosened soil from the pot and add sand to it.
  • Test the soil consistency by attempting to form it into a ball with your hand. If the soil still sticks together, continue adding sand until it reaches a point where it does not adhere to your hand and gains a slippery texture.

soil testing

Check the bottom hole of the pot

watering plants

If water fails to drain from the bottom of the pot, the advantages of having well-drained soil are nullified.

water flows out from the bottom hole
water flows out from the bottom hole

It is essential to ensure that the bottom hole is functioning correctly; sometimes, roots or other debris may block these holes, preventing proper drainage. Continue watering your plant until water flows out from the bottom hole.

  • This process effectively transforms clay soil into well-drained soil.”

How to make Well Drained Soil for Plants

Ingredients for Well-Drained Soil

Creating well-drained soil involves selecting the right ingredients.

1. Garden Soil:

Garden area soil

  • Opt for high-quality garden soil as the foundation of your mixture. Ensure it possesses a loamy texture and promotes good drainage. Avoid using dense clay soils.

2. Add Compost for Increased Organic Matter:


  • Boost the organic content of your soil mixture by introducing compost. Consider adding either cow dung compost or vermicompost.
  • Compost enriches the soil with essential nutrients and enhances its overall structure, creating an ideal environment for rose growth.

3. Add Sand for Enhanced Drainage:

River sand
River sand
  • If your soil exhibits poor drainage due to its heavy consistency, introduce sand to facilitate better drainage.

Steps to make well-drained soil for plants

1. Prepare Garden Soil:

  • Before creating the soil mixture for your plants, ensure your garden soil is thoroughly cleaned. Remove any debris, as well as glass or plastic fragments that could impede the plants’ growth.

2. Combine ingredients in the following ratios:

    • Compost: Incorporate vermicompost or cow-dung compost, comprising half the quantity of the garden soil.
    • Sand: Add one-fourth of the garden soil.
    • Coco Peat: Include coco peat in a proportion equivalent to one-fourth of the garden soil.


You can add Neem Cake Powder and Fungicide to the soil as well:

  • Introduce a small amount of neem cake powder into the mixture.
  • Optionally, add a minimal amount, approximately 3-4 grams, of fungicide to the soil mixture.

Soil mixture

Blend all the components thoroughly to achieve well-drained soil. It is advisable to periodically enrich the soil with compost and other organic materials to uphold its fertility and structure.

Benefits of Well-Drained Soil

The advantages of well-drained soil are numerous.

  • Enhanced root development, disease prevention, and improved nutrient absorption are just a few benefits that contribute to overall plant health.


Creating well-drained soil is a fundamental step towards nurturing thriving plants. By understanding the importance of proper drainage, choosing the right ingredients, and following practical steps, you can establish an environment where plants flourish. Take the time to tailor your soil to the specific needs of your plants, and you will reap the rewards of a vibrant and healthy garden.

Happy Gardening!

What is potting mix and how is it different from garden soil?

Understanding Potting Mix: A Gardener’s Guide

In gardening, deciding between potting mix and garden soil can determine whether your plants grow well or not. Let’s explore what potting mix is and how it’s different from garden soil.

“Healthy soil is the foundation of healthy plants and a healthy environment.”

Potting Mix vs. Garden Soil: Unveiling the Differences

1. The Composition

soil mixture
potting mix

Potting mix, often referred to as potting soil (soil mix), is a specialized mixture prepared for container gardening. It is prepared by gardening experts to provide an ideal environment for potted plants. Unlike garden soil, which is found naturally in your outdoor space, potting mix is a man-made soil-mixture customize to the specific needs of potted plants. 

2. Key ingredients

Potting mix typically comprises a combination of organic and inorganic materials. These ingredients may include:

  • compost – (cow dung compost, vermicompost, leaf compost)
  • sand
  • coco peat
  • neem cake powder
  • bone meal
  • vermiculite
  • perlite
  • fungicide

3. Drainage and Aeration

potting mix provides good drainage system
potting mix provides good drainage system

A big difference between potting mix and garden soil is how well they let water and air move around.

  • Potting mix is made to let water drain well and give plant roots plenty of air. This helps roots grow strong and avoids them sitting in water.
  • Garden soil might not let water drain as well, so it is not the best choice for potted plants.

4. Nutrient levels

garden soil
plant growing in garden soil

“Garden soil typically has plenty of nutrients due to natural processes over time.”

  • On the other hand, potting mix is purposefully designed to provide a steady release of necessary nutrients over time to ensure that your potted plants get the nutrition they require.

5. Pest and disease resistance

plants in pot
plants in pot

Potting mix is good because it is less likely to have pests and plant diseases compared to garden soil. Garden soil can sometimes have harmful things that can harm your plants, but potting mix is treated to lower the chances of that happening.

Making the right choice for your garden

Now that you understand the fundamental differences between potting mix and garden soil, it is time to make an informed decision for your gardening endeavors. Here are some quick tips:

Consider mixing both

Garden area soil
garden soil

Mixing both potting mix and garden soil can be beneficial in certain situations. This combination offers the advantages of both, providing your plants with necessary nutrients and good drainage. It is a balanced approach to support healthy plant growth.

1. Use potting mix for container gardening

soil mixture
potting mix

If you are planning to grow plants in pots, containers, or indoor settings, opt for potting mix. It is superior drainage, aeration, and reduced risk of pests make it the perfect choice for container gardening.

Container gardening
container gardening

2. Stick to garden soil for outdoor gardening

outdoor gardening
outdoor gardening

For outdoor garden beds or in-ground planting, garden soil is the natural choice. It is rich in nutrients and provides a suitable environment for your garden plants to thrive.


In conclusion, knowing how potting mix and garden soil are different is really important for your gardening success. So, choose the one that fits your needs best, and you will be on your way to growing a healthy and thriving garden.

Read here:

How to make best soil-mixture for plants

Happy Gardening