Potting soil has several benefits for your plants in the fact that it contains a higher nutrient content than you’ll find in the soil and it retains moisture. However, various plants need a specific pH range so it can accommodate their growth patterns, and this is where acidic potting soil comes in. This pH should range between 6.0 and 7.0, because a lot of plants thrive in these soil conditions.
So, is potting soil usually acidic? Generally, potting soil is slightly acidic in nature due to how it’s filled with a nutrient balance for your plants. However, you can raise or lower the pH levels in the soil to meet your plant’s specific needs to ensure they grow. With this in mind, let’s go over 10 acidic potting soil choices and figure out how to use them to create the ideal growing environment for your plants below.
There are many acidic potting soil mixes on the market, so narrowing down exactly what you need can be overwhelming at first.
1. Glee Potting Mix – Top Pick
The first acidic potting soil on the list is a very lightweight mix that features porous fiber technology to make the bags very easy to carry because they’re very lightweight. They weigh in at under eight pounds, and it arrives compressed in a 0.4 cubic food bag. However, it expands when you open it to fill 25 quarts, and it requires much less water than traditional soil to allow for the best moisture levels to improve your plant’s growth habits while making sure they don’t dry out.
This acidic potting soil has hydrofiber technology, and it has a host of refined bark and wood fibers to ensure you get great moisture management. It’s a suitable option for vegetables, perennials, herbs, fruits, flowers, or succulents. As a bonus this option is very easy to clean up when you finish using it, and you won’t have a muddy mess on your hands like other potting soils leave.
- Very easy to use with no mess
- Fills 25 quarts when it expands
- Hydrafiber technology
- Uses high-end materials
- Very lightweight mix
- Has porous fiber technology
- Excellent water retention capabilities
- Takes a few hours to expand
- Sensitive plants can fail to root
2. Coast of Maine Potting Soil – Step-Up Pick
You can tend to your plants’ individual needs with this acidic potting soil. It’s a solid organic potting soil mix that is a special blend of tree bark, manure, peat moss, ocean water, and a host of other natural materials that give the soil a lower-pH medium that’s great for any plants that require more acid to thrive. Azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, hollies, ferns, strawberries, camellias, fuchsias, conifers, and dogwoods will all thrive when you add this potting soil to the mix.
When you purchase this acidic potting soil, you’ll get 20 quarts per order in a single bag. You can use it to revitalize sandy or clay-rich soils by adding it as a thick top layer instead of retailing or rotating it. You can skip the planter beds entirely and start a container garden with your favorite plants or flowers. It will make sure all of your greenery is healthy, no matter if it’s in the backyard, patio, or deck.
- Works for a range of plants
- Features ocean water and tree bark
- 20 quarts per bag
- Organic makeup
- Revitalize sandy or clay-based soils
- Works well in a container garden
- Very nutrient-rich
- May not be acidic enough for some plants
- Feels very heavy
3. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix – Mid-End Budget Pick
Miracle-Gro Moisture Control is an acidic potting mix that is specially formulated to feed your plants for up to six months on a single application. It also protects against under and over-watering to keep your flowers, vegetables, or other plants healthy by making sure you don’t waterlog them and get root rot. It’ll absorb roughly 33% more water than basic potting soil when you compare it to potting soil that doesn’t contain coir, sphagnum peat moss, or a wetting agent. This helps keep your plants hydrated.
This acidic potting soil works well for outdoor or indoor container plants, and it helps you grow your plants up to two times larger than they would without any specific potting soil. You can choose from five sizes to tailor your purchase to your needs, and it’s a very fluffy mix that will insulate your plant’s roots without adding too much pressure on them to ensure they thrive.
- Feeds up to six months
- Helps protect from under or over-watering
- Absorbs up to 33% more water
- Works for outdoor or indoor plants
- Five sizes available
- Keeps plants hydrated
- From a reputable brand
- Small amount for the price
- Has fungus issues
4. Perfect Plants African Violet Potting Soil – Bargain Budget Pick
Perfect Plants has an acidic potting soil that features all-natural materials that are horticultural-grade. It has perlite, pine bark compost, garden lime, and peat moss without any chemical fertilizers. It helps you create a slightly acidic environment that is perfect for African Violets, and it’s a decent price for the amount you get. You can use it indoors or outdoors without any issue, and it offers excellent moisture control that will quickly drain away any excess water no matter what pot you have it in.
This acidic potting soil works wonderfully for small decorative containers, and it can help to boost your flower colors to make them more vibrant and eye-catching. The composted ingredients in this formula are packed with vital plant foods to help you get stunning purple flowers each year. You can get a two or eight-quart bag when you order, and it’s a reusable and heavy-duty mix that was professionally mixed in the United States to strict quality control standards.
- Great for African violets
- Can help boost flower color
- Works for indoor or outdoor use
- Available in two sizes
- All-natural materials
- Horticulture-grade product
- Made in the United States
- Not for every acid-loving plant
- Heavier soil
5. Jessi Mae Air Cleaning Plant Soil – Best For Peace Lilies
You can use this acidic potting mix to create a plant paradise for marginata, peperomia, schefflera, coffee plants, and dieffenbachia. It’s an organic choice that works well for indoor gardening projects, and this blend works to balance moisture retention with drainage needs to keep your plants healthy. It’s a very light and fluffy mix that promotes nutrient uptake and air circulation, and this soil gets hand-mixed in small batches to help prevent root rot. It also features organic materials like perlite to enhance aeration and promote good drainage.
You’ll get a 100% chemical-free and all-organic acidic potting soil with this mix. It gives an excellent environment for root development and growth, and this can lead to better nutrition to give you healthy, hardy plants. It’s an indoor potting soil that is great for plants that need sufficient water, strong roots, and adequate drainage. It’s made in the United States with special attention to material selection, batching, and mixing. It also has food-grade packaging that follows USDA and FDA specifications.
- Balances drainage and moisture retention
- Made of organic materials
- 100% chemical-free formula
- Indoor potting soil
- Features food-grade packaging
- Helps promote strong roots
- Follows USDA specifications
- Not good for outdoor use
- Has a stronger smell
6. Foxfarm Ocean Forest Soil – Best For Container Plants
You’ll get a four-pack of acidic potting soil that has everything your plants need to thrive when you pick this soil. It’s a blend of premium bat guano, earthworm castings, and Pacific Northwest crab meal and sea-going fish with sandy loam, composted forest humus, and sphagnum peat moss to lend an aerated, light texture. You can start with this soil and watch your plants thrive in your container garden. You get an adjusted pH level of 6.3 to 6.8, and this allows for excellent fertilizer uptake to promote healthy growth.
You won’t need to add a nitrogen fertilizer with this acidic potting soil. Instead, you can try this blend to encourage a healthy growth habit and strong branching for a sturdy plant. You get 12 quarts per order, and each bag is easy to pick up and move around your yard because they weigh less than nine pounds. You get eight size options when you buy, and this allows you to tailor your purchase to your needs.
- Premium ingredient blend
- Light, aerated texture
- Promotes great fertilizer uptake
- Easy to move around
- Wonderful for container plants
- Promotes a branching growth habit
- Eight size options
- Can have fungus gnats
7. Houseplant Resource Center Plant Soil – Best For Drought-Resistant Plants
This acidic potting soil helps shield your plants from brown spots, leaf drop, root rot, and yellowing by offering high-quality ingredients like coco coir, biochar, green waste compost, and perlite to promote plant health and gives your plant roots room to grow and breathe. When you use this potting soil, it helps prevent under and over-watering, and it offers an excellent balance of water retention and drainage while maintaining the ideal moisture level to keep everything healthy and thriving.
Green compost gives your plants all of the phosphorus, nitrogen, micronutrients, and potassium they need to grow sturdy stems, strong roots, and beautiful foliage and flowers each time you use it. Each bag comes sterilized to protect the plants and kill and fungal or pest infestations, and the bag seals for easy storage. You can safely use this acidic potting soil for bromeliads, calatheas, ficus, aroid, or other potted plants that like to be in a fast-draining soil.
- Has green waste compost
- Gives the roots root to breathe and grow
- Prevents under and over-watering
- Offers water retention and drainage
- Packed with micronutrients
- Comes sterilized
- Bag is resealable
- Slightly heavier feel
- Doesn’t go far
8. WONDER SOIL Organic Potting Soil – Best For Outdoor Use
Wonder Soil is an acidic potting mix that comes with a strong organic mix of dry compressed coco coir with several added amendments like mycorrhizae, worm castings, perlite, kelp, and more. You’ll be able to use it to speed up your plants’ growth rates and encourage stronger roots. It’s pet-safe, peat-free, and an all-natural formula. A little goes a long way, and it comes in a nicely compressed bag of potting soil that will expand up to four times the size when you mix it with water. It’s easy to carry, and the small size makes it easy to store without eating up your shed space.
When you buy this acidic potting soil, it comes pre-mixed and ready to use in your garden or containers without having to work with it. All you have to do is transplant your plants into their containers and add the soil mix. The coco coir content has excellent water retention properties with great drainage and aeration around your root zone on your plants. It can help you save up to 50% on your water and fertilizer needs. The heavy-duty bag is resealable, and this helps you keep your acidic potting soil safe and dry between uses.
- Packed with amendments
- Expands up to four times the size
- Bag is resealable
- Comes pre-mixed and ready to use
- Save up to 50% on water and fertilizer
- Pet-safe formula
- Improves aeration
- Price for the amount you get
- Can cause skin irritation
9. Compressed Organic Potting-Soil – Best For Gardens
With this acidic potting soil, a little goes a long way. You get easy to use granules that are compressed and that expands up to four times to make roughly three gallons of soil per bag. It’s compact, light, easy to carry, and the resealable bags help to save storage space in your garden shed between uses. It comes packed with essential nutrients with trace minerals, and this is a very concentrated soil that will feed your plants for months and make them grow up to three times bigger when compared to normal potting soil. This is a very fast-acting mix that is easy to wet and stays moist three times longer.
This acidic potting soil will work to get air, water, and nutrients to the roots on demand, and it works on all plants, no matter if they’re in the garden or container. You get natural ground coco coir, mycorrhizae, worm castings, and amino acids to give your plants and soil in the garden a boost. It’s a 100% natural and organic mix, and it’s pet, kid, and planet-friendly. It helps to grow more colorful flowers, and you get better tasting vegetables that are healthier when you use it.
- Comes compressed
- Easy to store in a smaller space
- 100% organic
- Feeds your plants for months
- Can make plants grow three times bigger
- Provides good aeration to the roots
- Holds moisture up to three times longer
- Not many sizes available
10. Noot Organic Soilless Potting Mix – Best For Orchids
The final acidic potting soil on the list is an excellent combination of coco coir, chips, and coconut husks that get blended with a coarse perlite that gives excellent airflow to the roots. It gets hand-packed and inspected before it ships out for the correct consistency and quality to ensure you get a top-notch product. This product comes pre-soaked with Noot bio-organic plant food with an NPK ratio of 10-15-12, and it’s ready to use out of the bag. You’ll get a one-gallon bag that reseals as needed to ensure it’s always fresh and ready to go.
This acidic potting soil features strains of beneficial bacteria and fungi to help strengthen your indoor plants at a cellular level by forming a relationship with the plant’s roots. It helps your plants resist rot, bounce back from neglect faster, and have a better resistance to temperature fluctuations. It works for all stages of your plant’s life, and it promotes lusher foliage, brighter flowers, and stronger roots. It works very well when you use it on anthuriums, aroids, bonsai, cacti, calathea, ferns, ficus, fiddle leaf fig, kitchen herbs, monstera, orchids, palms, peace lily, succulents, and tropicals. It’s 100% organic and sustainably sourced, and it’s pet and kid-safe.
- Bag is resealable
- 100% organic and sustainably sourced
- Excellent airflow capabilities
- 10-15-12 NPK ratio
- Promotes healthy growth
- Pet and kid-safe
- Easy to use
- Can have a strong smell
- Don’t get a lot for the price
Acidic Potting Soil Elements
Many companies have blends of potting soil that they explicitly labeled for use with plants that love acid. While these are usually a safe option, shopping for potting soil usually isn’t that easy. If you’re planning to grow an acid-loving plant in a container, it pays to keep a lookout for specific elements in the potting soil you buy.
For example, expanded shale can be a big bonus because shale can be one of the key things that produces acid in soil that occurs naturally. The same rule goes for decomposed granite. Like charcoal and shale, you can use it as a drainage bed for your potted plants that prefer acidic soil.
Also, look for potting soil mixes that come with cottonseed oil mix. It’s a very common ingredient in fertilizer, and it’s a natural additive that will slowly release phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium into the soil while lowering the pH levels. It’s also safe to use on most plants without fearing that you’ll burn them.
If you have acid-loving flowers, make sure you pick out the correct potting soil to get the pH range they’re happy with so they thrive.
How to Use Acidic Potting Soil
Potting soil is something you use to nourish potted plants and plants in flower beds, and it’s usually slightly acidic to begin with, and it has a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. This is the general pH range for most plant types, so this level won’t harm your plants.
However, it’s still a good idea to check your acidic potting soil bag for information that outlines the specific details of your choice. If you have plants that like acid in your home, you’ll want to ensure you pick out a product that is specially formulated for these plants. You should also take a look at the ingredients and see if there are any that are naturally acidic, including aluminum sulfate, coffee grounds, mulch, fertilizer, compost, or sphagnum peat moss.
Also, decomposed granite and expanded shale are both acidic, and they’ll boost the soil’s acidity levels. Some plants what the pH to go lower than 6.0 to keep them happy, and the following are the main plants that benefit from an acidic potting soil:
- Azaleas – If you plant azaleas and the soil isn’t acidic enough, you’ll have a fight on your hands to grow them, and the leaves will turn yellow very quickly. They need a pH of 4.5 to 6.0 to be happy.
- Bayberry – This shrub prefers to be in moist, sandy, and slightly acidic soil. If you grow it in alkaline soil, it will have problems with chlorosis. This is when the plant leaves turn yellow due to a lack of chlorophyll. If you want to grow bayberry at your home, make sure the soil pH level falls between 5.6 and 6.5.
- Hydrangeas – These white, pink, or blue flowering plants adore acidic potting soil, and the pH should range between 5.2 and 55. However, hydrangeas are able to tolerate neutral soil with a pH of 7.0. This makes them very versatile to have in your garden.
- Magnolia – Magnolias are pink flowering plants that grow very well in well-draining but moist soil that has a neutral to acidic pH level. Ideally, you’ll want to plant it in acidic soil for it to thrive.
- Some Berries – There are berries that love acidic potting soil, including cranberries, thimbleberries, blueberries, and gooseberries. They grow best in soil conditions that have a lower pH level between 4.0 and 5.0.
- Some Vegetables – Vegetables like sweet corn or cucumbers can do well when you plant them in an acidic potting soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. Other vegetables like beans, turnips, and tomatoes like the pH levels to be between 5.5 and 7.0 to grow healthy.
We’ve highlighted 10 acidic potting soil mixes for you to compare and narrow down until you find the best one for your needs. We also touched on how to use it and which plants need a more acidic potting soil to thrive and produce flowers or fruits. This guide will help you get healthy and happy plants, both indoors and out.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.