How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India

Last Updated: 18.10.2023
Harpreet Monga
Written by
Harpreet Monga, a seasoned content writer and gardening enthusiast, has crafted over 150 articles at India Gardening. She expanded her writing journey with freelancing at the Times of India. Her passion for writing shines through her contributions to various book projects. Harpreet's commitment is to sow stories that resonate with readers, fostering a deep connection to the natural world.

Making your own potting soil is economical, and plants do love it. Learn How to Make potting soil at Home in India according to different plants’ needs.

Many brands advertise their potting mixes to be the best. But we all know that most of them available in the market compromise with the quality to make more profits. To ensure the quality of the mix is top-notch, making your potting soil makes a lot of sense. This article is all about How to Make Potting soil at Home in India and save money!

How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India

How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India

Common ingredients used for preparing potting soil include peat moss, coco peat, perlite, vermiculite, compost, or Gobar ki Khaad. In case these ingredients are not readily available, there are some alternatives. Let’s discuss all these ingredients and their substitutes in detail.

Coco Peat

In India, coco peat is a readily available ingredient as compared to its substitute peat moss. You can use whichever is economical and readily available in your region. The process involved during the production of coco peat is eco-friendly, and it does not harm nature. Coco peat is also neutral, unlike slightly acidic peat moss.

Note: You can also use leaf mold, pine bark humus, composted wood fiber, and cat litter as an alternative to coco peat.

Perlite or Vermiculite

Both perlite and vermiculite are used to improve the drainage of the potting soil. The difference being-vermiculite retains moisture, whereas perlite doesn’t hold much water. Pumice is also an excellent alternative to perlite. For moisture-loving plants, vermiculite is a better option.

Note: In case these ingredients are not available, you can also use coarse sand. Keep in mind that sand does not contain any nutrients, as is used to improve drainage.

Compost or Well-Rotted Manure

Adding compost or Gobar ki Khaad makes the potting mix nutritionally rich. You can buy excellent fertilizer or get help for making compost here.

Vegetable Potting Mix

How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India easily without any fuss

Growing vegetables in the garden is a cool way to have a fresh supply. Here is the potting mix for plants that’ll take care of nutritional needs of vegetables.


  • Sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir (Two-parts)
  • Compost or well-rotted manure (One-part)
  • Half cup Garden lime (Optional)
  • Perlite or Vermiculite or Coarse Sand (One-part)
  • Epsom salt (2-4 tablespoons)
  • Large container or wheelbarrow


  • Take peat moss or coconut coir in two buckets and pour them into the wheelbarrow. Peat moss can form lumps break it up with hands.
  • To this mix, add homemade compost, Gobar ki khaad, or even worm castings as an alternate.
  • Fill up a bucket with perlite to the wheelbarrow and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • If the soil is acidic, you can add half a cup of good quality garden lime in it. That’s it! Vegetable potting soil is ready for use.

Seedling Potting Mix

Growing plants from seeds is a back-breaking task, and it can be disheartening if they don’t germinate. For successful germination, you should take care of every aspect.


  • Coco peat (One part)
  • Perlite or vermiculite or coarse sand (One part)
  • Compost or well-rotted manure (One part)

Procedure: Preparing potting soil as a seed starting mix is a very easy and straight forward process. Take a container and pour all the ingredients in equal proportions. Mix all the ingredients until you get a somewhat uniform texture of the potting soil. Adding compost or well-rotted manure is optional, as the seeds rely more on the moisture-retaining capability of the potting soil than the nutrition.

Succulent Potting Mix

How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India for your plants and pots

Succulents and cacti alike do not grow well in soil that retains moisture. To thrive, they require soil that drains well. If allowed to sit in moist soil for too long, they are going to die because of root rot. This potting mix recipe ideal for succulents as it’s lightweight and well-draining!


  • Sterilized Potting Soil (One Part)
  • Perlite or coarse sand (One Part)
  • Trowel
  • Container


  • Measure the potting soil and perlite in equal parts and dump them in a container.
  • Mix these ingredients with bare hands or trowel.
  • Use the quantity of potting soil required and store the unused one for further use!

Another Succulent Mix


  • Perlite (One part)
  • Black garden soil (Two-part)
  • Coarse sand (Two-part)


  • As mentioned in the ingredient list, measure perlite, black garden soil, and coarse sand in the ratio 1:2:2, respectively.
  • First, pour black soil in the container and moisten it a bit so that it doesn’t throw off dust.
  • Next, add sand to the black soil and mix both of them thoroughly.
  • Lastly, its time to put sand in the container and mix it till you obtain a uniform mix.

NOTE: Check for the moisture content of the soil by squeezing some soil in your hand and forming a ball. Soil forming a ball without excess watering coming out of it has ideal moisture content for succulents.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Potting Soil at Home in India”

  1. I live in Delhi and generally get soil that is loamy and tight. Drainage is a huge issue. If I use cocopeat, then water will be retained all the more. I grow
    ornamental and flowering plants in my balconies. Kindly let me know what kind of soil mix I should use. I recently ordered for river sand, and what I have received is somewhat fine river sand. Please advise

  2. River sand (called yamuna ret in Hindi) is fine when mixed with soil when you are propogating leaf cuttings or stem cuttings of soft wood. Instead of river sand, use rock dust (commonly called badarpur or crusher). That allows better drainage and aeration of water.


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