About a whopping 160 million people around the world use Cannabis and with its amazing medicinal and therapeutic effects, it’s no surprise tons of people are researching how to grow it. Most people have different opinions as to the best growing method, whether to grow indoors or outdoor or if it’s better to use soil or hydroponics but using soil is a great way to crop fat, flavorsome buds and this leads people to wonder what the best soil for growing weed is.
Picking the right soil when growing Cannabis is very important as it is one of the deciding factors of the health of your plants. It depends on everything from the climate to the species you’re growing.
Generally, it takes 2-6 months for your plant to grow and throughout this time they need a multitude of nutrients to feed and grow. Due to this complexity, the cannabis-specific soil industry is a thriving one.
Cannabis-specific soils are specifically tuned to promote the healthy growth of marijuana plants. These pre-made potting mixes usually contain everything from the nutrients, vitamins, and microscopic organisms for these plants to optimally and naturally grow.
The number of cannabis-specific soil substrates can be mind-boggling, which is why we’ve narrowed them down to the best options out there. Whether you’re looking for universal, organic, pre-fertilized, or everything-in-one substrates; there’s something for everyone.
General Characteristics of Good Soil for Growing Weed
Even though not all cannabis needs the same type of soil for healthy growth, there are some general characteristics that are common in all cannabis soils so that even if you decide to cultivate your own soil, you’re still within these parameters:
- Soil Texture: Popular soil textures include sandy, silty, and clay. The best-balanced soil for the growth of cannabis is loamy soil which is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay with added organic compounds. It’s light and loose soil, has great water drainage and retention and it’s filled with nutrients and rich in oxygen.
- Soil Nutrients and Amendments: A well-balanced soil should contain minerals, rich organic elements, and beneficial microorganisms. Common ones are things such as Bat Guano, Perlite, Peat Moss, Worm Castings, Kelp, Coco Coir, Mycorrhizae, and more. These are things that help feed your cannabis plants and improve soil quality. Most pre-mixed soils come with varying portions of these organic substances but they only last 3-4 weeks and more will need to be manually added later.
- Soil pH: Cannabis plants require a slightly acidic pH to survive. Somewhere in the range of 5.5 to 6.5. An optimum pH helps to increase growth and the uptake of necessary nutrients.
These are the top 10 growing soils that have a beneficial mixture of all these characteristics:
1) FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil
Fox Farm’s Happy Frog is a top-notch soil designed for indoor and outdoor container planting. If you’re looking to give your plants the best nutrients so they can grow just right, feeding them FoxFarm Happy Frog is a very good option.
It contains mycorrhizal fungi and other important soil microbes that help break down the organic matter in the ground so as to improve root efficiency and increase the uptake of nutrients. Also, present are earthworm castings, forest humus, bat guano; giving a potent combination of organic matter enough to last the entire growth cycle.
FoxFarm was very purposeful with its nutrient content by creating a product that wouldn’t overload the soil with its overtly high nutrient quantity while maintaining the quality by making sure there were no ineffective ingredients such as topsoil, fillers, or sludge.
The soul has a light texture, well-aerated, offers excellent drainage and an adjusted pH for optimum growing results. It increases the production rate, vegetation and gives a stronger plant structure.
Even though the soil is a bit low on N, P, and K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) it’s still a great option for beginners looking to grow cannabis seedlings.
2) Nature’s Living Soil Organic Super Soil
Super soil is a term coined by “Subcool” which describes a soil that contains 2 things; base soil and a wide range of amendments such as bat guano, fishbone, rock dust, etc. that add a ton of nutrients and microorganisms. Super soil removes the need for liquid nutrients during your plant’s growth cycle.
Nature’s Living Organic Super Soil contains all the organic ingredients your plant will need from seedling to harvest. It contains beneficial microorganisms and fungi that’ll help develop the roots and provide water and nutrients to them.
It’s perfectly created to be the best-growing environment for your plants and contains ingredients such as Bat Guano, Organic Earthworm Castings, Bone Meal, Fish Bone Meal, Kelp Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Dolomite Lime, Epsom Salt, Aloe Vera, Coconut Water Powder, Blood Meal and many more. All these ingredients make it a powerhouse for all your plants’ needs.
Nature’s Living Soil is actually a concentrate formula which means it needs to be added or diluted with other organic potting soil such as Fox Farms or Roots Organics. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require much work. You simply mix according to the instructions, plant, water, and then harvest. Its main downside is the smell but this disappears after mixing.
This Soil Concentrate is one of the best on the market and even though it’s expensive, it’s worth it.
3) Fox Farms Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix – Top Pick
Fox Farms has an array of great fertilizers and this one just might be the best. Ocean Forest potting soil is an ultimate combination of the best fertilizers on land and sea ingredients available. It creates an optimum organic medium for a versatile planting environment great for indoor, outdoor, container, and greenhouse growing.
It contains a sandy-loam type soil enriched with aged forest products, sphagnum peat moss, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion, and crab meal which leads to healthier root and plant growth, increased yield, increased disease resistance, and leafy foliage. The soil has a light and aerated texture and comes pH adjusted due to the oyster shells in the mixture and is set to the ideal range (6.3 – 6.8) for optimum fertilizer uptake.
Fox Farms Ocean Forest Potting Soil can be used straight out of the bag so it’s a great option for beginners. However, it feeds for about 3-4 weeks so you would need to start supplementing after that.
Ocean Forest has been tested by many cannabis cultivators and given an A stamp of approval. It’s one of the finest soils out there and it’s 100% natural. It creates thriving, vigorous plants and although the cost is high, you should still consider it.
4) Big Rootz All Purpose Potting Soil
Big Rootz All Purpose Potting Soil is an award-winning potting soil created by professional growers but made to easily be used by anyone. It can be used for indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse growth. It comes premixed and can be used straight out of the bag or mixed with the existing soil.
This soil is carefully formulated with the optimum pH which increases root nutrient and water uptake. The main ingredients include peat moss which helps to increase water retention and hydration, coco coir for better drainage and aeration, and composted forest moss which acts as a natural fertilizer. Other important things in the potting soil makeup are Worm Castings, Seabird Guano, Bat Guano, Dolomite Fish Bone Meal, Neem Meal, Glacial Rock Dust, Blood Meal and so much more. These things help to regulate pH level, increase plant health, fertilize and promote quick growth of plants.
While this soil has a lot of ingredients that other potting soils don’t, this also makes it very expensive and can lead to pests.
5) Sungro Black Gold All-Organic Potting Mix Plus Fertilizer
Sungro’s Black Gold Soil is an all-purpose soil which means not only is it great for growing weed, it’s an ideal nutrient-rich soil for all plants. It can be used for outdoor and indoor containers, houseplants, bedding plants, vegetables, and herbs.
With its loamy soil type and balanced nutrient blend, it has all you need for growing weed. It contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss with worm castings, forest humus, and pumice, and perlite for hydration, aeration, and microorganism development. It also comes enriched with silicon for stronger stems and an improved root mass. Every single ingredient in this potting soil is organic which increases plant resistance to pests and diseases.
Sungro’s pre-made mix comes with a “Multicote Agri Controlled Release Fertilizer”. These fertilizers contain high-quality nutrients in granular form encapsulated in a multi-layer polymeric coating. They are designed to feed agricultural crops continuously throughout the growing season by releasing nutrients to the soil in a gradual manner, according to the plant’s requirements thereby reducing nutrient loss and keeping the plant fed throughout its growth.
All in all, with its versatility, high performance, ease of use, and great price it’s a soil that’s high up on the list for the beginning or professional grower.
6) Mother Earth Coco plus Perlite Mix
It’s a given that Mother Earth has some great pre-mixed soil substrates such as the Mother Earth Terracraft All Purpose Potting Soil and the Mother Earth Groundswell Performance Soil. However, if you’re looking for something completely different to take your plants to the next level then the soil-adjacent Mother Earth Coco plus Perlite Mix is the way to go.
Mother Earth’s Coco plus Perlite Mix has an RHP certification meaning its soil’s nutrient content, pH level, air content, and water uptake potential is of the highest standard.
It’s an innovative potent alternative to potting soil that consists of 70% coconut coir made from the fiber of coconut husks and 30% perlite. It can be used in indoor and outdoor containers.
Due to the coconut coir, there’s an excellent water drainage and retention balance so cultivators don’t have to worry about flooding your plants, and the high perlite content results in great aeration. It also resists compaction and lasts longer in a container compared to traditional potting soil.
This soil comes ready to use right out of the bag so you plant right in the mix just like you normally would. Mother Earth Coco plus Perlite is the way to go if you have a problem with water retention or humidity but if you’re worried about the nutrient or mineral level, those can always be added manually.
7) Coast Of Maine Stonington Blend Grower’s Mix
Coast of Maine’s Stonington Blend is a pre-mixed super soil formulated with marijuana plants in mind. It’s basically an all-in-one soil mixture where you don’t have to add anything else but water throughout your plant’s growth cycle; from seedling to harvest.
It manages to find the balance between water retention, drainage, and aeration and is loaded with nutrients meant to increase root development. The ingredient list includes mycorrhizal fungi, worm castings, coir, a combination of kelp, fishbone, and alfalfa meals, peat, and lobster compost. It also has dolomitic limestone so, in addition to the lack of need for extra supplements, there’s also no need to adjust the pH.
This soil contains high-quality organic ingredients best used for potted and container growing and is a great option for novices and first-timers. Although it’s one of the most expensive brands out there, the ease of use, increase in yield and flavorsome buds make it a go-to for growers.
8) Roots Organics Rod Original Potting Soil
Roots Organics Original Potting Soil is another high-quality coco-based soil blended with a rich variety of soil amendments. The coco fiber which goes into this potting soil has been repeatedly washed to lower the electrical conductivity (EC).
Ingredients such as perlite, coco fiber, peat moss, composted forest material, pumice, worm castings, bat guano, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, kelp meal, and mycorrhizal fungi help promote root growth, disease resistance, and increased uptake of nutrients. The perlite and coco create a balance between water drainage and retention so as to eliminate the worry about overfeeding.
It comes ready to use right out of the bag but supplemental feeding with nutrients and fertilizer needs to start after 2-3 weeks.
9) Purple Cow Indicanja
Purple Cow Indicanja is a nutrient-filled scientifically formulated and tested organic fertilizing package that was developed by growers specifically for the growing of cannabis. It is certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).
It contains all the nutrients, minerals, and microbes needed for the growth of the marijuana plant from seedling to harvest. The ingredient list includes compost, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, bone meal, kelp meal, potash, poultry litter, and volcanic ash. These are things that improve drainage, water retention, healthy plant growth and yield, biodiversity, and root mass.
Indicanja is ready to use right out of the package and needs no other input but water. It’s organic, easy to use, and supports indoor, outdoor, container, or greenhouse growth.
10) Brut Super Soil
Brut Super soil is a soil concentrate chock-full of nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to promote healthy cannabis plants. Since it’s a concentrate, it’s meant to be diluted with either ordinary soil, other organic potting soil, coconut coir, perlite, or peat moss.
It’s 50% organic matter and 50% silt ad clay to prevent water loss. Organic matter such as brut worm castings, composted cow manure, mycorrhizal fungi, granite dust, and kelp present in the ingredient list helps to deliver essential nutrients directly to the plant roots. The mineral balance has been scientifically tested to offer a complete and balanced amount.
It has everything a growing cannabis seedling needs, it’s easy to use and suitable to grow all plants. Brut Super Soil is a great option if you’re looking to rejuvenate your soil!
Things to Consider Before Buying Soil For Weed
Now that you have an idea of how many options there are out there and you’ve seen the top 10, you have to consider which will be the best option for you and your needs.
You have to consider:
The Growing Medium
There are different mediums in which you can grow weed. You can grow in:
- Soil: This is the easiest growing experience
- Soilless Mix: This involves growing in soil alternatives such as coco coir, vermiculite, perlite, etc.
- Hydroponics: This involves growing in water. You can get the fastest and biggest yield possible with this method
- Other Types: This includes things such as Aquaponics (in a tank with fish) and Aeroponics (in misted air)
The Number of Plants
This is the number one thing you need to know. If you’re growing just a small potting plant then you need far less soil than if you’re growing a warehouse.
Soil bags come in different sizes so it’s better to confirm the number of plants you’re growing before you’re stuck with a largely unused and unreturnable amount of soil.
Organic or Inorganic
When it comes to the ingredients in the soil you’re buying, you have to decide whether you prefer organic components or inorganic ones.
Organic soil increase plant resistance and reduces the need for pesticides. It also supports “cleanly” grown buds and is better for the environment. However, inorganic soil is cheaper and contains benefits that do not exist in organic soil.
Simple or Amendment Filled
Are you looking for something simple or something filled with a ton of nutrients and minerals? A simple, basic nutrient-filled soil might be harder to use because it means you’ll have to manually add extra supplements periodically along the growth of your marijuana. However, something supplement-filled might simply be just too much causing the plant to burn out and die.
Summing Things up
Now you have an idea of why soil is so important to the growth of healthy buds. It can either increase or decrease the growth of your plants so it’s important to carefully consider before going with any one option.
For some of the above-listed soils, you need to mix them with other soils, these are the concentrates. For some, you need to add more supplements during the growth cycle of your plant and for others, you simply need to add water and watch your plants grow.
Good luck choosing the best soil for you and happy planting!