6 Best Potting Mix For Container Gardening

A set of plants that are in containers.

If you did not know, potting soil for container gardening is actually different from typical potting mixes. The same aspect applies to the difference between indoor potting soil and outdoor potting soil. In short, there are numerous types of potting mixes out there that are specifically manufactured to promote good health and growth to their assigned type of plants.

In this case, potting soil for container pots are modified to provide container plants with proper drainage, aeration, structure, etc. Moreover, it is common for potting soil mix containers to be referred to as “soilless” or “artificial media” due to the lack of soil or components that regular soil has.

Depending on what type of plants you have, you might want to choose one that has a better texture that contains more perlite, bark, or sand. This may be confusing to many, especially for those who just started gardening which is why I am not only giving you the 6 Best Potting Mix For Container Gardening, but also a thorough buying guide which will help you make the best purchase for you and your container gardening.

But before we go through that, here are the 6 Best Potting Mix For Container Gardening and their details. Let’s get to it!

6 Best Soils For Container Gardening

Top-Rated Potting Mix Choice


Other Great Selections

FoxFarm 9.5/10
Burpee 9.4/10
Miracle-Gro 9.2/10
Espoma 8.9/10
Black Gold 9.1/10

1) Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix

Packaging of the Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix.

  • 4.5 Stars out of 5 Star Customer Ratings
  • Best Rated Container Mix on the Market


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • Miracle-Gro
  • Size
    • 23 x 23 x 5 inches
  • Item Weight
    • 1.6 ounces
  • Key Features
    • Contains plant food that feeds your indoor, outdoor, and container plants for up to 3 months
    • Delivers twice the bounty that is far superior compared to unfed plants
    • Manufactured with an all-purpose formula that is suitable for most plant environments
    • Mixed with aged compost
    • 100% organic ingredients
  • Organic Ingredients
    • Yucca
    • Peat
    • Rice Hulls
    • Coir
    • Perlite
    • Compost
    • Sphagnum peat moss
    • Processed forest products
  • Variants
    • 1 cu. ft.
    • 1.3 cu. ft.
    • 6 qt.
    • 6 qt., 2-Pack
  • Style
    • Container Mix
    • In-Ground Soil Mix
    • Raised Bed Mix

Best Pick On The List

My personal favorite and the best pick in this list is the Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix for countless reasons. For starters, unlike the majority of the potting soils in the market, this is by far the only integrated potting soil in the market that is specifically made for container gardening.

I personally have been using this container mix for many years now and I always end up with the best results for my container plants and garden-raised beds! I highly recommend you to consider this mix because of the overall excellent performance it offers.

All Purpose Formula

The all purpose formula of this product offers versatility among its users. This means that the Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix can be used for indoor and outdoor container gardening, which is great if you have a collection of both! I personally find this feature very helpful since I no longer have to purchase another indoor/outdoor potting soil.

Organic Potting Soil

If you are looking for organic potting soil with no synthetics whatsoever, then this product is definitely for you! I myself prefer not to use any synthetic products because I fear that my plants might encounter difficulties or side effects that can threaten their health. With that being said, that is why I prefer organic soil, and I encourage you to go for natural soil as well to maximize the tons of benefits it offers!

  • Best Potting Soil For Container Plants
  • Contains Plant Food
  • All Purpose Potting Soil
  • Good for Indoor and Outdoor Container Gardening
  • Fully Organic Components
  • Limited Color

2) FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil

FoxFarm Potting Soil

  • 5,100 + Ratings
  • 4.8 Stars out of 5 Stars Customer Ratings


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • FoxFarm
  • Item Weight
    • 39.4 pounds
  • Key Features
    • Large size
    • Has everything your plants need in one bag
    • Mixed with earthworm castings, sea-going fish, crab meal, bat guano, forest humus, moss, and many more
    • pH levels are adjusted to 6.3 to 6.8 for maximum fertilizer absorption
    • Encourages strong branching and overall good plant health
  • Organic Ingredients
    • Earthworm castings
    • Sea-going fish
    • Crab meal
    • Bat-guano
    • Forest humus
    • Moss
  • Variants
    • 1 Pack
    • 2 Packs
    • 4 Packs
    • 8 Packs
    • 10 Packs

Large Size

When it comes to the size of the FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil, even a single pack can last for months! This is why I highly appreciate potting soils that are in large sizes because as a gardener who has a lot of wide garden-raised beds, a large bag of potting soil is already plenty. Moreover, this saves us plenty of money as well since we no longer have to frequently purchase potting soil.

Adjusted pH Levels

For some container plants or potted plants, the pH levels of the soil matter so much that the plants become too sensitive to it and this can affect their health in a negative way.  This is why the pH levels of the FoxFarm Ocean Potting Soil are adjusted around 6.3 to 6.8 for maximum fertilizer intake.

Promotes Strong Plant Health

In terms of the overall effects of the FoxFarm Ocean Potting Soil, it is simply a great potting soil that allows plants in containers to settle in quickly. There is without a doubt that this potting soil promotes strong plant health. Furthermore, I have noticed that its effects on my plants made them grow faster in terms of their growth and development.

  • Large Potting Soil Bag
  • Adjusted pH Level
  • Promotes Good Plant Health
  • Unique Ingredients
  • Great for Container Plants
  • Heavy Bag

3) Burpee Premium Orangic Potting Mix

Burpee Potting Mix

  • 8,200 + Ratings
  • 4.7 Stars out of 5 Stars Customer Ratings
  • Amazon’s Choice Product for Burpee


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • Burpee
  • Size
    • 4 x 16 x 12.6 inches
  • Item Weight
    • 5.2 pounds
  • Key Features
    • This potting soil is enriched with Burpee’s own plant food for the best results
    • Great for container and garden-raised bed gardening
    • Provides slow-release plant food
    • Feeds up to 3 months
    • Formulated with natural ingredients such as coconut coir for painting moisture
    • OMRI listed that is best for organic use
  • Variants
    • 9 qt.

Enhanced With Burpee’s Plant Food

One of the best features the Burpee Premium Organic Potting Soil offers is its fertilizer component. This is to further boost the growth and development of your plants, and so that you won’t have to worry about purchasing fertilizer, which saves you money for the time being. Plant foods are also a great source of nutrients for your plants to continuously thrive.

Excellent for Container Gardening and Garden-raised Beds

I have no doubts that the Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix is one of the best container potting soils out there. I personally have used this potting soil before. However, it does not quite stand up against the Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Container Mix since the Burpee Premium Organic Potting Soil is not specifically made for container gardening. But nevertheless, it is a great option to choose!

Feeds up to 3 Months

When it comes to how long the Burpee Plant Food feeds your plants, it is estimated that it is able to feed your container plants for up to 3 months. Personally, I find this just right but any longer than that can result in plant deficiency, which is definitely a problem you want to avoid! I suggest fertilizing your plants 2-3 months after you have applied the Burpee Organic Premium Potting Soil.

  • Contains Fertilizer
  • Easy to Use
  • Great for Container Gardening
  • Feeds Plants up to 3 Months
  • Aesthetic Packaging
  • Only 1 Size Available

Read The Full Burpee Premium Organic Potting Mix Review Here

4) Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix

Close up look of the Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix packaging.

  • 5,100 + Ratings
  • 4.6 Stars out of 5 Stars
  • Amazon’s Choice Product in Garden Soil


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • Espoma
  • Size
    • 5 x 10.5 x 16 inches
  • Item Weight
    • 4.4 pounds
  • Key Features
    • Excellent potting soil
    • Good for indoor and outdoor containers
    • Blended with myco-tone water saving formula
    • Enhanced moisture retention
    • Reduces drought stress
    • Manual power source type
  • Variants
    • 1pc 8 qt.
    • 2pcs 8 qt.
    • 3pcs 8 qt.
    • 4pcs 8 qt.

Suitable for Container Gardening

Although the Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix is not an integrated container mix, it is okay to use for container gardening since it is also listed in its key features. Like the other potting mixes in this list, this product is also 100% organic, which means that it helps boost nutrients, prevents pest infestations, and many more benefits.

Enhanced with Myco-Tone Water Saving Formula

If you do not know what myco-tone is, it is basically a blend of 11 different strains of mycorrhizae that is mixed for better root growth and to prevent drought stress or soil erosion, which is a very common issue among container plants or plants in garden-raised beds. This is also one of the unique features of the Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix.

Good for Moisture Retention

In terms of moisture retention, this product is known for holding water in the soil well. Almost as if there is mulch applied in the soil. The Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix is an excellent choice if you have container plants that thrive in moderate to high-level moisture levels.

  • Great for Container Gardening
  • Comes with Myco-tone Water Saving Formula
  • Excellent Moisture Retention
  • Prevents Pest Infestations
  • Avoids Soil Erosion
  • Not Suitable For Plants that Prefer Dry Environments

5) Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro

Miracle-Gro Expand n' Gro packaging.

  • 7,990 + Ratings
  • 4.5 Stars out of 5 Stars Customer Ratings


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • Miracle-Gro
  • Size
    • 15.5 x 11.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Item Weight
    • 4.99 pounds
  • Key Features
    • Great substitute for regular garden soil and other potting mixes
    • Can be used for in-ground containers
    • Grows your plants three times bigger compared to native soil
    • Feeds your plants for up to 6 months
    • Holds 50% more water
    • Expands up to three times when water is added
  • Special Components
    • Compressed coir
    • Miracle-Gro fertilizer
  • Variants
    • 0.33 cu. ft.
      0.67 cu. ft.

Applicable for In-ground Containers

If you have container plants and in-ground container plants, then the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro is definitely a great choice. Moreover, this potting mix comes with several other benefits as well. For instance, this planting mix is capable of holding 50% more water compared to regular soil.

Grows Container Plants up to Three Times Larger Than Normal

When it comes to the growth effects of the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro, it truly does bring in spectacular results! This product is known for growing plants three times bigger than normal, which is absolutely a feature that is highly commendable. Although there are some factors that stop some plants from experiencing such growth, nonetheless it is truly a great feature.

Feeds Plants for up to 6 Months

If you are planning on purchasing a potting mix and fertilizer, the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro provides plant fertilizer that feeds your plants for up to 6 months. However, I personally do not recommend leaving your plants unfed for 6 months. I suggest feeding your plants 3-4 months after applying the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro to sustain your plants’ needs.

  • Good for Containers and In-ground Containers
  • Grows Plants Three Times Larger
  • Holds 50% More Water
  • Contains Fertilizer
  • Feeds Plants for up to 6 Months
  • Requires Large Space

6) Black Gold Organic Potting Soil

Packaging of the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil.

  • 1,490 + Ratings
  • 4.6 Stars out of 5 Stars Customer Ratings
  • Amazon’s Choice Product for Black Gold Soil


Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    • Black Gold
  • Size
    • 12 x 3 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight
    • 5.13 pounds
  • Key Features
    • All-purpose potting soil
    • Premium quality
    • Rich in nutrients
    • Contains perlite and pumice for optimum pore and air space for strong and fast growth
    • Regionally formulated
  • Organic Ingredients
    • Canadian sphagnum peat moss
    • Composted or aged bark
    • Compost
    • Earthworm castings
    • Horticultural grade perlite
    • Pumice
    • Cinders
    • Organic grade fertilizer
  • Variants
    • 8 quart

Extremely Versatile

Since the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil is made with an all-purpose formula, it is expected that this product is versatile. For instance, these are the common applications of the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil including but not limited to:

  • Annuals 
  • Perennials
  • Bedding Plants
  • Hanging Baskets
  • Window boxes
  • Houseplants
  • Indoor Containers
  • Outdoor Containers
  • Vegetables and Herbs
  • Raised Beds

I recommend purchasing the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil if you have a wide variety of plants such as indoor and outdoor plants, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Pure Organic

The Black Gold Organic Potting Soil is also categorized as 100% organic. So, if you are looking for a potting container mix that is blended with an all-purpose formula and is natural, then I strongly recommend trying out the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil. Furthermore, this product comes along with fertilizer as well.

However, it does not indicate how long it will feed our plants, so I suggest feeding your plants regularly instead of depending on the blended fertilizer the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil comes with. Nonetheless, it is still a good feature to have.

Great Performance in Container Gardening

As expected from a potting soil that is blended with an all-purpose formula, the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil provides a decent performance when it comes to container gardening. Although they are hard to find at garden stores, they are definitely still worth considering.

  • All-purpose Potting Soil
  • Made up of Organic Ingredients
  • Premium Quality
  • Good for Container Gardening
  • Versatile
  • Only One Size Available

Buyers Guide For Purchasing Potting Mix For Container Plants

Now that you know the 6 Best Potting Mix For Container Gardening, it is time to learn which one is best for your garden, because as you could see, each product in this list consists of several and unique features.

So, which one should you choose? Below are some factors you should consider first before making a purchase decision.

1) Know Your Intentions

When it comes to purchasing potting soil for container plants, you should know your intentions first by deciding what type of potting soil you should choose. For instance, deciding to purchase a container mix or an all-purpose one.

If your sole purpose of purchasing potting soil is specifically for container plants only, then definitely choose container mixes over all-purpose potting soil to maximize the benefits of the integrated features of container mixes. On the other hand, if you have a wide collection of plants such as indoor and outdoor plants, then you might want to choose all-purpose potting soil to save money.

But if you have the budget, then I highly recommend purchasing both types for the betterment of your wide collection.

Four garden-raised beds filled with different kinds of plants.

2) Make Or Purchase

If you did your research and you are confident that you can make the perfect container mix for your container garden, then I strongly suggest that you go for it! This is a great way to save money and as well as secure the health of your plants. However, if you lack research or you are not yet sure of what ingredients you should mix, I recommend purchasing a high-quality container mix first while you are still learning.

Don’t be discouraged if you are still in the process of trial and error. Continue to do your research diligently and keep on formulating the perfect container mix. I am very sure that at the right time, you will be able to create a container mix that is perfectly suitable for your container garden!

3) What Size Do You Need

Whether you purchase or make your own potting soil or container mix, you must consider what size you should get first to avoid excess supply. Excess supply or an opened potting soil bag can degrade over time unless if you fully zip the bag and store it in a secure and close location.

An extra bag of one or two is great to save on the shipping fee, just make sure to only open a bag that you are certain of using all of its content to avoid it from degrading.

Final Thoughts On The Best Garden Potting Mixes

Overall, I do find all of these potting mixes great and secure for container gardening. But again, if your purpose is to purchase a bag that is applicable for container plants as well as different environments, then I suggest going for all-purpose potting soil to save money. On the other hand, if your sole purpose is to provide your container plants with soil, then container mixes are without a doubt the best option here.

Well, that wraps up our list. If you have had great results with another potting mix not mentioned, then please tell us more in the comment section below. Also, if you have any questions, or would like to know more, don’t hesitate to ask below. Happy gardening!

About Ador Flores

Greetings! My name is Ador Flores, and I have been in love with nature ever since I was young. I bet you can agree when I say that mother nature tends to astonish you as well. While I may not be able to create mountains, waterfalls, and other majestic landscapes in my backyard, one thing is that I can for sure mimic nature by having a beautiful garden at home. Just from this simple mindset, it did not take long for me to turn gardening into a passion - a passion that changed my life forever. With the experiences I have had with gardening throughout all these years, I can definitely assure you that gardening is for everyone and I would love to share with all of you guys how fulfilling it really is! With the help of Seasonal Preferences, let us all become better gardeners and continue to promote a green and clean environment!

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