Bioactive Soil vs Sterile

Bioactive Soil vs Sterile

We’ve been asked a fair few times "Are you soil mixes sterile?" and the short answer is "Nope"! A sterile mix is just dirt that is lacking all the goodness! So let's get into why we would recommend a Bio-Active Blend and when a Sterile Blend would be recommended.

Keeping in mind it depends what you are growing.

Sterilised Soil
There are a few examples of when you’d want to use a sterilised blend, such as; growing sensitive seeds ie: Cacti seeds and Fern spores. There are a few odd occasions like transferring Tissue Cultured plants, but overall when starting out, there would be very little to no occasions where you will need to use a Sterile Blend.

The reason these plants would need a Sterile Blend is because they have an incredibly compromised immunity, or an undeveloped immune system. So the life within our Soil Blends, rather than making beneficial relationships it would become food for the microbes that we love.

Bioactive Soil
Bioactive means that in any environment there is a series of organisms working together to make it more stable and self-sustaining. A bioactive blend promotes health!

All of our Premium Substrates are full of life and packed with microorganisms!

A huge part to what makes our substrate bioactive comes from our Coco Coir which is inoculated with mycorrhizal mycelium - there is also a variety of mycelium's in our Worm Castings, but this also provides a heap of beneficial bugs and microorganisms!

All of this is super beneficial for your houseplants because in the wild, our tropical plants would have a series of complex relationships with mutually beneficial microorganisms. What we try to provide at Soil.Ninja is a fraction of those within the home environment. It is super important for a plant to have some type of access to this as it rapidly increases their ability to uptake nutrients and water. This is something our houseplants struggle to do in our home environments already. Let's not forget that they will break down organic matter, which provides nutrients to our houseplants.

You can find out more about Mycelium and beneficial bugs on our two blogs linked below!

Plants, Soil & Fungi
Beneficial and Predatory Bugs

If you are looking to buy some of our dirt and you have something you want to grow that requires a sterile blend, there are a few steps to follow.

The Oven
Put your oven on a low heat, around 100 degrees or less. We recommend doing this for around an hour. This should kill all living matter in the substrate.

Hydrogen Peroxide Flush
Using a pre-mixed 3-5% Hydrogen peroxide. Use enough to flush the soil through. So use a decent amount. Leave it for 30 minutes and rinse it through with fresh water.

If you are wanting to use Hydrogen peroxide from concentrate, please mix this with distilled water. It's important to do this to sustain the level of Hydrogen peroxide. A high volume of Hydrogen Peroxide with tap water can cause a premature reaction. This would also introduce harmful chlorines and heavy metals that come from our tap water. We do not recommend trying this, please try to buy the pre-mixed 3-5% Hydrogen peroxide.

If you use this method, please don’t use a large amount if you use this method. You CANNOT super heat it, so it's important to heat it in small amounts. We recommend totake it out every 15 seconds. Repeat this 2 or 3 times.

If you are planning to use the sterilised substrate for later, place it in a sterilised bag, or sterile storage box.


We hope this has helped you to understand the difference between the two types of soils! If you have any questions, just know we’re always a message away!
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