Google is fab for getting those need-to-know questions answered like ‘How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?’ or ‘What is this spot on my bum?’ - but sometimes finding the answers to your questions can be a bit tricky!
So, let’s answer some of the top-most asked questions on Google when it comes to Soil.Ninja! Check it out, we may have answered a question that’s been on your noggin!
What is Soil Ninja?Well, from the beginning we were a group of besties that created Soil.Ninja because we love houseplants and wanted to share our knowledge and experience of dirt! We have now grown into a small company of 8, spreading the soil-y goodness as far as we can chuck it!
Want a healthy plant? Well, it starts within the soil! We have always been super keen to help and guide people in their plant journey. We formulated a range of premium blends for all types of houseplants and stock a collection of high quality components for you to mix yourself!
We could go on, but instead of asking what, ask why! We have a whole blog devoted to why you should choose us - so check out it out.
Blog Post - "Why Soil.Ninja?"
How Do I Make Monstera Soil?If you’re starting out, it can be tricky to determine what components you need and what ratios it should be as there’s so much contrasting information out there! Monsteras appreciate a chunky and airy blend, so we recommend using chunky aerating amendments; like Pumice, Bark, Zeolite – alongside using a base of Coco coir, worm castings.
We have a fantastic base mix that can be adapted to types of different houseplants. Our blog ‘mix up the base’ goes into detail what this mix is, along with some example ratios that you can mix along with! Or of course, you can opt for the easy life and go straight in with our Premium Monstera and Philodendron mix! Check it out and get dirty!
Blog Post - "Mix Up The Base"
What’s The Best Soil For Succulents?We have a pretty awesome blend for your desert babies - our iconic Cacti and Succulent blend! Succulents appreciate a well-draining mix, as these guys don’t like wet feet! Check it out
Soil.Ninja Premium Cacti and Succulent Blend
What Soil Do I Use For Philodendron?We got you! We have our chunky and airy Monstera and Philodendron soil mix, for all your Philo needs! Check it out
Soil.Ninja Premium Monstera and Philodendron Soil Blend
What’s The Best Soil For Alocasia?The best soil for Alocasias has to be a free draining, slightly acidic, yet moisture retentive blend! We have the perfect mix and it’s our Alocasia blend. These guys don’t want to dry out for too long, they appreciate the soil staying lightly moist and not waterlogged. Check it out
Soil.Ninja Premium Alocasia Soil Blend
Why Is Perlite White?Let’s start from the very beginning! When a volcano erupts it spews out lava which is literally liquid rock that can reach up to 1200C. This liquid rock will solidify over the next few years to make volcanic rock and volcanic glass.
Volcanic glass is the raw material that will eventually turn into perlite. Naturally, when a particular type of volcanic glass called obsidian is hydrated, it becomes perlite. This is then collected and taken to be superheated. When the perlite is superheated, the water that is within the structure will vaporise, causing perlite to expand massively up to 16x its original volume before heating! It’s at this step that the aggregate turns from greyish to it’s famous brilliant white. This is now the perlite we know and love!
The material is then graded to remove the majority of dust and separated into different grain sizes, eventually to end up in pots on our shelves helping our plants roots get the air they need (along with many other benefits).
Do Monsteras Love Coffee Grounds?There is no scientific research that confirms adding coffee grounds benefits Monsteras or any houseplant for that matter. I know there are some people in the plant community that have used coffee grounds on their plants in the past and haven’t experience anything negative from using it, but we can’t tell you if this is bulletproof or actually helps your plants in any type of way.
Putting it on your outdoor plants would be better as there are plenty of microbes and microorganisms that will break it down much quicker to release the nutrients within the coffee grounds - making those nutrients within more available to the plants. Indoor plants don’t have as many microbes or the same diversity as outdoor plants do - BUT this doesn’t mean you should pot your tropical houseplants in your UK garden haha. We would just recommend using worm castings instead as it has a lot of useful nutrients your houseplants can utilise, but it also includes life within to help support your plants ecosystem.
Do Monstera Like Small Pots?In hindsight - kind of? Monstera's don’t want to be completely restricted with no room for soil to fit in and around the root ball, but of course they don’t want to be in too big of a pot either. When potting your Monstera, allow it to have some breathing room between the root ball and pot – this should be 5-10cm.
A lot of articles will say ‘Monstera love to be cramped in their pots. They will grow huge regardless of their pot size., whilst other articles will say if the Monstera has stopped growing, it can be because ‘potbound roots’ – so lots of contrasting info there.
From many years of experience, our root bound Monstera's growth have stopped, then after a repot the plant then pushes out multiple leaves. If you find your Monstera's growth is stunted and it’s been fine in the past with no changes in environment or care - you may want to check the root system and maybe home it in a slightly bigger pot (but of course not too big).
Check out our repotting blog if you’re unsure.
How To Repot Your Houseplant - The Ultimate Guide
What Kind Of Pots Do Monsteras Like?Anything with drainage for sure! Terracotta will help dry the substrate out a little faster, but a typical nursery pot with plenty of drainage holes will work a treat. Clear pots are fantastic too if you want to keep a close eye on the root ball.
Can You Plant Succulents Into Just Rocks?You sure can – our fine Semi-hydro blend may be what you’re looking for if you want to try this! We’ve had some amazing results growing xeric plants in this substrate. You can read more on how to do this on our ‘complete guide’ to Semi-Hydro – but when using this for your any Succulents or Cacti, please don’t use a water reservoir, instead, water them as if it was in soil.
Soil.Ninja Fine Semi-Hydro Mix
The Complete Soil.Ninja Guide To Semi-Hydro
How Often Should Succulents Be Watered?So, it is always super hard to tell someone how often to water their plants. It can vary during seasons and the type of environment you have and the type of soil they’re in.
In winter months you may want to water it once every month IF THAT! Sometimes I can go 2 months when it comes to xeric plants. In summer it may be every other week, but it really depends – just make sure the plant has completely dried out since the last watering. These guys can be easily overwatered, so less is always more with these guys.
What Can I Use Instead Of Perlite?There’s a few different components that you could use instead of Perlite!
Firstly, we need to know what we are using perlite for. Amongst a few of it’s properties, the most important feature that perlite brings to the table is aeration (adding pockets of air into the mix which allows roots to breathe). This can be replicated to different levels with a bunch of different components, all with different secondary characteristics to help you make the ideal blend. For example, you could use vermiculite to aerate a mix that you are creating for a plant that is super thirsty. Vermiculite is super water retentive so is great for blends that needs to stay moist for ages. Zeolite is another great aerator that specifically can be used to add nutrient storage sites in the mix. This can be great for plants that need fertile soil with loads of nutrients readily available.
Other alternatives can include pumice which is the ultimate aerator in terms of trapping air into a mix because of it’s naturally high air porosity, or bark if you want to and more organic matter to the blend.
Perlite generally is the cheapest of the aerators which is why many people love it, and hey, when it comes to Perlite we can’t complain! It certainly does a great all-round job in keeping our plants roots healthy and strong, and on a budget too!
Why Put Pebbles On Succulents?There’s no rules when it comes to this. If that’s something to want to do, go ahead. It’s a great way to decorate your plant and this can also help combat any fungus gnat issues. You do you, boo.
Do Succulents need rocks at the bottom?As long as you have a super well-draining blend that is suitable for Succulents, then you shouldn’t need to do this. But if you really want to, we ain’t gunna stop ya!
Do Succulents Need Deep Soil?They don’t – these guys generally have a shallow root system and potting them into a deep pot is a risk to the plant. When you water your succulents, the soil will stay wetter for longer as the plant won’t be able to utilise all the moisture within the pot - Thus, causing rot. This is the same for most houseplants, so just be cautious when selecting a pot. We always recommend using a terracotta pot with succulents as it naturally helps the soil dry out faster, adding an extra safety net against overwatering and root rot! Our ‘How to repot your houseplant’ blog may help you with this.
The Soil.Ninja Guide To Repotting Your Houseplants
Thanks for reading this blog on our top searched questions! Did we miss the one question you wanted to ask? Well, don’t wait another second, pop us a message and we’ll be happy to help you out!