The 7 Best Potting Soil for Herbs | 2021 Review (Fox Farm)

Growing herbs is a very fulfilling activity. Seeing your herbs growing and flourishing will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, unlike any other. For people who can only plant their herbs on pots, certain problems may arise as growing them in pots is very different from on open gardens or raised beds.

This is why using the best potting soil for herbs is necessary. A great potting soil will retain enough water, provide adequate drainage, and give your plants enough nourishment to grow a strong root. All of these are important in ensuring that your herbs grow to their utmost potential.

But, looking for the best potting soil isn’t easy. And that why this list is here for you. Read on to see which potting soils are the best for your potted herbs, as well as a few ways on how to take care of your plants better.

The 7 Best Potting Soil for Herbs Reviewed

  1. Espoma Organic Potting Mix – Best Overall
  2. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix – Best Value
  3. Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Bag – Editor’s Choice
  4. Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix 
  5. Michigan Peat Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil
  6. Botanicare Cocogro Premium Organic Soilless Grow Media
  7. Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil 

#1. Espoma Organic Potting Mix – Best Overall

Espoma Organic Potting Mix

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Specifications:

  • Organic potting mix containing a rich blend of natural ingredients
  • No synthetic plant foods or chemical
  • Can be used for indoor and outdoor potted plants
  • Enhanced Myco-tone water saving formula
  • Non-selective broad Spectrum control of annual and perennial weeds 

Espoma is a well-known company for having an excellent reputation for its line of organic gardening products, and the Espoma Organic Potting Mix isn’t an exception. This organic potting soil mix is among the best choices for growing herbs in pots and containers, both indoors and outdoors.  The main ingredient is sphagnum peat moss and perlite, giving the potting soil mix a light and fluffy texture ideal for growing herbs. 

It also contains organic fertilizers that will help your herbs grow better. This is because of the added feather meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and earthworm castings that will release nutrients into the soil as they break down over time. It also contains limestone traces that helps in balancing the soil’s acidity. To top it off, this potting soil contains Espoma’s Myco-tone formula, which consists of different fungi that have different relationships with root and herb plants, helping them take up water, oxygen, and nutrients better. 

The people who have tried the product like it for being great in helping their herbs grow. They recommend this potting soil for people who are new to gardening as it has plenty of perlites, a nice earthy smell, and doesn’t allow bugs either. It is perfectly rich and dark. It also doesn’t have dust or gnats. However, a very small group of its users do not like how it retains water, but adding perlite has easily solved their problems.

Overall, the Espoma Organic Potting Mix is perfect for potted herbs. It will improve moisture retention, reduce drought stress, promote root growth, and grow your herbs well, among many others. This is the best potting soil for the people who are just starting and those who are more experienced. These are just a few of the reasons why this is the best in the market. Highly recommended.

ProsCons
Has added nutrients that help your herbs grow
occasionally retain water too easily
Contains yucca extract
Contains mycorrhizae
100% organic
pH adjusted

#2. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix – Best Value

Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

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Specifications:

  • Grows plants twice as big (compared to unfed plants)
  • Feeds up to 6 months
  • More blooms for more colors (compared to unfed plants)
  • Can be used for both indoor and outdoor plants
  • Can be used in containers, pots, and raised beds

The Miracle-Gro Potting Mix is an all-purpose potting mix that is also a great option for growing your plants and herbs in containers. It can also be used for growing flowers, houseplants, and vegetables. With Canadian sphagnum moss as its main ingredient, it is a light soil with good aeration and drainage. It also has added composted softwood bark and perlite that further improves its quality.

This potting soil also contains synthetic fertilizer that can provide enough nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to fertilize your herbs and plants for up to 6 months. The Miracle-Gro Potting Mix has the most fertilizer among the potting soils in this list, as the others only have enough to let your plants start growing. But, unlike the top spot in the list, the fertilizer in this is not organic.

The people who have tried the product say that their plants and herbs grew well in this soil. They say that the quality of this product has stayed consistent throughout the years as well. It is also sold in larger bags, so you won’t need to buy more of it than other brands. However, some have reported seeing bugs and worms in the soil. Some users recommended using pesticides to solve this issue. 

Overall, the quality of this potting soil has stayed consistent throughout the years. Its reliability is unquestionable. As few as the recent report with worms may be, taking certain precautions for these issues will help your herbs and plant thrive better.

ProsCons
Can be used both indoor and outdoor
Not-organic
Fertilizes the soil for up to 6 months
Can be used for all types of plants
Light soil with good drainage
Suitable for use by vegans

#3. Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Bag – Editor’s Choice

Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Bag

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Specifications:

  • Contains everything your plants need 
  • Perfect for containers
  • Ready to use right out the bag
  • Has a premium blend of earthworm castings and  bat guano
  • Contains sea-going fish and crab meal
  • pH levels adjusted at 6.3 to 6.8

The Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Bag is a great potting soil if you want our plants to come alive. This is perfect for herbs planted in containers and can be used right out of the bag. The fertilizer in this soil doesn’t come from nitrogen but from Fox Farm’s big blood liquid plant food to encourage strong branching and a sturdy and healthy growth habit. 

Like the previous potting soils, the main ingredient giving the soil’s structure is also sphagnum peat moss, with added sandy loam and composted forest humus. These give the soil its light texture and great structure and path for roots to grow and anchor on. These ingredients also provide an effective means of draining water. The soil also has a great pH balance adjusted at 6.3 to 6.8, providing your herbs with a great condition to grow on.

People who have tried the soil like it for being great at keeping their plants alive. They saw improvements on their plants within the first 24 hours of transferring the herbs into this soil. This soil works significantly faster than others in the market. It is also perfect for growing plants in containers as it is sold in smaller quantities, making it perfect for people who are only starting or trying out herb gardening. They also say that it is greater when mixed with other soils from Fox Farm, especially the Happy Frog Blend. 

Overall, the texture of this potting soil is topnotch, and its ability to retain its quality even after months of use is amazing.  The Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil will continue allowing your herbs to grow for as long as it’s lifespan allows. 

ProsCons
Contains fertilizers
Few found it to be too chunky
Good structure
Great drainage
Organic

#4. Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix

Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix

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Specifications:

  • Enriched with Burpee plant food for vibrant flowers and delicious herbs and vegetables
  • Perfect for container and raised bed gardening
  • Plant food slow release will last for up to 3 months
  • Maintains moisture between watering for better growth
  • Omri listed for organic use

If you are growing organic herbs, vegetables, or flowers in pots, containers, or raised beds, the Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix will make the job significantly easier. This mix releases nutrients immediately and continues to provide a continuous supply of plant food for up to 3 months. This premium potting soil mix is also formulated with a higher water holding capacity to maintain moisture between watering. Its pH level is also at a consistent 6.5, which is ideal for most herb and plant growth. 

Unlike the others in the list, the main ingredient in this potting soil is coco coir. This helps the soil distribute water to plant roots by absorbing it and holding it until it needs it. It also contains compost and perlite and a small amount of slow-release organic fertilizer that gradually gives your plants food for the next few months. Once the fertilizer has completely been spent, you may choose to add your own or transfer the plant to another pot with the Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix again. 

People who tried this potting soil mix like it for not having bugs or gnats. Although a bit pricy, it is great for keeping plants alive and growing seedlings as it is filled with its own fertilizer. The people who tried it say that it is better than the leading brand in the market except for it not being sold in bigger batches. Regardless, its users usually buy the product again and liking it just the same, a testament to its quality and reliability.

Overall, the Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix is a great alternative, especially for people who are just starting and only need small batches of these soils. It is also organic, making it all the more of great potting soil. 

ProsCons
Long storage for leftover concentrates without changes in performanceNeed to be used with extra care
Offers different application methods
Contains toxic chemicals
Keeps brushes away for a long time
Can be used for large areas
Kills weeds to the roots

#5. Michigan Peat Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil

Michigan Peat Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil

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Specifications:

  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
  • Great for potted plants, bulbs, starting seeds, and root cuttings
  • Includes fertilizer package
  • Ready to use
  • Lightweight soil with pre-moistened sphagnum peat 
  • Includes starter and slow-release fertilizer

the Michigan Peat Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil contains a blend of sphagnum pear moss and perlite to provide the soil with a solid and reliable structure. It also has an added dolomite line that helps adjust the soil’s pH levels to an ideal range. It also includes both fast and slow-release synthetic fertilizers to boost growth and help continue that growth spurt. 

This is among the most ideal potting soils for both indoor and outdoor plants. This is usually offered in bigger bags, making it a great option for people who want to try their hands on bigger scale gardening. Another feature that makes it great is its texture that is ideal for growing seedlings and smaller herbs. 

The people who tried the product compare it to the soil in San Fransisco. It is dark, rich, loamy, nutritious, and grows anything. They say that this soil is amazing. The plants they repotted with these soils have started showing signs of growth within seven to ten days, depending on their size. And, after months of the transfer, the herbs are still looking great. There are also no visible twigs in these, unlike with the more known brands. 

Overall, this is a great potting soil that will help your plants grow well. It will also grow your plants a lot further than you would expect. It would have ranked higher on the list had it been offered in more manageable bags. Regardless, the merits it brings are worth considering for your next bag of potting soil.

ProsCons
Contains fast release and slow-release fertilizer
Not organic
Lightweight soil that drains well
Vegan-friendly
Big value bag

#6. Botanicare Cocogro Premium Organic Soilless Grow Media

Botanicare Cocogro Premium Organic Soilless Grow Media

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Specifications:

  • Blended with 100% premium coco coir
  • Ecologically responsible
  • Superior performing alternative to sphagnum peat-based mediums
  • Excellent drainage properties and can be water frequently while maintaining optimum air to water ratio
  • Retails essential nutrients in the root zone

The Botanicare Cocogro Premium Organic Soilless Grow Media is the perfect choice for growing herbs at home. It is made with 100% premium coco coir, making it soilless. The blend has been processed to offer you a superior and responsible alternative to the usual sphagnum peat-based potting soils. 

This product also allows for great drainage and can be watered regularly without worrying about over saturating your soil. This soilless growing medium will retain optimum air to water ratio without any issues; it can even outperform other soil-based growing mediums in this regard. This potting soil also keeps essential nutrients within the root zone so the herbs will stay healthy.

The people who tried the product is as great as an alternative growing medium. It is also very well made and allowed newer users to transition smoothly from soil to soilless gardening as it makes it much easier for the user. They also say that it is fine, fluffy, and clean. Although, improvements regarding the size at which it’s sold would be more than welcome, as buying multiple bags is pricey.

Overall, if you want to explore newer gardening methods, the Botanicare Cocogro Premium Organic Soilless Grow Media should be a great place for you to start. Do not be intimidated by the learning curve it requires, as this soil will guarantee great herbs for you in the future.

ProsCons
Easy to use even for new gardenersNeed to add food-grade substances to maintain pH levels
Great for growing herbs
Sold in smaller batches
Great soilless option
Organic

#7. Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil

Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil

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Specifications:

  • Mixed with beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi
  • pH adjusted to allow for maximum nutrient uptake
  • Contains bat guano, earthworm castings, and aged forest products
  • Allows for vigorous vegetative growth
  • Easy to use, light-textured, and well aerated
  • Has perlite and peat for optimal root growth
  • Helps plants grow fruit and flower and protects them

The Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil contains bat guano, earthworm castings, and aged forest products. This is a blend filled with soil microbes to enhance the plant’s ability to establish a root and has mycorrhizae to encourage them to take in nutrients. This potting soil also has perlite that will help the soil hold more water and can be used directly from the bag as it is made to have a consistently balanced pH level at 6 to 6.5 that will promote maximum nutrient uptake. 

Like the previous potting soil from Fox farms, this soil also has a light texture and great structure and path to grow and anchor. The ingredients in it will provide an effective means of draining excess water, ensuring that the soil isn’t over-saturated. These conditions are what make it great for use, especially for potted plants. 

The people who have tried it say that immediately after watering, they are sure that the roots absorb the water, and it also doesn’t allow for excess water to stay on top of it. They also said that you should be more careful about watering your plants as this soil helps the roots absorb water. Remember to water them more liberally. They also say that it is great for growing vegetables and herbs. 

Overall, this is among the best in the market. By using the Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil, you will be able to watch your plants grow faster and stronger. Highly recommended.

ProsCons
Contains fertilizers
Not sold in bigger bags
Good structure
Great drainage
Organic

Top Pick Section:

The top pick on the list is the Espoma Organic Potting Mix. It is among Espoma’s great line of excellent organic gardening potting soils. This organic potting soil mix is among the best in helping your herbs and plants grow stronger and bigger, and it is the best in terms of value as each buck you pay for it is more than worth it. 

It is filled with sphagnum peat moss and perlite, giving the potting soil mix a light and fluffy texture ideal for growing herbs. It can also maintain a balanced pH level that will allow your herbs to grow to their utmost potential. To top it off, this potting soil contains Espoma’s Myco-tone formula, which consists of different fungi that have different relationships with root and herb plants, helping them take up water, oxygen, and nutrients better. 

Overall, this is the best potting soil for people who are new to gardening and those who are more experienced. Despite the several competitors in the market, the Espoma Organic Potting Mix cements its place as the top potting soil for herbs of its class.


What to consider when buying potting soils for your herbs

There are typically two things you need to consider when choosing which potting soils you want to get. These two will be the biggest determining factors that will design whether or not your herbs will grow beautifully. These two are:

Organic or non-organic potting soil

There are two options available for you in the market – organic and non-organic potting soils. Although most people prefer their soils to be organic, either choice will help you get your herbs in order. Both contain materials that will help your herbs grow with the critical nutrients to become bigger and stronger. The base idea behind choosing which type of soil to choose ultimately boils down to which one you prefer more.

The ingredients in the soil

Most experienced gardeners recommend selecting a potting soil with various ingredients that give your herbs and plants a better medium for your soil to feed on its nutrients. This is why it is best to know what ingredients are included in your potting soil.  These ingredients are crucial to knowing how your potted plants will turn out. This will also determine the soil’s ability to retain water and moisture. 

Other more general factors you can consider are more related to the product itself. These are:

Brand

This is always your first reference when it comes to buying a product. Is it well-known? Is their products’ quality consistent? And do people trust it to be a great manufacturer?

Reviews

This is the most reliable way for you to know if the product you’ll pick works as well as the manufacturer says. These reviews provide you with a chance to crowdsource information and user experience about the product.

Price

It is best to consider this factor before finalizing your choice because budget limits most purchases. Make sure to get the most value for each dollar that you will be paying for the product. 


What to consider when buying pots for your herbs.

Gardening on pots isn’t as rigid and time-consuming as planting in gardens or plant boxes. This is a flexible way for you to grow herbs in your garden. And, since most herbs are best suited to be grown in containers, making sure that you have the right pots is important as well. 

Here are a few things you need to look for in the pots you will be using. 

The size

The size of your pots will determine the maximum size your herbs can grow to. And a few considerations you have to keep in mind regarding pot size are:

  • It should be at least six inches in diameter. For these smaller pots, thyme, spicy globe basil, and other creeping or dwarf variety herbs will grow best in these. 
  • If you’re growing heavy spreaders, it would be best to grow your herbs in containers. An example of these is mint plants, which can easily fill 20-inch diameter pots.
  • Basils and parsley need deeper pots, as these herbs have longer taproots compared to most. It is recommended that you get a pot that is 18 inches deep for these pots. 
  • For plants that came from nurseries, it is best to transfer them into pots twice their previous pot size.

The material

Most pots in the market are made of different materials. Aside from aesthetics, different pots also have different merits. 

  • Cement or stone pots are beautiful and great for making pretty arrangements. They are also very easy to paint. But, it is best not to choose these pots if you plan to move your plants often.
  • Clay or terracotta pots are nice and can be used for landscaping. They are generally cheaper than cement pots but require more watering as these pots can dry out the soil faster.
  • Plastic, fiberglass, and resin pots can be attractive at a low price. These are easy to move and are lighter than the previous materials. They are great temporary pots as they are not as durable as the other two. 

Drainage holes

Your pots should also have good-sized drainage holes to allow for water to drain easily. This is especially true if you plan to leave your plants outdoors when it’s rainy. Having these drainage holes will keep the herbs healthy as they do not thrive in wet soils. 


Conclusion

Having the best soil for your herbs is the most important factor in deciding whether your herbs will grow to their utmost potential. Investing in a great potting soil is as important as watering them daily, and this will ensure that you reap the most out of your gardening efforts.

There is no shortage of great potting soils in the market; this is why choosing which one to get is difficult.  This guide has dived into the different types of potting soils available and the ingredients in each of the listed products. As each product on the list has its merits and demerits, it is now up to you to balance them out and make this difficult choice. But, with this guide, you should be able to choose which one would best suit your needs as well as your expertise. 

All of the product on this list are great potting soils and should be a great addition to your herb growing arsenal. You can expect great results regardless of the product you choose.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I maintain my herb garden?

The most important part of growing these herbs is removing parts of the not thriving plants. This will give the live plants more nutrients without the dying plant competing for any of it. Ensure that your plant gets enough sunlight. Do not overwater them. And, prune any broken leaves that you would see. Doing these should ensure that you can keep your herbs healthy, thriving, and ready for harvesting. 

What herbs can grow together?

Growing several herbs in one large pot can save you space compared to several smaller pots. If they are grouped properly, you can save them as it makes it easier to take care of them. One good combination is putting different Mediterranean herbs together. Grouping basil, cilantro, tarragon, and parsley together can also work without worrying about overwatering. Another is putting peppermint, spearmint, and catmint together. Growing herbs in this manner work as long as you have a sufficiently large pot to grow them all together, especially for the mints, as they spread faster than others.

Where should I place my herbs?

This is completely dependent on how much sunlight you get in your area. Since different herbs need different amounts of sunlight, researching them more thoroughly is important. Most gardening experts will tell you which herbs would grow best in the environment you have. In general, some herbs like basil will thrive where there is more sunlight, while marjoram prefers indoors where it is shady. 

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