Choosing the right compost needn’t be a challenge. Follow Amateur Gardening’s easy-to-understand guide and your garden will be bloomin’ lovely!


 11. Orchid compost

Guide to compost

Orchid Compost

Orchids were once regarded as a specialist subject. Now, they’re one of Britain’s most popular houseplants, with an unrivalled ability to remain in flower for a large chunk of the year.

Most are easy to grow. The secret to success is using a customised orchid compost, which contains three key ingredients: bark – which creates a free-draining compost and keeps roots dry; wood fibre which opens up compost structure, allowing roots to develop and spread throughout the pot, and organic matter, which is essential for retaining moisture and nutrients.





12. Cactus compost 

guide to compost

Cacti Compost

It’s difficult to kill a cactus. They’re tough plants, accustomed to surviving in the harshest of environments. They have a unique ability to retain moisture for long periods of time, and as a result do not need much watering. They do, however, need gritty, well-draining compost with the correct nutrient balance, so it’s always worth buying a specialist cacti compost when it comes to re-potting. Unlike many plants you can re-pot cacti during the growing season. Just make sure you use folded paper wrapped around the cactus to protect your hands from the spikes!

 13. Houseplant compost

guide to compost

House Plant Compost

Houseplants have a tough life. They’re forced to survive in an unnatural environment – the warmth of centrally-heated homes, or the temperature extremes of window sills. If your houseplants are pot-bound, or growing in exhausted compost, they’ll start to look like they’ve lost the fight to survive, and will be more susceptible to attack from pests and diseases. Always choose a nutrient-rich specialist houseplant compost when it’s time to re-pot. For best results, water your houseplant before re-potting, and choose a pot that’s about 4cm wider in diameter than the old pot. A drainage hole (or several holes) in the bottom of the pot is a must, but remember to stand the pot on a drip tray! Good houseplant composts should feed for 6-8 weeks after re-potting. After that, you’ll need to use a liquid plant food every few weeks during summer, and around every six weeks during winter.


We hope you have found our Ultimate Guide to Compost useful – good luck in the garden.

  1. 1. Introduction
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