Improving soil aeration without vermiculite/perlite


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hello! i'm looking to improve the aeration in the soil of most of my houseplants, especially as i repot many of them in the next few weeks. i think most of my plant deaths have been due to overwatered/poorly-aerated soil in the past!

i believe that either vermiculite or perlite in the mix will really help this but have also heard they may not be the total best solution for someone who wants to garden organically/with as little impact on the planet as possible . could anybody offer any suggestions as to substitutes to aerate my houseplant soil or alternatively tell me why vermiculite/perlite are maybe not so bad to use? thank you for any help offered!
 
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Use refracted clays like the bonsai crowd, grits like the orchid crew, carbons like the biochar followers. Use barks, mosses, just understand a plant in a pot is already on life support so as long as you have the ingredients it can even exist inside a sealed bottle. I use what is inexpensive and that means local or farm store commodity. Vermiculite holds a lot of moisture and mixed with a cheap topsoil makes a base for my veggies when I go into pots or grow bags. The roots are good at the end of the season. Is it the best? Probably not. But its cheap and easy for something I will dump at the end of the season.
 
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I use vermiculite for most of my peat based composts, but you could use sharp sand or grit for drainage. Vermiculite is not so heavy though.
Welcome to the forum @tomk :)
 
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Here is a great video from someone I enjoy watching: Crazy Plant Guy on potting mixes

Aeration of soil, for me, is primarily accomplished by adding bark of various sizes. Years of growing houseplants has led me to believe a good quality store bought houseplant soil works best long term. Keeping soil properly watered for the individual types of plants is your most critical factor. If you master water requirements, you are 99% there.

I use a standard potting mix for everything from cactus to ferns with literally every other plant type in between. Planting soil is only added when I divide plants because they have gotten too big. More difficult types of houseplants usually need more humidity and do best in a small grow house or group together to create their own microclimate inside. (Alocasia, heart and eyelash fern have fallen to low humidity for me and need special housing)

I have had plants in the same soil/pot for decades. It is only my orchids that I have to watch for aeration. The bark breaks down and the roots will rot if the soil turns to loam. Most other plants don’t have this problem If you let the soil get dry to the factor they need. Practice and experience will tell you the right factor.
 
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It seems like everything is bad for the planet including house plants that give off co2. The latest thing I saw were dogs and cats so add those to cows and text messages and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Use whatever makes your plants grow. For me, that's vermiculite and peatmoss.
 
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