Potting Mix 101

If you’re looking at growing your own herbs and vegetables in pots or containers, then you need to invest in the best quality premium mix you can buy.

Professional potting mixes are designed to help your plants grow quickly and stay healthy.

So what should you look for when growing vegies and herbs in pots?

  • Quality
  • Suitability
  • Fertiliser and nutrient content
  • Wetting agents and water holding capacity
  • Australia Standards

light-bulb-icon@2x.png What makes a good potting mix?


Not all potting mixes are created equal and the differences are much greater than just price. When choosing a potting mix, you should consider:


Always choose a mix labelled 'Premium' or 'Professional'. These are made from top quality ingredients composted and combined to create a growing medium specifically designed to sustain plants growing in pots.

Premium mixes hold nutrients and have good aeration and excellent water holding ability.

The old saying that 'you only get what you pay for' has never been more true. Cheap potting mixes quickly become water repellent (hydrophobic), compact or 'slump', have no nutrients and do not support or encourage plant growth.


Potting mixes are often formulated with specific plants in mind. This is to ensure that growing plants have everything they need for optimal growth.
Always choose a potting mix designed for the plants you wish to grow, like vegetables and herbs, or fruit and citrus.

Fertilisers and nutrients

A good quality potting mix will have a fertiliser incorporated into the mix to support plant growth for at least 3-6 months. Controlled release fertiliser or slow release fertilisers that may include organics are essential to support the developing seed, seedling or plant.

Soil wetters

Premium or professional potting mixes should not become water repellent (hydrophobic) because of the quality of the ingredients, including coir, used to make them. However, wetting agents and water stroring crystals may be incorporated in the mix to improve moisture penetration and retention as well as nutrient uptake.


The expression 'you are what you eat' could also be applied to the potting mix you choose for growing herbs and vegies.

These edibles absorb nutrients, water and other ingredients from potting mix. For that reason, many people prefer to use an organic mix. Always choose a premium organic mix that has complies with the Australian Standard AS3743 (look for the five red ticks), to give both you and your plants the healthiest start.

Potting mix checklist

  1. Are the words Premium or Professional on the bag?
  2. Is the mix designed for the plants I want to grow?
  3. How long will the included fertilisers support my plants?
  4. Does the mix have coir, water storing crystals or soil wetter included?
  5. Does the mix meet the Australian Standard for potting mkix?

Tips, tricks & advice

Choosing the right pot for your crop

When choosing the right pot for your edible garden, you need to consider:

Read more

Caring for potted vegies and herbs

Growing crops in pots has never been easier with these simple tips, including

Read more

Other products you might need

Scotts Osmocote® Professional Vegetable, Tomato & Herb Mix


A specially formulated potting and planting mix for vegetables, tomatoes and herbs in pots, gardens and in raised beds and planter boxes.

Scotts Pure Organic Premium Potting & Planting Mix


A premium certified organic mix that is perfect for your pots, planters, hanging baskets and raised gardens. Outstanding results with no fuss while taking care of the environment.

Scotts Osmocote® Professional Fruit & Citrus Potting & Planting Mix


A specially formulated potting and planting mix for fruiting trees, shrubs, vines and citrus, in pots or in the garden

Scotts Everydrop Premium Granular Soil Wetter


Scotts Everydrop granules are designed to maximise every drop of water, consistently and evenly. Safe to use in every garden situation - on pots, lawns and garden beds.

Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Vegetable & Herb Mix


A premium mix developed specially for vegetables and herbs that nurtures plant growth and health above and below the soil. It is perfect for pots and raised garden beds

Scotts Everydrop Premium Water Storing Crystals


Scotts Everydrop crystals absorb and hold up to 100 times their own weight of water. Unlike other crystals, Scotts Everydrop is acrylamide-free and completely safe