What is pH Levels in Potting Mixes for Optimal Plant Health
pH, a term frequently mentioned in discussions about potting mixes and plant health, is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity in a given potting medium, but what exactly does it mean? Simply put - pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in a given potting medium. Why is measuring pH important? Because a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients depends on the pH level of the medium it's potted in! If pH levels are off, it won’t matter how many nutrients are in the potting mix…the plant won’t be able to absorb them. So, what are the ideal pH levels for our potting mediums?
- Nutrients are most available to plants when the pH level is around 6.0 (the measurement scale is 0-14)
- So anything between 5.5 and 6.5 is usually good.
- Potting mediums are considered to be acidic as pH levels drop below 7.0 and alkaline as pH levels rise above 7.0.
Plants generally prefer a slightly more acidic potting medium which increases a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. If you want to test the pH of your potting medium, there are lots of home testing kits online which you can use, and the tests are easy to do, so don’t be intimidated 🙂!