Can you repot houseplants with compost?

A well-aged, organic compost that is high in humus will help your plants thrive and prevent disease. Compost is a necessary component for repotting your houseplants and should be used whenever possible.

Normal compost for house plants may not be as readily available as potting soil. However, you can easily make compost yourself and use it for potting. There is a difference between applying compost to your soil and growing plants in it:

When repotting your houseplants, it’s important to use the right compost media.

When applying compost to the surface of your soil, mix it thoroughly with existing soil or other organic matter such as peat moss to improve drainage.

When using compost for houseplants, make sure you sterilize it first before mixing it into your soil. Otherwise, you may introduce harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella into soil that will affect its ability to drain water well and could harm your plants by making them more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Mixing organic material like manure (nitrogen) and dead leaves (carbon) into your compost will create the best potting mixture.

Houseplants that are repotted with compost may require more frequent watering, but you should also check the drainage of the soil regularly to make sure it’s not waterlogged.

Allowing moss and algae to grow on top of the soil in houseplants is usually considered normal since this is how most tropical plants grow in their natural habitat. This does not mean that you should leave your plants un-repotted for long periods of time.

Moss and algae slowly break down organic material like peat moss and drain away nutrients from your soil, which eventually leads to poor quality potting media that inhibits plant growth.

Many gardeners ask this question and concern themselves about the use of peat moss.

Peat bogs are a limited resource and we shouldn’t be using them for soil amendments, especially when there are alternatives available to us.

A house plant compost should be rich in organic material, such as peat moss however not completely made of it. The organic matter consists of small particles and therefore will be much easier for the roots to spread through.

Garden compost for house plants consists most often of a mix of peat moss, loam, and manure.

If you want to use compost, make sure it is completely decomposed before using it on house plants. The last way you can cool the compost is with water so that the ingredients do not separate, but this will slow down the process.

A great alternative to garden compost for house plants is perlite or vermiculite as these also help with drainage and hold some nutrients, as well as roots, love them too!

Saline  - salt build up in soil which causes curling leaves at the base of the plant

Pests - soil insects such as termites are not usually a problem with house plant composts although there are exceptions occasionally & vine weevil larvae

Algae - green or black algae can be smothering your plant and therefore, inhibit growth. It needs to be removed as soon as it is discovered

Soil quality is dependant on many factors such as soil structure & content of nutrients, but most importantly drainage and aeration. Whether you use compost or potting soil, the houseplant will still need repotting after a few years to reduce crowding around the roots and allow more room for them to grow.

It is best to use potting soil instead of compost when growing indoor plants because garden compost for house plants may contain weed seeds that if introduced into your home could cause an infestation.

While this is not likely with well-rotted compost, there are no guarantees. Potting soil is sterilized ensuring there are no weed seeds so they can be used safely indoors.

Insects - Houseplants can attract insects & may require more frequent pesticide spraying if you use garden compost for house plants that contain a lot of bugs and weed seeds. Pesticides should never be used on healthy houseplants because they will kill the good as well as the bad bugs.

The correct ratio between coarse and fine-textured materials (such as sand or perlite) is crucial for good drainage properties.

If you decide to repot your house plants with compost, make sure that it contains about one-third coarse material and two-thirds fine material otherwise you will end up with a soggy mess.

A slightly acidic soil (pH 5 to 7) can help control mildew growth on leaves of some indoor plants but this should not pose significant problems if the compost does not contain added fertilizer.

Multi-purpose compost for house plants is usually good.

Composting is the act of breaking down organic material to make humus, an ingredient of soil most gardeners know as compost. The process takes place in several steps:

Decomposer microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, worms) break down dead material into smaller particles through a process called mineralization.

Can you repot houseplants with compost-Yes

Compost piles heat up during this stage and may reach temperatures as high as 150F to 160F (65C-70C). This heating phase speeds up decomposition

The temperature cools down when all the bacteria are used up or die because there isn’t enough oxygen. Aerobic organisms thrive at higher temperatures so the cooling down period will slow down their activity

Finally, there It is enriched with plant nutrients, weed seeds, and pathogenic fungi.

Most diseases that are born due to compost are fungal-based. Typical symptoms of root rot will affect the plant, where you will this time this problem arises from poor drainage or overwatering.

One of the most common diseases is grey mold which, if left untreated it can kill your plant very quickly. Make sure not to overwater your plants as well as ensure they get enough sunlight!

Can I repot houseplants with normal soil instead of compost?

Many gardeners do not know about compost for potting their houseplants. You should always use compost for potting your indoor plants it is enriched with organic material.


Q: Can I use any kind of compost for my houseplants?

A: No, you should only use organic compost that has been well-aged. Compost that is fresh and not fully decomposed can actually harm your plants.

Q: What if I don’t have any compost available?

A: You can purchase a compost amendment like vermicompost or worm castings, or make your own compost from kitchen scraps.

Some common diseases that are born due to compost are Botrytis blight, powdery mildew, and stem rot. These diseases can be avoided by using a well-aged compost that is high in humus.

Q: What is the best compost to use for my houseplants?

A: The best compost to use for your houseplants is a well-aged, organic compost that is high in humus. This will keep your plants happy and healthy.

Q: Can I use compost that isn’t fully decomposed?

A: No, you should never use compost that isn’t fully decomposed because it can actually harm your plants. Compost that is fresh or not fully decomposed will have an imbalance of air to water which can make your houseplants very sick. This is when gardening experts recommend using peat moss instead.

Q: What if I don’t have access to any compost media?

A: You can purchase worm castings or vermicompost at the garden center, but if you want to make your own rich, organic compost media from kitchen scraps, here’s how to do it!

Just save all of your plant trimmings (no meat, cheese, etc.), coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, eggshells, or any other dried plant material for at least 6 months in a compost bin. You can also purchase a compost starter from your local garden center when you’re ready to begin.

Q: What is the difference between vermicompost and worm castings?

A: Vermicompost is organic matter that has decomposed in contact with earthworms whereas worm castings are the excrement of earthworms. Both contain humus which is great for potting your plants!

Q: What’s the best way to repot my houseplants?

A: House plants should be transplanted when they are young and have small root systems. When repotting, gently remove the plant from its old pot and tease out the roots.

If the roots are tightly wound around the inside of the pot, use a sharp knife to cut them free. Fill the new pot with fresh compost media and replant the houseplant. Gently press down on the soil to secure it and water thoroughly. Congratulations, you’ve just repotted your houseplant!


Yes, it’s OK to repot your houseplant with compost but make sure it doesn’t contain dung or any type of manure as dung carries many diseases which grow rapidly in green plant materials due to high temperature inside these green materials, causing damages to growing plants.

You can give compost to the indoor plants which are easily available around your home but make sure that it does not contain weed seeds or any other harmful material.

When repotting your houseplants, it’s important to use rich, organic compost media to keep them healthy and disease-free.

A well-aged compost that is high in humus will help your plants thrive and prevent common diseases like Botrytis blight, powdery mildew, and stem rot.

To report your houseplants, cut the roots with a sharp knife to stimulate new root growth or tease them out of the old pot if they are tightly wound around the inside of it.

Place some compost in the bottom of a new pot and replant your plants. Keep an eye on your plants for 2 weeks after repotting them to ensure that they do not need water as too much moisture can cause root rot.