The best substrate

Substrate – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis

To ensure that your orchards grow in the best way, providing optimal results, it is absolutely necessary that you use the right type of substrate for the kind of plant you would like to grow, whether they are aromatic plants, vegetables, medicinal or ornamental. In this sense, we recommend the Compo 1113124011 substrate, a 10-liter product ideal for both indoor and outdoor plants. In addition, it contains Agrosil and Perlite. On the other hand, if you need a little more content and if the product is suitable for your orchids, we recommend the 12-litre Vigorplant Terricole.

The 9 Best Substrates – Opinions 2022 

Having a garden at home, whatever the type of plant, is always more efficient if specialized products such as substrate are used for its growth. In this sense, to choose the best substrate of the moment, it is advisable to take into account all the characteristics that stand out from each model and brand.

universal substrate 

1. Compo 1113124011 Sana Universal 10L

The Compo 1113124011 universal substrate stands out for being specially designed to be used with various types of soil for your gardens, as it is ideal for indoor or outdoor plants. On the other hand, this substrate contains Agrosil, which contains a special chemical compound made from phosphorus and that helps root growth.

This product is considered one of the best substrates of 2019 thanks to its compounds and favorable benefits for the correct growth of your plants. Its structure is specially designed to improve the circulation of both water and air and fertilizer.

It is a high-quality, cheap universal substrate, which has a pH level of 5.0 to 6.5 and contains various nutrient elements per mg/l, such as 200 to 400 N, 200 to 500 P205 and 300 at 550 K20.

If you are interested in acquiring the best substrate, it is important that you make a comparison and value the aspects of each product on this list, starting with this Compo brand substrate. 


Capacity : It has a capacity of 10 liters, which will allow you to use this substrate for a long time.

pH : Its pH level is 5 to 6.5, so it is neither too alkaline nor too acidic.

Versatility : It has a high degree of use, which allows you to use this substrate both indoors and outdoors.

Adaptation : It is a substrate perfectly adapted to all types of plants, since it favors the use of nutrients.


Bag : The package in which the product is stored does not have an airtight seal, so you must store it in a dry place.

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2. Vermiorganic TopQuality Universal Substrate 20L

It is a universal substrate capable of increasing the porosity of the soil, which favors the retention of nutrients and minerals to regulate plant development. In this way, the land can acquire greater stability and optimal thermal and water regulation.

Also, it can prevent the formation of crusts on the surface and works as food for microorganisms, which promotes biological activity and allows plants to take advantage of essential nutrients.

As far as the ingredients are concerned, it has been formulated with a wide variety of natural elements, such as coconut fiber, rock powder, earthworm humus, black peat, blonde peat, among others. It is important to note that this substrate comes in a 20-liter presentation, enough to use in gardens and small crops.

If you are wondering which substrate to buy, it is appropriate that you take into account the positive and negative characteristics of this product before making your choice.


Ingredients: It is made up of black and blonde peat, as well as coconut fiber, rock powder, charcoal and pearls.

Benefits: It favors the retention of minerals and nutrients, so that it provides greater stability to the soil.

Presentation: This substrate comes in a 20-liter format, enough to use in various spaces.


Dry: It could be drier than expected, so it is advisable to moisten it a little at the time of planting, for greater efficiency.

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orchid substrate

3. Vigorplant Earthy Matters for all orchids

This is an ideal orchid substrate for the main genera such as Cattleya, Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium. In addition, thanks to its components, it is a mixture specially designed to efficiently meet the needs of epiphytic and semi-epiphytic species.

Among its components is pine, peat and coconut fiber, which provides several favorable characteristics to the substrate such as porosity and drainage, being an optimal product for the development of your orchids.

Vigorplant is considered the best brand of substrates and presents a product suitable for your orchids that weighs approximately 998 grams and yields 12 liters. It guarantees to be a completely natural substrate with an open texture.

In case you want to know which is the best substrate today, we recommend you look at the favorable and unfavorable characteristics of this product before choosing it for your plants. 


Composition : Thanks to its composition of pine bark, peat and coconut fiber, this substrate has high drainage and porosity properties.

Orchids : This mixture is specially designed to achieve a favorable growth of Epiphytic and Semi-Epiphytic species.

Volume : It is a product specially designed for orchids, which has a volume of 12 liters.


Price : The only unfavorable point of this product is its high price, however, it is a high quality substrate.

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perlite substrate

4. Plagron Bag Bag of substrate for cultivation 

This perlite substrate product comes in a 10 L bag, so it is suitable for growing many plants, flowers and fruits in the garden or orchard. In this sense, it favors correct drainage in hard soils and improves ventilation so that the roots of the plants can breathe correctly.

Although it is a mineral product from volcanic rocks, it is less heavy than sand, thanks to this, it positively intervenes in the absorption of nutrients and the favorable growth of vegetation. It is worth mentioning at this point that it is a good complement to the universal substrate.

The expansion process of this perlite has been carried out at a temperature of 1200 °C, where the final product is stable, inert, sterile and neutral, so that it does not add acidity to the ground to avoid possible damage to plants.

Although it is one of the cheapest options on the list, it is also good to point out that it is a high-quality product.


Origin: It is a substrate of natural origin, extracted from volcanic stones, which has been expanded at a temperature of 1200 °C. 

Functionality: Improves drainage and ventilation in the soil of the orchard or garden, for a correct development of the roots of the plants.

Neutral: It is sterile and has a neutral PH, so it does not negatively affect the soil or pollute the ecosystem. 


Complement: This expanded perlite substrate is a complementary product, so it is advisable to purchase universal substrate separately.

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substrate for bonsai 

5. Batlle Seeds Bonsai Substrate 5l

Considered the best value for money substrate, this product is ideal for providing an ideal growing medium that gathers or retains an exact proportion of water and nutrients. If you are looking for a substrate for bonsai, this is one of the best alternatives because it provides adequate aeration for this type of plant.

On the other hand, this substrate offers convenient drainage for the growth of bonsai thanks to its organic matter and apparent density. It has a pH of 7.25 and a density of 0.357 kilograms per liter at 38%.

It is important to note that its electrical conductivity reaches 75 mS/m and its nutrient content is 1% nitrogen, 0.4% phosphorus and 0.75% potassium. This product is contained in a package weighing 1.8 kilograms and yields a volume of 5 liters.

Before investing in a substrate for your plants, it is recommended that you take good care of the most outstanding aspects of the product, so it is necessary to know the positive and negative characteristics of this substrate. 


Balance : This product provides an ideal balance between the exact amount of water and other nutrients that bonsai need to grow.

Nutrients : Contains a wide variety of nutrients such as 1% nitrogen, 0.4% phosphorus and 0.75% potassium.

Density : Based on 38% dry matter, this substrate has a density of 0.357 kg/l and a pH of 7.25.


Drainage : If you are looking for a substrate with a higher level of drainage, we recommend you look at another of the alternatives that we present in this list.

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substrate for cacti 

6. Flower 80018 Cactus Substrate 5l

This substrate is specially formulated for succulent plants, such as Aloe vera, Agave and all types of cacti. In this case, the product helps prevent the accumulation of irrigation water, which can be harmful to these species. For this reason, it allows to maintain the good health of succulent species.

To have this positive effect, it has been manufactured with silica sand, pine bark and clay, as well as a combination of black and blonde peat, which allow proper aeration of the succulent plants, which is essential to avoid excess moisture.. Also, it is worth mentioning that it is used for pots and planters, but it can also be used directly on the ground.

It comes in a 5-liter package and is very easy to use, since you only have to place the necessary amount according to the container. If you have a worn substrate, you can simply remove it and incorporate the Flower Cactus.

Cacti and other succulent plants deserve special treatment, not only in terms of climatic conditions, but also in terms of soil. That is why we invite you to take this substrate into account.


Composition: Contains a mixture of black and blonde peat, as well as pine bark, clay and silica sand.

Effect: Thanks to its ingredients, it prevents the accumulation of humidity due to irrigation, keeping succulent plants properly aerated.

Versatility: It can be used directly on the ground, but also in pots and planters.


Specific: It is limited to the cultivation of succulent plants, since it could be counterproductive for other species.

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plant substrate

7. Batlle Seeds Substrate Vermiculite 5L

If you are looking for a substrate for plants that allows both correct water retention and excellent retention of nutrients that are easily assimilated, we recommend this product from the Batlle brand, which comes in a 5-litre package. It is composed of 100% yellowish vermiculite.

On the other hand, it is a complement that is recommended to be used mixed with other types of substrates such as peat or compost, which allows you to significantly improve the growing medium you use for your plants.

It has a porous space that favors water retention and has a pH of 7 with a density of 120 kg/m3. It has an electrical conductivity of 10mS/m and its granulometry is 1.4 g.

Before investing in a substrate for your plants, we recommend that you take care of the positive and negative characteristics of this product as well and make sure that it meets your needs. 


Content : The content of this substrate yields 5 liters, which allows you to fertilize your plants for favorable growth.

Composition : Thanks to its composition of 100% natural vermiculite, your plants will grow favorably.

Characteristics : It is a product that has a pH of 7 and a density of 120 kg/m3, in addition to its electrical conductivity being 10mS/m.


Granulometry: If you are looking for a product that has a greater granulometry, we recommend another model. However, it has good water retention.

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coconut substrate 

8. Batlle seeds Ecological substrates Block of coconut fiber

The Batlle commercial brand, specialized in substrates of all kinds, presents a product with very good performance that stands out for its completely natural compact and dehydrated composition. This coconut substrate has a special structure that allows it to achieve excellent aeration and sponginess, helping to retain water and nutrients for better assimilability.

This product is made of 100% coconut fiber and is very easy to handle and move to the workplace. In addition, hydrating with the indicated amount of water, a yield of 7 to 8 liters of product is achieved.

Its electrical conductivity is 75 mS/s and the nutrient content is 1% nitrogen, 0.4% phosphorus and 0.75% potassium. In addition, its compacted density is 0.357 kg/l on dry matter at 38%.

It is vitally important to take care of the components and nutrients of the substrates to guarantee correct operation with the type of plants you want to plant, so we recommend that you examine the characteristics of this product before making your choice.


Nutrients : It is a substrate that has a nutrient content of 1% nitrogen, 0.75% potassium and 0.4% phosphorus.

Content : After proper dissolution with water, this product yields 7 or 8 litres.

Fiber : It is a substrate made with 100% natural coconut fiber, so it achieves excellent aeration for the optimal development of your plants.


Residues : This product may contain residues such as pebbles and traces of other natural and unnatural compounds.

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Substrate for seedlings 

9. Flower 80049 80049 Seed substrate 20l

For users looking for a substrate for seedbeds, Flower 80049 is an excellent option, as it offers excellent results for obtaining new seedlings, increasing the probability of growth of new seeds.

It has a fine and light structure, which makes it a very soft product that does not affect the seeds and first roots in the cutting. This product consists of a mixture of peat with sand, perlite and soil, making it a product with excellent texture and good balance.

This product is presented in a package of 30 x 5 x 55 centimeters and yields approximately 20 liters. To increase its effectiveness, especially depending on the seeds you are going to germinate, it is recommended to mix it with other compounds to change the hydration.

If you have not yet decided on one product or another, you need to listen to the opinions of users and, in addition, analyze the pros and cons of this substrate. 


Volume : With the dilution with water indicated on the package, this product yields up to 20 liters.

Structure : The structure of this substrate is light and very fine, making it ideal for not mistreating the seeds and first roots.

Efficacy : This product offers a high percentage of probabilities to obtain your new seedlings correctly.


Mixing : Depending on the seeds you are trying to germinate, you may need to mix this product with other components.

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Shopping guide 

Creating a garden at home, especially for users who live far from the countryside, requires the use of special compounds to help seeds and plants grow in a better way, taking into account that the land, in addition to water, light and space, is a vital aspect for planting. To do this, the ideal is to use a compound called a substrate, which varies greatly depending on the use you are going to give it and the type of plants you are going to plant, so it offers different levels or types of aeration, moisture retention, texture and nutrient supply.

In this sense, we have decided to create the following guide to buy the best substrate, especially if you do not know this market very well. In this way, if you are interested in acquiring a good product for your plants, it is vital to know how much the product costs, as well as the specific need that your plants require.


In any comparison of substrates, one of the most important aspects that you must take into account when choosing between one or another product is the drainage capacity of the substrate. It is vitally important that the compost has the correct drainage level for your type of plant. Keep in mind that the type of soil you are going to use must guarantee excellent drainage to avoid damage to the root of the seedling, so it is advisable to place a certain amount of gravel, expanded clay or sand on the base, especially taking into account Keep in mind that excess water is one of the main damage and risk factors for the survival of the plant.

In this sense, water retention is a determining characteristic for the correct and healthy growth of your seeds. While the substrates composed of dry barks stand out for having a very high moisture retention, on the other hand, vermiculite and perlite have the ability to effectively retain a certain amount of water. Although both compounds are supplements that help maintain excellent hydration in plants, each one has different characteristics.


Another key element in choosing your next substrate, which is linked to the type of substrate and directly determines how cheap the product is, is its porosity. It is important to make sure that the substrate is sufficiently spongy, so that you can be sure that the roots have correct and favorable oxygenation. 

Porosity is the ability of a certain material to retain a certain amount of water and which, in turn, allows it to be a light compound and through which oxygen can easily flow, both elements absolutely necessary for any type of seed and plant.

It can be said that a substrate has a high level of porosity when the material is not completely made up of solid particles or, on the other hand, when the particles have a hollow shape, such as volcanic clay. Keep in mind that most plants are highly sensitive to excess watering, so they require a substrate that is not too compacted so that the roots can grow freely, as well as not drowning with excess water. For this reason, take a good look at the type of substrate and its level of porosity before making an investment that is not adjusted to your needs.


Many sowing and agriculture professionals know this term very well, since one of the most sought-after characteristics is the fertility of the substrate. A fertile substrate is one that, in addition to the properties of porosity and drainage, contains among its components some nutrients that help plants grow and that can be absorbed by the roots naturally. However, although all substrates are extracted from the ground, some products are mixed with artificial or chemical elements to increase the speed of action. In addition, the completely natural substrate is absent from these items, which is why it is more loved by most users.

Although fertilizers that contain some chemical element are very useful for some things such as fertilizing the garden and reducing the appearance of plant diseases, nature provides everything necessary for plants to grow optimally. In this sense, most professionals will recommend the use of completely natural and ecological substrates. In addition, some of the substrates include the properties of the fertilizer and other elements that contribute to the healthy development and optimal growth of the roots of your plants.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: How to use a substrate?

To correctly use the substrates that you acquire to help the plant grow, it is important to bear in mind that, on some occasions and depending on the type of seed that you need to germinate or the plant that you want to sow, you must mix it with some other components such as lime, in case the substrate has a pH of 3.4 to 4.5, since it is considered quite acidic.

Remember that, for optimal growth of your seeds and plants, you must control the acidity level of the soil from the beginning. On the other hand, depending on the substrate you use, it could be more or less porous, which determines the level of humidity and aeration of the material.

Q2: What is the universal substrate for?

Substrates considered universal are those that are made with various raw materials such as, for example, black or blond turbine, perlite, coconut fiber, fertilizers, among other compounds that seek to help plants and seeds grow in a sustainable way. optimal.

In addition, the structure and texture of universal substrates is normally quite homogeneous and spongy, which allows it to maintain better humidity for a longer period of time, helping you save water. However, not all universal substrates are identical, so some have a higher level of drainage than others. Because of this, it is important that you take into account the type of land where you live, as well as the intensity of the sun.

Q3: How often should the substrate be changed?

Taking into account that after a couple of years the substrates decompose and retain a higher level of humidity, the ideal and recommended by gardening professionals is to change the substrate every two years to maintain a better level of humidity. To realize if it is time to change the substrate, look carefully at its texture and structure, since if it is caked or if it takes longer to dry, it means that the product requires a change. On the other hand, you can also take a look at the roots, so if they are rotten or in poor condition, it is probably due to excess water.

Q4: Are there plants that do not need a nutritious substrate? 

Plants that do not need substrate are usually those used in aquariums, such as underground rhizome-type stems and floating plants commonly seen in ponds and lakes. In addition, there are the java, sumatra, windelow, floating moss, riccia and lentil ferns among many others.

Q5: How to prepare the substrate for cactus?

If you like cacti, then you will probably be interested in preparing soil or substrate to plant them correctly and have your plants perfectly healthy and in optimal conditions. If this is your case, don’t worry. On the net you can find an infinity of instructions and formulas to follow easily and obtain a quality substrate for your cacti and succulents.

However, keep in mind that there is no exact formula, on the contrary, each grower has their own advice, although most of the instructions that you will find work wonderfully. One of the main ingredients in cactus soil is peat moss, as it dries quickly and is difficult to wet.

Q6: How to make a homemade substrate? 

The main thing you need to do to create your own homemade substrate is to get the necessary materials and ingredients and then follow some basic mixing steps, which you can easily find online. The materials you should get are a container that allows you to measure and a large bucket to make the mixture.

In addition, you will need some water, a shovel, a rake or a sieve. We recommend wearing a mask when you mix to avoid inhaling any dust or fiber particles. Among the most used ingredients is coconut fiber, humus, vermiculite and sifted compost.

Q7: What is the best substrate for cacti?

Among the best substrates for cacti, there are three ideal options such as the Schultz trademark cactus soil, which is sold in all garden centers and stores and contains an ideal preparation for succulent-type plants. However, a low amount of fertilizer is included, so other compounds such as mineral fertilizers must be added. On the other hand, you can make your own mixture, mixing 50% river sand and 50% black peat, along with some white cork balls.

» Review information from previous years

Seramis GmbH Sustrato para Cactus y crasas 7 litros granulado

En caso de estar necesitando un sustrato para cactus de tu casa, te recomendamos mirar este producto de la marca Seramis GmbH, el cual está compuesto por diversos gránulos formados por un caldo de cultivo que ayuda al crecimiento óptimo de tus plantas.

Por otro lado, este producto previene de manera eficaz la humedad acumulada en las raíces de la planta, fomentando un crecimiento adecuado. Además, es un producto muy duradero, por lo que se considera una excelente inversión.

Este producto se presenta en un paquete con 7 litros de contenido para utilizar con todo tipo de cactus y plantas tipo crasas. Tiene una estructura que evita eficazmente el estancamiento del agua y destaca su uso para la época de primavera. Hay que destacar que este producto no requiere de una mezcla con otros compuestos, por lo que se utiliza solo.

Es importantes que tengas en cuenta el precio de los sustratos, sobre todo si quieres elegir uno de los más baratos. Además, recomendamos mirar atentamente las características positivas y negativas de este producto. 


Mezcla: Es un sustrato que no requiere de ninguna mezcla con otros compuestos para su óptimo funcionamiento.

Gránulos: Gracias a su composición con gránulos de caldo de cultivo, este sustrato ayuda al crecimiento óptimo de los cactus.

Duradero: Es considerado un sustrato muy duradero, por lo que podrás cuidar tus cactus por un tiempo prolongado.


Cactus: Este producto es indicado especialmente para cactus y suculentas, por lo que, si necesitas un sustrato para otros tipos de plantas, te recomendamos otro.

» Revisa la información de años anteriores

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