Potted plant

Can you Use Topsoil in Pots?

Making sure your potted plant gets the nutrients and minerals it needs can be a difficult task for those new to gardening. While you might think you can use potting soil, topsoil or other garden soil for potted plants, there are significant benefits to potting soil that other types can’t offer.

In this guide, we outline the difference between topsoil and potting soil as well as giving you the definitive answer to whether you can use topsoil in pots and indoor plants.

What is topsoil?

Topsoil is the upper layer of outdoor soil that contains most of the ground’s nutrients and fertility. Commonly used for projects such as levelling lawns, growing fruit and vegetables and other tasks in and around the garden, it is suited to be used outdoors rather than indoors.

If you want to find out more about the different types of topsoil, we’ve created an in-depth guide so you know what soil you may be dealing with and how to approach it.

Is topsoil the same as potting soil?

Topsoil and potting soil are made from very different materials. Potting soil typically consists of bark, compost, moss, perlite and vermiculite. You may notice that it doesn’t have any dirt in it and that’s because dirt can contain fungi and other components that can cause harm to potted plants.

Potting soil allows your potted plants to access the right amount of moisture, oxygen, nutrients and moisture while providing a structure in which to anchor their roots – something topsoil can’t do. Due to the benefits potting soil possesses for healthy plant growth, it is significantly more expensive than topsoil.

Can you use topsoil in potted plants?

Whilst you can use topsoil in potted plants, it isn’t necessarily the best option to grow your plants in the healthiest manner. Topsoil is best used for outdoor projects where the root systems have space to expand rather than being confined to a container. 

Using topsoil for plants in pots will mean that your plant won’t get the nutrients it needs to grow and will more than likely die sooner than expected. Knowing this, topsoil ideally can’t be used as potting soil.

If topsoil isn’t great for pots, what can I use it for?

Whilst it is possible to use topsoil in pots, it is best used for a range of outdoor purposes. Topsoil is mainly used to cover empty patches, create new raised beds and borders, levelling and laying lawns.

For more information on how topsoil can be used, we’ve created a definitive guide to help you.

Where can I purchase topsoil from?

Alsoils+ have been servicing domestic and trade customers for over 35 years with the highest quality topsoil, leaving you safe in the knowledge that we can cater for your needs. We supply premium topsoil that is suitable for lawns, growing vegetables and other purposes, so you can be sure your garden is given the love it deserves.

About the Author

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The Alsoils Team

For more than three decades, Alsoils has been a trusted name in delivering superior soil, compost products and offering landscaping services. Based in Hampshire, Alsoils caters to a diverse clientele, including both homeowners and businesses. Our team are experts in all things gardening, so you can be sure you get the very best advice for topsoil, compost, manure and so much more!

Based on 14 reviews
Mark Belshaw
Mark Belshaw
Ordered 2 bulk bags of manure on Wednesday, late afternoon and all was delivered by Friday lunch time. Great quality product and excellent delivery turnaround.
Charles Smith
Charles Smith
Excellent, from order to delivery. 10 tonnes of loose load top soil delivered within a few days. Best price and the 10mm screened soil is great quality. Thank you
Lesley Barry
Lesley Barry
Excellent product ordered 4 bags of top soil the driver was so accommodating as we have a very long driveway. The customer sevice was excellent. Thank you.
David Robberts
David Robberts
Excellent product at a sensible price from a local supplier. Staff are friendly and willing to help: I asked if just one bag of topsoil could be delivered quickly and it arrived next day! Great service.
Mark Hibberd
Mark Hibberd
Smooth execution of the transaction and delivery. Very helpful phone call and conversation. Ordered three bags of Border Blend topsoil. Paid by Paypal. They delivered, on the specified date, carefully, exactly where I wanted the bags placed. All in all, a very pleasing purchase. The topsoil was excellent and had been very carefully prepared. No lumps. Would definitely recommend and I will use again. Everyone I spoke to was nice and helpful.
David Stamp
David Stamp
Ordered topsoil on Tuesday came by Friday at the exact time quoted. Was WAY cheaper than anywhere else (by about £15 per bag) and was dropped off via a crane on back of the lorry, not by pallet which most of the other places use. Soil was fine and dry. Brilliant !