It is one of the issues that generate more doubts among garden lovers, and it is not for less. The different types of substrates for plants represent a complex and much wider world than we think. Something logical if we consider that the range of plants with different needs is also immense. And far from being something secondary, choosing the right substrate is vital for the development of any plant.
It is important to understand what the different types of substrates for plants mean. On the one hand, this land serves as the basis for the plant to settle, anchor, and develop properly. On the substrate depends, to a large extent, that the growth is adequate. But not only for this. In addition, the different types of substrates are responsible for providing the plant with its nutrition. Not only because of what they contain but also because they are the means through which the plant absorbs water.
And if these two aspects are already fundamental, a third party must be added. The different types of substrate allow recreating the natural conditions from which a plant is native. One way to ensure that, even artificially, our plant will grow in the environment it needs.
TYPES OF SUBSTRATES ACCORDING TO PLANT TYPE
Before going into details about the types of substrates, it is important to understand something. Even when we choose the most similar to what our plant would have in nature, we cannot recreate this scenario 100 %. One of the reasons for this is that, in a pot or planter, the substrate will always be much airier than in soil. Something that is positive for the plant and that, according to the substrate, will be linked to other aspects such as porosity or water retention capacity.
Another reason for the types of substrates to be different from natural soil is mainly due to the concentration of organic matter. While in soil, there is a presence of between 1 and 3%, in the different types of the substrate, the concentration is at least 70%.
Understanding the weight of the substrate, let’s see the first differentiation in the types of substrates. Globally speaking, we could say that there are two groups: the universal substrate and the specific substrates. The first is commonly used and is a mixture of peat, perlite, and some organic fertilizer. A substrate that can be used, a priori, for any plant. And we say a priori because, after a few months and depending on the type of plant, you can demand a complete one according to your needs.
1. Substrate for acidic plants
One of the unknown types of substrate despite being popular. It is necessary for plants such as hydrangea, rhododendron, camellia, or cyclamen, among others. These types of plants demand a soil with an acidic pH, absolutely vital for its development. Thanks to him, the plants do not enter chlorosis: an iron deficiency in the substrate that translates into the yellowing of the leaves and even the death of the plant. To avoid this, nothing like betting on a specific substrate for this type of plant.
2. Substrate for green plants
The so-called green plants are the great companions of the interior of the home. Some that usually have few cultivation demands, but with a requirement: the soil. For this reason and to enjoy its color, we must choose between the types of the existing substrate a specific one for them. This type of soil, with a balanced formulation of NPK, will allow the plant to remain vigorous and healthy.
3. Substrate for flowering plants
Flowering is one of the most demanding plant processes for a plant. An authentic effort for which the plant allocates a very high number of its resources. For this reason, the types of substrate for flower plants are fundamental. Thanks to its high concentration of guano, a natural fertilizer, they nourish the plant in depth. A natural way to favor flowering without weakening the plant.
4. Substrate for cacti and succulents
One of the cacti and cares that we cannot neglect the issue of drainage. These plants, accustomed to keeping water in their fleshy leaves, are not friends with waterlogging. For that reason and to cultivate them correctly, among the types of substrates, you have to choose one with a high concentration of sand. A fundamental element to evacuate excess water from irrigation and thus allow its correct development.
5. Substrate for garden
As with flowering plants, garden plants also have a high demand for nutrients. Only then can they bear fruit. For this reason, the type of substrate for vegetables and vegetables should be rich in peat, earthworm hummus, and coconut fiber. A perfect blend to provide nutrients, aeration, and proper drainage.
6. Substrate for orchids
In the natural state, most orchids live without substrate. They usually do it suspended from trees and other plants that they use as support. To be able to enjoy them at home goes through doing it on a light and porous substrate. Therefore, the bark is postulated as the ideal. Added, these types of substrate allow us something fundamental: to evacuate the surplus water from the irrigation. Something fundamental if we consider the danger of excessive irrigation in orchids.
7. Substrate for carnivorous plants
Contrary to what happens with other types of substrate, in the case of carnivorous plants, we will have to bet on a low nutrient one. Used to growing in poor habitats, we can never plant them in a universal substrate. Excess mineral salts is an enemy of this type of plant. Therefore, among the care of carnivorous plants, we have to contemplate a poor substrate that correctly maintains moisture.
8. Substrate for seedbeds
Germinate and grow are the two most committed moments of any planting. To be able to achieve it, it is not only necessary to do it under the conditions that each seed sets. In addition, it is necessary that the type of substrate in which our new plants grow has what they demand. The substrate for seedlings is rich in peat but also in other components. To perlite or coconut fiber, which facilitates drainage; A dose of organic fertilizer is added. The ideal mixture to grow correctly.
9. Substrate for rose bushes
The rose bush is a complex plant and does not conform to a substrate for flowering plants to use. Despite being a flowering shrub that is not difficult to grow, it does have its peculiarities to bloom vigorously and exuberantly. Among the care of the rose bush, we must consider providing a specific type of substrate. A mixture of organic fertilizer, which is usually manure, barks, and potash, essential for flowering to have the intensity we are looking for.
10. Substrate for bonsai
Due to their characteristics, bonsai have unique needs in regards to the type of substrate. When living in a small space, they demand that their composition be a nutrient-rich mixture with good drainage capacity and moisture retention. In addition, the bonsai substrate has another peculiarity: a low nitrogen content to the detriment of a high concentration of phosphorus and potassium. Due to their characteristics, bonsai have unique needs in regards to the type of substrate. When living in a small space, they demand that their composition be a nutrient-rich mixture with good drainage capacity and moisture retention. In addition, the bonsai substrate has another peculiarity: a low nitrogen content to the detriment of a high concentration of phosphorus and potassium.