The Problem with the Peat Moss in Your Pots (and What to Use Instead)

This common ingredient takes a lot of the guesswork out of container gardening but is unfortunately connected to climate change.

Better Homes & Gardens

By Dan Nosowitz January 16, 2020

Almost any potted plant you can buy grows in a soil mix that contains peat moss, and most bagged potting soil does, too. You can also buy it on its own to mix into your own potting soil blend. It’s especially useful for growing flowers and food in containers because it helps these thirsty plants get the moisture they need. Despite the fact that this brown, fibrous substance is so common and useful in the gardening world, peat moss has long been a sore point for those in the industry because of its sustainability—or more accurately, the lack thereof. Here’s what you need to know about the downsides of peat moss, and what you can use instead.

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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.