My Potting Soil Had a Fear of Water!

My cuttings from this post have been rooting beautifully! 

So, with some small pots I picked up at a garage sale, I potted them.  Well, the potting soil was dry and would not absorb ANY water. Even though the soil was a name brand and just purchased from the store, it was dry. I've had this problem before and is probably why I've had some plants die.

This time I Googled it.

It's called hydrophobic soil and is common in soil mixes that contain a lot of peat. 

I'm a little hydrophobic, or more accurately,!  

One solution I read was to put water in a five gallon pail and swish a bar of ivory soap in it until it begins to get soapy.  Then add your soil.
So, I dumped my new plants back out and started over.

The source I read didn't say how much water to how much soil.  So I winged it.  I also didn't have a bar of ivory soap so I figured a few drops of Dawn should work. :) I just saturated it all and then squeezed it out as I repotted.

 So, now I have a small plant nursery started.  (More pots underneath)

  I thought it would be fun to add some bits from my Dad's old shop.

 Because I had so many cuttings, I put 2-3 in each pot.

Plus, I'm impatient and I hope it makes for a fuller pot sooner.

These glass insulators are chipped, but I don't care as I think they just look neat.

I still have cuttings rooting.  As I'm pruning back my big plant trying to get it to be fuller, I just don't like to throw them if I can make a new plant instead.  Plus it's pretty green and purple color in a jar like flowers.

Now, hopefully, they'll grow!

Do any of you have experience with hydrophobic potting soil?  How, did you solve it?   Now, I sit with a half tub of mud of what's left...I guess I'll just put a lid on it until I need it?  or maybe let some of it evaporate outside and then put a lid on it? 


  1. Looks great! I just read an article on potting soil in the last couple of days...not sure where.... but it was not recommending potting soils that allow you to water less or more without problems. It was promoting just a plain old potting soil. For what that's worth. I'll try and find the article... had to be a magazine or the newspaper this weekend....

  2. How interesting.....never had this happen before...I am using the water save soil this year and it doesn't seem to be helping....I still water each day.

  3. I've never heard of this. But I do find potting soil with vermilicute (sp?) hard to moisten sometimes. I usually mix it with already moistened soil.
    Love the arrangement of vintage items with your cuttings. I hope they grow quickly for you.


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