Phasing out peat moss - seeing new potting mediums in store bought perennials

Peat moss is such a slowly renewable resource, ive been reading about nurseries trying to use different substrates for potted plant sales instead of peat mixes.
Few weeks ago got a lot of Monrovia perennials for the bee garden (clearance, of course, im cheap and like rescuing stuff) and the medium looks and feels like wood pulp with some texture too it like there are tiny chips as well.

Con: it gets hydrophobic fast. Way fast. Quicker and crustier than peat mixes. Why i think so many of these were clearance - frequent wilting. Casual watering wont cut it while potted. The badly dried out plants had to sit in water and wick upwards to get moist again. Water would NOT penetrate the top layer unless i broke it up by hand and kinda pushed the water in. But if i broke it up or soaked them they bounced back pretty fast

Pro: i was amazed at how NOT root bound these were. So transplanting even battered stuff was very successful. No shock. No dried out root messes all tangled to have to thin and yank off. I have had hardly any losses on these guys once in the ground. Amazing since they looked pretty bad.

Wondering if the lightness of the medium has a sort of air-pruning effect.

Anyone else had this experience, or seen new potting mediums used?


A local soil distributor offers “triple ground redwood bark” instead of peat moss. I’m happy with it.

One reason for the rising cost of peat moss is the marijuana industry’s demand for ProMix products that contain it. Canadian sphagnum moss grows at an enormous rate in the bogs. It is often a byproduct of tar-sand strip mining.


This stuff had a triple-ground sort of feel to it too. Does the one you get dry out fast?

Didnt know any of that peat info. Thanks. Interesting to watch the markets with more states legalizing marijuana.

Maybe we should all invest in Canadian peat stocks…


I buy a soil mix that is:
3 cu.yd. horticultural sand
2 cu.yd. triple-ground redwood bark
1 cu.yd. cured, dried greenery compost

I’ve used this mix to remediate my native soil (about 50/50) and directly in most potted plants – excepting some obvious things like plumerias and epidendrum orchids. I really like the triple-ground – I think more than peat moss. Lots of good properties.