Wetting agents for container mixes

I have some container plants, mostly in either commercial or homemade bark/peat mixes, that get extremely hydrophobic. To the point where the only way to remoisten them is basically use the jet setting on my hose nozzle and use brute force.

Which is, admittedly, a huge pain in the butt to continue to have to do. I have read all about “wetting agents”, but nobody gives brand names or sources.

I’ve never been able to find a source for a commercial grade wetting agent specifically for media, that I can purchase.

Suggestions of using things like “earth juice” and dishwashing soap, that stuff does not actually work for me. Any ideas?

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In my opinion wetting agents are only needed in poor soil choices.


Well everybody talks about using bark-based mixes, which always get hydrophobic for me.

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I have same problem with peat based poting soil. I have to soak the pot in water for a while in order to wet the soil inside

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If popularity were a measure of quality then McDonald’s would be considered gourmet food.


I’ve soaked them for 10 hours and had the mix still completely dry.

I’ve always used a bit of Dawn dish soap when wetting peat based mixes