What Is Soil-Free Potting Mix?

How is Molly’s Aroid Mix different from typical “Big-Box” soil products?
The main difference between Molly’s Aroid Mix and traditional soil mixes sold at big-box retailers is how each handles water drainage and general aeration. Traditional soil mixes tend to compact quickly since they’re made up of very small particles. As a result, they retain a lot of water which is not ideal for indoor container-based plants which are highly susceptible to root rot and other pitfalls associated with over-watering. Molly’s Aroid Mix is designed to address the primary needs of plants growing in containers, including;
• Proper levels of moisture retention
• Space for free root, water, gas, and nutrient movement
• pH levels that support nutrient uptake
• Free of soil-borne diseases and pathogens 
• Enough support to anchor the roots and the plant itself

What plants can Molly's Aroid Mix be used for?
Molly's Aroid Mix is made for any indoor plant that prefers an airy, chunky mix that drains quickly and allows plenty of air flow around the roots while resisting compaction which can restrict the flow of air and hinder root development and overall plant health. The mix is well-suited for most indoor plants including tropical plants. If you're unsure as to whether the mix will work for a specific plant just ask us and we'll be quick to respond with a recommendation.

Do I need to add anything to Molly's Aroid Mix?
No - Molly's Aroid Mix is a complete standalone potting mix. It contains a wide range of organic (alive) and mineral (inert) ingredients that plants require. It does not require the addition of anything else in order to meet the needs of your plants. If you want to mix it with other mixes or additives you can but please note that doing so is not required.

Does Molly’s Aroid Mix contain soil?
No, Molly’s Aroid Mix is a soilless potting mix, meaning it does not contain soil but does contain a mix of organic and mineral ingredients. As a soilless medium Molly’s Aroid Mix is free of fertilizer, soil-borne pests, and disease.

Do I need to wash the soil off my plants before potting in Molly's Aroid Mix?
No - you do not need to wash the soil off your plant before repotting it. Just shake the root ball and remove as much soil as you can before repotting. The only time you should carefully rinse the root ball is if the plant has a noticeable pest problem. 

What's the best way to water Molly's Aroid Mix?
Molly’s Aroid Mix generally requires watering every 1-2 weeks, depending on the plant and local environment. The mix is formulated to drain quickly since over-watering a plant is harder to recover from than under-watering a plant, and potted plants are susceptible to root rot. As the mix drains quickly it's important to properly distribute the water throughout the mix. For best results, we recommend making sure that the water pools on top of the mix in the pot and drains uniformly, vs. e.g. finding a small route through the mix and not spreading out. We also recommend bottom-watering the plant once in a while by placing the pot in a small cup/bowl/saucer with an inch or two of water and letting that soak up through the hole in the pot for 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the plant. Doing so will completely rehydrate your plant and potting mix while encouraging strong downward root growth.

How often should I change Molly's Aroid Mix?
We recommend changing the mix once per year, which often coincides with repotting the plant to accommodate new growth. The mix takes a long time to fully break down and can remain unchanged for longer if needed. If you are repotting or changing the mix, don't worry about the parts of the mix that cling to the root ball - they can be transferred into the new pot and/or mix.

How many plants can I pot with a bag of Molly's Aroid Mix?
One 5 dry quart (5.5 liters) bag fills approximately 10 to 12 4-inch pots, or, 6 to 8 5" pots, or, 4-6 6" pots. The mix breaks down very slowly and as such is a premium yet economical solution for your indoor plants.

Why does the bag weight of Molly’s Aroid Mix change?
At different times of the year due to weather conditions the moisture content of Molly’s Aroid Mix can change, which impacts the weight of the product. Molly’s Aroid Mix is always packed by the liter so you will always receive the same volume of mix per bag.

What is the white powder on some pieces of bark?
This is dolomite (calcium magnesium) which is applied to the bark in the final stages of production. This is beneficial for your plant and if you see this do not wash it out!

What are the fungi that we sometimes see on the bark when we open a bag?
In certain conditions, fungi may grow on the bark, either before shipping or in your house if the product is left in warm moist conditions. When this happens you will see a fine whitish-gray layer of fungi on the bark. These are most likely Penicillium or Paecilomyces and are not detrimental to your plants; in fact, they are often beneficial as they help to prevent the colonization of pathogenic fungi. In most cases, when the material is moved or shifted around the fungi is disturbed and will disappear.

What role do bacteria and fungi play in Molly's Aroid Mix?
Rhizophagus irregularis and Bacillus pumilus are beneficial fungi and bacteria. Rhizophagus irregularis is a mycorrhizal fungus that acts as an extension of the plant's root system and is more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves. Bacillus pumilus are bacteria that colonize plant roots; enhancing nutrient provision, controlling disease-causing pathogens, and promoting natural pest-defense systems. Every bag of Molly’s Aroid Mix contains these beneficial microorganisms.

Why does Molly’s Aroid Mix occasionally have an odd smell?
Sometimes due to varying moisture levels, Molly’s Aroid Mix may smell strange. It’s natural, organic smell can sometimes be mistaken for a bad smell; other times it may be a musty smell. Sometimes fungi grow in wetter conditions and this can cause a bad odor. Once the bag is opened and the mix is potted, any odors typically go away quickly with increased exposure to air and air circulation. If for any reason the mix still smells strange before or after potting, let us know.

Are you cutting down forests for the bark used in your product?
No. Our raw bark is a by-product of the timber industry. All of the bark that we use is Pinus radiata. Pinus radiata covers 1.8 million hectares of forest in the area we source from and all the forests are completely man-made and renewable as they are used for the local timber industry. We do not use any endemic or non-renewable resources.