Sand in Potting soil

Arlington, VA(Zone 7a)

New homeowner here.. really still learning my way around the garden/yard. I have some potted plants that I really like (an irish/scottish moss in one planter and a type of oregano in the other planter.) I recently repotted the moss in a bigger flatter planter and planted the oregano in a new terra cotta pot after getting it home from the nursery. (The oregano is more ornamental than that the type you use for cooking.) I had read that herbs like sandy soil, so when I planted the oregano, I got some sand to mix with the potting soil. I couldn't find regular old sand at the Home Depot.. had to opt for "play sand." Only after I'd potted the thing did I notice that the bag stated that the sand was "sanitized" Well, now, about four weeks later both of these potted plants are just up and dying, going brown. (The moss had been doing very well, very lush and crawling out of its previous pot. I was adding a bunch more rocks to the moss' new container, so I figured.."Heck, why not some sand too.") I potted other plants (with NO SAND) at the same time, and no problems there. Did I kill my oregano and moss with the sanitized sand? I was thinking if there was any sort of "bleaching" in this so-called "sanitizing" process.. then that could very likely be what happened. Anybody have any further insight?

Lorain, OH(Zone 5b)

You are correct, they do bleach it, plus you probaly have too much drainage after you added the sand, containers tend to dry out faster anyway, even with regular potting soil. good luck next time.

Santa Barbara, CA

What happened to my longish post from Aug 2?

Ottawa, ON(Zone 4a)

Also, play sand is much too fine for plants. You need to add horticultural sand - much grittier - if you're going to add sand at all.

I use Lava Sand in my containers. Not much, just a small handful. You can get Lava Sand at any organice nursery. I also put just a very little of the 'green sand' in as well.
The play sand is bascially for sand boxes.

This is my mixture what I use for container plants. I do not measure, I just dump. I mix this in a very large tub.
I mix top soil, organic humus(but not as much as tops oil), some Miracle Gro potting mix, Green Sand, and Lava Sand. Just mix it up real good and you're all set.
The green sand you can also get at an organic nursery.

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

I was told to get builders sand at one of the builders supply places like lowes, menards etc.

Durham, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

'sharp' sand is the best for containers, especially for mediterranean herbs like oregano.


Yes Lil,I use the sharp' Makes drainage better' My herbs and my lavender grow better,without a doubt' I also went to a granular feed for my containers,Miracle Grow is ok but leaches after awhile' Plus my arms hurt hauling gallons upon gallons of it to the containers,lol' Now everything is ready for winter and the containers are growing,not good' Isn''''''t gardening FUN,LOL' SIS'

Allen Park, MI(Zone 6a)

There was a post on this very subject a few months ago. I don't recall who posted it or in what thread. Anyone remember?


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