Show your indoor plants the respect they deserve with the proper soil mixes.
Garden soils contain too many bacteria and are generally not recommended for plants grown in containers. Unlike artificial mixes, which can be used right from the bag, native soil mixes must first be sterilized (pasteurized) to kill disease organisms, insects and weed seeds.
You can prepare your own artificial potting medium with little difficulty. The following mixes are suggested for growing foliage plants:
Clemson Plant Mix
A growing medium used at Clemson is (by volumes):
2 parts pine bark (soil conditioning grade), 1 part peat, 1 part sand.
This mix should initially be adjusted to a pH of about 6.0 with dolomitic limestone. This growing medium has worked exceptionally well with all foliage plants, regardless of species. A supplemental application of a water-soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 with trace or minor elements, should be given every seventh watering.
For more information about soid mixes for indoor plants, visit the Home & Garden Information Center's fact sheet, HGIC 1456.