Best Soil for Growing Poblano Peppers (Containers, Pots, Raised Beds)

Pre-mixed soil is a nice hack for getting started gardening, but it’s not exactly perfect for every plant. If your poblanos aren’t exactly thriving right out of the bag, it may be time to start experimenting with your recipe. What soil works best for growing poblano peppers?

Poblano peppers grow best in soil with a pH of 6.5-7 and good drainage. Ingredients such as sand, compost, perlite, and others can be used to adjust your soil’s pH, aeration, and nutrient density. You may want to play around with ingredients, but mixing equal parts soil, bone meal, lawn clippings, and compost will give you a good starting point.

Keep reading to learn all about mixing your own soil!

What kind of soil do poblano peppers need?

Without the right soil, your poblanos surely won’t grow to their full potential.

Poblano peppers do best in well-draining soil that has a pH between 6.5 and 7. Mixing your own soil is often the best way to meet these requirements. It’s more suited for intermediate and expert growers, but beginners can take the plunge if they’re feeling adventurous!

Poblano peppers need well-draining soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7

It’s possible to mix your own soil that meets your requirements. Often, homemade soil is even better than the soil you buy in the store.

That being said, it might not be a beginner activity – unless you’re feeling adventurous!

Can you grow poblano peppers in potting soil?

What about typical potting soil?

You can grow poblano peppers in potting soil, but it’s best to add some amendments first. Soilless mixes are quite popular for poblano peppers to acquire an adequate level of drainage.

You can grow poblano peppers in potting soil, although you’ll have the best luck if you also add amendments like sand, compost, pine bark, or peat moss to the soil. 

Potting soil can be a good base for building your soil mix, although many people enjoy soilless mixes. Poblanos are an excellent candidate for a soilless mix because of their required level of drainage!

Potential soil mix ingredients

It’s important to know some potential soil mix ingredients before diving head first into mixing your own soil. 

When getting ready to mix your own soil for your poblano peppers, you’ll need at least a few of these ingredients:

  • soil
  • sand
  • compost
  • pine bark
  • peat moss
  • coir
  • perlite
  • vermiculite

Let’s get the rundown!


Soil for a soil mix. Sounds intuitive, right?

While you may be thinking that soil is whatever you’re using for planting, in this case, it specifically refers to the loose material in your yard and may contain gravel, sand, silt, and clay that aren’t necessarily going to be helpful in your garden.

Soil isn’t always used in homemade potting mixes because of its density and ability to carry diseases. That being said, if you want to use soil, be sure to bake it at 200°F for 20 minutes to sterilize it.

Mixtures commonly don’t have soil because it is so dense and carries diseases easily, although using soil isn’t unheard of.

Bake your soil at 200°F for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, to sterilize it before use. You can use topsoil or bagged soil.


We typically think of cacti growing in sand, but think again!

Sand is a great addition to homemade soil mixes because of its aeration and drainage properties. It’s also on the heavier side and will provide good stability. Use coarse sand because fine sand can be very dense.

Sand is great for aeration. In general, it’s best to use coarse sand. Fine sands defeat the purpose because they end up creating density!

Sand is excellent for poblano peppers since it’s also a bit heavy and will also give your plants some stability as they grow.


Everyone knows how good compost is for growing.

Compost is great because it’s cost-efficient, has lots of nutrients, and you can make it at home. Just remember that your compost is only as good as the ingredients you add to it!

Compost has many benefits, such as:

  • Cost efficiency
  • High concentration of nutrients
  • Ability to make at home

High-quality compost requires high-quality inputs!

Pine bark

Pine bark is a little-known soil amendment that has great advantages.

Pine bark is great for aeration and drainage. It can be used to substitute peat moss.

Pine bark is very aerating and drains incredibly quickly. Fine pine bark can be a substitute for peat moss.

Peat moss

Peat moss is a very popular soil mixture ingredient, and for good reason!

Peat moss is by far the most popular ingredient in soilless potting mixes. It’s inexpensive, effective, and easy to find. However, it retains a lot of moisture and is quite acidic. Pair it with lime to balance the pH and use aerating materials, so your mix doesn’t stay overly damp.

Peat moss is the most popular ingredient in soilless potting mixes since it’s so inexpensive, available, and effective. 

That being said, peat moss holds a lot of water, which isn’t quite ideal for poblanos. It’s also highly acidic and is typically paired with lime to create a more balanced pH.


Coco coir is most typically known in hydroponics, but it also has its benefits in the garden.

Coir is made out of the husks of coconuts. It’s high in potassium and low in nitrogen. Clean your coir thoroughly because it’s often processed with salt water.

Coir is a by-product of coconut production. It’s made of torn-up husks of coconut shells.

You’ll probably buy your coir in a compressed brick and expand it in water. Coir can change the NPK value of the fertilizer you need since it’s high in potassium and low in nitrogen.

It’s important to clean your coco coir thoroughly since it’s usually processed with salt water.


Whether you know it by name or not, you likely already know what perlite is.

Perlite is common in ready-made soil mixes. It increases aeration, improves drainage, and is a good replacement for sand. Perlite is actually a volcanic rock!

You’re probably already familiar with perlite. It’s a white volcanic rock that increases aeration, improves drainage, and can replace sand in your mixture.


Vermiculite is another fantastic aerating material.

Vermiculite is good for aeration. Medium-grade vermiculite is good for seedlings, while coarse-grade vermiculite is good for older plants.

Vermiculite is another aerating material. Use a medium grade for seedlings and a coarse grade for older plants! 


Let’s go over some homemade soil mix recipes. Play around with the ratios until you find the best work!

Remember to go over the substitutes above if you want to swap one thing out for another.

Recipe 1

  • Peat moss (25%)
  • Topsoil (25%)
  • Composted manure (25%)
  • Limestone (15%)
  • Gypsum (10%)

Recipe 2

  • Organic material (25%)
  • Topsoil (25%)
  • Drainage- sand, vermiculite, or perlite (25%)
  • Water retention- peat moss or coco coir (25%)

Recipe 3

  • Soil (25%)
  • Bone meal (25%)
  • Lawn clippings (25%)
  • Compost (25%)