Updated: July 2, 2023

Soil is one of the most important factors in determining the success of your plants. It provides essential nutrients, supports root growth, and helps regulate moisture levels. When it comes to choosing the right soil for your zig zag plant, there are a few key factors to consider. In this article, we will explore these factors and guide you through the process of selecting the perfect soil for your zig zag plant.

Understanding the Needs of Zig Zag Plants

Before diving into the different types of soil, it’s crucial to understand the specific needs of zig zag plants. Also known as Calathea zebrina, these tropical plants are native to the rainforests of Brazil. They thrive in a warm and humid environment, with indirect sunlight and well-draining soil.

Zig zag plants require a soil that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. The soil should also provide adequate drainage to prevent root rot. Additionally, they prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH levels ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

Types of Soil for Zig Zag Plants

1. Peat-based Soil

Peat-based soil is an excellent choice for zig zag plants due to its ability to retain moisture. It is made from decomposed organic matter and is known for its high water-holding capacity. This soil type also provides good aeration, allowing oxygen to reach the roots.

When using peat-based soil, it’s essential to ensure proper drainage by adding perlite or sand. This will prevent waterlogging and promote healthy root development.

2. Potting Mix

Potting mix is a popular choice for indoor plants, including zig zag plants. It is a blend of various components such as peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, and compost. This mixture provides a well-balanced environment for plant growth.

Potting mix offers good drainage while retaining moisture, making it suitable for zig zag plants. It also contains essential nutrients that promote healthy foliage and root development. When using potting mix, make sure to choose a well-draining variety specifically formulated for indoor plants.

3. Orchid Mix

Orchid mix is another option to consider for your zig zag plants. This type of soil is designed to mimic the natural growing conditions of orchids, which are epiphytes. Epiphytes grow on other plants instead of in the ground, so they require a well-draining and aerated medium.

Orchid mix typically consists of ingredients like bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss. It provides excellent drainage and allows air to circulate around the roots. The loose structure of orchid mix prevents compacting, which can hinder root growth.

4. Organic Soil

For those who prefer organic gardening practices, organic soil is a great choice. It is made from natural materials such as compost, peat moss, and decomposed plant matter. Organic soil is rich in nutrients and promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

When selecting organic soil for your zig zag plants, look for a well-balanced mixture that retains moisture while providing adequate drainage. Avoid using overly dense or heavy organic soils that may retain too much water, leading to root rot.

Tips for Choosing the Right Soil

To ensure you choose the right soil for your zig zag plants, consider the following tips:

  1. Check the pH: Zig zag plants prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. Use a pH testing kit to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the soil before planting.

  2. Consider Moisture Retention: While zig zag plants require consistent moisture levels, they should not sit in waterlogged soil. Look for soil types that retain moisture without becoming saturated.

  3. Evaluate Drainage: Adequate drainage is essential to prevent root rot. Ensure the soil you choose allows excess water to drain freely.

  4. Choose a Well-balanced Mix: Opt for soil mixes that provide a balance of nutrients, aeration, and moisture retention. This will promote healthy growth and prevent nutrient deficiencies.

  5. Consider the Environmental Impact: If sustainability is important to you, look for soil options that are environmentally friendly and sourced responsibly.

By considering these tips and understanding the needs of your zig zag plants, you can choose the right soil type that will support their growth and well-being.


Selecting the right soil for your zig zag plants is crucial for their overall health and success. Whether you opt for peat-based soil, potting mix, orchid mix, or organic soil, ensure it meets the specific requirements of your plants – good drainage, moisture retention, and a slightly acidic to neutral pH level. By choosing the appropriate soil type, you can create an optimal environment for your zig zag plants to thrive and bring beauty to your indoor space.