There are a lot of different succulent soil recipes out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about succulent soil, including what to look for in a good mix, making your own, and some common FAQs.
So you’ve decided to add some succulents to your garden, or you’ve been given one as a gift and don’t know what to do with it. Succulents are low-maintenance plants that can thrive in various soil conditions, but there are a few things to consider when choosing a soil mix for your succulents.
What is succulent soil?
It’s special soil that provides the perfect environment for succulent plants. Q:
It’s also called “Sod Myrtus,” and it’s a lightweight, fast-draining soil rich in nutrients and minerals.
Succulent soils must have at least 50% organic matter. Organic matter holds the right amount of water and allows the soil to drain well.
Good garden soil is vital to your garden. It holds moisture, and it helps plants grow strong and healthy.
Many plants grow well in raised beds and help to retain moisture, add seasonality, and support plant growth.
But how do you make succulent soil?
Can I use regular potting soil for my succulents?
What is the Perfect Succulent Soil?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer because the best soil mix for succulents varies. Because there are so many different recipes, it cannot be easy to know which one is best for you.
There are lots of different succulent soil recipes, but there is no single perfect potting mix for succulents.
The best combination depends on the particular variety, whether they are growing indoors or outdoors, and the amount of airflow, temperature, and moisture in the air.
This is a simple DIY soil mix recipe. All ingredients are found at most stores and are easy to obtain.
What to Look for in a Good Succulent Soil Mix?
When looking for a good succulent soil mix, there are a few things to consider. First, the mix should be well-draining, as succulents don’t like wet feet. It should also be light and airy to help prevent the roots from rotting. Finally, it’s important to find a high mix of organic matter, as this will help keep the soil moist and provide nutrients to the plants.
If you’re looking to add a little bit of personality to your succulent garden or want to provide better drainage for your plants, you’ll need a good succulent soil mix. There are things to consider when choosing one of these devices. Here are some of the things to look for.
- A mixture of sand, clay and organic matter (fertilizer) should be the main ingredients. Clay helps to hold water and nutrients in the mix, while organic matter helps to break down waste and improve drainage.
- You can make succulent soil mixes from commercial products and homemade recipes. If you’re looking for a recipe, check the ingredients list carefully before buying to know what’s. Some mixes also include additives such as lime or phosphate that may not be safe for your plants.
- Succulent soil mixes can be purchased online or at garden stores. However, if you’re making your own, it’s best to start with an equal measure of each ingredient and adjust.
What Happens When Succulents Are Planted in Regular Potting Soil?
Overwatering is a risk when growing succulents in regular potting soil. When the soil retains too much moisture, your succulents will rot quickly.
Because succulents do not require special nutrient soil, regular potting soil is ideal. Your succulents will thrive as long as the soil drains well.
Succulents will grow and produce flowers if planted in regular potting soil, but the roots will struggle to find nutrition.
What Is The Best Soil For Succulents?
The most serious threat to Succulent survival is root rot. It weakens and withers the plant by attacking the main water and nutrient channel. It is almost certain that such a plant will die. It can’t be stressed enough to plant your Succulents in the right soil. A good succulent potting mix of plants should include the following components:
If you’ve been reading our recent articles, you know that we mention this a lot because of its importance. The combination of Succulents and damp soil is a disaster. The speed at which water leaves the soil is what it’s about. Most of the water that comes out of the bottom of the pot will stay in the soil, even after you water the plant.
The water must be taken up by the plant or evaporated into the air. It’s good to have soil that will drain quickly when making your mix.
How do you know whether the drainage is adequate? A rule of thumb is that your soil should be dry within 1 to 1.5 days of watering. And we’re referring to it being dry. There was a dry bone.
Putting the soil in a container is the simplest way to determine how dry it is. By sticking your finger in the pot, you can insert it into the ground. It should feel like it’s dry and warm. You’re misinterpreting the sensation if you think it’s cool; it’s probably slightly damp.
If your plant has filled out the pot, it can be difficult to check the soil’s condition, and the roots could use more room. You may need to repot your succulent.
You could argue that the universe comprises two types of matter: organic matter and inorganic matter. In this context, organic matter refers to anything once alive but is no longer alive. It could be a natural death, or it could be in various stages of decomposition. Some examples are as below:
- Peat or sphagnum moss
- Decomposing plants or animals
- Coconut coir
- Leaf or bark shreds
Everything that was never alive is called organic matter. It merely means minerals in the case of dirt. Different clay, silt, and sand ratios make up the soil. You’ve got soil when you add organic and inorganic matter together.
The more organic matter is in the soil, the more water it holds.
Minor drainage and wetter soil are possible with more organic matter. The soil that the Succulent prefer has very little organic matter.
The roots need more space to breathe. It will make absorption of soil and nutrients easier, but it will also create a sustainable environment for beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
Non-Compacting and Breathable
It’s not good for succulents to be in sticky and compact soil. The roots don’t like it because it makes it difficult for the plant to breathe, and it retains water for long periods.
It’s true, but this sounds pretty weird. Plants that are brittle and unpleasant may be caused by the soil containing too much nitrogen. People don’t like goofy-looking plants, do they?
The Advantages of DIY Succulent Soil Mix
Succulent soil is a great way to add more life and color to your plants. By mixing your succulent soil, you can control the ingredients and ensure that your plants get the most beneficial nutrients. Here are some of the benefits of making your succulent soil mix:
- You can customize the mix to fit your specific needs.
- You can choose different ingredients to create a specifically designed mix for succulents.
- You can save money by making your mix instead of buying pre-made succulent soils.
- You can make sure that the ingredients in your succulent soil mix are safe for use with your plants.
Key Succulent Soil Factors
What are the key requirements for succulent soil?
First and foremost, succulent plants need well-drained soil. Succulent plants can’t tolerate soggy roots, so ensure the soil is always dry before watering. Secondly, succulents need sandy or loamy soils that are low in organic matter. Finally, make sure the pH is between 6 and 7.
What are some of the best ingredients for succulent soil?
One of the best ingredients for succulent soil is sand. Sandy soils tend to be better for growing succulents because they hold more moisture and nutrients than Clay soils. Other good ingredients for succulent soil include compost, bonemeal, dolomite lime, and oyster shell lime.
Be sure to mix all of these ingredients thoroughly before adding them to your garden bed.
Can I grow succulents in any type of soil?
Yes! Succulents can grow in any type of soil.
Organic Versus Mineral
Organic soil comprises organic matter such as decomposed plants and animals. On the other hand, Mineral soil is mostly composed of minerals such as clay and rocks.
Both soil types have pros and cons, but organic soils typically have a richer texture and are better for landscaping because they hold water better. They’re also more sustainable because they don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
If you want to start growing succulents in your garden, you must choose the right soil type. Here are some tips for choosing an organic or mineral soil:
- Look for soil that has been labeled organic or natural. Organic matter, such as decomposed plants and animals, is typically used to create these soils.
- If you can’t find organic soil, mix 50 percent organic soil with 50 percent regular soil. Just make sure to supplement with plenty of organic matter to compensate for the nutrients that the regular soil lacks.
- Before planting your succulents, check the pH of your soil. Succulent plants require a slightly acidic pH level (6.0-7.5) to thrive.
- Look for soil that is labeled as organic or natural. These soils are usually made from organic matter, such as decomposed plants and animals.
- If you have a hard time finding organic soil, you can try using a mix of 50% organic soil and 50% regular soil. Just be sure to add plenty of organic matter to make up for the missing nutrients from the regular soil.
- Check the pH level of your soil before planting your succulents. Succulent plants need a slightly acidic pH level (6.0-7.5) in order
Texture and Porosity
Soil texture results from soil particles’ size, shape, and arrangement. The size of soil particles ranges from 0.002 inches (0.05 mm) to 2 inches (50 mm). You can also describe soil texture in porosity, which measures how well soil allows water and air to move through it.
Soils with high porosity are more water-retentive, while soils with low porosity are more air-retentive.
When growing succulents in containers, you will want to use a soil mix that is relatively coarse with a high percentage of clay content. Clay aids in the uptake of water and nutrients and acts as a physical barrier to pests and diseases.
Additionally, clay soils are often less permeable, which means they hold water and nutrients better than soils that are too sandy or peaty.
When selecting a soil mix, you should also consider the type of succulents you are growing. Some succulents need soils that are very moist while others do not. Consult the attached grow guide for specific care guidelines for your succulent variety.
There are numerous succulent soil mix options available on the market.
It’s important to amend your potting soil with sand because Succulents grow best in porous sandy soils. I recommend buying coarse sand instead of the really good stuff to ensure fast drainage for succulents.
You never know what will be in the sand, so don’t use it in the garden, the beach, or a sandbox. If you don’t want to use turface or poultry grit, you could use something else. Please use them in this recipe. Sand is being added to the soil for cacti.
Perlite Or Pumice
There is a lightweight organic soil amendment called perlite. The white pieces look similar to Styrofoam in commercial mixes. Perlite helps add better drainage for succulents by keeping very little water in the soil. It helps the soil drain quicker, which we want for our potting soil.
You can buy perlite and pumice at any garden center or home improvement store.
Premium Perlite – Coarse and Chunky
Peat Moss vs. Coco Coir: Which Should You Use?
Similarities Of Peat Moss And Coconut Coir
Gardeners can get almost the same benefits from Peat Moss and coconut coir. Let’s talk about the benefits that one can get from them.
- Gardeners can use them for growing vegetables.
- They can keep the soil moist for a long period.
- It is possible to improve soil structure with coconut fiber and sphagnum moss.
- They are not as expensive and are readily available.
The following are some significant differences between peat moss and coconut coir:
- Peat moss has a greater capacity for water retention than coco coir.
- In hydroponics, coconut fiber or coco coir can be used as the sole growing medium.
- However, due to its lower pH level, sphagnum peat moss cannot be used as the sole medium (less than 5.5).
- Sphagnum moss is a nonrenewable resource, whereas coco peat is renewable and environmentally friendly.
- If dried out, coco coir can be reused; however, peat moss is nearly impossible to rehydrate once dried out.
- Because coconut coir absorbs water easily, it can shed water more effectively than peat moss.
Which One Is The Winner?
They are all excellent soil additives, but one stands out.
To begin with, coco peat is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly resource than peat moss.
Furthermore, the pH range of coconut coir is neutral, indicating that it is a good growing medium for most plants.
Coco can also be rehydrated and reused. It can be used by gardeners to grow plants in their garden soils.
Peat moss, on the other hand, has an acidic pH, making it unsuitable for plant growth. Furthermore, it is harmful to the environment.
Furthermore, as it dries, this material becomes hydrophobic.
As a result, we declare coconut fiber the winner due to its superior benefits and positive contribution to the ecosystem.
Soil Reviews and Recommendations
A comparison of some commercial succulent soils is provided here. We evaluated each for field capacity (the amount of water they can hold when saturated) and drying time. The plants should be grown in plastic or terracotta pots with drainage holes in the same indoor light conditions with moderate airflow.
There is no one-size-fits-all soil for every grower, and you can customize each of these options to meet your specific requirements.
Regular Potting Soil
Organic Potting Soil Mix
Drainage Grade: B
Regular potting soil isn’t ideal for easy succulent growing, but you can make it work with a few precautions. Potting soil primarily comprises organic materials such as bark, peat moss, and compost. It has a dense structure and takes a long time to dry.
If you only have regular potting soil, here’s how to make it work for succulents.
Choose the lightest mixture and avoid any that contain vermiculite or moisture-retaining crystals. Additionally, use a container with a drainage hole…or three. Finally, water less frequently to allow the mixture to dry.
To convert standard potting soil into rapidly draining succulent soil, combine it with mineral grit in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio.
Black Gold® Cactus Mix
Drainage Grade: C
With a name like “Cactus Mix,” we expected some drainage from this soil. While it initially drained excess water, it took the longest of all the samples tested for drying.
It contains some pumice for drainage, but it is mostly made of forest products, compost, and worm castings. Increasing the perlite content to 50% reduced the drying time by one day.
Black Gold Cactus Mix is not bad soil. It could be the ideal soil for hot-climate pots, thinner-leaved succulents like hardy Sedum, or growers who forget to water. Those looking for truly rapid drainage, on the other hand, may want to look elsewhere.
Miracle-Gro® Cactus Palm & Citrus
Drainage Grade: B
This blend contains an organic base of forest products, peat moss, sand, and perlite.
It drains well and contains a small amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus—enough to promote growth but not enough to burn sensitive plants.
After the soil has completely dried, the peat makes it somewhat difficult to rehydrate (more on that below).
This is a good, standard mix for growers who know when to water a container of succulents. Those who over-water or grow low-water plants such as cacti should make changes. By combining it with an equal volume of mineral materials, you can transform it into grade-A soil.
Bonsai Jack Succulent & Cactus Soil
Bonsai Jack Succulent & Cactus Soil
Drainage Grade: A+
This soil is out of this world in terms of price and performance. It is only available online, and the shipping cost is included in the price. It comprises calcined clay and fine pine bark particles, distinguishing it from the other tested products.
This super light, the gritty blend has massive pores that prevent it from retaining too much water. When your plants are in a pot with drainage holes, it is nearly impossible to overwater them.
It’s well worth the price for succulent newcomers, cactus growers, or plant parents who occasionally overwater.
Succulent Soil Mix DIY – Easy Tutorials To Follow Anywhere, Anytime
What To Prepare:
- To protect yourself from anything sharp, wear gardening gloves (just in case)
- To make things easier, use measuring cups.
- A trowel is simply a fancy word for a small shovel.
- a bucket, a pail, or a plastic container
- Typical gardening soil
- To incorporate perlite or pumice into the soil mix
- You should also add coarse sand to the soil mix.
How To Make Succulent Soil Step-by-step
It’s enjoyable to make your succulent mix at home or the office. You get to choose how grainy you want it (if you care about the aesthetics).
It’s also less expensive than the regular commercial cacti mix. And did it mention how simple the procedure is?
There are numerous recipes for creating succulent soil.
However, we’ll stick with the basic procedure that is super effective and works every time for this guide!
The Ratio To Make Quality Succulent Potting Soil
Two parts sand, two parts gardening soil, and one part perlite or pumice is the best combination of the three elements. In cups, this equals 3 cups of sand, 3 cups of soil, and 1.5 cups of perlite or pumice.
Pumice or perlite are helpful to promote proper airflow and drainage. Pumice is particularly effective at retaining nutrients and moisture. You can use either or combine the two ingredients to make a rich potting mix.
Sand, on the other hand, makes the potting mix less compact and increases drainage.
The primary function of gardening soil is to provide nutrients to succulents.
It’s time to get started.
Let's Make The Best Soil For Succulents
Please put on your gardening gloves, and let’s get started!
Begin by lightly moistening the garden soil to keep dust from entering the bucket or mixing container. After that, add the sand and thoroughly mix it in. It is more effective to do this with your hands.
Finally, add the perlite or pumice. Please vigorously stir until the mixture is ready.
Excellent work! You’ve just created your first succulent soil!
We told you it was simple.
It’s simply a matter of knowing which ingredients to include in your succulent soil to allow your succulent to grow to its full potential.
This soil is suitable for potting, repotting, and storing for future use.
You can always get lovely premixed soils if you don’t feel like mixing your own.
Tip: Avoid getting the soil too wet before potting the succulents.
You can resume normal watering once the soil has completely dried out.
For long-term growth, use pots with drainage holes.
You can drill holes in non-draining pots, but a layer of rocks at the bottom will not provide drainage. It forms large pockets in which water collects and bacteria breed.
If you don’t water carefully, even the best succulent soil in the world won’t prevent rot in a non-draining container.
Outdoor Soil for Succulent Landscaping
Succulents planted in the ground have less stringent soil requirements than container plantings. Landscape succulents would benefit from a gritty, sandy loam with a gravel mulch.
The nature of outdoor conditions, on the other hand, allows you to get away with less-than-perfectly draining soil.
The main reason for this is that outdoor plants have more soil volume and receive more sunlight and airflow than indoor plants. This evaporatively removes water from the soil, allowing it to dry faster and reducing the occurrence of rot and disease.
Mounding the soil into berms or raised beds improves drainage without changing the soil structure. Creating a sloping topography increases the surface area exposed to the sun and wind while allowing gravity to do some drainage work. It also increases visual interest.
If properly watered, most raised outdoor soils can support succulents. Heavy clay soils are the one exception. Because the clay saturates easily with standing water, it is not recommended for succulent planting.
To amend clay soil, massive amounts of sand are required. Choosing a different location for your succulents or growing them in containers is often easier.
Why not integrate peat moss into succulent soil?
When peat dries, it becomes hydrophobic, which means it repels water. To fully saturate the soil and rehydrate dry peat, gradual soaking is required.
Because succulents soil must completely dry between waterings, it isn’t easy to drench the succulent roots grown in peat quickly.
Sustainability in the Environment
In addition to being unsuitable for succulent watering, peat is a less sustainable option than coconut coir. Peat is harvested from Sphagnum moss wetlands that decompose slowly over hundreds to thousands of years. Peat does not form quickly, and the destruction of peat bogs results in the loss of a significant global carbon sink.
On the other hand, coir is a fibrous byproduct of the husking of coconuts. Because coconuts regenerate much faster than peat bogs, coir is a more sustainable product that uses massive amounts of what would otherwise be a waste product. Check out “Coir is a Sustainable Alternative to Peat” for more reasons to choose coir over peat (Oregon State University).
Is Coir Right for You?
If you think about adding Organic Garden coir to your succulent garden, you should know a few things. Coir is a byproduct of the coconut industry that has numerous gardening benefits. Here are four compelling reasons to utilize coir in your succulent garden:
- Coir is an excellent soil amendment because it retains moisture and nutrients.
- Coir is a natural drainer and helps keep your garden free from waterlogging.
- Coir is eco-friendly because it doesn’t require irrigation or fertilizer.
- Coir is resistant to pests and diseases and is ideal for succulent plants.
Succulent Soil Recap
Making your succulent soil is the most important part of having a successful garden. Succulent plants require a specific soil heavy in organic matter and contain several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Unfortunately, most people don’t have access to premium potting soil or other gardening soils, which means they have to create their mix.
It would be best if you considered a few things when making your succulent soil mix:
- Make sure the ingredients are free from chemicals and fertilizers.
- Choose a suitable mixture for the succulents you’re growing.
- Add the ingredients gradually to avoid over-watering or overwatering your plants.
- Always keep your succulent soil mix moist but not soggy.
- Fertilize your succulent plants every few months with a high-quality fertilizer designed for succulents.
There are many different types of soil for succulents, and they are all different. The ingredients in each type of soil are different, so you’ll need to experiment with them to find the best one for your succulents.
We’ve answered some of the most common questions about succulent gardening, so be sure to read through them before starting your garden project.
We hope you find it useful.
Here are some FAQs about growing succulents in succulent soil:
The amount of organic matter you add to your succulent soil mix will depend on the type of succulents you are growing. For example, a cactus needs more organic matter than a flowering succulent. You should aim for 3 parts organic matter to 1 part mineral soil.
Succulent plants require trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sulfur. You can find these minerals at most garden stores. Add 1 teaspoon of each mineral per quart of soil mix.
Adding water to your succulent soil mix will help it retain moisture and improve the texture. However, too much water can cause roots to rot. Follow the instructions on the package