Succulent Soil – The Best Potting Soil Mix for Succulent Plants

A blend of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite makes succulent soil. Succulent plants need a special potting soil, unlike ordinary plants, which prefer to grow indoors or out. Succulents prefer a good drainage soil that retains little moisture. You may buy commercial succulent soil, but making your own is considerably easier and cheaper.

Succulent soil mixes are ideal potting media. Succulents and cacti flourish best in a fast-drying potting soil. A combination with excellent drainage and low moisture retention is created by adding enough inorganic matter to the soil. Water drains quickly from pots in a light, porous, sandy soil blend, allowing your succulents to flourish both indoors and out.

Succulents and cactus plants are prone to root rot, hence the need for a sandy soil mix. Succulent roots store moisture in their fleshy leaves by quickly absorbing it from the aerated, porous soil. When growing succulents indoors or outdoors, excessively moist rich soil creates significant care concerns.

The best succulent soil mix is explained in this guide. A easy way to make a succulent potting mix is also included in the article. It might come as a surprise to you how simple it is to make your own succulent mix.

What Is the Best Type of Soil for Succulents?

It should be well-draining, have 1/2 to 2/3 inorganic matter, and be porous, light, and airy. Amend your regular potting soil with at least 50 percent inorganic matter to create a succulent soil. Succulent soil is light and airy, allowing water to drain freely, thanks to ingredients such as coarse sand, perlite, or pumice.

Crushed granite, tiny gravel chips, aquarium gravel, and poultry grit are some other inorganic components that you might try in your succulent soil mix. As long as it creates the succulent soil porous, light, and airy, it doesn’t matter which one you pick. For optimum results, make sure that the inorganic content of the succulent soil blend is 1/2 to 2/3.

Why Regular Potting Soil is Bad for Succulents

Since it retains too much moisture, conventional potting soil is unsuitable for succulents. Organic material, such as bark, compost, and peat moss, make up the majority of plant potting soil. Succulents cannot thrive in a thick structure of organic matter because drainage is not possible. Succulents start to rot in moisture, despite the fact that their roots need watering from time to time. Succulents can’t survive when the roots rot, and the fleshy plants die.

Regular potting soil can also compact quickly due to compaction. The soil holds more moisture and takes longer to dry as it becomes more dense. Succulents grow best in damp, soggy soil.

The Best Soil for Succulents

A combination of one-part inorganic matter and one-part organic matter (2/3 inorganic matter and 1/3 organic matter) is best for DIY succulent soil mix. Use regular potting soil to make the perfect succulent blend. Next, to create the ideal succulent soil mix, add perlite and coarse sand for drainage.

Any potting mixture for succulents must include some organic matter. Plant nutrients may be found in peat moss, bark chips, or compost. Organic material’s moisture-retaining capabilities, on the other hand, may be harmful to succulent plant development.

Aerateing soil with inorganic ingredients is the finest approach to convert ordinary potting soil into a suitable succulent blend. You let more air into the soil and the water drains quicker by amendmenting it with perlite, pumice, gravel, or sand. The native habit where succulents grow is best mimicked by sandy soil with good drainage.

Common Ingredients in DIY Succulent Potting Soil Mix

A combination of ordinary potting soil, perlite (or pumice), and coarse sand is used in the best succulent potting soil recipes. The inorganic to organic matter ratio (2/3 inorganic and 1/3 organic matter) should be approximately 2:1 for the homemade potting succulent mix.

The optimum medium for cultivating succulents is created by combining these substances. Let’s explore why less potting soil and more sand are required in the right succulent combination. The following are the components of homemade succulent soil:

Regular potting soil

Organic matter, which gives nutrients to plants, and inorganic matter are both present in most regular potting soil sold in garden shops. As long as the soil is sterile and new, you may buy any type of plant potting soil. You then make a light, porous blend for succulents by amending the plant soil with inorganic materials. Remember to avoid using soil from your own garden because it might be harboring pests.

Gnats, mites, bugs, and other nasties are the last thing your houseplant succulents need to grow in a potting soil. You may start with ordinary potting soil as the foundation, then add perlite or coarse sand to create the finest sort of well-draining succulent soil.

Perlite or pumice

Perlite is a naturel soil additive that helps create the perfect soil for succulents. Perlite is a kind of volcanic substance that resembles little Styrofoam balls. The natural porous material improves soil drainage and prevents compaction, making it much lighter than other materials.

You may utilize perlite for cultivating succulent plants organically, despite the fact that it is an inorganic material. Since it isn’t derived from a living substance, perlite is considered inorganic. There are no chemicals or synthetic materials used during the manufacturing process.

Pumice is a porous material that makes excellent succulent potting soil. A hard, solid sponge might resemble this volcanic stuff. The finest kind of soil for growing succulents and cacti is created by adding pumice to potting soil. Pumice, like perlite, does not degrade in the soil.

The fact that perlite or pumice are ideal soil amendments is another reason to choose them for your succulent potting mix. Perlite and pumice are useful for retaining moisture in sandy soils. The porous chips, on the other hand, aid in soil density reduction and drainage improvement in thick clay soil.

For a succulent potting soil blend, perlite is the best option. Perlite is optimum for soil amendment because of its lower cost over pumice. Perlite is available at most garden shops, as well as online and home improvement shops.

Coarse sand

A suitable potting mix for succulents requires coarse sand. To give succulent plants the best growing medium, horticultural coarse sand breaks up thick potting soil. Sterile, coarse sand is the finest option for your succulent mix. As a result, avoid using beach sand, sandbox sand, or any other comparable products. It’s impossible to know what kind of plant bugs may be hiding there, ready to damage your prized plants, just like with garden soil.

Succulent sand may be purchased in bags, which are specially made. Coarse sand for cacti, bonsai trees, and succulents may be found at garden shops or online. Alternatives like poultry grit, aquarium gravel, or crushed granite may be used if coarse sand is not available to add to your succulent mix. All you need is an inorganic material that allows water to drain freely from the soil.

How to Make Succulent Soil Mix – DIY Recipe

While the soil is well-draining, making your own succulent soil mix ensures that your succulents get all of the nutrients they need. All you need is a bowl, a spatula, and three ingredients.

For making delicious soil, follow these steps:

  • 2 parts regular potting soil
  • 1 part horticultural sand
  • 1 part perlite

This delicious soil mixt for cactus plants is simple to modify. Add one extra part of sand and one extra part of perlite to the succulent mix to create the optimum potting soil for cacti. For growing cacti, a very porous combination with rapid drainage is ideal.

How to mix potting soil for growing succulents

Place all of the ingredients into a large bucket to make your own cactus and succulent soil. thoroughly mix the soil/organic matter, sand, and perlite with a trowel or spade. You can plant your succulents in pots or an outdoor succulent garden after the soil has been evenly mixed.

A few comments about the DIY succulent soil

Inorganic components such as perlite or vermiculite are already present in regular potting soil. As a consequence, since some of the inorganic ingredients are already included in the potting mix, the succulent soil mix will contain more than 2 parts. As a result, you don’t have to add more inorganic matter to the recipe than what is already there.

Then add more parts of inorganic ingredients to the soil mix if you don’t use regular potting soil but instead use pure organic matter like compost or coconut coir. Use 1 part perlite, 1 part coarse sand, and 1 part pure organic matter. With 1 part organic matter and 2 parts inorganic ingredients, this will create a succulent soil.

Outdoor Soil for Succulents

Succulent plants need sandy, permeable soil with excellent drainage to thrive outdoors. Unless your soil has a poor drainage, such as clay soil, succulents that grow in the ground don’t usually need too much soil amendment. The sun evaporates moisture quickly and provides better air flow for outdoor succulents.

A rock garden with berms is the optimum way to grow succulent plants outdoors. Natural drainage is provided by succulents growing on these elevated beds. By working coarse sand and perlite into the bed, you may also create loamy soil. If you have clay or deep soil, growing succulents in pots outdoors is the best option.

Changing clay garden soil with sand and perlite might be too difficult. As a result, an big terracotta pot is often the best option for growing an outdoor succulent garden.

The Best Potting Soil Mix for Succulents to Purchase

You can buy ready-made succulent soil if you don’t want to make your own homemade potting mix. Suitable succulent soil mixes are as follows:

Superfly Bonsai — Succulents and cactus plants grow best in this potting soil. To deliver nutrients and drainage, the special formula employs pine bark, pumice, and lightweight expanded clay chips.

rePotme succulent blend mix — For cultivating cacti or succulents, this is an fantastic selection. The succulent potting mix has the greatest porous characteristics, with ground coconut husk acting as a soil replacement and perlite and pumice.

How to Choose the Best Pots for Succulents

Succulent plants need drainage holes in their best pots. The pot’s bottom is waterproof, while the base of the pot has holes that allow excess moisture to pour out. To prevent soggy, moist succulent soil, drill a hole in the bottom of a non-draining pot. Don’t put a layer of rocks in a non-draining vessel by mistake.

Bacteria flourish in the bottom of the pool as water collects. Diseased roots develop as a consequence, and your succulents will most likely perish. If your plants are sitting in waterlogged soil, even the best succulent soil won’t protect them from root rot.

Succulent pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as seen below:

  • Terracotta or clay pots succulent pots are the finest choices. The potting mix can breathe more easily and soil can dry out quicker because of the porous material.
  • Plastic pots Potted succulent plants are the cheapest options. Your succulents, on the other hand, prefer to retain moisture, so you’ll have to water them carefully.
  • Glazed ceramic pots Since they are good at retaining moisture, they are comparable to plastic containers. For ideal outcomes, make sure there’s a drainage hole.

When to Plant a Succulent in a New Potting Soil Mix

To ensure proper growth, care for your succulents right away after purchasing them by planting them in a new potting soil mix. Succulents are rarely sold in ideal soil, and the potting mix can’t be determined how fresh or sterile it is. Your plants have the best chance of surviving if you replace the moist soil.

A succulent might be rootbound, therefore it’s another reason to repot it in a new potting soil. Succulent roots are often overflowing small pots when purchased. As a result, it is recommended to move the succulent to a new pot every time in order to encourage healthy development.

Little succulents in peat-based compost are frequently offered by garden centers and nurseries. Young succulents may thrive in a peat soil mixture while they are young, but they won’t develop properly. Root rot and poor development are common problems with this dense growing medium.

Remember, at home, creating the finest succulent soil mix is simple. By planting succulents as soon as possible after purchasing them, you can minimize the risk of disease, encourage robust, thick leaves, and prolong plant life.

How to Transplant a Succulent in a New Potting Soil

Every two years, repot succulents. You may refresh the potting mix and expand the size of your pots by transferring succulent plants. The nutrient content in the soil is boosted when repotting using a succulent mix. In the beginning of the growing season in spring, repot succulents when they are vigorous.

Transplanting a succulent is simple, as shown below:

  1. Remove the succulent plant from its present container.
  2. Remove dead or dying roots by shaking off the soil from around them.
  3. Fill with the optimum potting soil mixture after transplanting to a new pot.

How to Water Succulents

Drenching the soil and allowing it to dry is the best technique to watering potted succulent plants. Add enough water to the pot until it runs out from the bottom. Let the rest of the water run out. Once the soil potting mix dries, water the succulent again. Every two to three days, the finest succulent potting soil mix should dry out. Succulents, on the other hand, need less water more often.

Don’t water plants on a set schedule, as this is a common mistake. Make sure the soil is completely dry before you soak it. Washing frequency is influenced by a variety of factors, including temperature, humidity, season, pot type, and plant species.

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants. Succulents should be watered every ten to fourteen days, according to some experts. You’ll know if watering succulents this often is sufficient in time. You may have to water the plant more often in the summer, for example. However, your succulent only needs minimal watering in the winter.

When watering potted succulents at home, here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:

  • Only water the potting soil mix, not the fleshy succulent leaves.
  • Succulent leaves should not be sprayed or misted.
  • Always give deep watering using the “soak and dry” technique.
  • Succulents favor dry, arid potting soil over wet potting soil.

It’s seldom a problem watering succulents when they’re outdoors. Because of the bigger ground surface, warm sun, and circulation, the area where succulents are growing dries out faster.

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