Can You Reuse Succulent Soil

The potential of giving a new plant the same issues that killed the old one when using dead succulent soil is high. But the potting soil from your deceased succulent should be as good as fresh as long as the nutrients are added and the soil is cleaned to get rid of any infections.

How often should succulent soil be changed?

No, is the response. When a plant is dormant, it is still alive but not actively growing. Repotting them at risk could interfere with their growth cycle and do some damage to your succulents. Since most succulents become dormant in the summer or the winter, spring and fall are ideal times to undertake some repotting. Repotting winter-dormant succulents in the spring will give them time to adjust to the new pot and soil before growth season, whereas repotting summer-dormant succulents in the fall.

To ensure the soil is new and rich and that the plant has adequate room to grow, you should typically repot your succulents every two years. Another vital aspect you should consider is timing. Repotting should be done during the plant’s active growth period, which is typically spring or summer, to minimize damage to the plant and increase its chances of surviving.

What is the lifespan of succulent soil?

If you use outdated potting soil, your plants’ growth may differ. The following characteristics of the soil may alter, even if you stored it properly:

  • nutrients present (affecting plant growth)
  • Moisture
  • Texture

This does not imply that the potting soil is useless; rather, it only indicates that the plants will respond to it slightly differently than they would to potting soil that is brand-new. By incorporating nutrients into your old potting soil, you can fix this. In a moment, we’ll get into more detail about this.

If you keep bagged potting soil on your shelves, you should expect it to last one to two years in unopened bags and about six months in opened bags before it starts to deteriorate. For specifics, check your bag—it might have a best by date.

Can soil with roots still be used?

Can you replant vegetables in a container using the same soil? You can reuse soil in containers for vegetables. To make sure the soil is ready for usage, however, the same procedures as above should be followed.

Can I surround older trees with used potting soil? Absolutely! It’s a fantastic technique to recycle old dirt. Just be careful not to add too much around the tree’s base as this could lead to issues in the future.

Is it acceptable to put herbs in petunia plant soil? Yes, this is a fantastic approach to rotate the soil-grown crops.

Can plants benefit from coffee grounds? Only few plant species, like azaleas, tolerate high levels of acidity, but coffee grinds can be utilized to enrich the soil with nutrients. Therefore, take care not to add too much.

Can soil that has roots be recycled? You can indeed reuse dirt that has roots in it. But make an effort to get rid of as many as you can. Particularly the larger roots still present. It shouldn’t be detrimental to leave a few smaller ones.

Do you dispose of used potting soil? The laws in your area will determine this. Generally speaking, we advise using the soil again in a compost pile, established flower bed, or garden. A small amount of old soil is accepted by some trash businesses. Apartment dwellers frequently experience this issue because they lack an outdoor location to dispose of the used soil.

Can rotting root soil be used again? Before using the soil again, we advise sanitizing it. This will guarantee that no fungus or illnesses were developing in the soil as the roots rotted. Mix the sterilized dirt 50/50 with fresh potting soil. Additionally, confirm that the container you’re using has drainage holes.

Can I use moldy potting soil? No, using potting soil that has mold growing in it is not something we advise. Drying the soil and sterilizing the potting soil are necessary. It should then be safe to use once more. Reusing it would be too dangerous given that the mold may harm the plants if it spread.

Potting soil can it go bad? Yes, even when left unused, potting soil only lasts for two to three years on average. This is so because within that time the peat moss there has broken down. By checking at the expiration date on the bag, you can determine if it has gone bad. If the dirt smells awful, like rotting eggs, it is another method to tell. Another indicator is mold, but it can also appear as perlite in the soil, making it more difficult to detect. It’s okay if you still want to use the used potting soil. But to make sure the soil will be the greatest for the plants, you will need to add fertilizers to it.

How should potting soil be kept? The soil should be kept out of direct sunlight, sources of high humidity, and sources of moisture. It is preferable to store it in a closed container or in the original sealed bag.

You can divide the soil into two different containers if you cultivate both food and aesthetic plants. This will lessen the risk of infections spreading from one year to the next. With this approach, you can switch up how you use the soil every year. So the next year, annual plants will be grown in the soil that was used to grow tomatoes. In a similar manner as farmers rotating crops in the field, this helps prevent the soil from becoming nutrient deficient in a certain location. To store the used potting soil, you can use anything, including heavy-duty plastic bags, trash cans, and metal containers.

My succulent died after being replanted; why?

Transplant shock is the cause of your succulent’s death after being replanted. The stress of a new environment can cause succulents to droop, turn yellow, brown, or black, and eventually die back when they are repotted because of the contrast in the soil medium, moisture levels, and lighting conditions.

Succulents are adaptive and develop adapted to a certain set of conditions, so when they are unexpectedly repotted or relocated to a different location, they frequently show indications of stress.

When repotting, should old soil be removed?

Although repotting houseplants may seem like a straightforward process, there is always a chance that the plants won’t thrive in their new environment. Making sure the plant’s roots are free of old dirt can prevent transplant shock.

When repotting, removing the old soil from the roots will eliminate salt buildup and guarantee that the roots are surrounded by fresh soil that is rich in minerals and nutrients. Before repotting, exposing the roots will provide a chance for root sterilization to get rid of any unwanted fungus or disease.

Plants growing in containers need to be occasionally replanted to maintain their health. Both the right time to repot a plant and the right way to do it safely should be understood.

How many times can potting soil be recycled?

Reusing potting soil is generally acceptable as long as the plant you were growing in it was robust. It’s best to sterilize the mix if you did find bugs or diseases on your plants in order to prevent contaminating the plants for the following year. First, clean the old potting soil of any roots, grubs, leaves, or other trash. The optimum strategy for eradicating insects and germs should then be chosen.

Solarizing is one method of soil sterilisation. It entails placing used potting soil in tightly sealed black plastic bags or lidded five-gallon buckets ($9, The Home Depot) and letting them sit in the sun for 4-6 weeks. Just enough heat is generated inside the buckets or bags to destroy germs and insects.

Old potting soil can also be sterilized in your oven. It should be baked for 30 minutes at 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in an oven-safe pan with foil covering. (I once tried it, but I didn’t care for the earthy fragrance it produced.) A candy or meat thermometer ($22, Williams Sonoma) should be used to regularly monitor the soil’s temperature to ensure that it stays below 200 degrees. Toxins can be liberated at higher temperatures. When it’s finished, remove the dirt from the oven and cover it while it cools.

Another choice is to microwave. Put quart-sized, microwaveable containers with used, damp potting soil in them. Wrap them in microwave-safe lids. Never use foil that you may puncture for ventilation or leave cracked to let steam out. For every two pounds of dirt, heat for about 90 seconds at maximum intensity. Before utilizing the soil, take out the containers, tape over the vent holes, and allow the soil cool completely.

How can outdated potting soil be recycled?

What is the simplest way to recycle used potting soil? Just take out the old plants from their containers, stir the dirt, and plant new ones. You might need to mix in 50% new potting soil and/or fertilizer if you’ve been using the same soil for a number of years or if it’s formed a white surface crust. (See below, “How to Reduce Risks.”)

You don’t have to use potting soil in only your flowerpots, of course. The following areas are other advantages for employing them.

Should the soil for succulents be loose or tight?

Loam and organic materials are therefore particularly poor candidates for succulents. Since they are susceptible to root rot, succulents don’t like to dwell in moist circumstances for extended periods of time.

Although root rot can affect any plant, succulents are more susceptible than others. They have evolved to survive in arid environments where moisture doesn’t linger for very long. If the rain doesn’t evaporate quickly enough, their roots will drown as they hungrily cling to every drop.

The illness of root rot itself is intriguing. In addition to their leaves, plants also breathe through their roots (or more). That is why having loose, aerated soil is so crucial. Therefore, it seems sense that not much air would be passing through while the soil and roots were drenched. They have a limited amount of air holding capacity.

Roots die if it doesn’t dry out. At that time, it is almost impossible to rescue the plant because the rot has spread up through the stem. For succulents, we always use fast-draining soil.

How is potting soil sterilised for reuse?

Garden soil can be sterilised at home in a number of methods. They include of heating the soil in the oven or microwave as well as steaming (with or without a pressure cooker).

Sterilizing Soil with Steam

One of the finest methods for sterilizing potting soil is steaming, which should be carried out for at least 30 minutes or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees F. (82 C.). Using a pressure cooker or not, steaming is an option.

Pour several cups of water into the pressure cooker if you’re using one, and then set shallow pans of flat soil on top of the rack that are no deeper than 4 inches (10 cm). Wrap foil around each pan. Close the lid, but keep the steam valve slightly ajar so that it can eventually be shut and heated at 10 pounds of pressure for 15 to 30 minutes.

It should be noted that nitrate-rich soil or manure should never be sterilized under pressure because doing so could result in an explosive mixture.

If a pressure cooker is not being used, add about an inch (2.5 cm) of water to the sterilizing vessel before setting the soil-filled pans (wrapped in foil) on a rack over the water. Just enough of the lid should be left open to minimize pressure buildup as you close the cover and bring the pot to a boil. After the steam escapes, let it boil for an additional 30 minutes. After the earth has cooled, remove it (for both methods). Till you are ready to use it, leave the foil on.

Sterilizing Soil with an Oven

You may also use the oven to sterilize soil. Put some soil in an oven-safe container, such as a glass or metal baking pan, covered with foil, about 4 inches (10 cm) deep. Bake for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil temperature reaches 180 degrees F, with a meat (or candy) thermometer inserted in the center (82 C.). Anything above that can release poisons. Take out of the oven, let cool, and keep the foil in place until you’re ready to use it.

Sterilizing Soil with a Microwave

The microwave can also be used to sterilize soil. For the microwave, damp soil should be placed in clean, lidded quart-sized containers that are microwave-safe (no foil). On the lid, drill a few ventilation holes. For every few pounds, heat the soil for roughly 90 seconds at maximum output. Note: Larger microwaves typically have room for multiple containers. Before using, let these cool while covering the vent holes with tape.

A polypropylene bag can also be filled with 2 pounds (1 kg) of moist soil as an alternative. Place this in a microwave and leave the top open to allow for ventilation. 2 to 2 1/2 minutes of full power heating the soil (650 watt oven). Before removing the bag, seal it and give it time to cool.

How can soil be made sterile?

Depending on how much substrate you have to deal with and how quickly you need the operation to be completed, you must decide whether to steam sterilize your soil or heat sterilize it. Based on their heat source, the four popular techniques of heat sterilization—boiling water or steam, a home oven, a microwave, or solar energy—differ.


Large volumes of soil, especially entire gardens or fields, are frequently sterilized using the sun’s natural heat. The fundamental idea behind solarization is that soil is coated with several layers of plastic and exposed to the sun for a period of time. This raises the temperature of the soil and kills off undesirable pathogens, weed seeds, and pests.

There are several methods that solarization can be used to sterilize an object. Which option you choose depends on your preferences and budget but both yield the same outcomes.

To capture the sun’s energy, large gardens or fields are covered with plastic.

To capture solar energy, greater amounts of soilless potting mix are distributed between the bottom and top layers of plastic.

Smaller amounts of potting soil or mineral soil are put in plastic bags and left to dry in the sun.

There are certain benefits and drawbacks depending on the kind and thickness of plastic used for sterilizing.

Black plastic is not the best choice for solarization; clear or translucent plastic is. Unlike clear plastic, which absorbs all sun energy, black plastic reflects some of it.

Better heating is possible with thinner (1 mil) plastic, but it is more prone to tearing from wind or animals. Where there is wind, medium thickness plastic (1.5 to 2 mils) performs well. Only use thick plastic (4 mils or more) in restricted spaces.

Whatever precise solarization technique you use and whatever kind of plastic you decide on, the same fundamental processes should be followed.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of the heat treatment, early preparation is crucial whether working with potting soil from containers or mineral soil. Start by removing all plant debris and breaking up any clods.

When using potting soil, place the bottom layer of plastic down first, then spread the top layer of potting mix out evenly while staying at least 6 inches away from the plastic’s edges.

Sprinkle water on the substrate to give it a gentle mist. Garden soil needs to be wetted down to a 12-inch depth.

Put a layer of plastic over the previously spread-out garden soils and potting mixtures. Pull the plastic firmly across the soil’s surface, and secure the edges with rocks or soil. If using plastic bags, put soil inside, seal them up, and place them in a sunny area of the yard.

The soil should be sterilized after four to six weeks of solarization during the hottest season of the year. Eight to ten weeks of solarization may be required in regions with cooler, windier, or cloudier conditions.

Many beneficial soil organisms are thought to be able to either resist solarization or swiftly recolonize the soil afterward. It is believed that earthworms migrate to colder regions deeper in the soil profile. As a result, the soil is sterilized and swiftly recolonized with advantageous soil organisms and useful earthworms.

Boiling water or steam

Your soil can be effectively sterilized using steam. Both a pressure cooker and one without one can be used. Make sure to abide by any safety instructions provided by the manufacturer if using a pressure cooker.

Place the rack inside the pressure cooker after adding a few glasses of water.

Place heat-resistant containers with no more than 4 inches of soil in each on the rack over the water.

Place the pressure cooker’s cover on top while leaving the steam valve slightly ajar to allow steam to vent before pressure builds.

Process the dirt for 15 to 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure after the steam valve shuts.

Before removing the lid, disconnect the pot from the heat source and wait for the pressure to totally drop.

In order to set up your steam container, fill the bottom of a non-pressure cooker with about an inch or two of water, then put a rack in the bottom of the sterilizing container.

Put a lid on the container, leaving a small crack in it to stop steam from accumulating.

Before removing containers, remove them from the heat source and wait for the temperature to fall.


If you need to process small to medium amounts of soil, sterilizing it in the oven is a safer alternative to microwave or boiling water/steam sterilization. However, keep in mind that when the sterilization process takes place, your kitchen will likely smell awful. When you can get enough ventilation by opening windows and doors, it’s ideal to do this.

Mix in just the right amount of water to completely hydrate the soil without over- or under-wetting it. A surplus of water will significantly slow the operation down. As it is driven off, the water is necessary to produce steam.

Place the containers in an oven that has been preheated to 200°F and cover the tops with aluminum foil.

Use your thermometer to check the soil’s interior temperature. Allow it to “bake” for 30 minutes when it reaches 180F without opening the oven door.


If you only have a tiny bit of dirt to work with, using the microwave to sterilize it is a smart alternative. Make sure there is no metal in the soil by giving it a thorough inspection before putting it in the microwave.

Put around two pounds of damp soil inside a fresh plastic bag with a zip-top closure. When you crush a handful of soil, it should hold together in a clump without becoming soggy or runny.

Until the soil’s centre reaches a temperature of between 180°F and 200°F, microwave on high. Depending on how strong your microwave is, this process could take a while.

Carefully take the food out of the microwave, secure the bag, and put it in a cooler to keep it cool until the temperature returns to normal.