Do You Need Soil For Succulents

Regular potting soil from your yard won’t work for succulents since they need soil that drains. Select cactus soil or potting soil that has been mixed with sand, pumice, or perlite. Be gentle when repotting because succulent roots are extremely brittle.

Succulents can be grown without soil.

Because they can retain water in their leaves, succulents can grow without soil. As a result, they may go for extended periods of time without having access to surface moisture.

But in order to do so, they need to have access to a sizable quantity of water and nutrients from the environment.

Succulents can typically grow in rocks without soil or water. The goal is to have a rock that makes it simple for water and nutrients to absorb.

The inability to continuously providing succulents with what they require when they are grown in rocks without soil is one potential drawback.

There are several advantages to soil, such as the provision of air spaces that can absorb excess moisture or dryness more effectively than would be possible with merely rocks.

Because there are no open spots on top where insects could enter and destroy this plant’s root structure, it also safeguards against pests and illnesses.

Another problem with growing succulents in rocks devoid of soil is that they might not be able to resist drastic changes in weather.

When there are no other plants nearby to provide shade, this plant has nothing to shield it from environmental variables like wind or water that could blow sand into its leaves.

We advise staying with potting soil unless you are certain of the environment your succulent will thrive in.

It offers all the advantages required for this kind of plant, which cannot be achieved by just utilizing rocks as a substitute.

How To Grow Succulents | Succulent Plant Care Info

Sempervivum, Jovibaraba, and Sedum are winter-hardy plants that can grow in zones 3–9.


The majority of succulent species require from half a day to a full day of direct sunlight. It is advised to find some afternoon shade in particularly hot places. Succulents planted in excessive shadow will extend outward in search of more sunlight. Enough sunlight will help succulents grow into gorgeous, vibrant plants.


Plants should be gently removed from their containers and planted, making that the soil level is maintained at the same depth as it was in the container.

Keep in mind that most of our plants came straight from the cold frames where they were shielded from the harsh sun and drying winds. For the first week, give your plants and garden décor some shade and cover to gradually adapt them. Every few days, extend the length of the day by a few hours. This will make it possible for a smooth transition.

A layer of pebbles or pea gravel sprinkled on the soil surrounding the plant will be beneficial to your succulents. Additionally, it is highly ornamental.


Succulents require soil with good drainage. Make sure the place has good drainage and is not in a low region that would remain wet before planting in the garden. You can buy cactus soil for container gardening or add sand, gravel, or volcanic rock to your potting soil for enhanced drainage. You should have a drainage hole in the container you are using for planting, or you can fill the bottom of the container with crushed rock before adding the planting medium. Spreading gravel or tiny pebbles on top of the ground can add a lot of style.


After planting, water the area thoroughly and wait a short while before watering again. Wet feet bother succulents, who don’t like them. Water whatever you do thoroughly. They will require less water once they are established.


Succulents generally require relatively little fertilizer. During the growing season, they only require monthly watering and a balanced fertilizer.


Each type of sedum blooms at a different period and in a variety of pink, red, and yellow hues.

After the second or third year, Sempervivums will flower. From the middle of the main rosette, which has a cluster of flowers, a flower stalk will emerge. Sempervivum blooms are open, starry, and typically pink. They are carried above the plant on a stem with several blossoms. Fortunately, there are always chicks born earlier from the base that grow in a ring around the mother plant to continue for subsequent years. The monocarpic crown that generates the flower head dies off after flowering. Twist the stalk off gently once the blossom fades, then plant a chick where it was.

Winter maintenance:

Typically, established succulents in the garden do not require winter protection. Snow frequently provides protection for chilly locations. Balsam boughs can be used as a light winter mulch in cold climates without snow cover, but this is typically not necessary.


When your plants are delivered, gently open the package as soon as possible. Once you have unpacked your things, water your plants properly and let them drain well because we ship plants on the dry side. Early-spring shipping succulents could have some dry edges and a lackluster appearance. This is typical, and their color will deepen when exposed to sunlight. Sempervivums change color with the seasons, and each variety has a certain time of year when it is at its most vibrant.


Succulents can be used in countless planting scenarios. The most interesting containers and troughs are those with a variety of colors, textures, and behaviors. Succulents make lovely plants for rock gardens. There is always color since there are so many different bloom times.

Can succulents be grown in just rocks?

It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.

Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.

By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.

Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.

Can succulents only survive in water?

Due of their hardiness, succulents are beautiful to look at and easy to maintain. They typically need very little water and care. Succulents also grow well in soils and environments that most other plants wouldn’t even consider settling into. No weeding is necessary.

But what if we give you a surprise? Did you know that succulents can grow totally in water? Yep. Ironically, it is possible to teach plants to grow hydroponically that are the quickest to destroy by overwatering. Here, we’ll explain how. though first.

What is required for succulents to survive?

Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:

  • 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
  • 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
  • 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
  • 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
  • 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.

How long can cacti be kept out of the ground?

Despite having a reputation for being low maintenance, succulent plants shouldn’t just be planted and left alone. Repot a succulent right away if its roots are visible. Succulents that have been uprooted risk developing pest infestations and having their roots harmed.


Succulent seedlings shouldn’t be permitted to sit with their roots exposed. While you wait for the roots to dry out and be ready for transplanting, many mature succulents can have exposed roots for up to a week.

Without soil, how are succulents maintained?

Therefore, you are determined to create the succulent driftwood arrangement you saw on Pinterest. Or perhaps you’d really like to hang that succulent wreath arrangement from your front porch. Here are some suggestions for maintaining succulents in various environments without needing soil.

To provide the plants with nutrients that they would not otherwise receive from the soil or potting mix, you can think about fertilizing them. This can be accomplished by incorporating diluted fertilizer—about 1/4–1/2 strength—into the water you’ll use to spritz or water the plants. By doing this, you are giving the plants the nutrients they require to flourish.

The succulents require something to adhere to because they lack soil. The succulents can either be wired or hot glued on the driftwood. However, having something to which your succulents may adhere and develop will aid to extend their life in these arrangements by keeping the moisture in for the plants.

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The driftwood should be covered with moss or coir. Plants can be attached to moss or coir. After a few weeks, when plants begin to root, the coir and moss will aid in holding the plants in place. The plants’ roots will have something to cling to and something into which to grow.

Every few days or so, lightly spray the plants to keep them from drying out. Sphagnum moss retains more moisture, therefore less frequent mistings may not be necessary.

To feed the plants, you might also want to think about adding nutrients to the water. Fertilizer should be diluted in the water by 1/4 to 1/2. This can be done every other time you mist the plants or once each month.

Your plants will remain longer in these kinds of arrangements before they need to be transplanted and repotted if you use materials like moss or coir. By doing this, you can prolong the enjoyment of your labor.

Do succulents require sunlight?

Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.

What should I use to plant my succulents?

Succulents need a soil that drains effectively because they don’t like to sit in wet soil for very long. The best soil for succulents enables quick water and air exchange in the plant’s root system. I prefer to use a mixture of perlite and cactus potting mix. Perlite is used for increased aeration and drainage. I often use a potting mix to perlite ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. I use an eyeball method rather than precise measurements. For improved drainage, you can also include coarse sand in the mixture (1:1:1 solution of potting mix, perlite and coarse sand). Your soil should be as porous as possible to let all the extra moisture to drain out, depending on how humid your area is.

You can, indeed. In fact, I used a typical all-purpose potting mix when I planted my very first succulent container garden because I had no idea any better. The plants are still flourishing now and have been in the same container for at least seven years as of the time I am writing this. That’s because other factors, including watering practices and sunlight, affect how well your plants do in general.

However, giving your succulents the best potting mix from the start will increase the likelihood that they will survive and thrive.

It is better to amend the soil with drainage when using ordinary potting soil for succulents. Pumice or perlite should be added to the mixture in a 2:1 potting mix to perlite ratio.

Yes. Succulents can be grown in pots without holes, though it is not recommended. Simply put, you need to water your succulents more carefully because there won’t be anyplace for the surplus water to escape, making your plants more prone to root rot. The succulents I have in pots without drain holes are growing and performing well. I also prefer to submerge all of my succulents more often than I overwater them.

If you anticipate a lot of rain, keep in mind to relocate the plant to a shaded area so it doesn’t drown in the water that collects in the pot. When this occurs, empty the pot’s extra water and let the plant dry off. To avoid rot, don’t water again until everything is absolutely dry.

Giving succulents a healthy drink of water and then leaving them alone until the soil feels dry is the general rule when watering succulents. Before you give the plant another drink, the top inch of the soil must feel dry. For the record, I live in a dry area and water my outside succulent plants around every 14 days in the fall and winter and once every 7–10 days in the summer. When it rains a lot in the winter in my location, I completely stop watering. You don’t need to water as frequently if your plants are indoors or if you live in a humid environment.

Visit my post on “How to Grow Succulents in Pots Without Drainage Holes” to learn more about how to keep your succulents alive in pots without drainage holes.

Yes is the reply once more. Succulents have innate survival mechanisms that enable them to endure severe environments for extended periods of time. This is due to the fact that they thrive in environments where the majority of other plants cannot. Succulents will eventually look for moisture and send out air roots if they are planted in merely rocks without any soil or moss.

Succulents are able to survive in this state indefinitely. To allow some of the water to be absorbed by the plant and prevent it from entirely drying out, mist the plants on occasion, aiming towards the base or the roots. No matter how well you take care of the plant, eventually it will look for a better environment to flourish in. Just take the plant out of the rock and place it in some appropriate potting soil.