Even though I strongly advise using a gritty mixture to grow succulents, there have been instances when I’ve discovered a need for a more organic material to help the soil stay dry a little bit longer.
I want the soil for my leaf babies to remain moist while I put my fully grown succulents in a granular mix.
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Peat is a common component of traditional potting soils and even the majority of the bagged succulent mixtures you can buy from big-box retailers. Peat-based soils are extremely hydrophobic, which means that when entirely dry, they repel water.
This makes it very challenging to make sure that water soaks through the soil and reaches the roots.
Because of this, I strongly suggest using coconut coir as an all-natural potting soil for succulents.
For succulent plants that like more water, coconut coir is a fantastic soil option. The good news is that, especially when absolutely dry, it absorbs water considerably more readily than peat.
For succulents in pots, I apply it somewhat differently. When succulents are really struggling to acquire the water they require, I will sporadically incorporate coconut coir into the gritty mixture.
For larger succulents, I use it most frequently by partially filling my pot with Jack’s Gritty Mix and then covering it with a layer of coir. My outside succulent plants have benefited greatly from this as a result of the intense summer heat in Phoenix.
Here, you can see how I used my String of Dolphins plant to put this into practice:
For succulents like String of Pearls, String of Bananas, String of Dolphins, and Ruby Necklace that require an extremely tight root system at the top of the soil before they begin trailing, as well as for new cuttings that are having trouble taking root, this method works really well.
Therefore, give coconut coir a shot if you’re looking for a way to keep your succulent soil moist for a little while longer or you’re ready to start propagating succulents.
Which soil type is ideal for succulents?
Succulent soil is the basis for a plant’s ability to thrive, whether you are planting succulents outside or indoors. Larger soil particles are necessary for succulents to have a well-draining soil that allows water to enter quickly and drain away from the roots without compacting the soil. Use a soil test kit to verify the ideal soil for succulents and adjust the soil to a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5 before planting.
- Succulents prefer well-draining soil and have short root systems.
- The ideal soil is one that is nutrient-rich, loose, and rocky.
- Use a potting mix designed specifically for succulents and cacti when planting in containers, and place the plant in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.
- Succulent plants could die off if their soil is too alkaline.
- Add soil amendments to the existing soil to make it more suitable for succulents’ needs.
Are perlite and coco coir suitable for succulents?
The finest succulent growing media combine organic matter and mineral components, though the precise ratios required will vary. Numerous organic garden soils are too dense for succulents, however the less dense structure of coco compost is preferable for encouraging healthy development.
Perlite is a light substance that works well in potting mixtures. It is less likely to compress the loose structure of coco coir or sink and collect at the bottom of pots. Perlite, which is more water retentive than pumice and gives roots a steady supply of water, works well with coco coir.
Does coconut coir benefit cacti?
As long as the mixture contains the right proportions of organic matter and mineral content, preparing cactus soil can be a successful and enjoyable project. One part organic material, such potting soil or coconut coir, and two parts mineral material, like sand, perlite, or fine washed gravel, make up a suitable cactus soil mix. If you’re planting cactus in containers or in specific locations outside, this ratio works nicely. As long as the general ratios stay the same, you are free to combine different organic or mineral ingredients to make your own unique cactus soil mix.
If you must use sand, stick with construction sand or another clean, coarse variety. Never use beach sand since it could contain dangerous bacteria or other elements that are bad for your plants.
Succulents may be grown in Cocopeat.
Succulents are among the many plants that live on soil, which has various advantages:
- The plant is protected from the buffeting effects of wind, rain, and mudflow by soil, which works with the roots to anchor the plant in place. This keeps its location with relation to other plants, shadow, and sunlight.
- Additionally, soil retains water, making it accessible to a plant’s roots.
- The presence of microscopic air pockets in healthy soil, which are necessary for photosynthesis, is also crucial.
- Plants use a process called photosynthesis (FO-to-SIN-thuh-sis) to make food available to their roots.
- Additionally, it protects the roots of the plants from extreme temperature changes.
- Additionally, earth provides nutrients for the growth of plant roots.
You can think of the roots of plants as representing the significance of the soil. A healthy, robust root system serves as the building block for a healthy, robust plant. With a few modifications, succulents have similar requirements.
Succulent Soil Specifics
Succulents require all the advantages that earth offers. But they have different needs than most plants, particularly in terms of water and nutrients. Succulents certainly require water, but because of their unique ability to store it, they cannot survive in wet soil. It’s crucial that soil for succulent plants drains fast. Because of this, utilizing a standard potting soil will be a challenge for succulents. Compared to succulents, most plants prefer soils that retain more water. Therefore, make sure the pre-packaged potting soil you use is marked for succulents or cacti. Otherwise, the succulents would rot since it will contain too much water.
With soils that are lacking in nutrients, succulents also grow. For your succulents, too much nitrogen—a common component found in most potting soils—will result in quick, sluggish growth as well as root and leaf burning and rotting. So be careful not to pot your succulent plants in plain, generic potting soil or soil that has plant food added to it. Instead, give your succulents a grittier mix that has lots of air spaces and quick drainage.
Best Soil for Succulents May Need Adjustments
Succulents can easily turn into a little addiction! Because is why it is such a nice thing that amazing outcomes don’t require any special, pricey soil. Commercial succulent potting soil from the majority of companies is grittier than most, but it works just fine if you’re gentle with it.
My garden’s ideal soil for succulents could not be the same as your garden’s. I’m from southern California, where it doesn’t rain much in the fall or winter and very little in the spring and summer. So for me, a commercial blend with a lot of water-retentive peat moss works just fine. It’s crucial to check for better soil drainage if you live in Florida or another region with a lot of rain. The soil can also be used straight from the bag for some succulents, while others, like cacti, may require even quicker drainage.
Pumice for Gardening with Succulents
A relatively lightweight volcanic rock called pumice is extracted for use in gardens and farms. It is a beneficial soil component for growing succulents because it is all-natural and unprocessed and has a variety of unique qualities. Pumice actually holds onto moisture, gently releasing it when the earth around it dries. Air pockets are also held in the tiny pores of the rock, which aerates the soil. Pumice is naturally abundant in micronutrients, which are particularly beneficial for strong succulents. Pumice won’t rise through the potting soil with each watering, in contrast to the light-weight, similar perlite. Simply add pumice to your succulent soil to increase drainage!
Pumice can be bought in stores or online under the name “pumice.” Search for Dry Stall instead of Stall Dry, if you like. It is also pumice at the neighborhood feed store!
Coco Coir for Succulents
The natural by-product of harvesting coconuts is coco coir. It is the coconut husk’s coarse fibers that have been removed. It is a fantastic organic soil supplement for gardening since it retains moisture effectively and drains easily. Most importantly, once it is dry, it readily takes water. It is challenging to water succulents when peat moss, a more frequently used ingredient, is dry since it is much harder to moisten. Peat moss decomposes more quickly than coco coir, which also lasts longer.
Like the renowned garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin, I usually combine pumice and regular potting soil in a 50/50 ratio before using it to grow my succulents. Try using one like this and adding pumice for better drainage if you garden in an area with a lot of rain but still want the convenience of a ready-made succulent potting mix. For a fantastic, quickly draining succulent soil mixture, use 2 parts succulent soil to 1 part pumice. This mixture works well on cacti as well.
This recipe for pre-packaged succulent soil, pumice, and coco coir is another straightforward DIY succulent soil method. I use roughly a 3:1 ratio of succulent soil to pumice and coco coir. The end product is a mix that is beautifully gritty, drains quickly, and offers excellent support for growing my succulents.
There are many different succulent soil mixtures available, and they will all work well for you if you consider your particular climate. Additionally, every succulent grower I am aware of has their own preferred method for making their own soil. Don’t be intimidated by this! The “best soil for your succulents” doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Neither is a specific recipe required. Recognize the soil requirements for your succulents. Pumice should be added to the drainage as needed to improve it. And remember to take care of your plants! You will quickly develop a sense for the type of soil that both you and your succulents enjoy. And that is the greatest soil for succulents!
Can succulents grow well in perlite?
There are a ton of recipes online. Most people start with either standard potting soil or the soil mix sold in bags for succulent plants. If you decide to create your own blend, use ordinary potting soil free of additives. We’ll go over additional components to include when amending or creating your own succulent potting soil.
Succulent growth medium frequently gets the following additions:
Improved soil drainage results from using coarse sand in amounts of 50 to 30 percent. Avoid using materials with fine textures, such as play sand. A higher sand content may be advantageous for cacti, but it must be coarse sand.
PerlitePerlite is frequently used in succulent-growing mixtures. This product improves drainage and promotes aeration, although it is light and frequently floats to the top when watered. Use between 1/3 and 50% when mixing with potting soil.
Turface is a calcine clay product and soil conditioner that delivers aeration, oxygen, and moisture monitoring to the soil. It has the consistency of pebbles and does not compact. Although it goes by the brand name Turface, the phrase “product” is also frequently used to describe it. used as a top dressing as well as an ingredient in succulent soil mixes.
PumicePumice is a volcanic substance that may store nutrients and moisture. Some people utilize significant amounts of pumice. Some growers report successful trials when using only pumice. But using this kind of material necessitates more regular watering. Depending on where you live, you might need to order this item.
Coconut CoirUnlike other goods that might not absorb water well after the initial soaking, coconut coir, which is made from the shredded husks of the coconut, offers drainage qualities and can be repeatedly wet. Coir, which is pronounced “core,” was never brought up before to the typical succulent grower. Coir is a component of at least one well-known distributor of succulents’ peculiar mix. I have healthy plants in my nursery and use a mixture of 1/3 normal potting soil (the inexpensive variety), 1/3 coarse sand, and 1/3 coir.
Which fertilizer is ideal for succulents?
Succulents grow lush and beautiful with a modest feeding of manure tea, diluted fish emulsion, or a balanced fertilizer (15-15-15). Liquid fertilizers that are concentrated should be diluted. Roots could be harmed if this is not done.
Use one Moo Poo tea bag per three gallons of water, steeped overnight, for succulents growing in containers. Pour until it runs out the bottom starting at the plant’s base. Alternately, apply half-diluted fish emulsion.
Although in-ground succulents don’t technically require fertilization, you can encourage lush spring growth by applying Ironite per the instructions on the package, ideally before a winter storm. Apply a balanced granular fertilizer in the spring (if you like to; it is not required).
Perlite or vermiculite: Which is better for succulents?
For plants that want a lot of water, like some irises and forget-me-nots, vermiculite is ideal. Plants that require water easily dry out perlite. For plants like cactus, succulents, or rhododendrons, which require a well-draining soil, vermiculite holds too much water.
Should I combine perlite and coco coir?
The suggested percentage of perlite to be added to coco coir is between 10 and 50 percent. The type of plants in your garden, the accessibility of extra additives, and the requirements for water retention and drainage all play a part in this.
Consider increasing the perlite content of the coco coir by up to 50% if you are reproducing plants from cuttings because it promotes a stronger root system.
Consider adding 10–20 percent of perlite to your coco coir if your crops need additional moisture and you want greater water retention.
If you want to utilize a lot of supplements on your farm, adding 30 to 50 percent of perlite will be useful.
Your plants will be able to absorb more nutrients for quicker and healthier growth thanks to the numerous pockets the substrate will produce.
What Is Coir?
A byproduct of processing coconuts is coco coir. Coconuts’ fibrous husks are degraded or pulverized to create a substance that resembles peat moss in weight and texture but is deeper in color. Coconut fiber is primarily produced in India or Sri Lanka.
However, not everyone is convinced that coir is as environmentally beneficial or as sustainable as it claims to be. Coir, in Robert Pavlis’ opinion, has been oversold in this regard, according to Garden Myths. Coir needs a lot of processing, which wastes a lot of precious water—an already scarce resource in India—and leaves the water polluted thereafter. His blog also makes reference to a study that contends that the working conditions at coir processing plants lead to worker health issues that would render such job unlawful in the US and Europe.
Can coconut coir be used as
For gardeners that require a mulch that gives plenty of drainage, coconut coir is a renewable resource that works great as a mulch. In addition, coir holds water 30% more effectively than peat, ensuring that plants can obtain moisture. Because they will swell up to five to seven times their original size once soaked, coir bricks should be softened in water for at least 15 minutes in a big container before using them as mulch. Then, spread them out in a layer two to three inches thick, applying them just like any other kind of mulch while being careful not to get mulch on any trees or plants. In our essay on the subject, we go into greater detail on the advantages of utilizing coconut coir as mulch.
Can you compost coconut coir?
Because the carbon it contains helps to balance the nitrogen in other components, including kitchen trash, coir is an ideal component for composting. Use two parts coconut coir and one part each of green and brown materials, or one part coconut coir and one part each of the two. To find out more about green and brown waste and what can be composted, visit our page on the components of compost.
Does adding peat moss make soil
Because peat moss is acidic, its acidity can rise or fall depending on the pH of your soil. Peat moss has a pH of about 4.4, while neutral soil has a pH of about 7. Some plants, including azaleas and blueberries, do well in acidic environments. Peat moss is probably not the best planting medium for you if your soil is already acidic and you are not cultivating acid-loving plants. If you are unsure of the pH level of your soil, read our article “How to Test pH in Your Soil” to learn how to conduct a pH test.
Is peat moss good for clay soil?
Peat moss is a good amendment for clay soil because it loosens the clay’s thick, heavy texture. Spread two inches of peat over the area you want to modify, then mix it in four to six inches deep. Refer to our article “Amending Clay Soils” for more information on how to make clay soil ideal for gardening.