Is Potting Mix Good For Succulents

Every soil mixture contains both organic and mineral components. Mineral matter, such as clay, silt, and sand, support soil drainage, whereas organic matter, such as humus and decomposing plant tissue, serves to retain moisture in the soil and give nutrients to the plant.

Because succulents can withstand drought and don’t require constant watering, their potting soil should be permeable, well-draining, and contain less organic matter than typical indoor soil mixtures. Ideal soil is a loose, granular mixture with a good amount of sand and perlite or pumice.

Can I grow succulents in normal potting soil?

I’ll address some of the most prevalent queries concerning succulent soil in this section. Ask your question in the comments section below if you can’t find it here.

Can you use regular potting soil for succulents?

For succulents, you could probably use ordinary potting soil. It might work quite well, especially if you frequently forget to water your plants or if they are small. However, make sure the soil thoroughly dries out in between waterings to prevent them from rotting.

What happens if you plant succulents in regular potting soil?

Succulents planted in normal potting soil run the danger of being overwatered. Your succulents may quickly decay if the soil absorbs too much moisture.

What is the difference between potting soil and succulent soil?

The components and consistency of succulent soil and regular potting soil are different. Succulent dirt is permeable and created to drain very rapidly, unlike regular potting soil, which is composed of organic ingredients that hold onto moisture.

Making my own potting soil helps me save a ton of money, plus my succulents thrive in it. Your succulents will flourish now that you are aware of the ideal soil to use and have my formula for creating your own.

Can succulents grow well in Miracle Gro potting soil?

It’s vital to have the right growing medium or soil mixture for your succulents! This helps prevent extra sogginess, which could result in overwatering your plants, which is the main cause of plant death, as well as greater ventilation for simple root growth.

A cactus and succulent soil mix, which is easily accessible for purchase at a nearby garden center, is a good place for beginners to start. The Miracle-Gro potting mix or Black Gold cactus mix are the most secure and well-liked options for succulents, especially for beginners. Simply add a soil conditioner to the mixture (such perlite or pumice) to reduce its density, making the soil more porous and allowing for greater drainage.

Additionally, you have the choice to create your own succulent potting by combining an organic material with an inorganic one.

Organic substance

Peat moss, a light material that is difficult to decompose, is the principal component in the majority of soil mixtures. It can dry out quickly and is typically difficult to moisten. Peat moss can also be changed out for coconut coir, a natural fiber made from shredded coconut husks. While coir is slower to degrade, it is also easier to wet. Another excellent substitute for coir and peat moss is compost, though you should be aware of how quickly it decomposes. Additionally, incorporate some bark fines into your soil mixture to improve drainage by allowing water and air to permeate the soil more quickly.

Organic soil is a superior substrate produced by the breakdown of plant and animal waste. Additionally, compared to regular dirt, this type of soil is chemical-free and includes more nutrients and minerals, which will help your succulents develop healthily.

  • Peat moss is a thin substance that doesn’t decompose easily because it is frequently difficult to moisten and might dry up quickly.
  • Peat moss can be replaced with coconut coir, a natural fiber made from coconut husks that have been shred. They are simpler to wet yet won’t degrade right away. &nbsp
  • Mulch is an organic substance that enriches the soil, aids in moisture retention, and slowly releases nutrients into the soil as it decomposes. You may make this substance at home with scraps, tree detritus, and other plants. Mulch comes in a variety of textures, scents, and colors. It could be a rotting leaf, bark, wood chips, or a variety of other things. &nbsp
  • Similar to mulch, compost is made up of a variety of organic materials that are slowly decomposing, such as kitchen trash, grass clippings, and food scraps. Additionally, utilizing compost as a soil amendment is not only a great substitute for peat moss and coir but also a wonderful way to recycle and cut down on waste while improving the soil. &nbsp
  • Manure is a component that can be added to your compost to enhance texture while also supplying it with some nutrients. Additionally, it helps improve poor soil by facilitating adequate drainage and transforms sandy soil into enriched soil.
  • Worm castings are another organic material that helps the soil retain water while also withstanding water erosion and compaction.
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Inorganic substance&nbsp

In order to maintain the soil dry, crumbly, and airy, our soil mixture need an inorganic material that allows water to soak into and then drain out of the soil fast. Perlite, pumice, calcined clay, chicken grit, crushed granite, aquarium or pea gravel, and non-soluble cat litter are just a few of the alternatives available.

You should think about including inorganic matter into your soil if you want to enhance your potting medium. It helps keep the soil dry, crumbly, and airy while allowing water to swiftly sink into and then drain out of it, maintaining enough drainage for your succulents.

  • An inorganic mineral with a large surface area that can hold moisture, perlite is frequently used in horticulture. Additionally, this material has a pH of neutral and is non-toxic. &nbsp
  • Pumice, a naturally occurring, unprocessed organic component derived from mines, improves soil drainage while also preventing it from becoming soggy, protecting the succulents’ roots from easy rot.
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  • Another excellent inorganic component for your soil mix is calcined clay. Like perlite, it facilitates better drainage. The sole distinction is that calcine clay, due to its high cation-exchange capacity, holds and releases nutrients to plant roots. Additionally, the clay’s air gaps allow roots to acquire enough oxygen while preventing rotting. &nbsp
  • Chicken Grit is crushed granite that can be incorporated into your soil. It’s perfect for drainage because it’s coarse and allows water to run through. &nbsp
  • Another inorganic ingredient is pea gravel. If you have clay soil, it improves drainage by sinking into the ground rather than decomposing. Therefore, you might need to replace the gravel around every four years. &nbsp
  • Insoluble cat litter is excellent for succulent soil since it gives the plants everything they need to flourish. It has soil that drains properly and retains just enough moisture to prevent drying out as well as enough oxygen-rich air pockets. &nbsp
  • Sandy soil is nutrient-poor, light, warm, dry, and acidic. It has good drainage, allowing water to move through it quickly and warming up more quickly in the spring.

Soil mix ratio&nbsp

Any novice who wants to grow succulents may find it difficult to choose the correct soil mix, therefore here is our suggestion for a basic succulent soil mix that encourages airflow, root growth, and drainage:

:2:1 potting soil + bark fines + perlite/pumice

Test your mixture after combining your organic and inorganic components: &nbsp

To find the ideal soil mixture for your succulents, you can experiment with various ratios and components. However, you should be aware that the incorrect potting mix will probably store too much moisture, which could lead to the rot and eventual death of your plants’ roots. Therefore, it is still advised to stick to the fundamental strategy, especially for novice gardeners. &nbsp

What type of soil is ideal for growing 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.

Why is Miracle Grow potting soil a problem?

Avoid buying anything that bears the Miracle-Gro name at all costs. The following goods should be completely avoided: bagged potting soil, garden soil, “Shake n Feed,” that blue substance, and yes, even purportedly “Organic Miracle-Gro products.

This is why:

Everyone can enjoy gardening thanks to Miracle-Gro. Even those that utilize MG and have the most difficult gardens will have a phenomenally successful growing season. In order to achieve this, Miracle-Gro outsources the functions of naturally occurring soil bacteria and relies on water-soluble synthetic fertilizers to provide plant nutrition. These salty, water-soluble fertilizers are detrimental to soil microorganisms, the living, breathing creatures that actually work to provide our plants nourishment.

Miracle-Gro gives plants a ton of easily available nitrogen so they may grow quickly, big, bushy, and green. The issue with MG is that the nitrogen is produced using synthetic ammonium and water-soluble nitrates, which results in the production of off-chemicals that are toxic to worms, soil microorganisms, and other soil life. When handled improperly, MG is so potent that it can actually burn your plants’ leaves and roots (you may have already experienced this). Consider the damage it is causing to the beneficial bacteria, fungus, and other soil microbes that are putting in so much effort to deliver the nutrients your plants require.

Oh, but there’s more—synthetic fertilizers also eliminate soil life.

How can I speed up the growth of my succulents?

Succulents require water to grow and thrive even if they are well adapted to dry areas. Without adequate watering, succulents begin to wilt and may even turn dry and crispy.

Succulent leaves should, in general, be plump when well-watered and will lose their plumpness when dry. A succulent will also begin to droop and wilt if it is not given enough water.

There isn’t a set routine for watering succulents. Everything will rely on the season, the kind of succulent you have, the container it is in, the soil, and a lot more factors.

For instance, succulents that are potted in huge containers will use less water because the water evaporates much more slowly in those containers. It will evaporate much more slowly in a deep pot.

A succulent typically needs watering once every 10 to 14 days in the summer and once every 3 to 4 weeks in the winter. But this is only a ballpark figure that will vary depending on a number of variables. A soil meter like this one, which indicates whether the soil is moist or dry, is an useful tool to aid with watering schedules.

During the growing season (often early spring to autumn), watering should be increased, and during the fall and winter, it should be lessened. Check your care instructions for your specific succulent, though, to be sure.

Reason 2: Dormancy period

Your succulents may not be in an active growth phase right now if they aren’t expanding. or that they have reached a state of dormancy. Early autumn, when temperatures begin to fall, is when succulents begin their dormant season. However, certain succulents can grow in the fall and winter (Christmas cactus and more).

It is crucial to remember that from early fall through the winter, you should gradually reduce the amount of water you give your succulent plants. Succulents require very little water in the winter because they hardly grow at all.

If you water succulents too much in the winter, they may even explode. Water expands in subfreezing conditions, which explains this. Moreover, your plants’ cells may break from too much water.

Naturally, some succulents are more frost-resistant than others. However, most succulent species find it stressful when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). If your succulent is sensitive to cold, make sure to keep it indoors and check the care instructions for that variety.

You can leave your succulents outside over the winter if the temperature doesn’t drop too low. The majority of succulents can tolerate brief periods of frost or below-freezing temperatures.

Covering your succulents with a horticultural frost sheet like this is an excellent method to keep them free of frost throughout the winter outdoors. Hold the fabric firmly in place from all sides. Clothes should ideally protect from heavy rain and not be made of plastic (which prevents air exchange) (to prevent waterlogged soil and therefore rotting).

Reason 3: Pests and diseases

If your succulent isn’t expanding, a disease or pest infestation may be to blame. As a succulent planter, be sure to establish a routine of regularly inspecting your plants, their soil, and roots.

Verify your plant for insects and bugs. Succulents can be attacked by a variety of pests that siphon their juices, halting growth and eventually killing the plant. Some bugs target new growth specifically. Pests may harm stems or roots, which could have catastrophic consequences.

Consider spider mites, which are tiny red bugs that feed on plant sap. Look for small webs and scars on the plant, which may be signs of spider mites.

Thrips can eat sap from succulents when they assault them. Particularly nymphs, they are incredibly difficult to spot. However, it is possible to see mature thrips flying around the plant.

Mealybugs will create a cotton-like coating on your succulents to help them hide. Mealybugs, which have a significant impact on succulent growth, should be looked for around the plant’s base and roots.

Diseases that affect succulents will also stop them from growing, if at all. Please look for any corking, leaf scarring, dark or black spots (fungal infection), stem or root rot, or mold. For instance, nematodes (worms) can cause succulents’ tissue to bulge and its growth to become twisted.

A succulent plant that has root rot (soft, brown roots) will be unable to receive any water, which will eventually cause the plant to die. Look for any eggs or larvae in the roots to check for insect invasion.

The majority of ailments and pests take time to seriously affect a succulent. Not only will they prevent your succulent from growing properly, but they will also cause the entire plant to collapse. Because of this, it’s crucial to periodically inspect your succulents and address any issues as soon as they appear.

Reason 4: Overwatering and rotting roots

Overwatering and underwatering both have the potential to impede your succulent from growing properly. Overwatering will cause plant leaves to become mushy and yellow, and they will eventually fall off as a result.

Additionally, roots that are submerged in water all the time may begin to decay. A succulent with rooted roots is unable to provide its cells with adequate hydration and nourishment. The stem of a succulent can potentially develop rot, which will turn it brown.

It will cause a plant to die if it is not treated right away. Verify the roots of your succulent. It’s time to cut any mushy, brown or black roots and repot the plant if you spot any. Falling and soft (perhaps yellow-colored) leaves are another sign of overwatering.

Don’t water your succulent for a while to allow the soil to dry out if the roots are decaying. Cut all of the affected roots using sterile scissors before repotting in fresh soil. After repotting, give your succulent a week without watering to avoid causing it to droop.

A straightforward soil meter like this can be of great assistance if you frequently struggle to determine when to water your succulents. Placing a stone or several stones on the soil will help you water your succulents much more effectively. It’s not yet time to water your succulent if you look beneath a stone and notice dampness.

Reason 5: Keeping your succulent in an area too cold or hot

If your succulent isn’t growing, you can be keeping it in the incorrect location at the wrong temperature.

The majority of succulents love receiving lots of sunlight, and inadequate sunlight will stunt the growth of your plant. But keeping succulents in glass or enclosed in glass can be harmful. If your plant is housed in a glass container, for example, direct sunlight will result in high impact rays and elevated temperatures.

Another recommendation is to avoid keeping your plant next to hot radiators, especially in the summer and winter. Too hot of a temperature can cause the soil to dry up too rapidly. Air conditioners are comparable.

Succulents require a lot of light in the summer. However, if you put your succulents in an area that is too hot, they could overheat and become burnt.

Generally speaking, your succulents may become overheated at temperatures higher than 86 F (30 C). They may then enter a dormant state as a result of this. Additionally, succulents cannot develop in a dormant condition.

You shouldn’t maintain your succulent plants in extremely chilly temperatures in the winter. This could cause your succulent to freeze, which would make it impossible for you to save it.

Verify the ideal temperature and amount of light for the species of succulents you are growing. To choose where to store your plant, also consider whether it is heat- or frost-sensitive.

Reason 6: Lack of nutrients

The growth of your succulents will be poor to nonexistent if you underfeed them. The plant’s fading, lack of development, and lack of blooming are indications that your succulent is nutritionally deficient.

Succulent fertilization regimens might vary, so be sure to follow the species’ instructions. Additionally, give your succulents regular waterings because they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from dry soil otherwise.

Although fertilization is crucial, be careful not to overdo it. Your succulents will grow too quickly and produce delicate tissues that are susceptible to rot and illnesses if you overfertilize them.

Use only cactus and succulent-specific fertilizers, such as this one. They are frequently weaker than regular fertilizers because they are created especially for these plants. Always fertilize during the growing season and never in the winter.

Reason 7: Succulent is potted in a pot too small

Your succulent’s growth will be constrained if it is housed in a compact pot with little room for expansion. Many growers take advantage of the fact that succulents growing in overcrowded pots take much longer to mature. This is especially true if there is also a lack of feeding and hydration.

Succulents produce several new roots as they expand, which also require room. The roots of your succulent will become firmly packed together if you keep it in a very small pot. Lack of space will cause this succulent to stop growing completely.

If your succulent has twisted growth, roots that protrude from the drainage holes, or packed roots, it has outgrown its container. You should repot your succulent once or twice a season to allow it to grow to its greatest possible size. But pots shouldn’t be overly large; they should only have a little room on the sides.

Reason 8: Lack of light

Succulents will also develop poorly in the absence of light. Succulents require a lot of direct sunlight to flourish (but some varieties may also require some partial shade). This is crucial during the growing season.

You need to give your succulents ever more light once their dormant time in the spring is through if you want them to flourish. In order to protect your succulents from burns, make sure to go carefully. Thick-leaved succulents are frequently more tolerant of intense sunshine.

Reason 9: Succulents are generally slow growers

Most succulent plants develop slowly, while some species grow more slowly than others. For instance, Haworthia and Gasteria are smaller and develop more slowly than other succulents. On the other side, kalanchoe has a substantially higher rate of growth.

Typically, it can take at least 3 to 4 months before your succulent starts to grow. However, if your succulent is still extremely little, this could take even longer.

Most new cuttings and pups develop slowly at first before picking up speed. It will take considerably longer to notice any growth difference when growing succulents from seed. If a succulent is newly propagated from leaf or stem cuttings, it may also take longer for it to flourish.