Should You Mulch Succulents

Dig a hole in the size of the succulent’s root ball for planting succulents in the garden “then let the plant alone! Jesch advises against backfilling or re-tucking the soil around the roots.

Leaving this space open enables the soil to gradually re-infiltrate around the roots at the same rate as the plant’s growth. This encourages the development of new roots close to the soil surface, where they have access to air. (See Jesch’s demonstration of how to grow succulents outside in this video.)

Because it can retain too much moisture, most succulents don’t tolerate a lot of organic material blended or tilled into the soil close to their roots.”

Avoid piling mulch up close to the succulents’ crown or base if you apply it. As Jesch advises, “taper down or back off a bit so it’s not sitting on or collaring the plant up close and deep.” Applying a nonorganic mulch, like crushed rock, granite, or ornamental stone, is preferable. These mulches will keep the soil cool and stop erosion while allowing the soil to dry out.

Potted succulents can be taken inside throughout the winter to avoid the cold.

Assists Soil With Water Retention

Mulching has this major advantage, which is the reason most gardeners and nurseries opt to employ it in the first place. You can slow down soil water evaporation in the soil by adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil. Additionally, this will stop the soil from drying up too much and turning hydrophobic.

Hydrophobic soil has essentially lost its capacity to absorb water. Additionally, if the soil is not absorbing any water, then neither will the roots of any plants that are growing there, which might lead to dehydration or even death. Mulch will keep exposed soil cool and moist for a longer period of time, preventing it from drying out soon.

Helps Protect Succulents Against Extreme Weather

Mulch will aid in defending soil against adverse weather, such as heat waves and frost. On a hot day, if soil is left unprotected and exposed, it will get scorching and dry. However, even a tiny layer of mulch applied to the soil will help keep it cool, allowing succulents to survive the warmer temperatures.

In colder weather, the same protective covering can be offered. Granted, the majority of succulents cannot survive in the cold and are at a considerable danger of dying when exposed to frost or snow, mulch or not. Some succulents, however, can withstand frost, and mulch will help these plants endure chilly winters by shielding the ground from being directly attacked by the frost.

Puts Supplemental Nutrients Into the Soil

Without the help of decaying mulch or other fertilizers, succulents will grow adequately and contentedly with the right amount of water, sunlight, and temperature. However, that doesn’t imply you can’t or shouldn’t add any more nutrients to the soil. In fact, according to a lot of expert growers, mulching the soil with natural materials like wood chips or leaves actually encourages succulents to grow more vigorously than they would otherwise.

Helps With Weed Control

Weeds can appear at any time and anywhere. Although these persistent, troublesome plants can be challenging to eradicate and keep under control, mulching your garden can help. Mulch hinders weeds from germinating and hence spreading, keeping your garden clear of harmful trespassers.

Does mulch appeal to cacti?

Refuse to mulch. The majority of plants benefit from mulching, although cactuses do not fare well with organic or plastic mulches. These mulches run the risk of damaging the plant’s tender, shallow roots by retaining too much heat or moisture in the top few inches of soil.

Is mulch necessary for plants in pots?

I was aware that mulch is fantastic for garden plants. But I was curious as to whether mulch also benefits houseplants in pots.

Mulching is a good idea for potted plants since it will help keep the potting soil from drying up too quickly. The mulch will control the temperature of the soil. The roots will be shielded from the sun by it. Additionally, it will enhance the potted plants’ aesthetic appeal.

The types of mulch you can use for your potted plants, how to apply the mulch, and when to remove it are all covered in the information that follows. Continue reading.

Rocks in the bottom? Do succulents need them?

The main goal of adding pebbles to the succulent plant’s pot is to improve drainage. Cacti and succulents grow naturally in sandy, swiftly draining soils. Never leave the roots of a succulent plant in soggy ground. To keep the roots from decaying, the rocks aid in the movement of water through the soil.

Is bark beneficial to succulents?

Although succulents may grow in a number of soils, I’ll explain why this particular soil is effective and why you should use it.

The pine bark contains air spaces for ventilation and serves as an organic component and water container. In addition, it takes a long time to decompose. Some of the water is absorbed by the Turface, which then gently releases it.

Granite that has been crushed allows water to pass through every component of the pot. Water easily drains from the mixture because of how porous it is. Additionally, there is plenty of air, so the roots are not left resting in moist soil or water pools like they would be in conventional potting soil.

Making sure that all of the particles are around 1/4 inch in size is the truly important portion of the recipe, though. Screening liters of soil to obtain particles of the same size takes a lot of effort!

Where ought to succulents be planted?

Succubus Plants in the Proper Soil 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.

Why are rocks placed within succulent plants?

Have you ever wondered why there is a layer of beautiful pebbles on top of so many succulent arrangements? Have you ever overheard someone discussing top dressing for succulents and wondered what it was or what it was used for? Pebbles are used as a layer for succulents for more reasons than just aesthetics. Learn more about top dressing and the benefits of using it on your succulents by reading on.

What Is Top Dressing?

In agriculture and gardening, top dressing is utilized. A top dressing is typically a thin, even layer of rich soil, compost, manure, or worm castings that is added to a garden bed, lawn, or field soon before planting. After that, it is tilled into the ground so that the seeds or plants can grow there. After the plants are set up, a top dressing for succulents is a uniform coating of inorganic material, such as pebbles, gravel, crushed rock, or broken seashells, that is spread over the top of the soil. The top dressing of a succulent is applied and kept in place, completely covering the soil to a depth of about a third of an inch. For plants growing in the ground or in containers, this offers a number of advantages.

Benefits of Top Dressing for Succulents

Succulents can benefit from inorganic top dressing in numerous ways:

  • Succulent top dressing aids in soil temperature regulation, protecting the roots from extreme temperature swings.
  • Light colored gravel or pebbles reflect heat, which is good in warmer climes, while dark colors absorb heat more readily, warming the soil and encouraging root growth.
  • Pebbles reduce the powerful force of water from rain or irrigation, which stops soil erosion. This prevents soil from dripping onto your plants’ leaves.
  • An inorganic top dressing that is at least 1/3 inch thick inhibits insects from laying their eggs in the moist organic soil. This is the most effective approach to get rid of bothersome gnats in your house.
  • Weed barriers are created by top treatments.
  • To prevent plastic pots and containers from blowing away, it gives them weight.
  • Before newly planted succulents fully root into the surrounding soil matrix, top dressing can assist keep them upright.

And let’s face it, uncovered earth looks less appealing than a coating of ornamental stones. I suggest putting top dressing in my advice on how to cultivate succulents because of all these benefits.

Top Dressing for Succulents

Succulent top dressings are available in a variety of hues, textures, and sizes. We typically think of ornamental pebbles, but there are other materials you can use, including sand, gravel, crushed granite, glass, fire glass, seashells, crushed coral, small stones, and pieces of semi-precious stones like amethyst, tiger eye, and quartz.

Consider your top dressing choices carefully. Make sure the sand is clean or rinsed before using it. Your plants will suffer because of the high salt content of beach sand. And ensure that the “You utilize colorfast colorful rocks that are not just powder-coated. Some landscape rocks offered for sale in home improvement stores have a color coating that peels off, coloring the plants and creating a mess. Use any designated as “Despite the fact that you can also find excellent items in aquarium stores or even fire glass for decorative fire features, top dressing. For inspiration, browse the selection of delicious top dressings in my Amazon store. Use of either is secure for succulent plants.

Succulent top dressings and pebbles come in a wide range of hues, from muted earth tones to neon-bright hues of green, blue, yellow succulent, and purple that are rarely seen in nature. What should you use then? The solution that appeals to you the most is the best one. Seriously. Who is to say that you’ll appreciate my taste if I show you and explain the factors I take into account while selecting the best dressings? I want a natural appearance that highlights the plant and harmonizes the hues and textures of the succulent and its container. But if you prefer the aesthetic of silvery-green succulents paired with pink DayGlo pebbles, rock on!

Choosing Top Dressing for Succulents

I compare succulent top dressing to jewels for clothing. It shouldn’t overpower the aesthetic or offer unnecessary intrigue. Debra Lee Baldwin may have said it best. She compares the mat for a painting to ornamental pebbles for succulent plants. The container serves as the frame, the top dressing as the mat, and the succulents as the artwork in her opinion.

To demonstrate the difference, I photographed an Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg in a ceramic succulent pot with three different top dressings. I chose black sand with a hint of glitter because the pot has a shiny, black rim. The lower portion of the pot is a shiny tan tint. I decided on caramel-colored sand and tan pebbles with a matte texture. Isn’t the distinction each creates amazing? Consider the Echeveria PVN with a top dressing that is plum-toned.

Always keep the effect you hope to achieve in mind when you choose your top dressing. Your choice of pebbles, sand, and rocks may differ from if you want to showcase the plant if the pot is particularly cool and you want to draw attention to it.

A Matter of Scale

Almost always, when people refer to top dressing for succulents, they are referring to pea gravel or decorative pebbles that are around 1/51/4 inch in size. That is the size of the tan stones I used, which are displayed with the Echeveria PVN in the middle of the trio above. But you have to admit, I find the sand to be very attractive. Although it is more challenging to reuse than pebbles for different plants, I think it looks fantastic for a single planting.

Although most people wouldn’t think to wear something this bulky, doesn’t it look magnificent? Susan Aach produced this ceramic pot by hand. She combined a Ferocactus with it and added a top dressing with a thick, rough texture to really tie the two together. I like how it looks.

Another coupling of a Susan Aach pot with a sizable top dressing is seen here. Together, they perfectly accentuate this stunning, variegated Echeveria Compton Carousel. When matching her pots, plants, and top dressings, she really displays her artistic eye. She strikes a balance between the pots’ and the plants’ aesthetic appeal to create a real synergy. Visit Susan Aach’s website to learn more about her handcrafted ceramics and look at my encounter with her. Susan, thank you for allowing us to use your lovely photos!

Are There Problems Using Top Dressing for Succulents?

If you’ve never added stones for succulents to your pots, you can have the following inquiries:

Does the soil retain moisture because of the pebbles? Regular readers are aware that choosing a fast-draining succulent soil is crucial to the wellbeing of your plants. This cannot be negotiated. How about including the pebbles now? It is true that top dressings for succulents stop the soil from evaporating and losing moisture to the air. However, you want the water to get beyond the plant’s roots and through the soil, where it can be absorbed. The value of the to dressing and a good soil more than makes up for the small quantity of evaporation wasted.

Does the top dressing restrict the soil’s and the roots’ ability to breathe? For a succulent plant to survive, its roots require oxygen. The roots may acquire oxygen thanks to tiny air pockets in the arid soil. Even a top layer of sand, pebbles, or gravel allows air to enter the soil and nourish the roots of plants. Insufficient drainage causes too much water to permeate the soil, removing air spaces and “flood the plant. Top dressing does not impede your plant’s ability to get enough oxygen.

If you can’t touch the earth, how can you tell when your succulent plants need watering? Many succulent growers focus their watering decisions on how dry their soil feels. This approach is much better for me than sticking to a rigid timetable. Even better, water your succulents when they show signs of needing it rather than before. My ideal tool to measure the water content of soil is a chopstick “moisture gauge Place the chopstick in the ground. Do not water if it emerges feeling or looking moist or with earth clinging to it. It’s time to water when it comes out clean and dry!

Where to Buy Pebbles for Succulents?

Where can I acquire succulent top dressings now that I’ve explained why and how to apply them? I can suggest a few excellent sources. First, there is a part of my Amazon store dedicated to top dressing for succulents. Sand to gravel are represented by a variety of hues, styles, and sizes. Additionally, Mountain Crest Gardens provides a great selection of rocks and sand for succulents. With the aforementioned cautions in mind, think about home supply stores, pet stores, and aquarium supply stores. Make inventive decisions!

Will you use top dressing to finish your succulent planters now that you are aware of all the advantages? I’m curious to know! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.

P.P.S. Would you consider joining my Facebook group for cactus lovers? We discuss design, identification, propagation, and care of succulents. They’re a friendly bunch who would love to meet you!