What Is In Cactus Soil Mix

Due to its improved drainage, cactus soil, or cactus mix as it is sometimes known, is a mixture of primarily inorganic materials including sand, gravel, pumice, and/or perlite that is perfect for growing cacti and succulents.

Can I grow cacti in normal potting soil?

Yes, you can give your cactus plants either standard potting soil or African violet dirt. However, once more, avoid using these on their own as they contain an excessive amount of organic matter that retains moisture and can contain fertilizer additives that are not designed for slow-growing cacti. Instead, incorporate them as one component of your homemade cactus potting soil.

Which type of soil is ideal for growing cacti?

Contrary to most movie sequences, cactus flourishing on pure sand is not a positive thing. A rocky, nutrient-rich soil kept in a well-draining pot or container is what desert cactus, also known as Opuntia cactus or hairy old man cactus, prefer. Ascertain that nutrients such peat moss, coconut coir, pumice, perlite, or vermiculite enable a suitable balance of the soil’s aeration and drainage qualities.

Avoid using forest goods like wood chips and pieces of pine bark and instead start with a base of regular potting soil. Pumice, a light-weight and porous volcanic rock, should be added in two parts. In the absence of those materials, you can use vermiculite, perlite, NAPA oil dry number 8822, aquatic plant soil, non-soluble cat litter, or chicken grit. This component is essential because it provides adequate aeration and allows water to move through your potting mix fast.

Add some coconut coir lastly. This breaks down gradually, adding structure and aiding in the cactus mix’s ability to retain moisture. In contrast to peat, it is also wettable and does not compact during the wetting process.

Cacti Soil For Jungle Cactus

Both lithophytic and epiphytic cacti are fairly universal in the jungle. In other words, they can grow on rocks or rely on the nearby trees to live.

Such cactus species

The orchid cactus has the unusual capacity to obtain its daily requirements from the air as well as from dead leaves or other detritus left in crevasses and fissures.

Therefore, you’ll require a potting mixture containing oak leaf mold, pumice, coconut coir, peat moss, bat guano, and some orchid bark or fir bark to replicate the jungle cactus’ natural growing environment.

Epiphytic cactus require potting soil that resembles that used for desert cacti. After that, you’ll need to make some adjustments.

  • Pumice, 1 part, to lessen soil compaction
  • coarse orchid bark in two pieces

Compared to simply adding extra ordinary potting soil to the mix, this provides better aeration properties. But with time, the bark degrades and eventually turns into soil, indicating that it is time for repotting.

These are merely a few good cactus potting soil examples that you can use. Of course, the ideal mixture will vary depending on the sort of cactus you want to cultivate, and you’ll also need to prepare the other two key growth settings, namely water and light.

Making your own cactus soil mix is fun in part because you can experiment to see what works best for your favorite succulent and cactus plants.

Is dirt for cacti and succulents the same thing?

There is nothing more frustrating than planting a cactus only to discover that the soil you are using to grow it is inappropriate. Understanding the distinction between cactus soil and succulent soil before you buy will help you prevent mistakes that could take your cactus years to recover from.

What distinguishes succulent soil from cactus soil? Cacti plants may survive in arid conditions, but other succulent plants need constant watering to be alive. Cacti require a coarse, porous soil with minimal organic matter, whereas succulents require a well-draining potting mixture with a lot of organic material, such as peat moss or composted manure.

The contrasts between cactus soil and succulent soil are covered in this blog post, along with what each type of soil requires in terms of nutrients and environmental conditions. So let’s get going.

What ingredients make up cactus compost?

A unique type of soil mix created just for growing cacti is called “cactus compost.” These spiky plants are accustomed to the harsh, dry soil of the desert. Cactus compost aims to replicate desert soil so that your cacti can flourish in the ideal environment. Typically, it is made up of peat moss, soil, and sand or grit.

What distinguishes cactus dirt from potting soil?

  • 1.Drainage: Cactus soil loses moisture more quickly than potting soil. All plants are susceptible to root rot caused by too much moisture, but cacti need special fast-draining soil to imitate their natural habitat. Your cacti’s root systems stay healthy thanks to the speedy water drainage provided by cactus soil.
  • 2. Composition: Organic matter including peat moss, pine bark, and vermiculite are used in typical potting soil. Cactus soil, on the other hand, is primarily composed of inorganic materials like pumice, chicken grit, gravel, or perlite. A tiny amount of organic material, such as coco coir (produced from coconut husks) and sphagnum peat moss, is also used in cactus soil mixes.
  • 3.Density: Cactus soil has a lower density than potting soil. Perlite is an example of an inorganic compound that prevents soil compaction and improves ventilation for cactus roots. Growth of cacti depends on proper aeration.

Should I amend the cactus soil with 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:

Fine Sand

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.

What kind of soil are used for succulents and cacti?

Do you still have concerns regarding succulent soil? Several responses to frequently asked questions about the topic are provided below.

Q: Do you need special soil for succulents?

Yes. Succulents (and cacti) demand sandy, well-draining soils because they are native to dry, arid areas. Your succulents would quickly become extinct if you used the soil in your vegetable garden, which is designed to retain water for thirsty plants. For succulent plants, specially developed soil mixtures are advised, especially for novice gardeners.

Q: What type of soil is best for succulents?

Ideal soil is one that drains properly and is sandy. Drainage will be aided by soil that contains at least 50% of perlite, sand, and other minerals. The drainage is improved by a mineral concentration that is higher.

Q: Can I plant succulents in just rocks?

Because they enhance drainage, rocks are a useful addition to soil mixtures for succulent plants. Stones are easily passed through by water. Succulents, however, require soil to exist since they would be unable to acquire nutrients without it. You might not be able to see the dirt beneath a succulent-covered rock garden, but it is undoubtedly there.

Q: Can I plant succulents in pots without holes?

It’s possible, but that doesn’t mean you should. Drainage is made properly using holes. Without holes, watering turns into a somewhat dangerous activity. If your plastic pot doesn’t already contain holes, you can drill them yourself. You should refrain from attempting to modify materials like glass since doing so requires specialized knowledge and equipment. If you’d rather use a container without drainage holes, you can help with drainage by placing rocks, marbles, or other substrate at the bottom of the container. Then, water the plant sparingly after that.

Q: What are the benefits of houseplants? Why are succulents so popular?

Houseplants are a wonderful way to spruce up spaces and bring the outside in. Some indoor plants can also help to enhance humidity levels and purify the air in your home. There is data that suggests that plants can help your physical and mental health by lowering stress and anxiety.

For gardeners who are careless but yet want to benefit from having houseplants around, succulents are a great option. A single succulent plant will eventually give rise to more because many succulents also generate “babies” and are easy to propagate. You don’t have to attend to certain requirements, such as those of some tropical indoor plants. As long as the pots have excellent drainage, most succulents can also be grown in small containers. Of course, they also look awesome.

Are vermiculite and perlite the same thing?

Remember that there are differences between the two when choosing between perlite and vermiculite, including the fact that vermiculite contains nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, but perlite does not. Additionally, the slightly rounded perlite is less likely to remain uniformly distributed throughout the pot than the flatter vermiculite since it occasionally floats to the top of the soil. Vermiculite, on the other hand, compacts more readily, which may limit its capacity to aerate. As a result, it supposedly doesn’t endure as well as perlite.

The key distinction between the two is that although vermiculite can absorb up to sixteen times its weight in water, perlite for plants can only absorb up to four times its weight in water. Therefore, vermiculite is superior to perlite at capturing and redistributing moisture. Depending on the kind of plants you are growing, that might or might not be a benefit.

The amendments all produce a lot of dust, which is one thing they have in common. As a result, if you choose to mix your own potting soil, you should do it while donning a dust mask or respirator.

Can I plant succulents in cactus soil?

Because cacti are a form of succulent, you can use cactus soil for succulents. When it comes to soil, what works for cactus can also work for other varieties of succulents. Cactus soil provides a well-draining, airy growing medium that is ideal for succulents and cacti.

A succulent can grow well in good quality cactus soil because it has air pockets, excellent drainage, and great nutrient retention capabilities. Ingredients including coco coir, peat moss, gritty sand, pumice, and perlite are used in several cactus mixtures.

Can I use standard potting soil to grow succulents?

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.

Which soil combination is ideal for succulents?

You’ll need containers that can accommodate the quantity of succulent soil you intend to mix and have room for it to be tossed around a bit.

  • The potting mix for succulents works well in a sizable tote with a top.
  • Use your hands, a trowel, and a garden fork to mash up the soil.
  • Long rubber gloves are usually what you should wear to prevent skin irritability and dryness.

Mix It Up!

half a pot of soil

The opposite half:

  • 1/3 fine sand
  • 1/3 pumice or perlite

The remainder should consist of roughly two thirds coarse sand, one third perlite or pumice, and one third poultry grit or turface.