What Is Succulent Soil

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.

Can I grow succulents in normal soil?

I make money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. To learn more, click here.

I’ve finally developed the ideal succulent potting mix after years of experimenting. The best soil for succulents is this one, and it’s also quite simple to create. I’ll provide my recipe and step-by-step instructions for making your own succulent soil in this post.

I make my own succulent soil rather than buying it. Purchasing a commercial succulent potting mix would be significantly more expensive.

Additionally, I believe that commercial succulent soil mixes (at least the ones I’ve bought in the past) are low on sand and contain more water than I prefer.

What materials make up succulent soil?

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.

What kind of soil is suitable for cacti?

There are many organic and mineral ingredients available, and you can combine different varieties from each category. We advise using pine bark, coconut coir, compost, or potting soil as organic materials. Coarse sand, perlite, volcanic rock, fine gravel, and chicken grit are all suitable minerals. Vermiculite and non-calcined clays should be avoided as they are water-storing minerals.

Texture and Porosity

Based on grit size, the mineral component of soil is further divided into “texture categories.” Sand, silt, and clay are the three categories, in order of largest to smallest size. The proportions of each impacts how much water a soil can hold and how long it will take to dry. Sandier soils dry up more quickly than clay-based soils due to their big particles and pores. For succulents, this is excellent.

You can determine the texture of your soil at home using easy feel tests and jar testing. Aim for a sandy loam that contains 50 to 80 percent coarse sand or fine gravel when planting outdoors. Choose coarse grit minerals with a diameter of between 1/8″ and 1/4″ for potted plants. By doing this, you’ll guarantee quick drainage and prevent your succulents from rotting in wet soil.

What occurs when succulents are planted in normal potting soil?

In their natural habitat, succulents will flourish in sandy soil or even gravel. With this kind of soil, the succulent never has wet feet since the water can drain through.

  • If you only have potting soil on hand, adding crushed stones or coarse sand will be essential because succulents demand well-drained soil.
  • A succulent soil must be able to store nutrients and water and then release them when the plant requires them.
  • To breathe and easily pierce the soil mixture, the roots need air pathways in the soil.
  • A healthy soil should hold the succulent plant upright, encourage root expansion, and anchor the roots.
  • A good succulent mixture should not contain an excessive amount of nitrogen because this will result in huge, leggy leaves.

How do you mix soil for succulent plants?

The method I usually use for succulent soil is quite simple and easy to follow. It is made up of around 2.5 cups of potting soil, 1 cup of coarse sand, and 1 cup of perlite, though it is not an exact science. Thus, the ratio appears as follows: potting soil 2.5:1, coarse sand 1, and perlite 1.

Because it’s one of the methods I employ to create drainage in plant pots without holes, I usually keep a bag of only perlite on hand. How about the sand? To be honest with you, I took a cup from our flimsy outdoor umbrella stand to use for this concoction. It came from a bag of coarse sand in the Home Depot paver section.

You don’t need to purchase a sand specifically for potting soil, so don’t worry too much about it. Just stay away from the really fine play sand. I did not want to purchase an entire bag! Let’s hope that adding just one more cup to the base will prevent my umbrella from toppling over.

I went ahead and mixed the sand and perlite together as there is only 1 cup of each in this mixture. I did it in a cup by alternately pouring it into the two original cups. Simply do the action in a bowl to save time and effort. Simply dirt, it will wash away. It’s also more simpler.

I then combined this mixture with the potting soil in a bowl using a butter knife. When I needed to split apart larger soil bits, the dull knife came in handy.

What kind of potting soil is ideal 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.

Is the soil for cacti and succulents the same?

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.

Can I grow succulents in sand?

While succulents can live in sand, only coarse sand will actually work. In fine sand, succulents won’t grow well, if at all, as it holds on to too much water, making it difficult for the roots to breathe.

Sand-grown succulents won’t receive as many nutrients as those raised in potting soil. So it makes sense to think about fertilizing the succulent by incorporating diluted fertilizer with its watering schedule. This guarantees that the plant continues to receive the nutrients required for growth.

Making a sand and soil mix is the greatest alternative to growing your succulent in sand. The succulent benefits from having the best of both worlds since the sand ensures adequate water drainage and the soil supplies the plant with nutrients for growth.

Succulents can they grow without soil in 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 be grown with 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.
  • &nbsp

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.
  • &nbsp
  • 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