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 succulents be planted 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.
What kind of potting soil are succulents supposed to use?
Start with a simple cactus and succulent soil mix, or even an African violet mix, both of which are readily available at most garden centers, for the best potting soil for succulents. Then experiment with different combinations of ingredients to discover the one that will enhance drainage, make watering easier, and last a long time without compacting.
Organic matter is a key component of any potting mix for succulents. The primary component of most potting soils, peat moss, is difficult to moisten and rapidly dries out. A small amount of finely crushed bark can be used to make water enter more quickly. Coir, which is formed of fibrous, shredded coconut husks and decomposes extremely slowly, is an excellent substitute for peat moss in handmade mixes. Coir is simple to moisten when it dries out, unlike peat. While compost can also be utilized, it decomposes quite quickly.
The other key component is an inorganic material that keeps the mixture crumbly and airy by allowing water to easily soak into and then drain out of soil. Perlite, crushed granite, pumice, chicken grit, calcined clay used to promote aeration and compaction in turf fields, or non-soluble cat litter are a few options that are all preferable than coarse sand. Any of these will significantly improve drainage and remain intact as the organic matter eventually breaks down.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Any novice who wants to grow succulents may find it difficult to choose the right soil mix, so 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:
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.
Succulents may be planted in garden soil.
Some succulents that are grown in soil usually die because they are placed incorrectly. Planting succulents in full sun can kill them on a really hot day or if they’re still relatively little as many succulents prefer filtered light or a shady setting to grow happily.
Another explanation could be that the succulent you recently purchased was grown in a greenhouse and is not accustomed to direct sunlight. The fact that they are in ordinary garden soil has nothing to do with this, which occurs rather frequently.
The majority of these succulents grown in greenhouses will have burn marks on their leaves, but some may not recover and may even perish.
All of the sun-loving plants that we grow outdoors are highly hardy and have no trouble growing in the ground in direct sunshine, even during summer heat waves.
When succulents are not given enough water during summer heat waves and droughts, they may also perish. Large, mature plants should survive, but smaller succulent plants require watering when the soil is extremely dry.
Long-term dry spells can cause your soil to become hydrophobic, which means that watering won’t completely saturate the soil and the soil will lose its ability to hydrate. If you scratch the surface, the soil will be dust-dry and your plants won’t be receiving any water at all. The surface will look to be wet.
You can remedy this by rehydrating the dried-out soil and mulching the tops of your gardens. Succulents won’t be harmed by mulching.
If a succulent suddenly and mysteriously vanishes from its location, you might have a pest issue. Small succulents can be completely eaten away over night by large snails, slugs, and caterpillars. Succulents are also consumed by deer, possums, kangaroos, mice, and some birds (including chickens and ducks).
Succulents planted in pots with nothing but garden soil are unlikely to thrive and even risk dying, as was previously noted. Even while types with extreme hardiness, such Graptopetalum Paraguayense, can survive, we advise purchasing at least a basic potting mix. Succulent potting mix or high-quality, all-purpose well-draining mix ought to work if you want very beautiful plants in containers.
In conclusion, the vast majority of succulents will thrive when planted in regular garden soil, albeit if the soil is of low quality, they might not grow as quickly or fully. Succulents shouldn’t be grown in pots with nothing but garden soil, in our opinion.
Why is Miracle Grow potting soil a problem?
Avoid buying anything that bears the Miracle-Gro name at all costs. The following products 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 should my soil be prepared for succulents?
The requirements for outdoor succulent soil vary by region, however modified drainage soil produces the optimum plant performance. The amount of rainfall your environment receives and safeguarding succulent roots will determine how to properly prepare the soil for a succulent garden. Your goal is to keep the roots dry, thus the optimum soil for your succulent garden will depend on your local climate.
When creating outdoor succulent soil, you can start with the soil you dug up from your garden bed and then add nutrients. In the garden, succulents don’t require fertile soil; in fact, they favor nutrient-poor, arid soils. Take out any sticks, rocks, and other trash. You can buy topsoil to add to the mixture as well. Choose soil that has no chemicals, fertilizers, or moisture retention.
How do you create soil for succulents?
The proportion needed to make top-notch potting soil for succulents. A mixture of two parts sand, two parts gardening soil, and one part perlite or pumice yields the best results when mixing the three components. This translates to 3 cups of sand, 3 cups of soil, and 1.5 cups of perlite or pumice when expressed in cups.
Before repotting succulents, should you water them?
Repotting a succulent is necessary if its roots are cramming the container or if it needs to grow larger for any other reason.
Early spring or early fall, just before their growing season begins, are the ideal times of year for repotting succulents.
Since they can only remain in a pot for two years before beginning to exhibit signs of potted fatigue, which can eventually result in root rot and other issues, repotting should always be done at least every two years.
Before being repotted, succulents need to be watered for a few days to allow them to dry out.
This is due to the fact that when you water them, they do absorb moisture, and that should give your succulents’ roots enough time to absorb all possible moisture before being replanted.
Additionally, it is important to do this to give them time to become used to their new pot and soil, which is a little bit drier than their previous environment.
Your succulents must dry out for a few days before you may clear the old soil from the roots with water while repotting them.