Will Succulents Grow 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.

Sand or soil is required by succulents?

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.

Are succulents sand-obsessed?

No, succulents do not like fine sand as it retains too much water and becomes very compact. It prevents the plant’s roots from having enough room to breathe and will ultimately destroy it.

Because it is sufficiently porous to allow the roots to dry out and breathe, succulents enjoy coarse sand.

The deficiency of nutrients when growing succulents on sand is a significant drawback. Make sure to still give succulents their critical nutrients if you insist on trying to grow them on sand. To achieve this, mix fertilizer with water to a strength that is roughly half, and then use the resulting solution to water the plants.

How is the sand used for succulents?

It’s crucial to add sand to your potting soil since succulents thrive in permeable sandy potting soil.

You may use any kind of sand, but I suggest going with coarse rather than super fine sand to ensure quick drainage for succulents.

Just avoid using sand from the beach, the garden, or the sandbox (you never know what nasties will be in there).

Turface or poultry grit could be used in place of it if you’d prefer. Both of those would work well in place of the sand in this recipe.

Perlite or Pumice

A extremely light organic soil supplement is perlite. You can find the white, Styrofoam-like bits in many commercial potting mixtures.

Perlite has a very low water retention capacity, avoids soil compaction, and aids in improving drainage for succulent plants. In other words, it facilitates faster soil drainage, which is ideal for succulent potting soil.

Perlite and pumice are typically available at any garden shop or home improvement store. But occasionally it’s difficult to find, so I typically order it online.

Succulents: Can they grow without soil?

Because they can retain water in their leaves, succulents can grow without soil. As a result, they may go for extended periods of time without having access to surface moisture.

But in order to do so, they need to have access to a sizable quantity of water and nutrients from the environment.

Succulents can typically grow in rocks without soil or water. The goal is to have a rock that makes it simple for water and nutrients to absorb.

The inability to continuously providing succulents with what they require when they are grown in rocks without soil is one potential drawback.

There are several advantages to soil, such as the provision of air spaces that can absorb excess moisture or dryness more effectively than would be possible with merely rocks.

Because there are no open spots on top where insects could enter and destroy this plant’s root structure, it also safeguards against pests and illnesses.

Another problem with growing succulents in rocks devoid of soil is that they might not be able to resist drastic changes in weather.

When there are no other plants nearby to provide shade, this plant has nothing to shield it from environmental variables like wind or water that could blow sand into its leaves.

We advise staying with potting soil unless you are certain of the environment your succulent will thrive in.

It offers all the advantages required for this kind of plant, which cannot be achieved by just utilizing rocks as a substitute.

How can sand be used for succulent plants?

The most straightforward approach to utilize sand to cultivate succulents is to combine it with a soil mixture. Any potting mixture can be transformed into a high-draining new type of soil by adding coarse sand to it, making it ideal for succulents. But not everyone wants to incorporate sand into their potting mixture. Before you start, there are a few things to bear in mind if you wish to cultivate your succulents in pure sand.

Before you plant in sand, there are a few additional considerations to make in order to aid the growth of your sandy succulents:


Especially if you’re planting outside, your natural environment has a significant impact on how well your succulents grow in a specific habitat. Succulents grown outdoors should attempt to mimic their natural habitat. When planted in pure sand, frost-tolerant succulents that can survive winters by going dormant are more likely to struggle.

When planted in pure sand, frost-tolerant succulents that can survive winters by going dormant are more likely to struggle.


Sand drains well because of its gritty, varying-sized grains, which provide water plenty of area to seep through and disperse. If you’re going to use sand to grow succulents, you might want to mix it with potting soil or succulent mix so that your succulents get the best of both worlds: plenty of nutrients from organic matter and plenty of drainage from sand.

There’s a good possibility you won’t be utilizing any kind of container with a drainage hole if you’re working with pure sand in a pot. For planting with pure sand, it is advisable to use glass, metal, or other non-porous materials as sand can readily leak out of drainage holes in pots. Fortunately, sand’s superior drainage complements no-drainage pots nicely; just be sure to add a bigger inorganic material to the bottom of your pot to promote more drainage.

Soil Type

Making your own succulent soil mixture requires keeping in mind the preferred type of soil for your succulent plants. While certain succulents definitely require sandier, better-draining soil, some could require something a little different. When planting your succulents, it’s ideal to bear in mind their natural environment, including the temperature, to ensure their success.


How your succulent will get the nutrients it needs to flourish is a third factor to take into account when creating your own succulent soil with sand. All soil is made up of a combination of organic matter and inorganic components, such as rocks, perlite, or sand (like peat, coir, or compost). You might need to sometimes add nutritional supplements if your soil is mostly made of sand. During the growing season, using compost or fertilizer will be helpful in this regard.

Can succulents exist just in rocks?

Can Succulents Grow Without Soil In Rocks? Succulent plants are capable of surviving when placed in just 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.

Can I grow succulents in fine sand?

Despite the fact that I said succulents can live in the sand, this is only true for coarse sand. Fine sand is not at all favorable for the survival of succulents. Overly wet fine sand compacts and prevents the roots of succulent plants from breathing. If you want to conduct any repotting instead, you may also get the best soil for succulents in pots.

On comparison to succulents grown in soil, those planted in sand will not receive enough nutrients. As a result, think about fertilizing the plants by mixing diluted fertilizer (between 1/4 and 1/2 strength) into the water you’ll be using to water them. By doing this, you are giving the succulents some of the nutrients they require to grow.

Is beach sand suitable for use as succulent soil?

It is true that creating your own succulent soil requires a little more work. However, it’s an excellent approach to achieve the ideal soil mix for your specific variety and growing circumstances while also saving money. Consider this to be an all-purpose, universal recipe. It may be modified depending on your environment and the materials available and will function both inside and outside, in containers or in the ground.

Mix one part organic ingredients from the left column with two parts mineral components from the right to create a balanced succulent soil. You can choose from either side, or you can combine other elements. Make sure the volume is made up of 2/3 mineral materials and 1/3 organic matter.

Observations regarding a few of the stated soil options:

Potting Soil

On the market, potting soil comes in what seems like countless variations. Check the components to ensure that you are getting exactly what you ordered and to determine whether it aids in drainage or moisture retention. Do not use peat-based potting mixtures (more on that below).


Look for particles with a diameter of between 1/8″ and 1/4″. Fine dust particles that might clog soil pores and hinder drainage are removed by rinsing. Instead of layering gravel at the bottom of a non-draining pot where it can cause rot, you should incorporate it into your soil.

Other Mineral Possibilities

You can use equal amounts of diotamaceous earth, chicken grit, decomposed granite, non-soluble cat litter, and oil dry (both of which are made of calcined molasses clay).

Which plants can you cultivate in sand?

Consider planting succulents like cactus, sedum, lamb’s ears, purple coneflower, coreopsis, lavender, or euphorbia species if you’re thinking about growing plants in sand. Consider the plants and grasses that like the sand as well.

These plants can readily tolerate drying cycles and enjoy a soil situation where there isn’t a lot of moisture retention. Growing these plants in soil of the clay variety will probably result in their demise.

What kind of soil is ideal for succulents?

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.

Are plants OK to use builders’ sand?

As more individuals substitute straightforward building sand for traditional horticultural materials in their gardens, you may have heard about the miraculous capabilities of sand. You might be prepared to switch too if there are assurances of improved native soils and better drainage.

Builders sand is a cheap approach to increase drainage and aeration in garden soil and is widely accessible at most home improvement stores and gardening supply stores. For healthier plants, you may correctly integrate coarse builders sand in everything from raised beds to potting soil mixtures.

Although some would have you believe otherwise, sand does offer some advantages. And even nice things can be overdone. Continue reading to find out more about builders sand and the proper use for it in gardens.

Can you create your own soil for succulents?

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.