Succulent gardening begins with choosing the right growing medium. The most crucial thing to look out for when choosing the best soil for succulents in pots is how well it both absorbs and drains water. As important as the frequency of your watering, choosing the right soil for succulents can make or break them.
The main problem often associated with choosing the wrong soil for succulents is over-watering. Soils that are not suitable for succulents are those that hold too much water for long periods of time. This essentially results in root rot, which is the main cause of death for succulents.
There are many factors that determine the best soil for succulents in pots – mostly environmental conditions – that cause the soil to dry out at different rates. Therefore, different types of succulent potting mix will be ideal for different growing areas.
The 6 Best Soil for Succulents in Pots
We have experimented with various brands of succulent potting mix and have narrowed down to what we consider the few best soil choices for succulents.
Besides soils, planting your succulent in the right pot is equally important. If you’re looking for the right pot for your succulent, be sure to check out Best Drainage Pots for Succulents.
- The 6 Best Soil for Succulents in Pots
- Best Succulent Soil Reviews
- 1. The Next Gardener Organic Soil for Succulents
- 2. Superfly Bonsai Succulent Potting Soils Mix
- 3. Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil Gritty Mix #111
- 4. Bliss Garden Organic Succulent Soil
- 5. Daniel’s Plants Potted Succulents Soil
- 6. Fat Plants San Diego Premium Succulent Soil
- What is the Best Soil for Succulents?
- What Kind of Soil for Succulents: Do Succulents Need Special Soil?
- What Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Succulent Plant Soil Mix?
- Is Miracle Gro Potting Mix Good for Succulents in Containers?
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Best Succulent Soil Reviews
1. The Next Gardener Organic Soil for Succulents
• 100% organic and all natural soil for succulent garden
• Perfectly blended for most succulent and cacti varieties
• Well draining
• Optimized for pH of 5.5, ideal for acid-loving plants
The Next Gardener Organic Soil for Succulents is professionally formulated and imported from Denmark. It is a 100% original, light-weight, and well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH of 5.5, perfectly suited for most succulent and cacti varieties.
This Organic Soil for Succulents feels very light and airy in comparison to the dirt you would find beneath your front lawn. It drains very fast, and dries out very fast as well. Overwatering is greatly reduced in this potting soil, which is a great choice for the ‘over-waterers’ out there.
This soil holds a great deal of water, yet never feels wet. It is mixed super well and smells the way organic, natural soil smells like – no moldy smell like some soils have. It also has a really nice consistency, and very lightweight. Our succulents also love the slight acidic pH this soil offers.
Verdict: Great potting soil mix to use on its own
2. Superfly Bonsai Succulent Potting Soils Mix
• Promotes excellent water retention & drainage
• Non-organic blend - made up of primarily non-organic components (no dirt)
The Superfly Bonsai Succulent Potting Soils Mix is a gritty mix medium made up of the following ingredients:
- 25%: Hard Japanese Akadama
- 25%: USA Pumice
- 25%: New Zealand Pine Bark
- 25%: Haydite
This pre-mixed soil is made up of primarily non-organic components, and no peat or dirt. It is really substrate and has been found to provide optimal drainage, water retention, nutrient uptake and air to the roots that succulents need.
The Superfly Bonsai Succulent Potting Soils Mix is a good choice for most succulents and cacti because of its fast-draining nature. Even though it is made of mostly non-organic components, it is able to retain some water for the plants to absorb. The top of the soil dries out quickly while further down, it remains damp.
This soil can be used on its own or mixed with some soil that contains organic materials. When used alone, this soil ensures you won’t overwater your succulents.
Verdict: Great potting soil mix, albeit on the pricier side
3. Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil Gritty Mix #111
• Optimized for pH of 5.5, ideal for acid-loving plants
• Pathogen free with extended pathogen control
• Contains Bonsai Block, Monto Clay and Pine Coir (pine fines), it is a potting mix optimized for plants that require drier feet between watering
• All Bonsai Jack soil products are lab-tested and manufactured to spec versus other brands who use ingredients derived from reclaimed organic matter containing pathogens such as nematodes and insects that can damage or kill container garden plants
The Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil Gritty Mix #111 is a fast-draining soil that can help prevent root rot and over-watering. It is highly recommended and widely used by succulent gardening experts and hobbyists alike.
This soil has a pH of 5.5, which is ideal for acid-loving plants like succulents, cactus, bonsai, and others. It’s ultra-lightweight and airy succulent plant soil is optimized for water absorption, evaporation, bulk density, and particle size. It is also pathogen free with extended pathogen control.
This succulent soil mix consists of the following ingredients:
- 33% : ¼-inch Pine Bark Fines
- 33% : ¼-inch Bonsai Block (calcined clay)
- 33% : Monto Clay (¼-inch Turface)
What makes Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil Gritty Mix #111 stand out is that it is lab-tested and manufactured to spec, unlike other brands that use ingredients derived from reclaimed organic matter containing pathogens that can damage or kill plants. They do that in order to comply with multi-state regulations and to maintain six nursery stamps that allow them to ship to all 50 states.
You really get what pay for the Bonsai Jack SucculentSoil Gritty Mix #111. Being a premium potting mix, the soil is understandably pricier than other competitors in the market. This gritty mix is well-loved by many succulent experts and hobbyists for its amazing drainage and airiness. It also has a pleasing earthy aroma and best of all, is without peat and free of insects. It is also great alternative to sand mix for succulents.
The Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil Gritty Mix #111 wins our vote for the best soil for succulents. We love that it can be used as a stand-alone soil. There is no need to blend with other soil, which saves us a lot of hassle. With this gritty mix soil, you can really have a peace of mind when it comes to overwatering.
Buyer’s Guide: You get more bang for your buck when you purchase the 2-Gallon (8-quart) bags and above.
Verdict: Best fast-draining soil; over-watering is never a problem
4. Bliss Garden Organic Succulent Soil
• Ingredients include: coconut coir, peat moss, perlite, worm castings, expanded clay/shale rocks,horticultural charcoal, Mycorrhizae root inoculate
• Made In Green Bay Wisconsin
• Premium super soil at a great price!
• Fast shipping
The Bliss Garden Organic Succulent Soil is a premium hand-made soil for succulents and cacti that need high drainage.
The ingredients consist of:
- Coconut coir
- Peat moss
- Worm castings
- Expanded clay/shale rocks
- Horticultural charcoal
- Mycorrhizae root inoculate
It comes in a one-gallon bag, which is measured by volume and not weight.
This soil is best for succulents that are grown in hot and dry areas where gritty mix succulent soil isn’t suitable, as it still is able to retain some moisture due to its peat content. For succulents grown in more humid areas, it is recommended to add a bit more pumice, sand, or perlite into the blend for faster draining.
Unlike most cactus and succulent soil in the market which is typically very heavy or full of wood chips, this hand-made succulent soil mix is both lightweight and moderately well-draining.
Overall, it is a good succulent soil, and cheaper than many popular brands.
Verdict: Best soil for succulents grown in hot and dry areas
5. Daniel’s Plants Potted Succulents Soil
• Rich in coco coir, pumice and perlite, this nutritious cactus potting soil provides proper aeration and allows the water to flow quickly through, while still retaining the necessary moisture for your plants to grow
• Easily fills (16) 4-inch pots or (8) X 6-inch pots. Just add warm water, stir lightly and you’re ready to go!
Daniel’s Plants Potted Succulents Soil is a premium quality potting soil that will instantly expand to give 4 quarts of nutritious soil for growing healthy, vibrant cacti at home. It is professionally formulated with all the necessary nutrients for a balanced nutrition that succulents need.
Rich in coconut coir (a great alternative to peat), pumice and perlite, this nutritious succulent potting soil provides proper aeration and allows water to flow through quickly, while still retaining the necessary moisture for plants to grow.
Daniel’s Plants Potted Succulents Soil works really well and is easy to use. The soil expands very quickly when water is added. One bag can easily fill (16) 4″ pots or (8) X 6″ pots. It is well-draining and does not compact when wet. It is a great soil especially for starting and propagating succulents.
They also provide convenient shipping and storage – important for someone living in a small apartment.
Verdict: Best soil for propagating succulents
6. Fat Plants San Diego Premium Succulent Soil
• PREMIUM QUALITY growing medium is mixed and packaged in our San Diego, California licensed nursery
• PH BALANCED for all cacti and succulent plants
• OPTIMAL DRAINAGE for succulents, helps prevent root rot
The Fat Plants San Diego Premium Succulent Soil is a nutrient-enriched, professionally blended soil with a pH balanced for cacti and succulent plants. The soil offers optimal drainage for succulents, while still retaining some moisture for plants to absorb.
The Fat Plants San Diego Premium Succulent Soil is one of the best soils for succulent gardening success – it is quick-draining and fertile. When dry, the soil is light, fluffy and clean. It holds a lot of water because of its peat content, yet never feels wet, clumps, or compacts. It has a soft consistency and texture, and doesn’t contain stones or wood chips like other larger brands in the market.
This soil is especially great for propagating succulents, where moisture retention is necessary. It has good drainage but doesn’t dry out too quickly.
Verdict: Optimal drainage for succulents; combination of moisture retention and quick drainage
What is the Best Soil for Succulents?
Based on our experience, the best soil for succulents is Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix #111. It ranks number one for drainage and has the best value for money. We never had to worry about root rot when using the Bonsai Jack succulent soil. Besides, we’re not the only ones to rave about this product – many succulent growers swear by this brand as well.
What Kind of Soil for Succulents: Do Succulents Need Special Soil?
As you’ve already gathered from above, the best soil for succulents in containers is one that offers great drainage. When gardening, while it is best practice to mimic the soil found in the succulents’ natural habitat, many factors come into play when deciding which soil offers the best drainage – the amount of water added, temperature, airflow, and soil structure. When looking for the right soil for potted succulents, it is important to realize that the soil’s drying time is a balance of all these factors.
Thus, what’s best for one gardener may not work well for another. For example, one may prefer a grittier soil for succulents indoors, while another may prefer less porous soil for outdoor succulents with a hotter climate and more airflow. In the same way, what one may use in the garden for landscape succulents will vary greatly from what one may use in a pot or a container.
What Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Succulent Plant Soil Mix?
Organic versus inorganic components – this is a key factor when selecting a good succulent plant soil. Both types are necessary in succulent soil – the organic components provide nutrients and retain moisture while the inorganic components improve drainage.
The right ratio of organic to inorganic components will support succulent growth and prevent rot. It can also allow you to water your succulents deeply but infrequently. The right ratio can range from 60:40 to 20:80, depending on the environmental conditions and type of succulent being grown.
Some recommended options for organic and inorganic components of a good succulent plant soil are:
- Organic components – Pine bark, coconut coir, compost, and potting soil
- Inorganic components – Coarse sand, perlite, volcanic rock, fine gravel, and chicken grit.
It is also best to avoid inorganic components that retain water, such as vermiculite and non-calcined clays.
Is Miracle Gro Potting Mix Good for Succulents in Containers?
We have experimented planting some of our succulents and aloe veras with the Miracle Gro Potting Soil for Succulents and Cacti. We found that this blend is not much different than plain regular potting soil and that it was staying moist for days, even though it says fast drying on the label.
Therefore, to those who ask “Is Miracle Gro good for succulents?”, we do not recommend Miracle Gro Potting Soil (both the regular and cactus potting soil) as a standalone soil for succulents, but to be mixed with coarse sand, pumice, perlite, and the like.
Last update on 2020-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API