Succulents come from dry areas and require different soil requirements than houseplants. With a homemade succulent soil you can create the ideal conditions for your succulents to grow. This succulent soil recipe has 3 ingredients and you can also use the mix for your succulents.
Ask 100 gardeners about the perfect soil for your succulents, and you will get at least 50 different answers. But here you will learn everything about the optimal succulent soil mix!
Why use special succulent potting mix?
Succulents are often sourced from dry, warm regions such as the southern US. They are found in soil that contains few nutrients. They have adapted to the extreme weather conditions by storing water in their fleshy parts.
A succulent (or cacti) that ends up in standard potting soil will have to deal with nutrients that the plant does not need. The soil is also poorly permeable: if you water, the soil compacts and the excess water can hardly be eliminated. If you know that a lot of succulents die from too much water, then an airy and well-permeable potting soil mix is always a good choice.
Simple Succulent Soil Recipe
With this super simple recipe you can make your own potting soil for cacti and succulents in no time. These 3 ingredients you need:
- standard potting soil (from the nursery or supermarket)
- river sand or coarse sand (from the DIY store)
- perlite, horticultural lava rock or fine gravel (from the nursery or the DIY store)
So you will have to make some effort to get the ingredients in your house, but then you will have a good supply of your succulent mix. River sand is for sale in bags of 5 lbs and above. Do not use sea sand; this is not suitable for plants due to its high salinity. Perlite can easily be found in nurseries or DIY stores. Alternatively you can use horticultural lava rock (crushed gravel of lava stone) or fine gravel as a substitute to lighten the substrate. Use the ingredients in equal parts, mix everything together and your potting soil mix for succulents is ready!
Mix the 3 ingredients – standard potting soil, river sand and horticultural lava rock or perlite – in equal parts and your special succulent potting soil is ready!
As a rule of thumb, the soil mix must not form into a compact ball even when wet. The wet succulent soil mix, when pressed together by hand must crumble again at the slightest touch. If this is not the case, there are not enough coarse components. Simply add more river sand or perlite into the mix if this happens.
You can also find the ingredients for your DIY succulent mix on Amazon:
- Pamper your succulents with Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix and Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food
- The 8-qt. bag of potting soil is specially formulated for use with cactus, palm, citrus and succulents
- This potting mix contains forest products, sand and perlite to help prevent soil compaction and improve drainage
- Instantly feed cacti, jade, aloe, and other popular succulents with with this 8-oz. liquid plant food
- Apply the plant food every two weeks
- Create a supernatural experience by re-creating the natural world in your home
- grain size reduces built up detritus
- ph neutral ; safe for all aquariums
- no paints or dyes used
- made in the USA
- Helps loosen heavy soils and prevent compaction
- Aerates soil and promotes root growth
- 100-percent all natural perlite for organic gardening
- 8 qt
Do you have to use special succulent potting mix?
No, you can also just leave succulents in standard potting soil. Be extra careful that you do not water too much or too often. And know that your succulents will do just a little better in a special mix.
Can I buy special succulent potting soil in the store?
Of course. There is a whole range of potting soil for all types of plants, including cacti and succulents. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made cactus or succulent soil from our recommended brands here. But if you can make it yourself, why not?
Benefits of homemade succulent soil
As you can see, making potting soil for your cacti and succulents is really easy. It is also cheaper than buying ready-made mix and you decide what you do in the potting soil mixture. For the finish you can add a thin layer of (aquarium) gravel at the top of the potting soil. Not only does this look beautiful, but ensures that the top layer of the potting soil does not dry out. Have fun with your healthy and happy succulents!
Last update on 2020-08-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API