You may have grown a lot of plant varieties in your garden or indoors using the normal gardening soil. But do you have any succulents? Did you find it difficult to grow succulents at home? And do you know the actual culprit that hampered the growth of your plant? The answer is the soil. Succulents are picky when it comes to soil and you may need to identify the best soil that works for them. The best potting soil for succulents can be prepared at home if you are aware of the major ingredients.
Traditional potting soils are prepared in a way that they hold water but succulents do not really enjoy this. So, basically, you need a well-drained succulent mix or a caucus mix for your succulent at home. Apart from the soil, succulents are extremely easy to care for and thrive really well with minimal care. If you are worried about how to prepare the soil for succulents then you should start thinking about their native conditions. Mostly they belong to arid areas with little rainfall. So, make sure you provide them with the optimal conditions.
Ingredients For Best Potting Soil For Succulents
- Potting Soil: There are numerous varieties when it comes to choosing the potting soil. You have got choices between organic and inorganic potting soil also. But how to layer soil for succulents? When you want to make a base for your succulents, it is advised that you use porous soil which is light. Do not use any soil that contains vermiculite, or any other soil that can retain water. Your regular heavy gardening soil should be neglected here as it can retain water which is bad for succulents. Succulents need well-drained potting soil like the normal cactus and succulent soil mix. You can buy this potting mix from garden centres.
- Perlite or Pumice: Perlite is used to provide more aeration and drainage to the soil and it is used in almost every succulent mix. You can even use Pumice which is like a volcanic material that holds the nutrients in the soil. Now, some people use both these ingredients but you can rely on any of them to help your soil drain the excess water and promote airflow. Both Perlite and Pumice are organic soil amendments and you can buy them from any garden center near you. If you are unable to locate any store, search for succulent soil near me and you will find lots of options nearby selling this item.
- Coarse Sand: It is important to choose the best possible sand for a good succulent soil mix. Succulents thrive really well in sandy potting soil. Now you cannot use any type of sand available near you, we recommend using coarse sand for succulents. Do not use the sand from your garden, do not take the sand from any construction site as it may cause skin irritation issues and less drainage. Don’t just gather sand from the beach as it contains salt and it could be nasty. If you want any substitute, you can choose turface, poultry grit, or chicken grit which is good and quite affordable.
- Coconut Coir (Optional): There are people who opt for Coconut Coir instead of peat moss. It is a natural fiber that comes from the coconut husks and decomposes very slowly. You can get a regular potting mix fit for your succulents, but people many times use coir to excel the drainage capacity for the soil. It works best for both indoor and outdoor growers.
Preparing The Succulent Soil Mix
Things needed for preparation
- A large container to hold the succulent soil mix.
- Gardening gloves to avoid any skin irritation and protection against anything sharp.
- A shovel to mix up the soil or you can use your hands as well.
- A measuring cup to identify the perfect amount of ingredients for the soil mix.
- Most importantly all the ingredients mentioned above need to be ready.
Mixing the ingredients
Before starting your mixing process, you need to know the perfect succulent potting mix ratio to call it the perfect potting soil for succulents. Here’s the recipe to perfect mix:
- 3 parts of potting soil
- 2 parts of coarse sand
- 1 part of perlite or pumice
- ½ part of potting soil
- ⅔ part of coarse sand
- ⅓ part of perlite or pumice
Now. that you know the exact amount of ingredients to be used for creating a good potting soil for succulents. Let’s start the process by putting rubber gloves on your hands. Start by moistening your potting soil and give it a stir with your hands. If you want you can use a shovel as well. But mixing it with your hands is easier and you can mix it well. Prevent the soil from the dust coming into the container. Now, put the coarse sand into the soil and mix it thoroughly. Now, just put the perlite or pumice or you can add both to retain nutrients and drain excess water. Mix the whole mixture until it looks uniform.
You have successfully prepared potting soil for your succulents. This is indeed the best soil for succulents outdoors or indoors. If you are preparing succulent soil for beginners who just got into gardening, you can try the loam soil as well. Loam soil is good at retaining moisture, nutrients and helps by improving drainage as well. So, loam soil for succulents could also be an ideal growing medium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can you use regular potting soil for succulents?
Succulents need soil that does not retain water, regular potting soil holds water which is not good for succulents. They need soil that drains the excess water.
Q2: What makes succulents so popular among gardeners?
Apart from being picky in choosing the soil, succulents are easy to care for and survive even with neglected care. They are also easy to propagate and look beautiful in small pots.
Q3: What is the best fertilizer for succulents?
A balanced fertilizer (15-15-15), or light diluted fish emulsion could be a good choice for growing beautiful, healthy succulents.