Best Soil For Succulents
If you’re like most gardeners, you’re always looking for ways to improve your soil. After all, the better your soil, the better your plants will grow!
Whether you’re a first-time gardener or an experienced green thumb, it’s important to use the right soil when growing succulent plants.
Different plants require different types of soil, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes the best soil for succulents and how to select the right one. We’ll also talk about some of the benefits of making your own succulent soil.
Table of Contents
What Is A Succulent Plant?
A succulent is a water-retaining plant adapted to arid climates. Succulents are characterized by leaves that are thick and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or habitats. Worldwide, there are thought to be 60,000+ species of succulents.
There are several reasons why people might choose to grow succulents. First, there’s very low maintenance required for these types of plants. They often can survive periods of neglect and still thrive.
Second, they come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes which adds interest and aesthetic value to any indoor or outdoor space.
Third, they generally require very little watering which makes them ideal for those who travel often or have busy lifestyles.
What Makes A Good Succulent Soil?
Succulents do best in porous, well-draining soil. A mixture of coarse sand, perlite or pumice, and loose potting soil is perfect. Make sure the potting mix is light and airy so that it doesn’t become waterlogged. Wet soil will quickly rot the roots of succulents. If you’re growing succulents in containers, be sure to drain them thoroughly after each watering.
Coarse Sand – Coarse sand is a great material for succulent soil because it allows for adequate drainage while still providing some stability and support for the roots. Succulent plants need well-drained soil in order to thrive, and coarse sand can help ensure that water does not pool around the roots of your plants. This type of sand is also relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great option if you’re looking to create a budget-friendly succulent soil mix.
Perlite – Perlite is a good additive for succulent soils and is a type of volcanic glass that’s light and airy, and it helps to improve the drainage and aeration of soils. This makes it a good choice for succulent plants, which need well-drained soil that can still hold some moisture.
Pumice – Pumice can be a good addition to succulent soil. It helps to improve drainage and air circulation, which is important for succulent plants. Additionally, pumice is a lightweight material that won’t compact over time like some other amendments, so it helps to keep the soil loose and friable.
Potting Soil – Potting soil can be a good base for making succulent soil. Potting soil is typically made up of lightweight and well-drained materials like sphagnum peat moss, and perlite. These components help to ensure that succulent roots have access to the air and water they need to thrive. However, it’s important to note that not all potting soils are created equal. Be sure to choose a mix that doesn’t contain any added fertilizer or chemicals, as these can be harmful to succulents. You may also want to consider choosing a potting soil with perlite rather than vermiculite.
Are Ready Made Succulent Soil Mixes Any Good?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the quality of ready made soils for succulents will vary depending on the individual product. However, in general, most store bought ready made succulent soils are perfectly fine for most growers.
Succulent plants do best in soils that are light and well draining. So if you’re looking for a soil specifically designed for succulents, it’s important to read the ingredients list and make sure that the soil is specifically formulated for succulents and cacti.
That said, there are many different types of succulent plants, and not all of them require the same type of soil. Some succulents prefer moist soil while others prefer drier conditions. So it’s important to research the specific needs of your type of succulent plant.
Common Problems When Growing Succulent Plants
Succulent plants are easy to care for, but there are a few common problems that can occur. Overwatering is one of the most common issues, as succulents do not like wet feet. Another issue can be lack of light, which can cause succulents to become leggy. Succulents may also become susceptible to pests or diseases if they are not cared for properly.
Another problem is that the plants can become pot-bound, meaning that their roots have become too large for the pot and need to be transplanted into a larger one.
Compaction is another common problem when succulents are not cared for properly. Soil can become compacted when there is not enough space between the soil particles for air.
This can happen due to drought, excessive watering, or poor drainage. When the soil is compacted, the roots of the plants are unable to breathe and they may start to suffocate. The leaves of the plants may also start to wilt. Compacted soil can be a problem for all types of plants, but it is especially a problem for succulents.
Additionally, succulent plants may experience nutrient imbalance. The most common reason is simply due to the fact that succulents are often grown in marginal soils that are deficient in nutrients. In addition, succulents tend to be fast-growing plants and they can quickly deplete the soil of nutrients.
Another factor that can contribute to nutrient imbalance in succulents is inadequate watering. When plants don’t get enough water, they can’t take up nutrients from the soil properly, which can lead to nutrient deficiency. Most succulent growers recommend fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer every month or so during the growing season.
pH swings can also occur in succulent plants. When soil becomes too acidic or too alkaline, it can be difficult for plants to absorb the nutrients they need from the soil. This can cause deficiencies in the plant, which will lead to poor growth and/or chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves).
If you suspect that your succulent plants are experiencing pH problems, you can test the pH of your soil yourself with a simple soil testing kit. If the pH is off, you can then take steps to adjust it accordingly.
How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil Mix?
Making your own succulent soil mix is not as difficult as it may seem. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a potting mix that will be perfect for your succulents. Here’s what you’ll need:
- One Part Perlite
- One Part Potting Soil
- One Part Coarse Sand
Once you have these ingredients, simply mix them together in equal parts and voila! You have your very own succulent potting mix. You can increase or decrease the parts to suit your plants needs and achieve the desired results (One Part – makes one measure or scoop)
This mixture will provide drainage while still allowing your plants to retain the moisture they need to thrive. For best results, repot your succulents every one to two years using this fresh potting mix.
Tools Needed –
- Bucket or Potting Tray
- Garden Gloves
- Scoop or Trowel
If you’re a succulent enthusiast, you know that one of the best things about these plants is how easy it is to propagate them!
What is Propagation?
Propagation happens when new plants are created from existing ones. With succulents, propagation is usually done by taking a cutting from the parent plant and rooting it to form a new plant. The beauty of propagating succulents is that it’s generally easy to do, and it won’t harm the parent plant.
Before We Begin…
Before we dive into how to propagate succulents, it’s important first to gather some tools and materials. Here is a list of essential items you’ll need:
- Pruning shears or a sharp, clean knife
- A clean, dry surface for cutting
- A container for holding soil
- A soil mix suitable for succulents (e.g., well-draining potting mix)
- A spray bottle with clean water
- An area with bright but indirect sunlight
Step 1: Choosing Your Parent Plant
If you’re planning on propagating succulents, the first step is to choose the right parent plant. Not all succulents are the same, and some types are easier to propagate than others. The best succulents for propagation are those that are healthy, mature, and have several stems or branches.
Some of the easiest succulents to propagate include:
- Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
- Aloe Vera
- Sedum morganianum (Burro’s Tail)
Regardless of the succulent you choose to propagate, ensure it’s healthy and free from pests. Also, make sure the plant isn’t too big; it should be small enough to manage comfortably.
Step 2: Taking the Cutting
Once you’ve chosen your parent plant, the next step is to take a cutting. Using a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears or a knife, cut a section of the stem that is about 2-3 inches long. When taking the cutting, make sure you cut below a node or joint – this is where new roots will grow.
After taking the cutting, allow it to dry for a few days so that the cut area can heal. This drying period prevents the cutting from rotting when you plant it in soil.
Step 3: Preparing the Soil
While the cutting is drying, prepare the soil. When propagating succulents, use a well-draining soil mix. A ratio of 3:1:1 of potting soil, perlite, and sand is ideal. Ensure the soil is moist but not soaking wet.
Step 4: Planting the Cutting
Once the cutting has had time to dry, it’s time to plant it. Gently place the cutting into the soil, making sure the node area is buried. Do not water the cutting immediately; wait for a few days for the roots to develop before you water it.
Step 5: Taking Care of the Propagation
With the cutting planted, you need to make sure it is receiving adequate sunlight, but not excessive direct sunlight, as this may cause it to wilt. Ensure the soil is always moist but not soaking wet. Use a spray bottle to mist the soil occasionally for the first few weeks. As the plant grows, you can move it to a larger pot.
Propagating succulents is an easy and rewarding process that requires minimal effort. With the right tools, soil, and a healthy parent plant, you can create multiple new plants from one. Remember to choose the right succulent, take a cutting, allow it to dry, plant it, take care of it, and watch it grow. Happy propagating!
Benefits Of Making Your Own Succulent Soil Mix?
There are several benefits to making your own succulent mix, rather than using a store-bought mix. First of all, you can customize the mix to your individual plants’ needs. Secondly, homemade mixes tend to be less expensive than commercial ones. And lastly, you can be sure that your mix is made with high-quality ingredients that will promote healthy growth.