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The success or failure of a plant rests on how you prepare the plant for the pot. The soil needs to have the proper nutrients and should allow for proper air circulation. The best potting combinations for your favorite house plant include a bit of peat, minerals like vermiculite or perlite that permit airflow, and shredded pine bark. You can use a general potting soil mix for many houseplants. Although, a more delicate plant may require a more specific mixture to grow. The most important thing to consider is the level of acidity.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Make Succulent Potting Soil - The Best Mix for different SucculentsContent:
- Potting Soil 101: Find the Right Mix
- Succulent Soil: The Ultimate Guide
- 12 Low light succulents for your home or office
- How NOT to Kill Your Succulents
- How Often Should You Change the Soil in Your Houseplants?
- Can You Use Regular Potting Soil for Succulents?
- 11 Easy-Care Exotic Succulents to Grow at Home
- How to Grow Succulents in Containers
- How to care for cacti and succulents
- How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil (With Recipe!)
Potting Soil 101: Find the Right Mix
Play Video. Struggled with succulents and not known what the problem was? The answer could be in the soil. Succulents need different soil from most plants in order to really thrive. Indoors or out, there are a lot of factors that determine the right soil for healthy, beautiful plants.
Use the wrong type of soil and you'll find yourself endlessly troubleshooting care issues. But fear not!
This comprehensive guide explains everything you've ever wondered about succulent soil. It covers the key factors for different growing conditions, reviews top commercial succulent soils, and shares a simple recipe to help you mix your own soil at home. The short answer: a well-draining one. There are a lot of conflicting ideas about soil, but when it comes to succulents, drainage is key.
That's because succulents' ability to tolerate drought makes them prone to rot if left in wet soil. To cultivate any plant, it helps to mimic the natural environment from which it came. Wild succulents tend to grow in sandy, gravelly soil. Many even thrive in small, rocky crevices or cliffsides. Their native, gritty soils get saturated by heavy rains but dry out rapidly. Many variables influence how long soil stays wet, e.
While looking for the right soil, be aware that drying time is a balance of all these factors. With all these factors at play, what works for one gardener may not work well for another. For instance, indoor growers with less airflow might prefer a grittier soil to prevent pests.
Conversely, an outdoor grower in a hot, windy climate could use a less porous soil to avoid having to water too frequently. You can drill your own holes in non-draining pots, but a layer of rocks at the bottom does not add drainage. In fact, it creates large pockets in which water collects and breeds bacteria. The best succulent soil in the world can't prevent rot in a non-draining container if you aren't careful with watering.
You can find more information on this in our Guide to Pots for Succulents. Soil is made up of organic and mineral components.
In this context, organic refers to things that were once alive. Minerals, however, are natural, inorganic substances not derived from living organisms. For example, tree bark and other plant debris are organic components, but gravel is mineral. Both types are necessary in soil. The organic materials provide nutrients and store water while mineral constituents improve drainage. The right ratio of organic to mineral material will support growth and prevent rot. It will also allow you to water your succulents deeply, but infrequently.
There are a lot of organic and mineral ingredients to choose from, and you can mix multiple types from each category. For organic matter, we recommend pine bark, coconut coir, compost, or potting soil. Good mineral options include coarse sand, perlite, volcanic rock, fine gravel, and chicken grit. Avoid minerals that store water, like vermiculite and non-calcined clays.
The mineral portion of soil is further categorized into "texture types" based on grit size. The three types, from largest to smallest, are sand, silt, and clay. The proportions of each affects how much water a soil can hold and how long it will take to dry. With their large particles and pores, sandy soils dry out faster than clay soils.
This is ideal for succulents.There are simple feel tests and jar tests you can do at home to estimate the texture of your soil. This will ensure rapid drainage and keep your succulents from rotting in soggy soil. Here you'll find a side by side comparison of some commercial succulent soils. We tested each for field capacity i. All were in plastic pots with drainage holes under the same indoor light conditions with moderate airflow.
There's no one right soil for every grower and each of these options can be amended to fit your needs. Regular potting soil isn't the best choice for easy succulent cultivation, but with a couple of precautions you can make it work. Potting soil is mostly organic materials like bark, peat moss, and compost. It has a dense structure and it takes a while for it to dry.
But if regular potting soil is all that's available, here's how to make it work for succulents. First, pick the lightest mixture you can find and avoid any with vermiculite or moisture retaining crystals.
Also, be sure to use a container with a drainage hole…or three. And lastly, water less frequently so the mix has time to dry. And if you really want to turn standard potting soil into a rapidly-draining succulent soil, mix a or even ratio of potting soil to mineral grit.
With a name like "Cactus Mix", I expected better drainage from this soil. While it drained excess water well initially, it took the most time to dry of all the samples tested. It has some pumice for drainage, but mostly it's comprised of forest products, compost, and worm casings. That said, Black Gold Cactus Mix is not a bad soil. It could be the right soil for pots in hot climates, for thinner leaved succulents like hardy Sedum , or for growers who rarely remember to water.
Those looking for truly rapid drainage, however, might want to look elsewhere. This mix has an organic base of forest products and peat moss with both sand and perlite added. It drains well and has a bit of added Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous—enough to encourage growth, but not enough to burn vulnerable plants. The peat does make it somewhat difficult to rehydrate after the soil has completely dried more on that below. This is a nice, standard mix for growers who know how to gauge when a container of succulents needs water.
Those who tend to over-water or are trying to grow extra low-water plants like cacti should amend it. You can turn this into a grade A soil by mixing it with an equal volume of mineral materials. This soil is in a whole different league in terms of price and performance. It is only available online and the price includes the cost of shipping. It has a radically different makeup than the other products analyzed, namely calcined clay and fine particles of pine bark.
This super light, gritty mix has giant pores that keep it from ever retaining too much water. When used in a pot with drainage holes, it is nearly impossible to over-water your plants. For succulent newcomers, cactus growers, or loving plant parents who sometimes water too often, Bonsai Jack soil is worth the price. I tried this mix one winter when low airflow in my apartment turned my succulents into breeding grounds for fungus gnats.
Now I use it year-round. Water the entire top surface of the soil to ensure maximum absorption. True, mixing your own succulent soil is a little more involved. But, it's a great way to save money and get the perfect soil blend for your particular varieties and growing conditions. Think of this as a general, all-purpose recipe. It will work indoors or outdoors, in containers or in the ground, and can be adapted based on your environment and the materials available.
To make a balanced succulent soil, mix one part organic materials from the left column with two parts mineral materials from the right. You can pick one from each side or mix and match multiple ingredients.
There are seemingly endless varieties of potting soil on the market. Check the ingredients so you know exactly what you're getting and whether it contributes to moisture retention or drainage. Avoid peat-based potting mixes more on that below. For a well-draining soil, it's important to use a coarse grit like builder's sand. Additionally, do not use beach sand as it can desiccate succulents with salt.
This natural, volcanic glass makes a soil light and airy. Just don't confused it with vermiculite, which retains moisture instead of draining it. Rinsing removes fine dust particles that can clog soil pores and reduce drainage. Gravel should be mixed into your soil, not layered at the bottom of a non-draining pot where it can lead to rot.
Diotamaceous earth, chicken grit, decomposed granite, and non-soluble cat litter or oil dry both are calcined moler clay can be substituted in equal volumes. Soil requirements for succulents planted in the ground are less strict than those for container plantings.Ideally, even landscape succulents would be in a gritty, sandy loam with a gravel mulch.
The nature of outdoor conditions, however, means you can get away with a less than perfectly draining soil. The main reason is that outdoor plants are in a greater volume of soil and get more sunlight and airflow than indoor plants.
This draws water out of the soil through evaporation, helping them dry faster, and reducing the incidence of rot and disease. The easiest way to improve drainage without changing the soil structure is by mounding it into berms or raised beds.
Succulent Soil: The Ultimate Guide
Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Succulent plants have thick, fleshy leaves that store water. Some varieties flower while others only produce attractive foliage and stems. Most succulents thrive in dry conditions because too much moisture can cause the plants to rot. Rocky soil that drains quickly works well for most succulent varieties. You can grow them indoors in a dish filled with gravel, which provides adequate moisture drainage, although some soil is still necessary to provide nutrients and a medium for the succulent roots. Fill a 3- to 5-inch-deep pot or dish with a one inch layer of gravel.
Buy Organic Succulents & Cactus Soil Mix, Professional Potting Soil, Fast Draining Pre-Mixed Blend, Small Bag Garden Soil for Indoor Plants, Aloe Vera.
12 Low light succulents for your home or office
I am ready to re-pot my Christmas cactus and am wondering what the proper soil is for it. Would it be best to use a potting soil such as Miracle-Gro, or would it need a more acidic soil such as that for African violets? Following flowering they should have begun growing, or will begin soon. The soil into which you transplant them is important, but the Christmas cactus is tolerant of various conditions. It is very important that the potting soil be well drained. This is one of the plants that will not tolerate soggy conditions - it needs air around its roots. Having said that, I have seen Christmas cacti growing very well in garden soil used as potting soil.
How NOT to Kill Your Succulents
Spring is just around the corner and I have been getting my gardening supplies ready. I will show you how to plant your very first succulent container garden and plenty of other potting tips right here. You can either use a single succulent plant or combine a variety of plants together. It all depends on what you want to do.
Jan 16, Houseplants 1 comment. Cacti are succulents are easy care plants for any home or patio.
How Often Should You Change the Soil in Your Houseplants?
Succulents are low-maintenance plants that are perfect for brown-thumbed gardeners. Most people kill their succulents not by neglecting them but by giving them too much attention: Too much water spells disaster for succulents. You can also pot your plants in the best soil for succulents to prevent excess sogginess. Potting your succulents in the wrong soil will quickly put a stop to your gardening adventures. In unsuitable soil, succulents will become stressed, waterlogged, and eventually die. While some succulents are hardier than others, the right soil will boost the health of any succulent plant.
Can You Use Regular Potting Soil for Succulents?
Succulents are to gardening enthusiasts what toy breeds are to dog lovers. They are irresistibly cute but also very delicate. If you are an amateur plant parent who has suffered the loss of at least a few succulents, then you know what we mean. Considering these pretty plants have a tendency of dying on us, how to take care of succulent plants is a burning question in our minds. So we did some snooping around and spoke to Vinayak Garg, who is the founder of LazyGardener, a brand that makes plant food sticks, and a gardening enthusiast himself. His expert tips on succulent maintenance makes it clear that we have been doing quite a few things wrong all along. It must be a surprise for you too.
Slower-growing plants like cacti and sansevieria, or mother-in-law's Never use garden soil, which is too dense for a potted plant.
11 Easy-Care Exotic Succulents to Grow at Home
When I enter a plant store, I never picture my dim, drafty apartment with only one southern exposure facing an airshaft. I love their miniature stature. Their nubby, swollen leaves are intoxicating. Succulents manage to look relaxed, stylish, and classic all at once, like if Julia Roberts starred in a film about a socialite going off the grid in Palm Springs.
How to Grow Succulents in ContainersRELATED VIDEO: Indoor Succulents for Beginners
Can you use regular potting soil for succulents? This is a very important question especially if you are just started growing your succulent plants. In this post, you will find out whether or not regular potting soil is good for succulents.Succulents are very different and special plants.
What soil do cactus need? Cacti require a porous, sandy or pebbly potting soil that provides plenty of aeration and excellent drainage.
How to care for cacti and succulents
Houseplant enthusiasts look for different and more exotic specimens to add to their collections. Beginners and experts can find many good choices among the cacti and succulents. The term succulent refers to a broad, loose category of plants, including cacti, which have developed thick fleshy leaves or stems. These serve as water storage organs to insure survival under arid conditions. In nature, most cacti and succulents grow in well-drained sandy soil. Duplicate these conditions indoors. Cacti and succulents are often grouped together in shallow dish gardens.
How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil (With Recipe!)
There is no doubt cacti plants are pretty and vibrant, but they can also be picky. Unlike your average houseplant, cacti are quite selective with soil , which is one of the reasons why they are so special. Whether you are a pro gardener or the new kid on the block, consider making your own cactus soil because it is cheaper than buying a commercial one and it is also super easy. So, how do you make your own cactus soil?