I still remember the early days, when I was just starting to grow succulents. I had many questions on my mind, and the right soil was one of the mysteries to me. At that time, I bought an orchid potting soil, for my orchard. But I heard that I could use it for my succulent plant too. Just later, after some successes, and some failures with my succulents, I understood the truth.
And the answer is: It depends on the types of succulents. Let me explain it a bit more. Orchid potting soil works only with tropical plants. Tropical succulents love more moisture. So adding orchid bark or soil mix to the usual succulent soil mix may have a great results, and your succulents will thrive. But that’s not the case with majority of succulents, which prefer another type of soil.
Best soil mixes for succulents to purchase online & offline
If you don’t have time to make your own succulent mix, you can buy it online or from nearby suppliers. In my case, I buy almost all my garden supplies from Amazon. The reason is obvious. It is easy to manage, and the purchase process is flawless with all the guarantees, which helps a lot especially if you have a regular job like me. Let me share with you some of the succulent soil mixes that I regularly order online.
Disclaimer: The following products contain Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and purchase an item, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Just click the heading (name of the soil mix) to go to Amazon and see all reviews and discounts.
I use this one for my succulents planted in an open terrarium. The package contains everything you need for your plants. With detailed instructions, your job is just to plant the succulents.
The materials included in the kit are the pea gravel, activated charcoal, organic soil, river rock, and bright sheet moss. A nice mix for successfully growing your succulents. The charcoal helps remove toxins, the soil provides nutrients, rocks for additional aesthetic features, and the moss to regulate moisture. All these ingredients are included in one purchase.
Buying this kit will save you money. You would spend more on purchasing the materials individually. There are three different sizes that you can choose from: small, medium, and large. Of course, the size depends on the size of the plant. For instance, if you will plant bigger succulents, you will need the large one.
If you are looking for a perfect succulent and cactus soil mix, you may want to try the blend from Noot. This is a pre-mixed that contains materials such as Hard Japanese Akadama, pumice, pine bark, and haydite essential for healthy succulent growth.
Each material included has a specific purpose. For instance, the Japanese Akadama retains moisture, the pumice as the nutrient source, the pine bark to retain fertilizer, the haydite helps drain excess water. The combination of ingredients like this is a good blend that ensures the succulent to thrive healthily. With all the essential ingredients combine, the plants will be able to breathe and avoid root rotting.
The good thing about this product is that it comes with a resealable bag. This means that you can easily save and store the unused materials for future use. This safety feature is perfect for you to be able to maximize the materials for your plants. This is not only perfect for succulents but more so for cacti. If you are growing both, there is no need to buy individual soil mix. This one will do.
Another cactus and succulent potting mix that I love using for my succulent plants is the potting mix from rePotme. This brand produces excellent succulent soil mix. For years, this potting mix did not cause me a headache. The soil has high quality. It does not only provide drainage and nutrients for the plants but also protection from insects and other intruders.
What I love the most about this succulent soil mix is its ability to retain just enough moisture necessary for healthy succulent growth. This keeps the plant safe from the threat of over watering, and many possible negative consequences.
The main ingredients of this blend potting mix are the perlite, pumice, sand, and stalite mixed together. In addition, durable organic materials such as coir, coconut husk are added to achieve high quality and reliable succulent soil mix.
The product comes with different sizes. You can choose one depending on the number of your needs.
For me, this is probably the fastest draining soil mix you can have for your plants. This is perfect for succulents that need a slight amount of acid. The product is created by people with tremendous experience in growing succulents. This is the reason why this soil mix has excellent quality.
Using this soil mix, you don’t have to worry about over-watering your plants. The excess water will surely drain through. All the ingredients in this product are designed to protect the plants from any form of pathogens that can harm the plants. This product comes with different sizes you can choose from. All of these are pre-washed making it a safe soil for your succulents and cacti.
Add pumice and perlite for outdoor succulents
For soft succulents that are accustomed to the low-temperature environments, it is better to use cacti and succulents mix. If you have outdoor succulents, it is always a good idea to add pumice or perlite to provide extra drainage and aeration.
This is a common practice. But you can always experiment, because while we learn a lot from others, we always learn the most important lessons from our own experiments, since no two environments are completely identical, and what works for you may not work for me. For example, you can try yo add chicken grit or insoluble crushed granite to the mix. This will increase the chance of growing succulents successfully, at least in my experience…
* May also interest you: Best Soil for Succulents in Pots
My favorite mix for the succulents
In my case, I use the perfect blend of peat moss, composted bark, perlite, compost, and pumice. This will hold moist longer perfect for tropical succulents. You can buy a soil mix like this on Amazon, for example this one.
If your succulents are not tropical, do not use the orchid potting mix. It will harm your plants because it retains more moisture than the succulent soil mix. Soft succulents do not like extra moist. It will only cause rotting in the long run. If you are not sure whether or not your succulents are tropical, just use the regular soil mix. From that, add more perlite or pumice to achieve maximum growth.
Succulents are known as tolerant of extreme environmental conditions. But this statement may not always be true depending on the type of the succulents. There are many factors that could harm the growth of the plant. So, if you’re not sure what succulent you are growing, consider the climate, light source, and seasonal changes to protect your plants. Another thing to consider is the immediate environment. Are you growing your plants indoor or outdoor? The environment affects the amount of water and watering frequency.
What is the best soil mix for succulents?
Succulents are native to semi-desert areas. Most of them are drought tolerant. However, when you grow them in areas outside their natural habitat, they need soil similar to those in the desert.
The best soil for succulents is the one that provides aeration and drainage for the plant. The soil like this dries quickly and only retain enough moisture for the succulents to thrive. More often than not, succulents grow healthily in soil made of organic materials. However, the soil needs to be mixed with inorganic ingredients too, in order to simulate their natural habitat, and what they are genetically accustomed to.
Organic and inorganic ingredients in the soil for your succulents
A perfect soil mix for succulents is the one that quickly dries and provides drainage and aeration to the plant. But most gardeners (including me) find it better to have a combination of organic and inorganic materials.
The rule of thumb is a mixture of garden soil, coarse sand, peat moss, potting soil, and perlite. Having said that, you always have to consider the individual conditions of your plant, as well as your budget…
The most important thing you need to do before planting your plants in the soil you made is to do some testing. Test the soil if it really meets the standard. Simply take a handful then squeeze it. If the soil easily crumbles in your hand, it is a good sign. This means that you achieved the correct soil for your succulents. If the finished soil lumps, however, you need to add more inorganic ingredients. Do it until you achieve an easy to crumble succulent soil mix.
Succulents prefer slightly acidic soil
Succulents are stubborn, and can survive a lot of stuff. In order to thrive, and reach their full potential of beauty, however, they need their soil to be slightly acidic. If the soil you purchased online or in a local store does not meet this criteria, you can always improve it. What you can do is make a mix of one tablespoon of white vinegar with 5 gallons of water. Then use it to water the plants. It should add a little acidity to the soil, at least after some time.
Succulents are special plants that have special needs. They need special care too. In order to make sure your succulents grow and thrive in your house or garden, you need to give them the right soil, nutrients, and appropriate amount of water.
Orchid potting soil mix is good especially tropical succulents, whereas with other variants you are taking a risk of causing your plants more harm than good… Anyway, I hope that this simple guide helps you to choose the right potting mix for you. For more information, please check my full guide on how to grow succulents successfully. Happy growing!
May also interest you: