Succulents are special plants. They have a special place in my heart and I guess they do in your too, when you can about every little detail, such a picking the right potting soil. Succulents are more stubborn than the vast majority of the plant kingdom, but they still have they needs when it comes to water, sunlight, and soil. Now we will have a look at the soil.
So, a simple answer to your questions in no. I don’t recommend using a regular or garden soil for succulent plants, unless you adjust it, adding some stuff into it. Regular soil holds too much water and moisture, which will likely result in rotting of the roots of your beloved succulent, and the plant will die before you can propagate it. So, what’s the best solution then?
Fast draining soil that holds little moisture is your best bet for succulent growing
What succulents need is a fast-draining soil that holds very little moisture. The soil for these plants must also allow the plants to breathe. Regular soil is too compact and takes time to dry, which is dangerous to succulents, and especially to their roots which are prone to rotting in such a case.
As I mentioned though, if you want to use regular soil, make sure that you add some materials to make it fast-draining. You can mix it with mineral grit. The ideal ratio for regular soil to mineral grit is 1:1 or 1:2. This will make the soil more well-draining.
* Related Article: Best Soil for Succulents in Pots
Tips for Beginners when it comes to potting soil for succulents
If you have fast-draining soil, make sure that you use a container or pot with a drainage hole (check my recommended succulent pot on Amazon). Do not plant your succulent in a pot without a drainage hole. The excess water will be stored at the bottom of the pot which will in turn cause roots to rot, and your beloved plant may eventually die.
The purpose of the drainage hole is to drain the excess water during the watering. The fast-draining soil will just retain a good amount of moisture needed by the plant and nothing extra. If you are a beginner, making your own succulent soil can be daunting. I get it. I was in that same boat many years ago. Instead of experimenting and finding ways that work, I recommend that you use a commercial succulent soil (just for now, until you gain more experience and can make the right mix at home).
The best thing about succulent soils is that you can easily buy it from online stores or local suppliers, simply put it into the pot, and plant your succulent. What’s more, these products are designed specifically for succulents and their needs, so you as a plant owner will have nothing to worry about. There are many succulent soil brands you can choose from. But I personally love a few of them and I will share them with you now.
* Related Article: Can I Use Orchid Potting Mix for Succulents?
Succulent Planter Soil Kit
The first brand in this list is the Succulent Planter Soil Kit. This product offers everything you need to grow succulents, especially for a terrarium. The kit includes the instructions you can easily follow. With this product, you can just plant your succulent without hassle. The kit comes with clean pea gravel for excellent drainage, activated charcoal to eliminate toxins, organic soil to provide nutrients for the plants, river rock for decoration purposes, and the bright moss to neutralize moisture.
Buying this kit does not only provide you with everything you need to grow a succulent plant but also saves you money. It is cheaper as opposed to buying all the needed materials individually Lastly, this kit comes with different sizes such as small, medium, and large. If you are growing succulents in a terrarium, then this product can be your best choice. Check Succulent Planter Soil Kit on Amazon (* this is an affiliate link, if you decide to purchase the soil I may earn a small commission–few cents–at no extra cost to you. )
Noot Organic Indoor Plant potting mix
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. Check all details on Amazon, the reviews speak for the quality and uniqueness of this product. Just to cite some of my favorite features:
- Re-soaked with Noot bio-organic plant food (NPK .10/.15/.12) and ready to use out of the bag. Comes in 1-Gallon resealable bag to store, as needed.
- Quality strains of beneficial bacteria and friendly fungi, that strengthen indoor plants at their cellular level by forming a symbiotic relationship with root systems.
- Better resist root rot, bounce back quicker from neglect, and have increased resistance to temperature swings so indoor plants stay happy.
Bonsai soil mix by Tinyroots
The Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil is one of the fastest draining succulent soil. Using this soil ensures your succulent plants’ safety from root rot or over- watering. It is also one of the cleanest and safest soils you can get from the market today. It is super lightweight. The manufacturer makes sure that the soil is safe from insects and pathogens.
What I like the most about this succulent soil is its ability to provide aeration to the plants. The particles of the materials included in the mix are ¼ inch in size making it more breathable for the plants compared to other brands. If you have a large project, this soil is perfect. Check it on Amazon and see yourself what others succulent growers thing!
Anothera Succulent Cactus Soil Gritty Mix
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, as you can see with more details on Amazon.
The excess water will surely drain through with this soil, regardless of how much water you give your succulents. 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.
I don’t recommend using regular potting soil for succulents unless you make some changes to it, adding materials that change the properties of the soil and make it more suitable for your plants. This is because regular potting soils are too compact for succulents.
As you already know, compact soil absorbs and holds so much water and moisture that could potentially cause root rot in succulent plants. Remember that succulents need a fast-draining soil like the ones I included in the list above. Fast-draining soil will not only drain the excess water fast but also provides good aeration to the plants… That’s it for this topic. Once you have chosen a right soil, you may also want to choose:
- The right potting pebbles for succulents.
- Succulents that are safe for dogs (and other pets)
- Succulents that stay small, in order to not take too much space in your home.