How to Prepare Soil for Succulent?

How to Prepare Soil for Succulent
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How to Prepare Soil for Succulent

How to prepare soil for succulent? Most succulent growers encounter difficulties in preparing the soil for planting. This is because succulents have special needs in terms of soil quality, amount of water, and sunlight.

So, how to prepare soil for succulent? Use perfect soil to mixed in; a universal soil is very useful but it is too dense and moist for the succulent. Adding some river sand into the soil and mixed it well will lighten the succulent soil and allow water to easily pass in

Related article: How To Grow Succulents? The Complete Guide

There are also other materials to be used like a chopped pumice stone, volcanic lapilli or pozzolan which is very common as an alternative to mixing with soil.

How to Choose the Best Succulent Soil?

Succulent also known as an indoor plant that adapted to dry environment and sandy soil condition. So, when you bring home a succulent you must re-create that environment and if not, your plant will struggle to survive.

Well Drained Succulent Soil

Most succulents don’t need lots of water because their leaves will enlarge and burst. Its soil must not compact to avoid root rot for the succulents.

The ideal soil composition is like sandy soil which can be drained properly, and it should contain varied particle size ingredients, about ¼ inch for the airflow to maximize and the moisture content is controlled to avoid the death of the plant.

PH balanced Succulent Soil

We know that soil in our yards may not have a correct pH balance and we must learn that taking care of succulent plants must know the right pH of the soil for them to survive and less acidic. The perfect Ph level of soil for succulent is pH 5.5 or 6 or less acidic.

Organic Versus Inorganic Matter

Organic matter help water penetrate the soil quickly, one of the problems with organic matter which is not finely ground and comes in big pieces it can retain to much water. While Inorganic matter like perlite or sand is the perfect soil for succulent to well-drained.

Related article: How To Grow Succulents? The Complete Guide

Basic Potting Mix for Succulent Soil

Most succulent experts suggest a good potting soil especially if you can’t find soil prepared for your indoor plants, potting soil is highly recommended as a substitute. Here are some good drainage soils to add at least one in the universal soil.

  • Perlite
  • Pumice
  • Sandy Soil
  • Aquarium Gravel
  • Garden Soil


These are those little white balls you see in succulent potting soils. They’re very permeable so they don’t retain water for long. Their shape also promotes aeration in the soil, which is their primary purpose. Perlite commonly floats to the top of the soil, spilling over the edge of a pot when watered.


It comes from molten lava that cools quickly and very permeable that lets the water drained easily from your succulent. It is chemically inert, has a pH of about 7 and provides no nutrients to plants. It does not compress, but the drainage it provides is permanent.

Sandy Soil

It is composed of 35% sand and less than 15% silt and clay. Primarily sandy soil is the small piece of eroded rocks. In sandy soil, most of the soil particulars are bigger than 2mm in diameter.

Aquarium Gravel

Gravel contributes to the overall beauty and appeal of the plant. When combined with plants, rocks, driftwood, and other decor, it helps create a visual landscape that is pleasing to the eye and provides a calming effect.

Garden Soil

If you have a good garden soil, your plants won’t need for regular fertilizers and pesticides.

Ideal Potting Mix for a Healthier Succulent Soil

It is important to understand that soil with the best drainage is crucial for succulent survival. So you must learn these basic steps, ingredients, and proportions to make a perfect potting mixture for succulents.

1. Good quality of garden soil about 30-40 percent.

2. Sandlike builder sand, river sand avoid getting sand with high sodium chloride in the sea or beaches. Add 10 percent of it.

3. Compost: This is not required for the succulent but it is very effective for the flowering succulent types. Add 10 percent of it.

4. Pumice stone and perlite it helps in preventing root rot of the succulent and you must add 10 percent of it.

5. Gravelwhich is commonly used in the top layer as a design for a more 

    beautiful succulent. Add 10 percent of it also.

Tools Needed for Mixing Succulent Soil

Along with the succulent potting mix ingredients, you also need to get tools for you to mix the ingredients and to measure it. You can use your bare hand for mixing the succulent potting mix ingredients but it is easier when you have your tools when mixing the soil to have a more precise measurement of the ingredients for your healthier succulent. 

  • Measuring container
  • Trowel
  • Container for mixing
  1. Measuring container will help you to get the right measurement of the potting mix ingredients.
  2. Mixing container will help you to hold the measured ingredients.
  3. Trowel will help you to mix all the ingredients inside the mixing container and also when you are putting the soil inside your pot for your succulent. (Make sure that the ingredients are evenly mixed.)

Few things to Remember when Mixing Succulent Soil

You have the tools and ingredients for making a perfect soil for your succulents. Here are the additional tips on how you can prepare your soil more easily.

Step 1.  Measure it out

The perfect measurement is very important. You need the right amount of measurement for your ingredients. The perfect quantity for this basic mix is 1 part pertile, 2 parts of course sand and 2 parts of black soil.

Step 2. Start Mixing

First, put the 2 parts of black soil and put some water in it to keep the dust down. Next, put the sand. You may add some water if the sand still dry and last, add you perlite. Make sure you mixed it evenly.

Step 3. Check the moisture

Grab a little amount of the mixture of succulent soil and squeeze it. The ideal moisture is when there’s not so much water came out when you squeeze the soil. This will ensure that you are not planting your succulent into a compacted and watery soil.

Step 4. Pot it up and water it in

Put the mixture of succulent soil inside the pot and firm it gently. Make sure that the soil you have been put in the pot is packed a little more so that it will not sink into the pot.

This is a perfect mixture because it does not contain too many nutrients but it means that you need to give your succulent fertilizers sometimes.  Give space between the stem and edge of the pot. The ideal measurement is half an inch; it will serve as the room for the water.

Related article: How To Grow Succulents? The Complete Guide

Storing Your Leftover Succulent Soil Mix

After preparing the soil for your succulent, you don’t need to dump the leftover soils because you can reuse it for other succulent. You just need to store it in the proper place.

  1. Grab a big batch and put all the leftover soils.
  2. Transfer it in a plastic bucket and store it in the garage.
  3. Make sure that the succulent soil leftovers were stored in an air-tight container, if it is not the pesky bugs will be getting in there and it can damage the next succulent that you will put in that leftover soil.
  4. If you don’t have an air-tight container, you can buy a bucket sealing lids.

Related Questions:

Can Succulent Survive Without Soil? Yes. They will survive without soil but it is not for long term like another succulent in healthy soil. Think of it as a short term or for a fun project and not meant to last for a long time.

Succulents have different characteristics and needs, unlike any other plants. They can survive in high temperatures and low precipitation that made these plants versatile. The succulent plant can survive without soil because it has the ability to store water in their leaves, roots stem. They are adaptable to dry conditions and don’t need to water them frequently. They don’t like in moist soil but rather in a dry condition.

Why Most Succulent Planted in a Soil?  Succulent plants don’t need a highly organic medium to survive, meaning to say they don’t need to be planted in a soil with lots of nutrients. But they still need a certain amount of organic and inorganic matter for them to last for a long time. Even the tropical cactus also need a small amount of soil for them to thrive. This is because in cultivation, as opposed to their natural habitat, soil can make them survive and grow healthier.


I am a university teacher by profession, researcher, blogger, and gardener.

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