Some gardeners prefer to use cactus soil for succulents. One of the succulent kinds is the cactus. Other succulents that aren’t cactus can be found. That means that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents can be cacti. Do succulents need different soil? This question worries many gardeners who have just purchased these lovely plants. Let’s find out!
Succulents are mainly found in deserts. They evolved through time to be able to live in harsh desert surroundings, where there is a severe shortage of water as a result of insufficient rainfall.
Furthermore, the high evaporation rate is brought on by the hot weather. So, what does this have to do with the growth media that succulents require?
Any good gardener knows that knowing the plant’s survival mechanisms in their native habitat and providing them with similar circumstances is the key to success. Succulents, on the other hand, evolved a way of existence that withstood frequent thirst. We should recognize the succulent’s evolution and all the challenges they faced on their way to being what they are now. If we want them to thrive in our homes or gardens, we must take it into account.
What Type of Soil to Use for Succulents?
Remember that waterlogged soil is not what succulents encounter in the desert, and they will not be able to survive in this type of soil. These plants need relatively fast and airy soil. This type of soil would not be able to store as many nutrients as soil that has been tightened. Succulents, on the other hand, do not require as many nutrients as most other houseplants.
Both water and nutrients are scarce in the desert. And it’s there that succulents flourish and attain their full genetic potential.
Is Cactus Soil Good for Succulents?
Can you use cactus soil for succulents? Of course, if you have the time and resources, then we recommend that you prepare the succulent mixture with your own hands. But you can also plant succulents in ready-made soil for cactus. A high-quality potting soil would provide adequate drainage, air pockets, and nutrient retention to meet succulents’ demands.
As we said earlier, you can mix soil for cactus and succulents. But what is the right way to do it?
When it comes to succulent and cactus soil, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every plant has its own set of requirements, and they originate from a variety of settings, each with its own set of soil qualities. However, you can easily make a combination that can work well with 95 percent of succulents. You most likely already have all the components on hand!
Here’s how to make it:
- 2 parts potting soil. This can be any type of soil, though compost-heavy mixtures and the like should be avoided. Although some organic matter is OK because it can be diluted, you should not drown your succulent in peat moss. Any ordinary commercial potting soil would suffice; however, for an added boost, we recommend using one labeled as succulent soil.
- 1 part of perlite is important. Perlite is a volcanic glass particle that is rather big. It’s ‘puffed’ using the same heating method as puffed grain cereals, resulting in a large number of air pockets. Perlite enhances soil airflow, minimizes soil compaction, and improves drainage.
- 1 part grit. You might argue that perlite is grit, and you’d be somewhat correct. In this context, however, grit refers to different inorganic particles of various sizes. Small gravel bits, large-particle sand (like playground or builder’s sand) should be included. These different sizes assist to break up the soil and keep it from becoming compacted.
This is the mixture you can use to keep the roots wet enough to prevent them from drying out, but not so much that root rot develops. There’s enough inorganic matter to balance out the water retention while also providing nutrients and reducing the demand for fertilizer.
Make sure you don’t mix up perlite with vermiculite. Beginners frequently make this mistake, however, the two soil additions have the opposite effect. Perlite helps air circulate through the soil and evaporate water, whereas vermiculite behaves like a sponge and collects water.
How to Know If You Need Different Soil?
Unfortunately, by the time you detect a reduction in the health of your succulents and consider repotting it in another planting mix, it can be too late. Therefore, be sure to determine the natural habitat of your plant. Use the simplest combination of clean fine sand, grit, and dirt if it’s a desert species. Peat should be added if you have a tropical species. Euphorbia plants, for example, are incredibly adaptable to practically any soil and may even flourish in dry potting soil. Choose unglazed pots to help the plants by evaporating excess moisture, and water them only in case when the soil is absolutely dry but not crusty.
Properly prepared soil for succulents would create all the necessary prerequisites for the normal survival of the plant, its growth, and development. The owners of these plants need to take proper care of them. It is necessary to comply with the watering conditions, taking into account the season. Remember that succulents do not need hydration in winter. For active growth, the plant must be in a place that has access to sunlight.
It must be remembered that the natural environment for cacti is soil that is poor in nutrients. That is why you should not add an excessive amount of fertilizers to it, which contribute to the formation of nitrogen. This chemical has a detrimental effect on the plant.
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