The planting of succulents indoors is not much different from how you would plant ordinary indoor plants. However, you should, at the onset, ensure that the drainage holes are well bored and that they are laid on the sides of the bottom of the pots so that the pots will be well-drained of unnecessary water. But what are succulent plants?
In Botany, you would learn that succulent plants are also simply referred to “succulents” for they have parts that are fleshier and more thickened for retaining extra water, especially when they are planted in arid regions.
If you are going to scrutinize the structure of succulents, you will readily discover that they have shallow and brittle roots. Hence, when planting them, you simply need to loosen the soil and plant them shallowly. Afterward, you can put new soil around their roots using your fingers or a blunt-ended pencil. Then, tamp gently on the soil. You can then cover the surface with gravel or sand and allow the surface to dry for several days before you water them.
In What Soil Do Succulents Thrive?
Since succulents can store water in their fleshy parts, they can withstand long dry spell. Hence, if you are going to pot succulents, you need to ensure that you plant them in well-draining pots and potting soil. You can buy ready-made cactus mix as your potting soil for succulents. But if you want to prepare a potting mix of your own, you can mix up pumice, grit, sharp sand, and perlite together to create a potting mix that would not stay too wet after you water it.
Most growers of succulents usually encounter a common bug called “gnats” that thrive in too wet soil. To avoid gnats, you need to ensure that the soil is not too wet and that it is well-drained. You should also ensure that the soil has already dried out before watering it again.
Succulents easily grow well if the soil in which they are planted is suited to their growth. Succulents also have specific needs that are different from other plants. They have particular nutrient and water needs. As such, they need water, but they cannot tolerate a saturation of water or saturated soil.
You must remember that the primary soil requirement of succulents is a well-draining soil. Thus, if you are shopping around for potting mix for your succulents, you should ensure that the potting soil you intend to buy is appropriately labeled for succulents. Otherwise, you will only get frustrated and fail to provide your succulents with the best growing medium. In the worst case, your succulents may rot and eventually die.
Is It Advisable to Use Sand for Succulents?
You may think that since succulents thrive in dry and arid regions, you can use sand as a potting mix for your succulents. Well, you may have a point in thinking that sand may be a viable potting soil for succulents. However, sands tend to compact over time. This tendency to compact may cause water retention that the succulents would surely want. Hence, sand is not the ideal potting soil for succulents.
You should instead use those specially formulated potting soil for cactus and succulents. You can also concoct a well-draining potting mix made of coarse sand and pumice/perlite if you don’t want to buy a ready-made potting mix for cactus and succulents.
Facts You Must Know When Preparing Soil for Succulents
Their ability to store more water gives the succulents a fleshy and swollen appearance as compared to other plants. To properly grow a healthy succulent plant, you need to consider the following factors:
- First, the soil mix should allow for excellent drainage.
- Second, the soil should be well aerated.
- Third, the mix should have less soil.
- It is not good to use regular garden soil for it is too heavy for succulents.
- Lastly, the mix should be light.
Recommended Soil Mix for Succulents
Since the roots and the stems of succulents store more water, they are susceptible to rotting. To prevent rotting, you need to aerate the roots, and for this reason, you need a light mix for cultivating succulents. The mix should also be well-drained and, at least, soilless to avoid saturation or overwatering. Here are the highly recommended soil mixes for succulents:
1) Hoffman 10404 4-Quarts Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
The Hoffman 10404 Soil Mix blends sphagnum peat moss, limestone, reed sedge peat, perlite, and sand to form the right soil mix for succulents. This mix has explicitly been pH balanced to make it appropriate for growing succulents.
This mix provides excellent drainage of water, and it comes with a complete guide on its label that includes valuable information for growing succulents. This mix is undoubtedly perfect for your succulent plants.
2) Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix – Premium Pre-Mixed Fast Draining Blend (2.5 Dry Quarts)
The Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix is specially formulated for cacti and succulents. You can apply it easily to your potting mix because it is pre-mixed.
It is also sifted and is ready for use on many types of indoor plants. Its composition consists of premium 2.5-quart mix of non-organic components like 1/4-inch hard Japanese Akadama, 1.4-inch New Zealand pine bark, 1/4-inch USA pumice, 1/4-inch USA Haydite sans any dirt. These components are known and have been proven to offer the best drainage, nutrient retention, water retention, and air aeration for succulents and cacti.
With this mix, you need not worry about your succulents being saturated with water or your succulents losing valuable nutrients. It is specifically formulated to allow succulents to produce healthy roots, beautiful blooms, and fleshy stems. It comes in a resealable zip bag that would help you prevent contamination by pests and fungi.
3) Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix
Another potting mix that is best suited for growing succulents and cacti is the Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix. This potting mix is specifically formulated to produce a superior blend that is perfect for growing cacti and succulents. It is also formulated to be resistant to fungi, pests, and other pathogens that could damage or weaken succulents and cacti. Thus, with this mix, you can be very sure that your succulents and cacti will grow healthy and free of pests and fungi.
The Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix is specifically concocted to allow the drainage of water, allowing the plant to absorb the right amount of water without overly saturating the plant. Thus, you can be very sure that your succulents will not rot due to saturation.
This potting mix consists of pumice, perlite sand, and stalite. These potting materials are perfectly mixed according to the right amount to produce the ideal potting mix for succulents and cacti. This mix doesn’t contain peat moss for peat moss readily attracts fungus and gnats that could be harmful to your plants. Instead, it utilizes ground coconut husk or coir as a more durable replacement for peat moss.
The Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix comes in six different sizes that range from a small bag of 1.5 quarts to a large cube of around 50 quarts. Thus, you can have enough of this potting mix for your beloved cacti and succulents.
4) Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix
The Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix is an impressive soil mix that is suitable for use in cultivating succulents and cacti. It is specifically formulated for quick draining of water and is concocted for preventing overwatering of the plant’s root. Thus, the use of this soil mix prevents the rotting of the root and the growth of fungi and pest that could damage the plant. This soil mix is one of the most preferred formulations for succulents and cacti by professionals as well as hobbyists.
It is super lightweight and allows for aeration. Its gritty mix allows for the right water absorption, density, evaporation, and particle size. It also comes with bonsai block, pin bark, monitor clay. Moreover, it is tested in the lab to ensure that no pathogens and pests come with the finished mixes.
It also feature a soil mix that is a bit larger than some of those offered by other manufacturers. It features a particle-sized mix of around 1/4-inch in size that makes it very much useful for water draining and aeration. It also comes in various size offerings that range from 2 quarts to approximately 28 gallons. Lastly, this soil mix is pre-washed and well-screened for perfect cultivation of succulents and cacti.
5) Epsoma Organic Cactus Mix
The Epsoma Organic Cactus Mix is another option that you can use for cultivating succulents and cacti. However, this mix comes with a high amount of peat moss and other organic materials.
Thus, it retains more amount of water that may not be good for succulents and cacti. The soil, however, is very airy and tends to get compacted after several watering. This tendency leads to less aeration that could lead to growth inhibition. This soil mix may not be the best choice for succulents, but you may use it for citrus plants and palms.
It is an all-natural mix that is enhanced with the addition of myco-tone. It can promote root growth, and you can use it for your succulents and cacti, although it is not the ideal product for these types of plants. But your succulents and cacti would surely do just fine with this soil mix.