Today, every plant requires a particular type of soil that will efficiently enhance its growth, including succulents. Therefore, you must choose the right kind of potting mix for your plants.
Succulents are unique plants that will grow into your desired houseplant with the right care and needs, such as proper watering, sunlight, the right soil, etc. But can you use regular potting soil for succulents?
No, regular potting soil is not good for succulents! Succulents require airy soil that has a proper drainage system to avoid rot and blackening, which occurs if the potting mix becomes too soggy and prevents good airflow.
The regular potting mix doesn’t match these requirements, as it is heavy and dense, causing suffocation of roots.
Regular Potting Soil and Succulents
A brief review on both the regular potting soil and succulents will help us answer the topic question and broaden our knowledge of why it is not advisable to use regular potting soil for succulents. The right soil requirement will enhance its survival and healthy growth.
Also known as regular potting mix, regular potting soil comprises different ingredients, including sphagnum moss, bark, perlite, vermiculite, compost, or coir used to grow plants in containers enhances a healthy environment for potted plants to grow.
Potting soil or mix are created to prevent the soil from being excessively compacted, thereby suffocating plant roots and hindering the easy flow of water and nutrients.
The potting mix doesn’t have soil, as the soil can harbor fungus and other plant pests that can be disastrous to plants. On the other hand, potting mix is sterile, free from fungus, and safe.
Organic material such as compost or moss serves as a nutrient to the plant. In contrast, the vermiculite or perlite makes the mix become loose and properly drained to prevent it from becoming compact around the roots of the plant or store excessive water, as both can prevent roots from breathing and can cause damage to plants.
It is preferable for container plants or starting seeds.
On the other hand, succulents are plants with thick stems or leave that store water. It has a unique adaptation that allows it to thrive in dry climates.
They are especially native to arid regions like deserts but can survive in jungle environs, high alpine regions, dry tropical areas, etc. They dislike high humidity levels.
One of the outstanding features of succulents, aside from having warm temperatures and filtered sunlight, is that it requires well-draining soil.
Continuous water around the roots will result in rot or damage to plants because the waters tend to freeze during the cold season, which is not a good condition for succulents.
Can You Use Regular Potting Soil for Succulents?
Having gone through a summary of both the regular potting soil and succulents above, it will be unwise to still derail from our initial answer to the above question.
We have said it before that choosing the ideal soil for a plant will determine its survival and healthy growth, and that includes succulents. Therefore, it is not advisable to use regular potting soil for succulent plants.
Here is why regular potting soil stores excessive water and moisture that can cause root rot to your succulent plant, thereby resulting in the plant’s damage even before propagation.
This is to say that they require low water-retentive potting soil that has rapid drainage features.
In other words, succulents require airy soil that has proper drainage ability to prevent root rot and blackening of plants resulting from soggy soil.
But we can’t see these qualities in regular potting soil, as it is heavy and dense, subsequently resulting in root suffocation.
What Is the Best Soil for Succulents?
Having known that regular potting soil is not the best mix that will enhance the successful growth of your succulents, what then is the best solution for your succulents?
The answer is very straightforward: Any fast-draining soil that keeps a little amount of water is certainly the best requirement for succulents.
In other words, succulents require low water-retentive potting soil that has rapid drainage features.
This kind of soil should also be able to let the plants breathe. Since regular potting soil is too compact and takes time to dry, hence, wouldn’t allow the plant’s space to breathe, it could be disastrous to your succulent plants, especially the roots.
In a case where you insist on going for the regular potting mix, or you find it scarce to buy (which is unlikely), then it is best to use it with additives to enhance quicker drainage.
Materials like mineral grit are recommended. The perfect ratio should be 1:1 or 1:2; a sit will cause the soil to drain better.
Another way you can use regular potting mixing is with perlite/pumice and grid sand/coarse sand/chicken grit.
There are also several recommended pages online that will reveal the right amount you can use. Even with succulent potting mix, you’re advised to mix in perlite or pumice.
How Can You Prepare Potting Soil for Succulents?
Most gardeners prefer to use their self-made potting soil for their plants, including succulents.
But for the beginners, buying the right mix is the best (premix succulent is recommended), except you are still insisting on doing it yourself, then you have to follow the procedures below;
Some kinds of potting soil are prescribed for succulents, with every one of them possessing different ratios of substances. Knowing the most suitable potting mix depends on what kind of succulents you are cultivating and their particular requirements. Below are the common varieties;
- Regular potting soil with certain additional sand for proper drainage
- A mix made of coir fiber, since it perfectly retains water
- A mixture mainly made up of perlite because it makes for constant airiness.
Below is the mixture for Succulent Mix
The perfect ratio for a succulent potting mix is; 50% of potting soil – 25% of sand –25% of coir fiber. Note that this mix is mostly suitable for succulents that require high drainage.
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