I love succulents, I write about them and share photos all the time. Lately, it seems like every time I post something about succulents, someone asks me what type of soil I use. Great question!
I don’t buy succulent potting soil, I make my own. It’s much cheaper than buying commercial succulent/cacti soil. Plus, I think the commercial stuff (at least the stuff I’ve purchased in the past) is light on sand, so it holds more water than I like.
Here’s how I make my own succulent/cacti potting soil. I use three ingredients:
1. Potting soil or peat moss
|Ingredients for succulent potting soil|
The type of potting soil I use varies depending what’s on sale at the time I need to buy potting soil. But for succulents, make sure to get a light potting soil. Don’t use heavy potting soils, and don’t use potting soil that contains vermiculite, or the kind that says it retains water longer than other potting soils. Succulents need fast draining soil, not soil that hold moisture.
The type of sand I buy is just the stuff they sell for use in a sandbox (I buy it at either Home Depot or Lowes). You could use any type of sand, but I recommend buying a coarse sand, rather than the really fine stuff. Just don’t use sand from the garden, the beach or a sandbox (you never know what will be in that sand).
Perlite is a very lightweight soil amendment. It’s the white pieces that look like Styrofoam that you see in many commercial potting soils. It retains very little moisture and prevents soil compaction. In other words, it helps the soil drain faster.
The recipe I use for succulent soil is 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts sand and 1 part perlite. If I’m potting up a cactus, I use a little more sand and perlite.
|Put all ingredients in a bucket|
Making the potting soil is easy. Dump all the ingredients into a bucket and stir until they are well mixed.
|Mix ingredients to make succulent potting soil|
That’s it. Told you it was easy to make. You could mix a bunch ahead of time and store it for later use, or just mix it as you need it.
|Succulent potting soil|
My succulents and cacti grow very well in my home made potting soil.
|Succulent container garden|
Do you make any of your own potting mixes?