When we are breaking down the growing needs of specific succulent, we talk about the soil a lot. As we already learned, almost all of the succulent species need well-draining soil that won’t cause root rot. As you probably noticed, we often recommend making your own mix to add on drainage and airflow.
This is not a problem for experienced succulent lovers with years of trying out different soil combinations. On the other hand, for a succulent newbie just starting an exciting journey into the world of this low-maintenance beauties, mixing the soil may seem confusing. That’s why we broke down the process into simple steps. In the end, you’ll get a perfect, somewhat universal potting mix. Besides, you’ll have a lot of fun getting your hands dirty and feeling like a pro.
Besides Being Tough, Succulents Can Be Quite Soil-Picky
As typically desert plants, all succulents are used to more or less harsh growing conditions. Think extreme heat and drought. We all know how rarely rains in the desert. However, when it does, it pours heavily. Since the soil in the desert is often loose and rocky, due to high temperatures water drains and evaporates quickly, so the succulents are used to storing the water in stems and leaves.
In cultivation, most succulents thrive on neglect. They can tolerate some impressive time without watering, as long as they are planted in perfect soil. As much as that sounds like a lot of pressure, it’s not that hard. All you need to do is to avoid planting them in plaint classic gardening mix. Those mixes are too heavy and sticky for succulent roots, and these little desert gems do not tolerate sitting in water for long. A perfect succulent soil mix is loose, full of nutrients, and provides good airflow. Succulents are extremely sensitive to root rotting. If they are left in soil that’s not draining fast enough, they can also suffer from pest infections and develop fungi.
What You`ll Need To Make Your Own Succulent Soil Mix?
Since the commercial succulent soil mixes are usually not enough to help the plans reach its full potential, succulent professionals prefer making their own or mixing some ingredients with the market-brought one. This process works miracles all the time. By choosing your own ingredients concentration, you can adjust the mix to specific needs of each succulent you’re planting. Overall, Zou should make sure the soil is well/draining, provides a good airflow around the roots, and has the right nutrition, but not too much of them.
For creating a perfect soil for your succulent babies, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and tools:
- Some commercial gardening soil
- Coarse sand
- Perlite or pumice
- A plastic bin or a bucket
- Measuring cup
- A small shovel
- Gardening gloves
Now, Lets Start Mixing!
When you’re mixing your own soil, you can adjust it to both the nutrition needs of the succulent and aesthetic, especially if you’re planning on planting in those fancy glass containers. Either way, the sky is the limit. The process is very easy and quick, not to mention so much fun!
First of all, you have to measure the soil ingredients using the measuring cup. The mix that works the best contains 3 cups of soil, 3 cups of coarse sand, and 1.5 cups of perlite or pumice. Pumice or perlite will add on drainage and airing oft he soil mix. They’ll also help with holding the moisture just the right amount of time for succulent to use the most of it. Sand is there to make the soil less compact and provide a clear way or nutrients to access the roots.
When you measured all of the ingredients, its time to put on the gloves and get to work. pour the soil in a plastic bin or bucket and slightly moist it. This will help prevent dust to get everywhere. Next, pour the sand and start mixing with your hands. Mix thoroughly until the sand is heavenly spread thought the soil. Finally, pour perlite and pumice and give it a good stir once again.
That’s it, you`re done. Your personal potting mix is ready to use. You can also store it away and use it later. When it comes to storing, make sure that you do that in a dark, dry, and coldish place to prevent molding. Also, do not get the mix to moist in the first place and let it rest for at least an hour before packing it away.