Succulents are quite easy to grow and maintain, all you need do is ensure the plant is getting the right amount of sunlight and water and ensuring you are not doing too much or too little of either.
However, one of the most important things to take note of when growing succulent is the type of soil used as this will either make or mar the succulent's growth process. Hence, it is important to purchase the best soil for succulents as this will ensure the proper growth of your plants and feed them with the much-needed nutrients.
In this article, we will be reviewing many of these soils while also taking you some buying guides and answering a few questions you may have. There's a lot to learn, so let’s get started already.
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With so many years of practice and experience and with so many positive reviews we can assure you that our reviews are the best you can get around. So, yes you should trust us as we are simply the best as you will discover upon the use of any product we recommend.
How to pick the best soil for Succulents?
To ensure you get value for your money, you should first consider some factors before making a purchase. These factors include:
The ratio of Organic to Mineral Elements
Soils are made up of organic matter and minerals. Organic soil refers to those elements that were once alive while the mineral elements are inorganic compounds that are not derived from living organisms. When purchasing soil for succulents, it is important to consider the ratio of the organic to mineral elements as organic elements provide nutrients to the soil and store water while mineral elements improve the drainage of the soil. This ratio should be well balanced to get the best from the soil.
Porosity and Texture
There are different sizes of soil ranging from the largest to the smallest; they include sand, clay, and silt. The proportion of each type and size of soil affects how much water the soil can hold and how long it will take to dry up.
When purchasing soil for succulents, the best type of soil to go for is one made of sandy loam with 50% to 80% fine gravel or coarse sand. Coarse grit minerals of between 1/8-inches to ¼-inches in diameter are also ideal as this will facilitate rapid drainage and prevent root rot.
One of the reasons you are purchasing a pre-made soil rather than the one in your garden is probably because your home soil may not have the right PH balance. Most soil for succulents is engineered to have a specific PH balance, to prevent the soil from being too acidic. While purchasing a soil, go for the one with a PH of 5.5 or 6.
Watering the soil too much may enlarge the plants and kill it as succulent soil must not be too compacted or dense, else it will retain too much water. Ideal soil composition is one that is gritty or crumbly and is well aerated while also draining properly. It should also contain particle-sized ingredients of various sizes (about ¼-inches) to allow maximum flow of air and moisture.
8 Best soil for succulents on the market
Some of the ‘alleged’ best products aren’t all they seem to be. To dispel all doubts and help you make the right choice, we have done our research and market survey before bringing you the top products on the market. They include:
1. Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix - Our Top Pick
It’s not enough to have water, sunlight, and air, without an ideal soil, the chances of your succulents growing as they should is next to zero. Without soil, succulents will not have the needed nutrient to grow; they are like an anchorage that allows the root system to extend through the soil which in turn stabilizes the plant so they can grow as they should.
We start our list with Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix. The organic mix is specially and professionally formulated to be used in combination with different types of succulents, including cacti. It has a PH balance, provides the ideal amount of nutrients, drainage and absorption while being ready to use upon purchase.
The blend is made of Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, sand, limestone, reed sedge peat, and perlite. Although the peat moss is likely to attract bugs, this can be avoided by placing the whole bag in a freezer overnight as the temperature kills the bugs, hence you need not worry so much.
The soil comes in packs that can hold four quarts. However, it can also be ordered in multiple packs of two, three or four, this enables you to purchase the exact quantity you will need for your succulents.
2. Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil is a potting succulent soil that helps to prevent overwatering and root rot and will also not damage the roots of succulents and cactus. This soil is used by professional gardeners and hobbyists to enhance all types of succulents plants some of which include crassula, jade, aloe, echeveria, haworthia, lithops and lots of others.
The soil is extremely lightweight and airy and is optimized for a PH of 5.5, evaporation, water absorption, particle size, bulk density and so on. It is ideal for succulents, bonsai, cactus, and other acid-loving plants. It is also free from pathogens with an extended pathogen control.
It is a trade-marked ready to use potting blend which is made of Bonsai Block, Pine Bark Fines soil mix and Monto Clay that is designed to have a consistent particle size. The soil was lab tested and manufactured to meet the needs of succulent plants. It is available in bag sizes ranging from 2 quarts to 28 gallons. Also, all the soils are pre-washed and screened and is guaranteed to give you value for your money.
3. The Next Gardener Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix
This product which is formulated by experts and imported from Denmark is all you need to enable succulents such as cacti plants and bonsai achieve the optimum growth you desire. It is an organic cactus and succulent soil mix that is not just lightweight but also has a high draining capacity and a PH balance of 5.5.
The Next Gardener Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix give plant support, moisture and the drainage needed for proper growth and development. It is well blended for most succulents as well as cacti varieties, donkey tail, crassula ovate jade, and other bonsai species. It is made of 100% organic and natural bonsai soil.
Furthermore, the soil mix helps to prevent overwatering and root rot while preventing damage to the roots of succulents and cactus. The bonsai soil is ideal for acid-loving plants, it also has an optimized P.H of 5.5 that is suitable for succulents and acid-loving plants.
4. TerraGreen Creations Succulent Planter Soil Kit
If you are looking for a planter soil kit that comes with all the hard to find ingredients in just one pack then you have it in TerraGreen Creations Succulent Planter Soil Kit. The kit features washed pea gravel that has no bug in it, activated charcoal of the highest quality that features no dust and removes toxins, organic cactus/ succulent soil that’s handmade with the highest quality, a smooth river rock that is mixed with lots of exotic colors and shapes and also a bright and colorful sheet moss that adds life and removes moisture.
To use the kit, put some Pea Gravel at the bottom of a container to ensure proper drainage, add a little layer of soil (just enough to enable the charcoal to stay in position), next add the activated charcoal (this will absorb the toxins and odor), pour in the rest of the soil. Place the succulents only when the soil has been added, this will ensure easy placement. Next, add river rocks for added beauty, also place moss to add to the color, this will also absorb excess toxins and moisture.
The soil which is made in the U.S is organic in nature and ideal for succulent and terrarium plants, it saves you lots of time that could have been spent searching for the right product as this is one of the best products on the market, it is suitable for all types of soil but more especially for succulent plants. The kit comes with each item packed in a separate bag, hence it makes it easier to use the soil.
5. Superfly Bonsai Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix
Next on our list is Superfly Bonsai Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix. This soil mix has been sifted before being bagged. It consists of ¼ Hard Japanese Akadama, ¼ Haydite, ¼ USA Pumice and ¼ New Zealand Pine Bark. Once bought, it is ready to use and will require no further mixing or process once purchased.
The soil mix is specifically engineered to promote excellent water retention as well as drainage in succulents and cactus. It is made up of mostly non-organic components with no dirt, it is a substrate and has been found by most users to provide optimum drainage, nutrient uptake, water retention and air to the roots of plants including succulents and cactus.
It comes in an easy zip resealable bag, the top can be easily torn off and resealed since it’s a resealable bag. This can be done over and over again until its exhausted and you are ready to order another one. If after purchase you are dissatisfied with the product, you can always lay a complaint and you will get refunded in full. It is available in four sizes which include 1.25, 2.5, 6 and 12-quart.
6. Miracle-Gro Cactus Citrus Potting Mix
If you wish to grow strong plants such as cacti, citruses, and palms then you need the right kind of soil that will provide all the needed ingredients to enable the plant to grow to its optimum size. Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix will help you with this. This fast-draining formula is packed full with the right type of ingredients and Miracle-Gro Plant Food, hence you can be sure your plants will be getting the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.
It features sand, perlite and forest products which help to prevent soil compaction while also improving the drainage of the soil. It is specially engineered and formulated to help cactus, succulents, citrus, and palms grow as they should. It is also a colorful and beautiful mix thereby adding to the beauty of gardening.
The soil mix which comes in a sizeable is easy to use. All you need do is choose a container that has a drain hole and fill it to about 1/3 with the soil mix. Next, loosen the soil ball and thereafter place the soil in the container until it is fully immersed, add more of the mix (up to 1-inch from the top of the container) and press the soil lightly. After this, water the soil thoroughly and let it drain.
7. Fat Plants San Diego Premium Cacti and Succulent Soil
Fat Plants San Diego Premium Cacti and Succulent Soil is a hand-mixed soil that’s bagged and formulated by a licensed grower and nursery in San Diego, California. It is made of sand, perlite, volcanic pumice, blood and bone meal and worm castings. It is generally very easy to use.
It is rich in nutrients and has been professionally blended for use by succulents and cactus. It enriches plants while also strengthening root systems; prevent root rot and feeds succulent for as long as six months. It is made of premium quality and has a PH balance that’s ideal for all types of plants. It lends support to cactus and succulent plants in their indoor environment as well as flowerbeds and flower pots.
The soil is ideal as a growing medium for seedlings, bonsai and other types of vegetables. It is available in three sizes which include 2 quarts, one gallon (four quarts) and two gallons (eight quarts). It comes in a resealable package that is ready for immediate use upon purchase. The soil mix does not feature peat moss hence it will not retain water and will not harm your plants.
8. BonsaiOutlet Tropical Bonsai Soil Blend
We round off our list of the best soil for succulents with a soil mix which has excellent drainage and water retention; this feature will positively affect your plant root as it ensures feeding and transpiration.
It is an organic cacti and succulent soil mix which provides your plant with the much-needed nutrient it needs to thrive. As you well know, the right type of soil is one that has a well-balanced PH, is filled with nutrients that will encourage the proper growth of a plant and also lends strength and support to the plant root system. This is what BonsaiOutlet Tropical Bonsai Soil Blend offers your succulents and cacti plants.
The soil is ideal for planting succulents especially cacti collections as well as other bonsai species; it is all-natural as it’s made of 100% organic bonsai soil. The soil mix contains nutrient-rich river sand, fine pine bark, Akadama, Turface high-fired calcined clay, and 28 vitamins and minerals just for your tropical bonsai craves. The soil blend has got you covered as it prevents root rot and overwatering.
How fast do Succulents Grow?
Succulents consist of different plant species, hence they don't all grow at the same pace and rate. Succulents have a slower growth rate when compared to other plants.
With succulents, the season has to be put into consideration. Most succulents are usually dormant during winter, at this time of the season, growth is usually slower. In most cases, growth stops completely until there are longer days and warmer temperatures to resuscitate the plants again.
Examples of fast-growing succulents include:
Some grow much slower, they give the impression that they are not growing at all. They include:
How to Water succulents without drainage?
The first thing to note is never to use spray bottles as this does not promote healthy growth of succulents, the best thing to do would be to use a measuring cup. There are four options to consider when watering succulents without drainage.
One of such ways is to use a turkey baster, it’s easy to control. However, you can use a giant syringe in its place. Then there is also a measuring cup or a squeeze bottle, all these are available in the gardening sections of supermarkets.
If your pot has a cup of mixed soil in it, you can pour a half cup of water into it. Do not be worried if there's a residue of water on the leaves as it will slide down the leaves. When pouring the water, ensure it is evenly spread out on the soil. Also, ensure you cover the entire soil area as this will ensure your succulent gets enough water.
Succulents don't need the same things like other types of plants. While sunlight and water may seem important; soil plays a very vital role in its growth. The most important thing to consider when purchasing the Best Soil for Succulents is one with an excellent ability to absorb and drain water.
We have helped you make the selection process easier by reviewing the best products on the market, all that’s left is that you make a choice and begin to watch your succulents as they grow to be beautiful. So, go ahead and make your choice, the ball is in your court.