Succulents in pots do best in special soil. I have many tropical houseplants, and the mixes I use for them are different. This is all about succulent soil mix, so you can choose what’s the best to keep your succulents healthy and growing strong.
It’s debatable as to what is the optimum succulent soil mix because people have their favorites. The best succulent soil has good drainage, is a chunky mix, and doesn’t hold much water.
Succulent soil mixes and amendments up close:
I’ve used commercial succulent mixes as well as a couple from garden centers/nurseries that manufacture their own. I now make my own succulent and cactus mix. I use it for all my indoor succulent potting, including the very popular Jade Plant and Aloe Vera.
This succulent and cactus mix recipe isn’t mine – I’m not a soil guru! It’s good for indoor and outdoor succulent planting and I’ve been using it for 2 years now. The folks at Eco Gro shared it with me via its creator Mark Dimmitt. It’s comprised of coco chips, coconut coir (a more eco-friendly substitute for peat moss), pumice, vermiculite, agricultural lime, and elemite.
Check out more posts from our Succulents Indoors series:
- How to Choose Succulents and Pots
- Small Pots for Succulents
- Guide to Watering Indoor Succulents
- 6 Important Succulent Care Tips
- Hanging Planters for Succulents
- 13 Common Succulent Problems and How to Avoid Them
- Propagating Succulents 3 Simple Ways
What succulent mix needs to be
It needs to be a gritty mix that provides excellent drainage. Succulents don’t like wet soil, especially those that are growing indoors. The leaves, stems, and roots store water and are subject to root rot if kept wet for too long.
The mix needs to dry out in between waterings. This is especially true if the planters they’re growing in have no drainage holes.
I don’t recommend growing succulents in regular potting soil. It holds too much moisture and has a good chance of staying too wet. I’ve found that some of the commercial succulent mixes can also be too heavy for indoor succulents. You may need to add an amendment or 2 to lighten the mix.
How to amend drainage
Here are ingredients to make your mix fast draining and well aerated: pumice, coco chips, perlite, pebbles, gravel, and coarse sand.
Options for succulent mix
1) Make your own.
I mix mine up in a large tin bowl with handles that I can easily carry around whether I’m potting indoors or outdoors. You can see it in the lead photo above and in the video. It’s like a portable potting station!
I love my Tub Trug for collecting trimmings in the garden. These lightweight tubs with handles come in a variety of sizes as well as colors. You could easily use one for your holding your succulent mix, whether you make it or buy it.
2) Buy a mix at a local store.
If you want to pick up a succulent mix, you can go to a local garden center or a home improvement store like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Ace.
3) Buy it online.
Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Mountain Crest are options you can check out.
Most of these can be bought in smaller-sized bags if you’re short on storage space or only have a few succulents. All the succulent mixes I’ve purchased have been good for indoor/outdoor use.
Nose around and see what brand or recipe suits your and your indoor succulents the best. I tried many before hitting on the recipe and amendments I use.
I buy the ingredients in bulk and am set for a couple of years before I have to replenish any of them. The longest I’ve kept the mix for is about 6 months and it’s still fresh. I do a lot of potting/repotting and also use the mix for my cacti.
Whatever succulent potting mix you use needs to be fast draining, light, and well aerated.
Coming up next to go hand in hand with this post is one dedicated to repotting succulents. It’s time to put whatever succulent mix you choose into use!
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