The best cactus and succulent soil mix product should be affordable and convenient, but most importantly, it should work well. After extensive research we unreservedly recommend Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix. This high quality product is complete. No further additives or soil enhancers are needed! Our personal preference for gardening is that as much as possible we use eco-friendly products. All of the Dr Earth products also meet that criterion as well.
Cacti and other succulents grow naturally in a wide variety of places around the world. The environment can be divided into either ‘desert’ cacti and succulents or ‘tropical’ succulents. A great succulent and cactus soil blend can be effective for both types of environments if the soil mixture includes peat moss and the other necessary ingredients.
Most generic potting soil available at garden centers is comprised of three basic ingredients: peat moss, pine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite. This is the basic recipe. To accommodate the special needs of cacti and succulents, sand or another substance is often added. Including either perlite or pumice (they work similarly) is also a very beneficial ingredient that may be added to ensure you will have ‘prize winning’ plants.
There are other beneficial ingredients we could mention that are generally not included in commercial products. The obvious solution would be to buy the handiest cactus soil product at your nearest garden center and just add the additional ingredients. However, that takes a lot of extra time and expense to basically make your own ideal succulent soil.
Best Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
So, our latest project was to research and investigate many of the cactus and succulent soil mixes on the market. Our goal was to find not just a good product, but a great product and – best of all – one that needs nothing added.
Why Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Cactus Soil Mix?
- 100% organic, natural and pure
- People and pet safe
- No GMO’s
- Manure free
- No sewage sludge (bio-solids)
- Odor free
- Fast draining formula
- Contains wild-caught fish bone meal, cold water kelp meal and alfalfa meal
- Contains TruBiotic a superior blend of beneficial microbes & mycorrhizae
- CDFA, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Registered organic plant material
- OMRI Listed for Organic Use
- MycoApply Certified to guarantee the mycorrhizae
- Contains organic Aloe Vera ProMoisture Hydrate
- Use indoors for houseplants or outdoors in your garden
- Ready to use – Just open the bag and start planting!
Exotic Blend Cactus Soil Mix Description
This is an excellent succulent soil potting mix with all the important and necessary ingredients included. We found that it has a truly unique water holding capability while simultaneously being optimized to provide superior draining which succulents need.
It is an excellent soil enhancer for any outdoor plants whether in containers or as part of your landscaping. It can easily be mixed in with already existing garden soil and it will immediately improve and enhance that soil. It works well to improve the aeration and drainage of clay soil.
It is also magnificent for indoor houseplants, especially succulents and other drought tolerant plants. It also works great for terrariums, hanging baskets and dish gardens. When you are transplanting a succulent it is a good time to improve the soil by enhancing or replacing it with this Dr. Earth Cactus Mix.
Since it is a living organic soil each bag will vary slightly but the target aimed for by Dr. Earth is a pH level close to 6.8.
Brands We Researched Before Choosing Dr. Earth
- Green Planet – Cactus Soil Mix with Mycorrhizae (now discontinued)
- Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
- Superfly Bonsai – Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix
- rePotme – Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix – Classic Blend
- Miracle-Gro – Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix
- Espoma – CA4 Organic Cactus Mix
- Bliss Gardens – Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil
- Bonsai Jack – Bonsai Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix
- Fat Plants San Diego Succulent Soil
- Eastern Leaf Succulent Soil Leaf
- Hirt’s Gardens – Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
- Sun Gro Horticulture – Black Gold Cactus Mix
- Dry Desert Cactus Potting Mix
Why Should the Preferred Succulent Soil Blend be Organic?
Some plant growers may not agree that potting soil for houseplants or for outdoors necessarily needs to be organic. That may be true that it is not absolutely necessary. However, if you are growing succulents for consumption or to use topically such as Aloe vera we feel that you should definitely use organic soil whenever possible. Even plants that are not going to be consumed will most often be much healthier and look a lot better when grown in organic soil. Using organic succulent soil mix is also another way to help the highly beneficial soil microbes to thrive and multiply. More and more growers are finding these microbes to be one of the most important ingredients for beautiful and healthy plants. Some non-organic succulent soil mixes essentially sterilize the soil by killing any beneficial soil microbes while organic brands help the microbes to thrive and even proliferate.
Frequently Asked Questions – Dr. Earth Cactus Mix
What is mycorrhizae and why is it important?
According to the New York Botanical Garden, International Plant Science Center, “Mycorrhizae are symbiotic relationships that form between fungi and plants. The fungi colonize the root system of a host plant, providing increased water and nutrient absorption capabilities while the plant provides the fungus with carbohydrates formed from photosynthesis.” In Greek the word mycorrhizae means “fungus root.” The remarkable relationship of the fungus and the roots helping one another will help your succulents to thrive.
Will this succulent mix work right out of the bag?
Yes. You will not need to add anything else.
What size bags are available?
It is currently sold in two sizes
- Product #810 – 8 quart (7.6 liters) size
- Product #809 – 1 cubic foot (25.7 quarts, 28.3 liters) size.
What exactly is TruBiotic?
TruBiotic is the registered name used to describe all the soil microbes included in the Exotic Blend succulent soil mix. The TruBiotic supplement is a scientifically designed blend of beneficial potting soil microbes combined with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae.
What does “MycoApply Certified” mean?
MycoApply is an independent third party tester to verify the presence of mycorrhizae in the product. The seal of approval from MycoApply means that the potting mix tested is guaranteed to include the mycorrhizae in the amount just as it is advertized. Many growers are finding great success using succulent soil blends that include mycorrhizae so it is critical that this is actually in the product.
What is ProMoisture Hydrate?
Since the Dr. Earth succulent soil potting mix includes prebiotics, probiotics and mycorrhizae it is essential that these microorganisms are still alive and thriving when you purchase and use the product. ProMoisture Hydrate is a patented supplement that is infused with Aloe vera. It was created to feed and grow the beneficial microorganisms so they will be active and eager to help the plants you introduce them to.
How do I use it for a potted plant?
If possible, choose a container that is larger than the current root ball so that the plant can grow into the rich potting mix. Before planting, make sure any previously used containers are cleaned and sterilized. Pour the Exotic Blend Cactus and Succulent Potting Mix into the container. Position the plant with the root crown at the desired level and then fill in with the mix. Pack the soil gently. Water well after planting and then ongoing according to the plant’s needs. Always keep succulents on the dry side to prevent sensitive roots from rotting. Transplant your cacti and succulents regularly if they get too big for their containers.
What are included in the ingredients?
Fishbone meal, kelp meal, perlite, gypsum, dolomite lime, peat moss, composted green waste, bone meal, feather meal, kelp flour and other nutritious organic materials. As mentioned earlier it also contains a precise amount of beneficial mycorrhizae and other soil microbes. Milo Lou Shammas, the founder of Dr. Earth, has spent years formulating and testing all the various products to work specifically with different types of plants.
Of course we haven’t used every cactus and succulent soil product on the market. However, searching for a good quality soil product is like identifying counterfeit money. You don’t need to be educated in every little detail of a counterfeit bill. You just need to be able to identify the real thing. We have a lot of experience making our own blends and over the years have purchased numerous commercial brands.
The best cactus soil, or to broaden out, the best succulent soil, can vary depending on many factors. Is your succulent indoors or out, growing with other plants or by itself, what are the light, temperature and humidity conditions? For the best results you may need to modify your soil a little for your specific conditions.
The Dr. Earth succulent soil blend we describe above has all the hallmarks of great cactus and succulent potting soil. It contains in the right proportions the vital nutrients, soil amendments, and natural ingredients unique to cacti and succulents. So in summary, we highly recommend Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix. It is convenient and a less expensive way than buying all the separate ingredients to make your own succulent soil mix.