Even beginners should have no trouble making cactus and succulent soil for their houseplants. Cacti and other succulents do prefer a soil that is different from most of your other types of houseplants. There are a few key ingredients that should be in every succulent potting soil.
Hi, I’m Marci Degman the aspiring gardener, and today we’re going to talk about how to make potting soil for cactus plants.
The main thing about a cactus is that it doesn’t need nor like a lot of water. They store water up inside and you want to have something that will dry out quickly when you do water it and remain really dry. On the other hand, they don’t have a really big root system so they need something they can really grab on to. So you don’t want to just put them in sand.
Making Cactus and Succulent Soil
You want to give/ make a mixture. The very best mixture for most any cactus plant is half potting soil and half sand. And you can just buy what they call it washed sand in a bag and that’s what I’ve done because I don’t generally have to use it a whole lot.
So see you always want to have a garden knife. So what I’m going to do since I’m working with this pot here which I’ve chosen because it’s basically clay based your terracotta clay, anything that really can breathe, that moisture will evaporate out if you do put too much water. And you always want to have good drainage. I like to double it up with some rock in the bottom. That way if I do over water a little bit I got that much more drainage. So I put some rock, any kind of rock gravel, in the bottom just to give you that extra … does stay in the pot it’ll trap down inside here and get away from the roots of the cactus.
So what I do in a case like this is just use a measuring cup or whatever type of a container you know, and you just use that one part – this one part of this. I’m going to take this one cup of sand see I think I’ll start with two of each. Here’s my handy two cup measuring cup so I’ve got two cups of each and just so that I can kind of mix as I go I’ll do this make sure it’s mixed around real good. If you get it off by a little bit it’s not going to matter that much but too much sand can actually pack down and become hard. So that’s why you want to have both. Go ahead and put one more cup of each in here. Mix it around.
Now this isn’t necessarily outgrowing its pot. This is probably a really good size pot for this cactus but just for the sake of showing you how I wanted to go ahead and transplant it.
So you can see they don’t have a lot of root. So you don’t need a really big pot. They don’t really – you know you can tell they – the top if this cactus starts getting so large that its outgrowing the pot and it’s looking lopsided that’s what I’m going to want to maybe do something else. But for now this pot’s perfect. Now you want to make sure that you get the roots down in and keep the cactus above the soil level. You don’t want to ever bury it so I’m going to do this a little bit less than I would for another plant. And that’s how you make potting soil for cactus plants.
Our Summary: If you are potting succulents that are new or transplanting them to a larger pot it is best to provide fresh new soil. A store brand soil mix for succulents will work or you can make your own. Whenever possible use organic ingredients or purchase an organic cactus and succulent soil mix. The best organic succulent soil that we recommend is Dr. Earth Exotic Cactus & Succulent Soil.