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How To Prepare Soil for Succulents?

Are you on the quest to find out how to prepare the perfect miracle soil that can cater to growing your succulents vibrant and healthy? Then you have come to the right place. The universal question for any plant grower starts from the nature of the soil.

Preparing the perfect soil for your succulents can be easy when you have the right potting mix ratios, the right soil, proper tools, and a little bit of trial and error.

The soil medium for succulents is very important in the beginning stages of succulent growth because you have to essentially recreate the environment from where the succulents are originally bought from.

When you get your succulents adjusted to the potting soil mix, then half the battle is done. Read on to find out what criteria’s you can take into account and what ingredients and proportions you can follow to get that easy-to-make soil mix for succulents made right at home.

Criteria’s for preparing the soil for succulents:

As certain succulents are delicate and drought resistant, proper care must be taken while preparing the soil.

·      Well drained soil:

Proper draining soil is very crucial for succulents. As they are drought resistant plants and survive in hot conditions with less water, water clogging the succulents can cause severe root rot.

·      Proper proportions of soil potting mix:

For any good soil, mixing the right amount of nutrients in the potting mix is very important. Too much can cause a deficiency in succulents and can eventually kill the plant. Getting the ratios and ingredients right can help in healthy and vibrant growth.

·      Good aeration:

Succulents do not like compacted soil like clay or hard soil. They thrive in well aerated soil like coarse sand, granulated soil, or gravel, which provides ample space for roots to grow and water and air to circulate.

·      Sufficient amounts of nutrients and fertilizers:

Adding a sufficient amount of nutrients to the soil and occasional treatment of fertilizers like adding neem cakes can work wonders for succulent growth.

Choosing the best soil for succulents:

The first step while preparing the soil for succulents is choosing the best soil. Succulent’s stability and future growth depend on the type and nature of the soil. Following is some of the types of soil to consider while preparing your soil:

·      Coarse sand:

Coarse sand is a favorite and most used soil type among succulent lovers. This type of soil is granulated into small particles, which makes it the most ideal soil for succulents. They aid in good aeration and drainage.

·      Coco peat:

Coco peat or also called Coco soil is made from the husks of coconut. This natural fiber is fast gaining popularity not only as soil for succulents but also for other plants and crippers. Known for its porous nature, it is an added benefit for maintaining moisture and water drainage.

·      Perlite:

If you are looking for lightweight soil that provides good drainage and increases aeration, then perlite is the soil for you. This mineral occurs naturally and is often seen as small white Styrofoam in potting soil.

·      Pumice:

Unlike perlite, pumice particles are larger in size and have less chance of getting blown away from the potting mix. The best thing about pumice and perlite is they increase oxygen levels and absorb excess water which can cause root rot.

·      Aquarium gravel or granulated soil:

This type of soil is basically small rocks or gravel used in aquariums and as potting soil. This soil helps in creating space in the potting soil for easy air and water circulation. The particles can be larger or smaller in size depending on the succulents.

Succulent potting mix ratios and methods:

Step two in preparing the soil for succulents is mixing the soil and nutrients in the right proportions or ratios to make your perfect soil mix for succulents.

The following method is bifurcated into three aspects in terms of their rich nutrients and fertilizers levels, cost effective levels, and high priced levels.

Method 1: Natural fertilizers

This method can be followed by succulent growers looking for adding natural means of fertilizers in their potting mix to benefit succulents in avoiding root rots or other soil deficiencies in the future.

Potting mix ingredients:

·      Garden soil / Potting soil

·      Sand

·      Pumice

·      Neem cake

·      Aquarium gravel

Soil preparations:

·     Take a pot or container of your choosing and make sure to have a drainage hole in the bottom.

·     First add 2 parts of garden soil or regular potting soil.

·     Then add another 2 parts of coarse sand to the regular potting soil.

·      To this mix add neem cake in the ratio of 1 part to the soil mix to act as a natural fertilizer.

·     Then lastly add 1 part each of pumice and aquarium gravel and mix well to get your own succulent potting soil mix.

Method 2: Cost effective

This method is for succulent soil for beginners. It is easy and also cost effective. By using the available resources at home, this method can be used in the initial stages of succulent growth.

Potting mix ingredients:

·     Garden soil / Potting soil

·     Sand

·     Gravel

·     Coco peat

Soil preparations:

·     After taking a pot or container of your choosing, fill it with 1 part of garden soil or regular potting soil and spread equally.

·      For this, add 1 part of sand to get your well aerated soil mix.

·      Add 1 part of gravel or granulated soil to the potting mix.

·      To get that natural porous particle in the soil, add 1 part of coco peat and mix well.

·      This mix can be made in bigger proportions depending on the succulents. Make sure to add equal amounts of regular soil, sand, coco peat, and gravel to the mix to get your cost effective succulent soil.

Method 3: Well drained soil

This method focuses on getting the maximum amount of well-draining soil in the potting mix. Though it might be on the expensive side compared to method 2, this is for succulent growers who are looking for preparing succulent soil for future growth and prorogation.

Potting mix ingredients:

·      Garden soil / Potting soil

·      Sand

·      Coco peat

·      Perlite

·      Pumice

Soil preparations:

·      In this method, choose a pot or container depending on the succulent with proper drainage holes.

·      First add 3 parts of garden soil or regular soil to the bottom of the pot.

·      Then add 2 parts of sand to this potting mix to make it more porous and granulated.

·      To this mix, add 1 part of coco peat to maintain moisture.

·      Finally add 1 part each of perlite and pumice and mix well to complete the succulent soil potting mix. All the above ingredients when combined can create a perfect well draining soil for your succulents.

Succulents are resilient species of plants, withstanding harsh weather conditions, droughts and at the same time producing exotic-looking flowers and leaves. To keep them looking like this in the future, proper care must be taken while preparing the soil for succulents.

And also preparing a large amount of your premium DIY succulent soil potting mix can be used for repotting, propagation, and future succulent samplings.

The above-mentioned methods and criteria can help you tackle the problem of preparing the soil for succulents for the first time. You might find it’s not that hard as you once thought.


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