Choosing the best soil for succulents can seem overwhelming, but when you chose a quality product, taking care of your plants will get a lot easier. A good succulent potting soil is lightweight, easily drains, and often contains nutrients. If you stick with these qualities, your succulents will have a very good chance of thriving. In this article, we will look at the top 6 soils on the market for your succulents.
We’ll consider and examine the level of maintenance, ease of use, durability, and value of each soil for succulents in the reviews below. Here is a quick link to each product before we get started:
- The Next Gardener: Organic Succulent Mix – Best Soil For Overwaterers
- Fat Plants: Premium Potting Soil – Best All-In-One Fertilizer and Potting Mix
- Hoffman: Organic Cactus & Succulent Soil Mix – Most-Purchased Succulent Soil
- Bonsai Jack: Succulent & Cactus Soil – Most Similar to a Succulent’s Natural Environment
- Espoma: Organic Cactus Mix – Best Moisture Retention
- Miracle-Gro: Cactus, Palm, & Citrus Potting Mix – Best Value
*If you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend the Fat Plants: Premium Potting Soil as the best one. This soil for succulents is the perfect blend of a high-quality soil mix and fertilizer, so it has everything your succulents will need to thrive.
Best Soil For Overwaterers
This soil, hand mixed and imported from Denmark, is formulated for optimal drainage and pest resistance. It is 100% organic and double sifted, making sure nothing that doesn’t belong in this potting mix is in it. It’s made of compost, vermiculite, and calcined clay. It is enriched with over 28 trace minerals to keep your succulents strong and nutritionally balanced.
Customers report that while this mix is good at holding water, it never feels “wet”, meaning that the soil is able to stay moist without exposing the roots to dampness, preventing root rot.
- Double sifted
- Hard to overwater
- Ideal pH of 5.5
Best All-In-One Fertilizer and Potting Mix
This blend is hand-mixed by a licensed grower and nursery located in San Diego. It consists of perlite, sand, volcanic pumice, worm castings, blood and bone meal, and peat moss. This blend is mineral and nutrient-rich, making it great for a wide variety of cacti.
Rather than being a fine or course blend, Fat Plants Potting Soil contains particles of varied sizes, which allows for a great balance of drainage and moisture retention. It also emulates the natural environment of a succulent quite well.
- Comes in 3 convenient sizes, perfect for clean pest-free storage
- Highly Fertile
- Made in the US
- Smaller Particles than a course mix
Most Purchased Succulent Soil
This organic blend consists of peat moss, reed sedge peat, perlite, sand, and limestone. It’s perfectly pH balanced and nutrient-enriched for the needs of most succulents. Some customers have reported that this blend has attracted pests, mold, and fungus. It must be stored in a cool dark place to avoid this.
If your soil does have a pest issue, it can be treated by being baked on a tray in an oven at 350 degrees for an hour. This may lower the nutrient content but will make sure there are no issues with your soil.
- Balanced pH
- Balanced nutrients
- Occasional Pest & Mold Issues
Most Similar to a Succulent’s Natural Environment
This expertise blend most closely represents the natural environment that succulents, bonsais, and cacti grow in, making it a nearly perfect mix. It consists of bonsai block, monto clay, and pine coir. None of these materials are porous, meaning the mix completely drains out any water added to it.
This soil is pathogen-free and regularly state inspected and tested to maintain quality and cleanliness, minimizing any bug issues you may be having with your succulents.
As a bonus, this mix comes with a metal rod that looks like a long blunt needle with 7 grooves on its tip. This is called a “chopstick” and is used for helping with soil drainage, as well as for succulent transplantation.
This potting mix does not provide nutrients for the succulent, so make sure to fertilize your succulents accordingly. Since this soil requires the extra step of fertilization, it is recommended for intermediate or advanced succulent growers.
- Superior drainage
- Best root rot protection
- pH 5.5
- Consistent particle size
- Available in many sizes
- Lightweight & airy
- Includes “chopstick” tool for drainage and transplanting
- Does not include fertilizer
Best Moisture Retention
This all-natural and organic potting blend consists of peat humus, sphagnum peat moss, sand, perlite, earthworm castings, and dolomitic limestone to adjust ph. Espoma has created the “Myco-Tone” water-saving formula that helps to retain moisture without damaging succulent roots in sitting water.
Many customers find this product can have its drainage improved by adding additional perlite or vermiculite to the soil.
- “Myco-Tone” water-saving formula
- Helps to retain moisture
- May retain too much water
- Performs better when additional perlite is added to it
This mix contains forest products, sphagnum peat moss, sand, and perlite to help prevent soil from compacting and to encourage drainage. It is fortified with Miracle-Gro fertilizer, which can support the nutrient needs of your succulents for up to 6 months.
While this mix is not organic like several others on the list, it is a popular brand with quality ingredients and a well-known fertilizer. This soil is good for beginners who want to go with a well-known product. It’s also the most affordable option.
- Well-Known Brand
- Fertilized Soil
- 6-Month Money-Back Guarantee
- Not Organic
What Kind of Soil Do My Succulents Need?
Succulents require soil that has good drainage. This means the soil should be fluffy rather than dense, and drier than moist. This helps to recreate the natural arid desert environment that cacti and succulents come from. Usually, succulents thrive in areas with course and gritty rocks that contain very little nutrient value. These conditions prevent succulents from being overwatered and help prevent their roots from rotting.
When making or purchasing a succulent potting soil, you will want to make sure it has a good pH (in the range of 5.5 – 6), a good ratio of organic to inorganic material, and large pieces of matter that allow water and air to flow freely through it.
What Pot Should I Use for my Succulents?
It’s important to use a pot with holes in it, since drainage is necessary for your plants. You can purchase a container with holes or drill them into the pot itself. It is not recommended to use a pot without holes and to add large rocks in the bottom. This can still lead to root rot. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to transplanting your succulents into their new vessel:
Purchase a Pot
There are many options for succulent pots, however, terra cotta pots are a great choice or beginners who want a good blend of value and quality. This terra-cotta pot is a great planter for starting out. Once you have your container, you’ll want to tape a breathable fabric over the drainage holes. This will allow for water to drain away from your plants without washing away the soil and nutrients as well.
Add the Succulent Soil
Loosely add the soil to your planter, leaving an inch of space to put your plants into. By not filling the container completely with soil, we are also preventing future flooding during watering.
Transfer your Succulents
Be gentle when removing your succulents from the nursery container. Instead of pulling them out, squeeze and tap at the sides of the container to avoid damaging the succulent roots. Plant your succulent in the new container and add about ½ of an inch of soil around it to loosely hold it in place.
Check your plants
When you’re finished transferring your succulents into their new soil and planter, look carefully to make sure all of their roots are covered by the soil. Any exposed roots will quickly dry out which may affect the health of the plant.
How Do I Take Care of my Succulents?
The most important factor in the health of a succulent is the amount of water it receives. The largest cause of succulent issues stems from overwatering the plant. In general, you can give your succulent water every 2-4 days.
If you are looking for a way to test the moisture of your soil, go ahead and touch it. Don’t water succulents when the soil is moist.
Succulents require even less water in wintertime when they are dormant, so make sure not to overdo it during this season.
Sunlight is another major consideration for your plant. Succulents are used to getting about 6 hours of direct sunlight each day so they will need to be placed by a sunny window to emulate this schedule. If you are growing your succulents in a shaded or indoor area, you may want to purchase a succulent grow light to support your plants.
If your living space allows for it, you can also place your succulents outside in direct light for up to 6 hours each day. Just make sure the temperature isn’t below freezing or over 100 degrees. Providing your succulents with true sunlight will help them bloom and blush, producing flowers, as well as the beautiful pinks purples and blue translucent hues that succulents are known for.
A Recipe for Homemade Soil
Making your own DIY succulent soil takes a bit more planning than purchasing a pre-made mix. However, it is a good idea for those who want to learn more about succulent soil and also for those who want to get a very specific blend of potting mix for their plants.
A succulent potting mix consists of about 50% soil, 20% sand, and 30% of drainage material such as pumice or perlite.
Succulents are an excellent choice for an indoor garden and can be relatively easy to maintain. These premium succulent potting mixes are the perfect companion for your plants, providing them with the drainage and nutrients they need to thrive with minimal maintenance.
Remember: sunlight, water (but not too much water), and a good container that promotes drainage will make happy plants for beginners and seasoned growers alike!