Make your own Cactus and Succulent Potting Mix

I have a friend who loves potting up succulents but after a month or so they keep dying and she's not sure why - it could be the potting mix she uses.






Everyone makes out that cultivating succulents is easy and they are guaranteed to flourish because they require so little care. While it is true that succulents require very little in the way of water, they still need sunshine and the right type of potting soil. If you are planting your succulents in a heavy soil, they won't like it and won't do their best. The right cactus or succulent potting mix will make all the difference and, having seen the price to buy a bag of this, I will let you in on a little secret on how to make your own.





Potting Mix for Cactus and Succulents

With the popularity of cactus and succulents increasing in the past 10 or so years, they have become a staple part of dressing the interior of a home. Nowadays when you visit your local garden centre, you are sure to find some amazing varieties of both cactus and succulents.




Using the right soil for potting cactus and succulents is important, as it should not only drain well but also be rich in essential nutrients that these plants need to flourish. Because cactus and succulents are plants found in areas of drought, they are well accustomed to being without water for long periods of time and both species have adapted to store water within their cells.


Another reason that the right soil mix is essential is for good root growth. Most soils found in the garden are too dense for cactus and succulents and the fragile roots struggle to spread out which results in straggly growth and dull colours. A well-drained, loose soil will allow these hardy plants to burst with colour and produce offspring that can be re-planted for even more plants.




Cactus and succulents need plenty of light. If you place them in the home in a position that is not close to bright light, supplement their needs with a grow lamp or LED lighting.





Here is a basic recipe for making your own cactus and succulent potting mix and you will find everything you need in the gardening centre at your nearest Builders store:






Regular potting soil


Pool filter sand or fine pea gravel


3 large plastic bowls

Containers or pots with drainage holes

Gardening gloves










Step 1

Combine potting soil, gravel or sand, and perlite. The correct ratio for this is 3:2:1 and this will give you a well-drained soil that is loose enough to allow for root growth. Use a trowel to mix these three elements.





Step 2

The potting mix is now ready for use. Fill the bottom of the plant pot with soil making sure to leave enough space for the roots and then use a small trowel or spoon the add more soil around the roots to fill up the pot.  








All-Purpose Potting Mix

Not only is this potting mix ideal for planting cactus and succulents, it is also perfect for all plants that require a well-drained soil - both outdoor and indoor plants. Because this potting mix is loose, it can also be added to other soils to prevent them from becoming hard and compact.







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