What is the best soil for succulent? Short answer: one that drains well. While there are many conflicting ideas about soil, drainage is essential for succulents like snake plants. Due to snake plant’s ability to tolerate drought, they rot when left in wet soil.
It is useful to replicate the natural environment of a plant to cultivate it. Sand and gravelly soils tend to be ideal for growing wild succulents. Some thrive even in small rocky crevices or at the edge of cliffs. When heavy rains fall, their gritty soil gets saturated, but dry out quickly. In terms of drainage, soil type, frequency of watering, container choice, sunshine, and airflow are the most important factors.
Soil Remains Wet?
There are many factors that affect the length of time soil remains wet, such as the quantity of water added, amount of sunlight, airflow, and soil type. When finding the right soil, remember that drying time is a balance of all these factors.
There are many factors at play, so what works for one gardener may not work for another. A harder soil may be preferred by growers with less airflow to prevent pests. On the other hand, a gardener in a hot and windy climate might choose soil that is less porous to minimize frequent soaking. You should use pots that have drainage holes when growing long-term.
Organic Versus Mineral
An organic and mineral component of soil is found in the soil. Organics refer to things that once lived. Minerals, however, are inorganic, natural substances (i.e. they do not come from living organisms). Among plant debris, tree bark is an organic component, whereas gravel is a mineral. Both types of soil are essential to create the best soil for succulent. Organisms provide nutrients and water storage, while mineral constituents provide drainage.
Growing and preventing rot requires a perfect balance of organic and mineral matter. Additionally, you will be able to deeply water your succulents less often this way. Depending on the variety and the environmental conditions, mineral content can range between 40% and 80%. It is possible to mix multiple types of organic and mineral ingredients from different categories. We recommend coconut coir, pine bark, compost, soil, or potting soil for organic matter. Mineral options for fine gravel, sand, volcanic rock and chicken grit are all good choices. Do not use minerals like vermiculite or non calcined clays that store water.
Texture And Porosity
On the basis of grit size, minerals are further classified into so-called “texture types” of soil. Among these three types, sand is the largest, followed by silt and clay. Water retention in soil is determined by the ratio of each and drying time is determined by the proportion of each. Since sandy soils contain many particles and pores, they dry out quickly. It is perfect for succulents.
If you want to know what your soil’s texture is, you can perform jar tests at home, like we did. In the ground, plant in a sandy loam that is made up of 50% to 80% fine sand or gravel. Choose coarse grit minerals about 1/ ” to 1/ ” in diameter for potted plants. Your succulents will not rot if the soil stays wet because of rapid drainage.
A selection of commercial succulent soils are listed and compared side by side. Using field capacity (how much water each can hold once saturated) and drying time, we tested each. During the same indoor light and moderate airflow conditions, all plants were housed in plastic pots with drainage holes. You can amend each option to fit your needs, and each soil type has its own benefits.
With a few precautions, you can use regular potting soil to grow succulents. It consists primarily of organic materials like bark, peat moss, and compost. The structure is dense and the drying process is long. But if potting soil is all you have, here’s how you can make succulents grow.
You should choose a light mixture, avoiding vermiculite and moisture-retaining crystals. Use containers with drainage holes…or three. In addition, water less frequently so that the mix can dry. As an alternative, when it comes to turning standard potting soil into rapid-draining succulent soil, you should use a 1:1 ratio or even 1:2 ratio of soil to mineral grit. It may be not the best soil for succulent, but it will do for succulents like snake plant.