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How to Customize Your Succulent and Cactus Soil To Improve Drainage?

How to Customize Your Succulent and Cactus Soil To Improve Drainage?

We will be looking at 4 types of Succulent and Cactus Soil mixes. Have you ever wondered how you could customize your cactus and succulent soil mix to improve drainage and how much fast-draining is really good enough especially since succulents may also differ in needs?

  • First and second types of soil mix

First type of soil mix is your regular commercial cactus soil. You can easily buy these from Lowe’s or Home Depot or your local Garden Center and they have good amount of drainage, but you’ll see in a bit how we can still customize this soil to improve it further. The second type is non-conditioned soil with no fertilizers and no enhancements. I planted some succulents directly in the ground that probably had garden soil. Please take note that I also chose the thinnest and frailest assortment of succulents. You’ll be surprised. This type of soil is definitely not fast-draining. This is why I’m encouraging you to conduct your own experiments. In fact, this soil is just non-conditioned soil.

I planted a succulent in August, and so, it’s in the midst of summer, and she is very healthy. This is what inspired me to do this experiment. Succulents will be exposed to rain and everything else, except snow. Look at how fat these succulents are now in October. Somehow, just the fact that these succulents are planted directly on the ground that they are getting the right nutrients that they need. I planted different kinds of succulents on purpose to see what happens.

Do you realize now how there are a lot of variables with growing them? So two growers who would be practically neighbours would have different results.Just look at the old leaves and the new leaves. So, experiment, experiment and still experiment. In fact, even the leaves that I knocked off propagated nicely.

  • Third type of soil

Third type of soil is the regular potting soil mix which are heavy and compact. If you would look here, although a regular potting soil mix would also have bits of perlite, it is actually still quite dense, compact and heavy. If you would add sand and perlite to enhance drainage, this becomes pretty much like the commercial cactus soil mix. We can always add more perlite to commercial cactus soil mix, especially for Lithops and Split Rocks.

  • Fourth type of soil

But there is a 4th type of soil that is fast getting to be my favorite. So, the 4th type of soil is Coco Peat or Coir. This Coco peat absorbs water really fast, which means less watering time for us. Coir or coco peat is fibre from the outer husk of coconut. This material is actually really light and the fibres allow lots of air circulation that it dries up really fast, which is a great preventive measure for root rot. I’ve tried coco peat for small pots and they are great. Don’t be scared to test things out and see which soil type or soil mix works in your location and of course, your succulent. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly. And this does not just apply to Succulents, but life itself.

Tara Joy
A plant lover who loves nature and likes to share gardening tips.
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