What is the best succulent soil? Ideally succulent soil needs to drain well. Some people like to make their own or amend the soil they already have. There are commercial succulent soils readily available. You can use them as is or amend the potting soil by adding other materials for more drainage. Below are some of the best succulent potting mixes available:
Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix–This is extremely fast draining. Prevents root rot and over watering. Will not damage roots. There’s no need to amend the soil because it is already very porous so there’s no need to mix it with perlite or other soil amendments.
Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix–specially formulated for use with cacti and succulents
Black Gold Cactus Mix–specifically blended to suit the unique growing needs of all cacti and succulents
Pumice–great amendment for all types of soil. More durable than perlite but also more expensive and harder to find.
Check out these two choices for my pumice recommendations:
Perlite–helps improve drainage and aeration to the soil. More affordable than pumice and easier to find but not as durable as pumice.
Here are two perlite choices:
Coarse Silica Sand–used for bonsai, cacti and succulents to help improve drainage and soil aeration.
Peat Moss–used for tropical and rainforest cacti because it retains more moisture.
Fir Bark–found in most orchid potting mix to add aeration to the soil.
While succulents are not heavy feeders, sometimes you need to add nutrients to the soil. There are fertilizer blends specifically formulated for cacti and succulents. They are designed to have the ideal N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) ratio for succulents and cacti. These 3 are my top choices for succulent fertilizers:
EarthPods Easy Cactus and Succulent Plant Food–Organic fertilizer spikes for succulents and cacti (one of the best ones I found on amazon.)
Schultz Cactus Plus Plant Food–Liquid plant food for cacti and succulents
Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants–Slow release formula for succulents and cacti
Manure Tea Bags is an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers and can be a more sustainable way to fertilize your plants. Manure tea is made from collecting the manure of any livestock. The manure that has been collected is then fermented and cured. Luckily, these tea bags are available for purchase so you do not have to make your own.
Used to stimulate the plant cutting so it speeds up the process of sending out new roots or new nodes. It can come in either powder, gel or liquid form. Some of the most popular rooting hormones are:
Horticultural Sulfur Powder
Sulfur Powder— Used as a fungicide and insecticide to help seal wounds on plants, preventing an infection.
Recommended Ceramic Pots
Choosing the right pot for your succulents can be confusing because of so many choices out there. My personal choice are ceramic pots and terra cotta pots because I like the way they look and they are permeable, which allows the plant to breathe and the moisture to evaporate more quickly. Here are a few ceramic pots in different sizes to get you started, and they all come with drainage holes already:
A potting bench will surely make your life easier, save your back from hours of gardening, and also help keep your gardening essentials organized. Here are some good quality potting benches at different price points, all under $150 USD:
Sharp Pruning Shears–for stem cuttings, or trimming and pruning succulents and more
Gardening Tools–9-piece garden tool set to get you started
If you want to be on the safe side, you want drainage holes in the pots you are using for succulents and cacti. If the pot doesn’t come with holes, you can easily drill a hole in them with a simple drill like this one.
Diamond Drill Bits
Used for drilling holes in ceramics and glass
Prolong the life of succulents in terrariums or pots without drainage or soil
Activated Charcoal—can help remove excess moisture from the soil by helping to absorb the water. Activated charcoal also contains natural antimicrobial properties, which can be helpful in preventing bacteria from entering your plants and causing disease.
Moss–ideal for terrariums or arrangements that use little or no soil so succulent plants can have something to hold on to that can hold in moisture.
Treatments for Pest Control
Neem Oil –can be used to treat and prevent pests and bugs on succulents
Ladybugs–beneficial insects like ladybugs feed on pests and bugs that may be infesting your succulents. if you are looking for a more natural way to get rid of pests, you can try to introduce beneficial insects into your garden where the infestation is. Ladybugs can be purchased from gardening suppliers or your local nursery. They can also be easily purchased online.