Soils for Succulents: Our Thoughts

Succulents are among the easiest and most versatile plants you can add to your plant collection. They are perfect for an indoor or small outdoor garden, and they are low maintenance. Using the best soil for succulents, they can flourish for years.

They key to success in growing succulents is understand their soil requirements. Succulents, like cacti, require a certain type of soil to thrive. That is where this guide will help you.

We will highlight the best soil for succulents on the market and have put together for you a comprehensive buying guide along with ratings and reviews.

Buying Information

Before we delve further into the best soil for succulents, let’s quickly define their characteristics:

  • They store water in their leaves and this gives them their “fleshy” appearance.
  • They prefer dry conditions and don’t respond well to a lot of humidity.
  • Because they store water in their leaves, they can withstand periods of drought by living on the stored water and nutrients in their leaves.
  • Propagation is common, so it’s possible to get several new plants from one.

While succulents are easy to care for, you still need the correct soil to keep them going. There are gardeners who feel making soil recipe is best, but it is quite possible to buy soil that is guaranteed to work and will yield beautiful plants.

The best soil for succulents will contain one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Organic Matter. Peat moss, finely ground bark and finely ground coconut fibers are good choices to help water penetrate the soil quickly.
  • Inorganic Matter. Crushed granite, perlite or pumice will help keep the soil gritty and airy to help with drainage.

If you cannot find soil specifically made for succulents, soil for cacti will work just as well. Keep in mind the following:

  • Re-pot your succulents; don’t keep them in the soil they came in.
  • The gritty soil is good; this allows water to drain which is important for succulents.
  • If you plant succulents in containers with no draining holes, be sure to add extra pebbles or sand to the bottom so the soil can drain properly.

Sample of Soils for Succulents

Wonder Soil Premium Cactus Soil & Succulent Soil Mix

As stated previously, the cactus soil will work well for succulents, and this is one of the finer brands available. Ingredients include Coco Coir, Worm Castings, Mycorrhizae, Kelp, Pumice. It comes in a 3 or 6 pound size. Each expands 3x once prepared and fluffed.

Mixing is not required with this soil, so it’s ready to go straight from the bag; however, additional pumice can be added if the soil needs help with drainage.

A word about Mycorrhizae: this is a fungi species that make this a “living soil” helping plants to better absorb and benefit from nutrients found in the soil.

The only real negative with this soil is that it is a bit pricey. It may not be budget-friendly for everyone, but it is an excellent investment for your succulents and cacti. If you try it once, you’ll likely want to continue using this product, and your plants will thank you!

Bliss Gardens Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil

Bliss Gardens has this premium, hand-made soil that is quite affordable. Ingredients include peat moss, perlite, coco coir, worm castings, forest humus, and bat guano. Also in this soil mix are horticultural charcoals, shale rocks, and Mycorrhizae. It comes in 1-gallon size.

This soil is lightweight and drains well. It is soil a great choice for new plantings or if you’re trying to revive a plant that isn’t thriving. It has a nice texture and smell, as well. Monthly watering should be sufficient for most succulents with the use of this soil.

The big drawback with this product is the quantity. 1 gallon won’t go a long way if you are planting many succulents so do yourself and order what you need, even if that means getting several bags. It is not only a great choice for succulents but also for any plant that needs extra drainage.

Window Garden Fiber Soil Organic Potting Soil

Window Garden has this fiber soil with a unique composition. The fibers are tube-like, microscopic, and allow water to drain freely. These coconut husks fibers create air spaces that allow for more oxygen to reach plant roots which can prevent over-watering. It is available in a 10 or 12-quart size.

It is a peat-free, eco-friendly and organic product. It is also renewable and reusable. It is packaged in a 7” x 7” x 1.5” block which will expand once water is added. Note: be sure to use warm water to hydrate this soil. Otherwise, this will take quite some time to expand. It should also be noted that the nutrient content of this soil is low so you’ll need to add some fertilizer.

It’s relatively affordable and a good option for succulents; it’s also easy to use and comes with a bag to use for hydrating and storage. The clever disc-type packaging also makes it easier to tote than carrying heavy bags of potting soil.