What Type Of Potting Soil Do Succulents Need? Planting Tips

Everyone can keep succulents alive indoors because they are attractive, low-maintenance houseplants. Succulents can actually be fairly simple to kill if you don’t give them the right environment. This is due to the fact that most succulents are native to desert environments, which are inherently quite different from your typical home environment. As a result, you must ensure that you modify your care in accordance with these differences. 

Diverse types of soil are needed for the growth of succulents. In the proper soil, succulents flourish, but incorrect soil can lead to a variety of issues. If you’ve ever had trouble growing succulents and aren’t sure why the soil is probably to blame, read this article´╝ü

What Is A Succulent?

Succulents are plants with thick, water-storing leaves and/or stems that enable them to flourish in arid environments or soil. They can withstand drought well and are very susceptible to overwatering. Along with cacti, popular succulents also include Echeveria, Aloe Vera, Jade Plants, Sempervivum, Haworthia, and more.

Succulent Soil Features

Organic material and minerals are present in all soil mixtures. While minerals like clay, silt, and sand support soil drainage, organic matter like humus and decomposing plant tissue aid in the retention of water in the soil and the provision of nutrients to plants.

The potting soil for succulents should be porous, well-drained, and contain less organic matter than typical indoor soil mixtures because they can withstand drought and do not require constant moisture. The ideal soil mixture contains a lot of sand, perlite, or pumice and is loose and granular.

Succulent Soil Problems

n general, as long as the recipe is correct, you shouldn’t have many problems when it comes to succulent soils. The following problems could mean that your succulent soil mix needs to be adjusted.

  • Soil compaction

If you go to water your succulents and the water simply pours out of the pot without the soil soaking up any water, your soil is probably compacted. If the mix is made properly, soil compaction in succulent soils is relatively uncommon, but it can happen if plants go for an extended period of time without water or if the soil has a high organic matter content.

In this situation, it is typically best to add fresh soil over the succulent. To avoid further compaction, try boosting the mixture with additional perlite/pumice or sand. You should also immediately water the newly renovated unit.

  • High nutrition

Leggy, uneven growth in your succulents may indicate that your soil is too nutrient-rich. Succulents don’t require a lot of nutrients in the soil (remember, they don’t need a lot of organic matter), so this question may seem strange. The primary culprit is too much nitrogen. If you experience this issue, try amending the soil with more sand and perlite to lessen the amount of organic matter present.

How to Choose the Best Succulent Soil?

Hardy succulents can become stressed, drown, and eventually perish if you plant them in the incorrect soil. All succulents will benefit from the proper potting soil, even though some are more resilient than others. They don’t do well with heavy watering or extremely wet soils because the majority of succulents and cacti are native to dry regions with little rainfall.

Organic Soil And Non-organic Soil

An organic soil blend might be the best option if you’re worried about chemical exposure. While non-organic soils are less expensive, organic soils are significantly more expensive. As opposed to growing food, succulents are not edible, so their exposure to chemicals is less severe. Non-organic soil is a good option for this plant if the price is a factor.

Soil To Mineral Ratio

Mineral and organic matter are present in all soils. More minerals are present in succulent soils than in soils used for other purposes. Minerals in grit aid in drainage, whereas organic matter holds onto moisture and delivers nutrients to plant roots.

The percentage of organic to mineral matter varies depending on the type of succulent. Since sandy soil will improve drainage, most succulents will profit from it.

Succulent Plant Species

Different species of succulents react differently to excessive moisture. Use a more permeable and draining substrate for succulent species that are particularly sensitive to humidity, as too much moisture can kill them.

Indoor Or Outdoor

There are significant differences between indoor and outdoor environments. Remember that the substrate reacts differently depending on whether the plant is inside or outside. It dries more quickly outside than inside.

If you have succulents both inside and outside, the soil for the indoor succulent potting mix needs to drain better than the soil for the outdoor succulent.

Conversely, if you have succulents outside and live in a hot climate, you should use substrate materials that can hold onto moisture for a longer period of time. Your succulents will be able to use irrigation water effectively as a result.

Do And Don’t For Succulents

There are some fundamental succulent care guidelines or suggestions to keep your plants happy and healthy.

Top Dressing

When potting succulents, stay away from peat moss. It has a pleasing appearance, but it traps moisture, resulting in moist soil that promotes bacterial and fungal growth.

Pea gravel, river rock, fish rock, sand, and glass marbles are non-porous rocks that ought to be avoided as well. For decoration, you could scatter a few stones here and there. The soil needs lots of air to breathe.

A top dressing that serves as drainage should always be used. Our preferred surfaces are turf, shale, and pumice.


Unless you intend to use them for a very short time, avoid using containers without drainage holes. Objects like cups, jars, and glassware are examples of this. Not even if you put stones on the bottom and then fill it with your own potting soil. It provides the perfect setting for bacteria that decompose.

Any container or canister without a hole in the bottom should have one drilled. The soil can dry out quickly thanks to the container’s drainage holes, especially if the container is non-porous or glazed. Use a piece of burlap, garlic mesh, or anything else that will hold the dirt for a while to let it drain completely in larger holes.


Unless they are accustomed to it, succulents should not be exposed to sunlight. Most succulents prefer direct, bright sunlight to filtered light. Moving succulents in the sun can cause them to burn and eventually die.

Give your succulents as much light as you can, but do so gradually. Put your houseplant in a spot that receives a little more sunlight than usual, then gradually move it over the course of a week or more to a brighter spot.

Here is a quick guide to lighting up your garden or the plants in your windows.

  • The least amount of light will come from north facing.
  • The brightest areas are those that face west.
  • To get the morning sun, face east.
  • A good mix of things is brought to the sun when facing south.


The soil around the roots should be considered to determine how frequently to water rather than the schedule. A better succulent mix should be used to rewater the soil if it doesn’t dry out within a week.

A smaller pot might be preferable because it will dry out more quickly. The best clay to use has drainage holes and is not glazed.


Pay attention to how dry the soil is around the roots rather than watering on a schedule. Another container with better drainage should be used if the soil dries out within a week.

A smaller pot might be preferable because it will dry out quicker. Use unglazed clay with drainage holes whenever possible. Adjust the soil so that the drainage material exceeds the organic matter.

Final Words

Succulents are renowned for being attractive, low-maintenance houseplants that can be maintained indoors by anyone.

The truth is that succulents are actually quite simple to kill unless you give them ideal conditions. This is so that you can adjust your care since most succulents are native to desert environments, which are very dissimilar from your typical home environment.