How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil

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Treating succulents the same way you would handle other indoor plants would be a mistake because, despite being low maintenance, these desert plants are picky about the soil.

Buying a succulent or cactus potting mix may be easier, heck it is pretty convenient, so it may seem like the better option.

However, commercial potting mixes can be excessively moisture-retentive, so why not learn how to make your own succulent soil? Your succulents will thank you for it.

Making succulent soil mix doesn’t have to be difficult; it can actually be quite enjoyable, especially if gardening is your jam.

Related Post: How To Care For Succulents Indoors: A Beginner’s Guide

The Best Soil For Succulents

how to make your own succulent soil

Do not compromise or cut corners when picking soil for your succulent plants because their health depends on it. This means picking the soil in your garden is out of the question since it may not contain the properties your succulents will need to thrive and keep the roots from rotting.

In that case, what does the best soil for succulents look like? This soil drains well to let too much water drain quickly, ensuring the roots don’t sit in water for long periods.

Read More: How to water succulents

Also, ensure it is porous to encourage airflow and prevent too much moisture retention.

You also want the roots to grow well and establish themselves, which calls for lightweight soil. Furthermore, can the soil be perfect if it doesn’t supply the nutrients your succulents need to grow and develop? No, so it must be balanced and contain some nutrients.

Also Read: Why Is My Succulent Dying?

Additionally, succulents prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH range, typically between 6.0 and 7.0, as it ensures optimal nutrient availability.

With these characteristics in mind, the best soil for succulents has a combination of ingredients like:

  • Regular potting soil: This provides a base and some nutrient content.
  • Perlite or pumice: These additives improve drainage and increase soil porosity.
  • Coarse sand: Sand helps prevent compaction and enhances drainage.
  • Organic matter: Adding a small amount of organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost, can help supplement the soil with nutrients.

Also Read: How to water succulents without drainage

Why You Should Make Your Own Succulent Soil

succulent soil
DIY Succulent Soil

With the option of buying commercial soil mix for succulent soil, why would you make your own, you ask? Below are the benefits of doing so:

a) Cost-effective

Buying pre-mixed succulent soil for a few plants may not cost you much, but if you have a large collection of succulents, the cost can rack up quickly. Luckily, you can save money by purchasing individual ingredients in bulk and mixing them as needed.

b) Control Over Ingredients

Sparing some time to make your succulent soil mix gives you the freedom to control the ingredients. In that case, pick high-quality components, such as well-draining materials and organic matter, ensuring your plants receive the best possible growing medium.

Also, I would recommend tailoring the soil composition to meet your plant’s specific needs, so take the succulent species into account. This means adjusting factors such as drainage, porosity, and nutrient content based on your succulent’s requirements.

c) Avoiding Potential Issues

Some pre-packaged succulent soils can be too dense, retain too much moisture, or lack adequate nutrients, and your succulents will suffer if you get such a batch. Avoid all this by creating a well-draining mix that suits your succulents’ needs.

d) Educational And Rewarding

Are you interested in learning more about succulents, including their characteristics and requirements? Well, you can research extensively, but making your succulent soil is also a sound plan, as it can be a fun and educational experience.

It helps you gain a deeper understanding of their optimal growing conditions. Also, caring for your plants from soil preparation to growth can be rewarding.

Also Read: Easiest Succulents to Grow Indoors

How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil

how to make your own succulent soil

Before making succulent soil, be prepared to get your hands dirty, but I promise this project is pretty simple and exciting.


So, you’ve decided to undertake this DIY project and now need to determine the required ingredients and materials. Worry not; below is what you require.

Visit garden centers, nurseries, or online for these materials.


After you collect everything you require, the next step is to prepare your succulent soil mix. So, here’s a simple recipe for making succulent soil.

Step 1: Best Soil Mix for Succulents

Before mixing any ingredients, we must figure out the correct ratio because this is a vital piece of this project. For a well-draining, porous mix, the commonly used ratio is 1 part potting soil, 1 part coarse sand, and 1 part pumice or perlite.

Step 3: Measure The Ingredients

Since you must get the ratios right, measure the ingredients using a measuring container. I usually use a cup as my measuring container when making a small batch of succulent soil mix. In such a case, measure 1 cup of potting soil, 1 cup of perlite or pumice, and 1 cup of coarse sand.

Step 4: Mix The Ingredients

After measuring the ingredients, pour them into a mixing container, such as a bucket or large bowl, then mix them until evenly distributed. You want the mixture to be consistently blended and free of clumps. Use a trowel or spoon to mix the ingredients.

Step 5: Add Organic Matter

Your succulent soil mix could use some organic matter, so add a small amount of compost or well-rotted manure. Organic matter provides additional nutrients to support your plants’ growth. The organic matter goes in with the other ingredients, then mix the contents thoroughly, ensuring it is well-distributed throughout the mixture.

Step 6: Test The Soil

Now that you have made a soil mix for your succulents, it would be best to test it before planting your plants. The aim is to determine the soil consistency, but how do you do that? Squeeze a handful of the soil mix, then observe it. If it holds its shape but crumbles easily when you apply light pressure, it is in the right consistency.

Step 7: Use The Soil Mix

The right ingredients are in, and the soil has the right consistency and is well-draining. Your homemade succulent soil is ready to use! Fill your containers or pots with the succulent soil mix but leave enough space for the roots of your succulents. After that, plant your succulents in the soil- make sure you properly cover the roots.


Remember to adjust the soil mix and ingredients based on your succulents’ specific requirements. Moreover, monitor the moisture levels and soil drainage to give your succulents the most favorable growing conditions.

Is Store-Bought Succulent Soil Good For Potting Indoor?

Store-bought succulent soil can be suitable for potting indoor succulents. However, if you decide to use this soil type, ensure it offers proper drainage and check the supplemental amendments it has. Furthermore, check the soil composition and avoid those with high percentages of peat moss or other moisture-retaining organic materials.

Also, the quality of store-bought succulent soils may vary based on the brand, so I suggest reviewing the available options first. Nonetheless, most commercially available succulent soils provide the well-draining conditions that succulents prefer.


Can I Grow Succulents In Normal Soil?

You cannot grow succulents in normal soil because it tends to retain more water, which can lead to overwatering and root rot in succulents. Additionally, the lack of adequate drainage in regular soil can cause the roots to become waterlogged and suffocate.

Therefore, while it can be tempting to grow succulents in normal soil, it isn’t a good idea. This is because you may encounter difficulties such as root rot, poor growth, and ultimately the decline or death of your plants. Therefore, it is best to grow your succulents in a well-draining soil mix designed for these plants to ensure their health and longevity.

What Is The Difference Between Potting Soil And Succulent Soil?

Potting soil and succulent soil differ in consistency and ingredients as they are formulated differently to meet the specific needs of different types of plants. Succulent soil provides excellent drainage, as succulents prefer soil that lets excess water flow out swiftly.

On the other hand, potting soil can have more moisture-retaining components like peat moss or vermiculite, which are suitable for plants that prefer more consistent moisture levels.

When it comes to organic matter content, succulent soil usually has a lower organic matter content compared to potting soil. The higher organic matter percentage in potting soil comes in handy since it helps retain moisture and provides nutrients for plants that require more regular watering.

Potting soil is also typically more nutrient-rich to help various plants grow. On the other hand, succulent soil has fewer nutrients since succulents are adapted to nutrient-poor environments. Additionally, succulent soil is more alkaline, while potting soil comes in various pH levels depending on the plants it is intended for.



The convenience and ease offered by store-bought succulent soil mixes don’t outweigh the advantages of a DIY succulent soil mix. This option is cost-effective, customizable, and helps prevent potential problems. Also, you will have fun doing it. So, allocate some time to make succulent soil for your plants.

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