The Q&A Archives: Succulents Soil Preparation

Question: What is the best soil preparation for succulents ?

Answer: You didn't say whether you meant in containers or the ground, and succulents covers an enormous range of plants, so it's difficult to give a precise answer. But all succulents need excellent drainage or their roots will rot. For containers, if possible, buy a soil mix especially for cactus. Or, use a mix of 1 part potting soil to 2 parts sharp sand, and 2 parts perlite or pumice. In the ground, it's usually best to plant in native soil as is, because roots need to be accustomed to the same soil that they'll be spreading through. However, if you have heavy clay soil that doesn't drain, you might want to add gypsum, as well as work in some pea gravel. Another option is to build up the level of the soil so they succulents are effectively in a "raised bed" which also improves drainage. Good luck!

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