The nutritional needs of succulents are similar to those of cacti, but succulents can generally tolerate more water and a lower pH than cacti. Most succulents can thrive in the same soil as the rest of your garden plants, so long as the soil is well drained, but when growing them in pots, it’s important to use a potting soil recipe that provides good drainage, a mid-range pH and moderate plant nutrition.
You can make a good potting mix out of standard materials from your local garden supplier, or even from your yard.
1. Pour equal parts of perlite, compost and sand into the bucket. The compost can be bagged commercial compost or homemade compost from kitchen scraps, garden waste or manure, so long as it is well aged.
2. Add a handful or two of worm castings, if you desire, to further enrich your potting mix. Obtain worm castings at gardening stores or order them off the Internet.
3. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with the garden trowel.
4. Pick up a handful of the mix, wet it through with some water and squeeze it into a ball in your hand. The wet mixture should not compact and hold together when you release your grip. If it does, add a bit more sand and perlite and test again until the wet mix crumbles apart when you release the pressure of your hand.
When planting succulents in their pots, press the soil down only slightly and use water to settle it in place around the roots. Pushing too hard on this springy mixture is liable to break delicate feeder roots and make it harder for your plant to reestablish itself.
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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