Best Soil for Succulents & Tips to DIY

Succulents are some of the unique plants to have in your collection. They’re incredibly beautiful and unique looking making them a really fun addition to your home!

Many people say that taking care of your succulents can be fairly easy. I should note, there are easier types of succulents and there are more finicky succulents!

Some are incredibly easy to grow and aren’t high maintenance while others can be more temperamental than a toddler (and trust me I know because I have both succulents AND toddlers!). One of the more are hardy succulents is a jade plant. It’s a really popular succulent that’s great for beginners!

Whether you have a hardy type of succulent or a more difficult one, one important factor is having the right soil. If you follow the proper steps to keep your plants healthy and if you find suitable soil for them your odds of having happy plants goes up!

Best Soil for Succulents & Tips to DIY

Using the right soil is necessary to help keep your succulent plants thriving and happy. If you don’t use soil with the right concentration and combination of ingredients, it can be challenging to see them thrive and grow. If you’re on the lookout for suitable soil for your succulents, here are some ideas of what to look for.

What Kind of Soil Do You Look for?

Soil for succulents is not any ordinary soil. If you try to use regular soil, there’s a good chance your plant will not be happy. It will not be suitable for your succulents! It can be challenging to find, but you must have the right mixture of ingredients.

Soil for succulents is a combination of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite. Whether your succulents grow indoors or outdoors, you need a potting mix different from other plants.

soil for succulents

The soil that you need for succulents is more of a cactus soil mix. This works because succulents need a potting mix that can dry fast. After all, overwatering can kill any plant that you have in your garden, but succulents can be highly picky on their watering levels.

A light, porous, and sandy soil allows the water to drain fast from the pots so that your succulents will live whether they’re indoors or outdoors. This is arguably the most important thing to do when planting succulent. Having the wrong soil mixture can cause plants to die prematurely if excess water doesn’t drain properly.

burro's tail succulent

The best succulent soil usually is 50% inorganic matter and 50% organic materials. These inorganic ingredients are things like sand or other items that allow the ground in the water to drain effectively. If you would like to make your own, it’s doable. We’ll talk more about that later and give you some ideas for creating your own soil.

Why Can’t I Use Regular Potting Soil?

Regular potting soil is not a good choice for succulents. There are many reasons why this type of garden soil doesn’t work for succulents. Potting soil for house plants is generally made of ingredients that do not help succulents, such as bark or compost. This isn’t suitable for drainage and can often lead to more problems for the succulents.

Additionally, regular potting soil can become compacted, which is terrible for succulents. The damper and the soggier that the ground gets, the more risk the succulents have of dying because of overwatering and sufficient drainage.

One of the best ways to kill your succulents is to have a soil that doesn’t get good drainage. Too much moisture is really bad for succulents and can result in not so healthy succulents!

Best Store-Bought Soil for Succulents

For those who want to skip the effort of creating your soil, as it can take much time, there are so many store-bought soil options that you can choose from. Here are some of the best that we have found and where you can find them.

1. Succulent Planter Soil Kit from TerraGreen Creations

Succulent Planter Soil Kit from TerraGreen Creations

This succulent planter soil is a great option, especially if you plan on putting your succulent in a terrarium! It’s made by TerraGreen Creations in the USA using organic soil.

This is a kit that you can buy to help you get started to create your own succulent soil. This kit includes gravel, charcoal, and organic dirt. There are also other ingredients for your succulent soil as well like sheet moss!

You can choose from three different sizes, including small, medium, and large. It’s excellent for anybody looking for an all-inclusive succulent soil kit or even learning how to put together planters and terrariums.

2. Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix

Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix

This succulent soil is also a great choice, and it comes from Superfly Bonsai. This is premixed and ready to use, and it includes Japanese Akadama, pumice, and pine bark. This all helps the soil drain properly and is suitable for aerating the roots.

It comes in a convenient resealable bag, and four different sizes depend on what you need for your soil. If you also have cacti at home, this is also a perfect soil to use that works for them. One of the best features is that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee for their products.

3. Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix

Cactus and Succulent Blend Potting Mix

This great cactus and succulent blend is handcrafted to have the same quality and freshness in every bag. It’s also resistant to many pests that you might find, which can help keep your succulents happy over time.

This plan is excellent for drainage and helping to create a sustainable environment for succulents. With six different sizes and resealable bags as well, you will be able to use a significant amount of soil over time and likely contribute to the health and well-being of several different succulents in your garden.

4. Bonsai Jack Succulent Cactus Soil Gritty Mix

Bonsai Jack Succulent Cactus Soil Gritty Mix

This soil is well known for being one of the most popular soils and one of the fastest draining, too! This cactus mix soil can help succulents from water retention and root rot. It’s been used and mixed by professionals and hobbyists, making it an incredibly reliable source for many individuals who want a wonderful succulent blend.

Their succulent soil is a little bit larger than others on the market, and that’s part of why it’s so great for drainage. The pieces of the soil are larger, which creates more gaps in the soil for aeration and draining. It can be beneficial, and there’s also a wide range of sizes depending on what you need. It’s also pre-washed and screened so that no matter what size you get, you will always have high-quality products coming to your door.

5. Fat Plants San Diego Premium Cacti and Succulent Soil

Fat Plants San Diego Premium Cacti and Succulent Soil

Straight from San Diego, CA, this is a great company that can create hand-mixed soil to help your succulents. They continue to use the same mix of products to help make the perfect soil for your plants. This includes perlite, sand, volcanic pumice, worm castings, blood and bone meal, and other items.

It is one of the most healthy and well-draining potting soils on the market for succulents. There are also several different sizes you can choose from, and there’s an excellent customer service angle that includes a handwritten note every time you buy.

How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil

For the motivated DIY individual, there are many ways that you can create your own succulent soil. Some of the best potting soil mixes include regular potting soil, pumice, and coarse sand. It’s effortless to make, and here’s how you are able to do it.

How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil

All you must do is include a mix with two to one parts of the inorganic matter to organic matter. This combination helps to create a super nutritious mix for your succulents. Here is the list of ingredients that you need to include with your succulent potting soil.

  • Regular potting soil
  • Perlite or pumice
  • Coarse sand

You can find all these ingredients at your local garden center, home improvement store or even Amazon! Making your own soil is a great option because you’ll likely not only save money but be able to tweak your recipe and make it a little different each time to see what is the best combination for healthy succulent growth.

How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil

For those looking for a specific succulent soil recipe, here is one recipe that many people use for their potting soil for succulents:

  • 2-parts regular potting soil
  • 1-part horticultural sand
  • 1-part perlite

All you have to do with these ingredients is put them in one large bucket and combine them. Using a trowel or a spade, mix the soil really well. You need to make sure that it’s evenly distributed so when you pot your succulents they’re getting all the ingredients and not just one main ingredient. This will help your succulents grow.

For those curious about the inorganic portions of the soil, it is not necessary to add more than is required. Following the steps and the recommendation will get you the perfect amount of soil for inorganic and organic matter, allowing your succulents to grow and thrive properly.

Tips for Outdoor Succulents

How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil

You can probably use some specific outdoor pots to help with drainage because they will be outdoors. Some of the outdoor plants need to be more porous in their soil.

This means that you don’t need as much soil, and you can even use clay soil. This can be helpful for keeping your plant healthy and ensuring that you do not have to do as much work outside.

Some people have even taken to using rock gardens and other structures to help with their succulents. This allows for natural drainage and puts these succulents on a raised bed to create this. This is incredibly useful and helps with the succulent’s health for the long term.

For those who choose to put their succulents outside, you can keep them in a terracotta pot or another structure like such because terracotta allows for proper drainage.

Ensure that no matter what you choose for your succulents, there is ample drainage with drainage holes and available resources to get the aeration they need.

In no time, if you follow these tips, your succulents will continue to be incredibly healthy and thrive for a long time. Whether you have a fun hanging succulent or a simple jade plant, we know this will help your succulents look their best!

Having the right soil makes all the different when repotting your succulents. Here’s even more tips to repot your succulents the right way!


  • Jen

    Jen got her first plant in college from her mom and the rest, as they say, is history! She's owned hundreds of plants over the years and loves learning how to grow each one. She believes everyone needs to own at least one plant in their home and loves sharing her knowledge with others.

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