In this blog post, I aim to tackle the age-old question of "What is the best soil for succulents?" As an avid succulent grower for nearly 30 years, I have learned a lot through trial and error. However, I want to emphasize that the advice I provide is based solely on my personal experience and may differ from what others suggest. Nonetheless, I hope that the insights I share will be useful to those looking to optimize their succulent-growing practices.
Soil is an essential part of a plant’s reality. Soil is a crucial component of a plant's existence. While animals move around and seek out food, plants are rooted to the ground, relying on soil to provide the essential nutrients necessary for growth. In addition to nourishment, soil serves as a habitat for plants, allowing them to photosynthesize and create the sugars they need to survive.
Habitat soils. Take a moment to observe the soil around you. Next time you're outside, pick up a handful and examine its texture and smell. Personally, I love the scent of fresh soil, which comes from compounds like geosmin produced by microbes within it. In nature, soil is a complex mixture of organic matter, minerals, water, and air that varies depending on factors such as climate, geology, and vegetation. There are numerous types of soils, and the study of soil science is dedicated to understanding their properties and characteristics.
In their native habitats, succulents may grow in sandy, silty, rocky soils with a high content of mineral matter.
The picture above shows a Pleiospilos I encountered in it's natural habitat in South africa in 2006. Haworthia bayeri grew nearby. This picture is from a recent trip to cactus and succulent habitats in Palm Springs: