succulent soil mix

How to Select Well-Draining Soil for Succulents?

The majority of succulent lovers do not pay much attention while selecting the soil for their plants. They think that the watering practices are only main cause of the death of most succulents. However, the selection of soil for succulent is also equally important as watering practices.

Another point worth mentioning is the pot selection; where the main crucial point is that succulent pot/container must have drainage hole on it. This will help to remove excessive water from the soil and keep water levels at optimum levels.

Soil Selection for the succulents
Soil for Succulents

Moving forward with the soil selection topic; an ideal soil for the succulents shall have following properties:

  • It should hold enough water that plant can absorb as per its need for nourishment; however, the excessive water shall not be remaining contained within soil. This will rot the plant roots, so be aware!

  • If the soil is not releasing the excessive water, the plant may absorb more water which result in over watering problem. The over watering problem can severally damage succulents. The common problem such as rotten roots, soggy leaves, light black dots on leaves and darken the stem. For more info please visit

  • The soil requirement for succulent may vary according to succulent type and its family classification. Please refer our quick summery for each type of succulents at the end of every article on Garden page.

  • Another important factor is environment which plays a vital role in growth of the plants. So, before choosing soil keep this factor also into consideration.

Let’s dive deep and understand the soil mixture as well as contains for succulent where you can prepare different types of soils and you will see great results.

Soil Requirement for Indoor Succulents

The majority of the people love their succulents growing inside their homes. The main areas where people love to keep succulents are basically Living-Room, Kitchen, Galleries and Bedrooms. However, the main problem associated with indoors plants is proper sunlight and sir circulation. Owing to this reason, selecting appropriate soil for indoor succulent propagation plays a vital role .

Indoor soil must have Pine Bark Fines, Turface (also known as absorptive rock) and crushed granite. Regular small rock instead will be also ok to use, but try to find the crushed granite. The above mentioned ingredients of soil shall have 6 to 8 mm in size.

Now let’s learn why its works?

The pine bark provides much needed minerals and organics contents and hold the water exceptionally; however, the air pockets helps for the proper air circulation. The life of pine bark is much longer than other soil ingredients and takes too long to break into fragments.

The next element is crushed granite, which help to reach until the base of the pot. Basically it helps to release and easy flow of water from different soil levels due to its porosity within the pot/container. So over watering problem may find a solution partially here with this phenomenon. The above mentioned ingredients of soil shall have 6 to 8 mm in size for the best results.

best soil succulent

Soil Requirement for Outdoor Succulents :

The most important factor in preparation or selection of soil for outdoor succulent is the moisture containing in the air and water drainage facility/availability from soil-bed. These two factors play a huge role in succulent’s growth and roots shall be dry in ideal case scenario in order to get the best results.

Nowadays more and more people are using pumice while preparing soil for succulent. The downside of using pumice is the heavy watering needs; in fact it requires daily watering due to its literally zero water holding capacity. Another ideal mixture for the outdoor garden is Coarse sand, coconut coir, pumice, turface and perlite. This has proven good results overall.

There is difference of opinion on the thickness of bed though. Some suggest 3” (8cm); some say 6” (15-30cm) is required to grow succulent’s roots properly. I think, it’s better to go with 15cm of bed thickness; deep enough to cover the root growth. But, before starting of bed preparation, please decide the layout and plan appropriately.

The common fact to remember is proper well-draining soil for succulent is the key point in achieving the great results to grow your beautiful succulents. All the best!

Bagged Succulent Soils in Stores              

You can find different variety of soils in stores such as “Soil Conditioner”. It is basically the mixture of Coarse sand, coconut coir, pumice, turface and perlite. If you don’t want to spend some extra time on selecting the soil; go ahead with these readymade soil mixtures.

New Succulents, New Soil!

Whenever you buy new succulents, I would suggest repotting it with fresh soil. The repotting is always a good idea because it provides the required nutrition’s and it will be much easier for plant to root itself properly. This will definitely set a blooming effect on newly arrived succulent.

Follow above points and let us know how your succulent is growing with this soil selection guide for succulent.


Hi there! By profession I am a Mechanical Engineer; though, I have a keen interest in gardens, plants and succulents. I hope you like my articles on beautiful succulents and plants. Happy  Gardening!!!

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