Does cactus soil work for other plants?


Most of the people who love gardening will always wonder if cactus soil is appropriate for other plants as well or not. It is a type of soil, so how can it be different from good old regular ones?

The cactus soil is usually dry and mimics the environment of the cactus, that being dry and with inadequate nutrients. This soil type may work for other succulents and indoor plants that do not require water and moisture. Plants like these have shallow and fragile roots, so they do not need moist soil all the time. If their soil stays wet, it will affect the plant.

The cactus soil makes a lot of difference, and you will see them when you start using it.

Why should you use cactus soil?

There are reasons why you should use the cactus soil mix for your plants and other succulents. and we will be listing the benefits below.

  • The soil mix, which is particularly cactus soil, helps in better aeration and helps retain the moisture to help the roots get more robust and grow faster.
  • The cactus soil is the hydrophilic material, and it does not stay damp all the time. If you are thinking about the growth of your cactus and other succulent plants, The Best soil mixture is to use the cactus soil to reduce the moisture content and enhance the plant’s growth.
  • The cactus soil contains all the necessary nutrients that are quickly absorbed in the roots of the cactus or any other succulent plant.
  • The succulent plants and indoor plants do not require a lot of moisture and nutrients for growth. And if you use Fertilizer and soil for these kinds of plants, they will end up rotting. You would not want your plants to die like that.

That being said, cactus soil is the perfect option to use for indoor plants and succulents. This soil may not have a lot of nutrients, but this is best for indoor plants.

Why is the moist soil harmful to the cactus and succulent plants?

The succulent and other indoor plants are not used to wet soil. The organic soil may be a wrong decision for the cactus or different succulent plants.

It is a bad decision to use moist soil for cactus and succulents as prolonged dampness of the soil can force the roots of the plants to rot; this is because their roots are efficient and can absorb water quickly.

These plants are capable of absorbing water for days and not requiring any moisture or humidity. However, the wet and organic soil contains many water and nutrients that are not great for succulent plants.

If you add soil that is full of moisture and nutrients, your plants will not stay longer. It is why cactus and other succulent plants need irritated soil and do not require moisture of the organic soil.

Your roots will try up and die if you do that, and you cannot save the plant with the natural soil.

What should you look for when you are buying cactus soil?

Each cactus soil has a different composition, and just the way when you are going shopping and look for every aspect of the cloth or shoes or even before, you also have to look for various ingredients in the cactus soil.

Before anything else, you need to check if they have any organic matter or moisture retention substance in the soil. Once that is checked, you need to check for other ingredients and compositions as well.

Below are a few ingredients that are important in the cactus soil. Make sure whenever you buy cactus soil that it has all of these ingredients.

vermiculitepeat moss
manurebark shreds
straw and compostclay
coconut coirsphagnum moss

While you can easily buy cactus soil, you can also look into making it yourself! The next section will cover the process of acquiring the materials and prepare the mix for cactus soil.

How to make your cactus soil?

The needs of every plant are different, and not every plant is capable of doing incredibly with the organic soil, which is true, especially for cactus and succulent plants. This is because they are incompatible with the dampness of regular and organic soil.

Also, the nutrients in fertile soil are not the best quality for cactus and succulents’ needs.

Therefore it is best to make your own cactus soil. You can easily make your cactus soil at home, and it will work wonders for your plant.

Process of making cactus soil

The process calls for different types of soil and organic materials, and their ratios are as follows:

  • Get two parts of potting soil. It can be any commercial soil that you used for other plants. There are some industrial soils as well that marketed as the succulent and cactus mix. You can use this soil as well as find an extra boost to your cactus soil.
  • Add one part of the perlite. It is the main ingredient of the cactus soil, made from volcanic glass. It is added to the cactus soil to increase the air pockets and enhance the process of aeration. This ingredient will help with soil compaction and also promote the drainage of the damp and wet material.
  • Lastly, add one part of grit. You can add small gravel, or you can also add large sand particles. You also have the option of adding real chicken grit. These various types and sizes of cactus soil added to prevent compaction.

This method is a straightforward recipe for making cactus soil with enough moisture. It will help your roots dry out and provide just enough moisture to the plants as they require.

It will also provide the organic matter and the nutrients that your plant requires, reducing the need for any other fertilizer. There are enough organic material and inorganic materials to balance out the water retention and enhance the growth of cactus plants.

What is the difference between potting soil and cactus soil?

Well, the difference is significant between the porting and the cactus soil. You cannot use the cactus soil for normal outdoor plants, and you cannot use the organic potting soil for the succulent and cactus plants.

Potting soil specifically is a gardening medium full of nutrients, decayed mater, and minerals. It can sometimes be interchanged with potting mix, which is its soilless counterpart. Further information about them is covered in detail in this article that I wrote on the potting mix and potting soil.

The indoor plants require a different type of soil compared to the plants that grow outdoors. And the cactus soil is a perfect soil for most indoor plants.

Let’s find out what are the significant differences between potting soil and cactus soil.

Moisture content

The significant difference between potting soil and cactus soil is the moisture content. The organic soil, also called potting soil, has a lot of moisture, and it is always damp and soggy, which works for the outdoor plants very well.

Normal potting soil is excellent in retaining humidity, which is the opposite of cactus soil.

Cactus soil does not retain moisture, and it does not stay soggy and wet all the time, mimicking the environment needed by cacti. It is perfect for indoor plants that do not require a lot of water and have roots that are efficient in absorbing water.

Organic matter

The potting soil is rich in organic matter and nutrients. It is bread for the growth of the plants that grow outdoors and in the garden. Potting soil has an increased quantity of organic matter, which works perfectly for plants.

The cactus soil, however, does not have a lot of organic matter. It is made with both organic and inorganic materials. The limited organic matter increases the compaction and aeration of the soil, which in turn helps with better water retention and water drainage in the cactus soil.

Fewer nutrients

Organic soil has more nutrients, which is evident because of more organic material. The potting soil is, therefore, more nutrient-rich. However, unlike potting soil, the cactus soil is not full of organic material and does not contain nutrients.

But it still works for indoor plants and cactus, as they do not require a lot of nutrients and are used to growing on limited nutrients and water.

Aeration

The organic and potting soil is not great with the aeration process. It contains a lot of moisture, and moisture is retained in the soil.

However, the case is not the same for the cactus soil. Due to the combination of organic and inorganic material in the soil, there is better aeration and low moisture retention.

Cactus soil is light and fluffy, which is excellent for the succulent or cactus that needs proper aeration. Also, this airflow in the soil helps with aiding just enough water to remain, making the soil great and not tightly compacted.

Better drainage

Unlike the organic soil, which is not excellent with drainage and holds water for most days, the cactus soil will help with better drainage.

This is why people prefer cactus soil over potting soil for their cactus succulent and other indoor plants.

Tips for caring for succulents and cactus

Succulent and cactus both grow in summers or warm weather. Here we have tips for you to help you take care of these plants much better.

Watering tips for cactus

Cactus is not one of those plants that require water every few days. It is a plant that requires watering after it has dried out completely.

  • Before watering, feel the soil. It if feels completely dry, then proceed to water it. The watering process can be done once every few days.
  • Be careful not to overwater cactus and succulents. If you ever do, you will see the leaf color changing as well as the leaves dropping from the plant.

Let us now move on to the daylight needs of cactus and succulents.

Sunlight needed by succulents and cactus

Give the cactus and other succulents a lot of Sunlight because this factor is essential for small indoor plants.

Also, make sure you are not burning your plants with excessive Sunlight. Cactus is a desert plant that requires minimal nutrients and minimum water, and some bright sunlight can do wonders for your cactus.

Handling and general care for cactus and succulent plants

Cactus requires a lot of care and excellent handling. So, whenever you handle the cactus or other succulents, make sure you use a towel or gloves to process the plant gently.

Also, fix the hydration considerations of these plants and pot them properly. For better breathability and water drainage, choose a pot that has good drainage holes to enhance the cactus’ growth and other succulents. It will ensure that the soil won’t be soggy and rot the roots of the succulent.

Conclusion on the possibility of cactus soil working for other plants

Succulents and cactus are such beautiful additions that you can add to your home, office, and any space that needs just a little bit of love from nature. Just like most indoor plants, their needs are rather few than their outdoor counterparts, but that should hopefully mean that you are up to the task of doing them all.

They are also amazing plants to care for, especially as a beginner. Knowing its soil needs now and ways to make it yourself can hopefully intrigue you into fostering one for yourself.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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