The nutritional needs of succulents are similar to those of cacti, but succulents tolerate more water and a lower pH than cacti. Succulents usually thrive in the same soil conditions as your garden plants as long as the soil drains well. When growing succulents in pots, it’s important to use a potting soil mix 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.
- Pour equal parts of perlite, compost and sand into a 10L bucket. The compost can be bought or homemade compost from kitchen scraps, garden waste or manure and ensure it is thoroughly composted.
- Add 250ml of worm castings.
- 100ml Organic fertilizer to enrich your potting mix.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Take a handful of the mix, moisten with water and squeeze it into a ball. The wet mixture should not compact when you release your grip. If it does, add more sand and perlite and test again. The wet mix should crumble when you release the pressure of your hand.
- Succulents should be positioned where they are exposed to sunlight. Most varieties need a half to a full day of sunlight. In extremely hot areas some afternoon shade is best, but there are exceptions so do a bit of research. Generally, those grown in full sun have better colouring, flower strongly and are less susceptible to pests and diseases.
- As pots dry out they require more frequent watering so nutrients leach readily. Fertilize every 3 to 4 months using fruit & flower fertilizer for a sustained-supply of nutrients.
When planting succulents in pots, press the soil down lightly and use water to settle it around the roots. Delicate feeder roots and stems can break with hard pressure on this springy potting mix and hinder the plant’s re-establishment.