Cacti and succulent plants are increasingly popular in gardening and decoration thanks to their particular and striking shapes, which give a different touch to any room. However, although they are plants that are generally quite resistant, it is true that they have some needs that are worth paying attention to. For example, one of their most important needs is the substrate or soil in which they are planted, regardless of whether it is in the ground or in a pot.
If you want to know how to make substrate for cacti and succulentsjoin us in this EcologíaVerde article.
Type of substrate that a succulent or a cactus needs
Most succulents are native to desert terrain or very dry and arid. This means that they are not only used to very harsh conditions, but also have their own specific needs.
One of the main ones, because of how damaging it can be if not followed carefully, is that most succulents do not tolerate moist soils. Obviously, they need water like all plants, although succulents have the ability to store large amounts of water to withstand long periods without irrigation, but if they are in soils with excess moisture, rot and fungi will soon attack them.
For this reason, it is very important that your succulents have a soil or substrate with very good drainage, to ensure the least accumulation of moisture possible. Also, since they are used to arid soilsThese plants also don’t need a lot of nutrients in their substrates and, in fact, excess nitrogen will weaken them.
Find out if your succulents are of desert origin or from other somewhat more humid areas. If they come from areas with more humidity, you will need to adapt the substrate so that it retains more water.
How to make substrate for cacti and succulents
If we take into account what has already been said, you will have realized that the universal substrate alone does not work for these plants. However, you do not need to spend the money to buy a specific mixture, because here we are going to see how to prepare substrate for cacti and succulents.
There are so many recipes to make. soil for cacti and succulents. To make a suitable substrate for succulents in general, whether they are cacti or not, it is best to use a mixture of one of these two types, depending on the type of climate in which you live:
- Mix 2 parts of universal substrate and 1 part of pumice stone, pumice or some other volcanic rock with similar characteristics, light and porous. This mix is suitable for temperate climates and will help keep your succulents healthy, without excessive levels of humidity.
- If instead, you are going to work with succulents that need particularly dry soils, we can use a mixture with peat moss and spruce barkwhich will provide a land with even less moisture.
What are the best pots for cacti and succulents?
One of the most important things about pots for succulents and cacti is that they have drainage holes. Since we use substrates with a great drainage capacity, the pot must be able to expel excess water from its bottom to keep the roots away from excess moisture. In addition, these holes are also very useful, in the case of small pots, to help us know when the plant needs a transplant, if its roots can be seen through the holes.
Furthermore, in the clay potsbeing a porous material, moisture is better eliminated and the roots grab more easily, although on the contrary we will have to be more careful in transplants.
If you are looking for more information about this topic, here we show you more indications about the Pots for cacti.
When and how to transplant cacti and succulents
Generally, what marks the moment of transplant a succulent it is not the size of the visible plant but, as we said before, its roots. When roots poke through drainage holes, is that the plant needs a new bigger home. Follow these steps and tips to transplant succulents and cacti:
- When transplanting this type of plant, you have to be very careful not to break the roots when removing it from its current pot. If we pull the plant itself, we risk the roots breaking in a harmful or even fatal way for the plant. To remove the plant from the pot without damaging it, use small taps on the edges and sides of it. You can even stick a pencil through the drainage holes to loosen up some of the soil.
- Do not transplant your succulent to a much larger pot than the previous one, since it is better that it grows little by little, without having too much soil to spare.
- Finally, before planting it in its new pot, carefully loosen as much substrate as you can from the roots, gently untangling them as much as possible.
In this other post you can learn more about the steps on how to transplant a cactus and when to do it. Also, below you can see a video from our YouTube channel about the most common mistakes when caring for succulents, including an inadequate substrate.
If you want to read more articles similar to Substrate for cacti and succulents: how to do itwe recommend that you enter our category .
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