6 Guides How To Make Your Own Cactus Soil?

Making your own cactus soil can save you a lot of money and time. It is also more effective than a store-bought potting mix because you are able to adjust the composition in order to accommodate specific plant needs.

Don’t you want your cactus to be healthy and happy? The best way to do that is by ensuring it has the right type of soil. This blog post will tell you how To Make Your Own Cactus Soil?!

It is important to have sandy soil for cacti though they also need just enough moisture. This post will show you how to make the perfect cactus soil so that you can take care of those plants!

Cacti plants are also called succulents and require their own special mix of soil to flourish. Some people may be intimidated by the idea of making their own dirt mixture, but it’s actually quite easy so long as you follow these instructions.

So, how do you make your own cactus soil? To make your own cactus soil, start with a mix of regular garden soil, perlite/pumice, and coarse sand. Add in gravel or lava rocks along with peat for texture. Weigh the proportions of ingredients and mix them accordingly until they are well incorporated.

Gardening with cacti requires different soil mixes than those used for general plants. To make the appropriate mix, combine three cups of sand, three cups of regular soil, and two cups of perlite or pumice.

Here, we’ll show you how to make your own cactus soil and the best methods for using it.

What Type Of Soil Do Cacti Plants Need?

For a successful cacti soil, it’s important to understand the type of soil that is ideal for succulents.

Most cacti plants have thick, fleshy stems that store water. This adaptation helps them grow in hot and dry environments. These plants are native to desert regions of North and South America, parts of Europe, and parts of Africa.

One of the most important adaptations these plants have to survival in deserts is their ability to store water. Since rain seldom falls in deserts, these plants store water internally instead and keep their stems full.

Therefore, cacti plants do not absorb water regularly. This is because the type of soil they grow in is mostly sandy and dehydration helps water drain quickly when it storms.

Essentially, cactus soil must be well-draining and provide the proper amount of air. Remember that some types of cacti are sensitive to too much water or damp soil which may lead to diseases and pests.

One of the biggest threats to a cactus’s survival is root rot, an infection that attacks water absorption in its roots and spreads easily up into the stem where water is stored. If left unchecked for too long, this can lead to weakened, shriveled plants that are often without hope- death.

So if you want to make your own cactus soil, you need quality loose and gritty soil that drains well. It’s important that the soil is light in texture, but also coarse for air space so it can drain any excess water at a fast rate.

Ensure your soil is well aerated and non-compact because the roots need enough space for breathing. Non-compact soils are better at supplying moisture to the roots when they are needed, making them easier for water and nutrients to be absorbed.

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If you want to keep your cacti healthy, it’s important to avoid adding too many nutrients. Adding excessive nitrogen can result in unhealthy and unattractive plants near your home.

Soil texture is critical for cacti plants

Some types of cacti, such as epiphytic, desert, and lithophytic require a specific soil type to thrive. Although the soil may be similar, there are some key differences with each plant variety.

Cacti plants need a specific soil composition and texture. Apart from the soil ingredients mentioned in our introduction, it is important to allow the cactus’s potting mix to remain loose and airy when watering.

Avoid adding manure to the soil for your succulents because this can lead to a fungus that is resistant to being killed by cactus roots. Organic fertilizers are not recommended for growing cacti except when they are used on epiphytic plants.

Maintain proper pH Levels in your cactus soil

Almost all types of cacti require slightly acidic soil to thrive, although some plants need a more acidic potting mix than others. The pH level, or acidity, in your cactus’s soil should range between five and six at the most.

The only exception for button cacti is if you are growing it in alkaline soil with pH levels of 6.5-7.

If your soil is more than 4 or less than 7 consistency, it will kill your plant. This type of soil is not ideal for the survival of a cactus plant if you do not modify it with additional peat.

To determine the pH of your cactus soil, use a well-calibrated meter that measures moisture levels and pH.

Benefits Of Making Your Own Cactus Soil

Preparing your own cactus soil can save you money and give you more control over the ingredients. You may also experiment with different recipes to get a formula that works for your particular plants.

How To Make Your Own Cactus Soil- Ingredients

To make soil for your cactus, you’ll need four ingredients discussed below. You can buy these ingredients at a plant or home improvement store, either online or in person.

  1. Regular potting soil

Feel free to use any type of fresh and sterile potting soil as your base for preparing the cactus mix.

If you can find garden soil that is light and porous, it will be ideal for your needs. Avoid heavy soils or potting soils mixed with moisture-holding substances such as vermiculite, because these make the task of maintaining plants in pots more challenging.

Cacti require well-draining soil, so make sure to select a potting soil that has drainage properties. 

  1. Coarse sand

Cacti grow best in sandy potting soil. To ensure good drainage, add coarse sand to your regular potting mix. You can use any type of sand, but make sure it’s not too fine so water doesn’t pool on top and cause root rot or stagnant wet areas around the plant’s roots.

Don’t use sand from your backyard, the beach, or traditional playground. That type of sand will not provide a consistent enough surface and will hinder your progress.

If you’re not fond of using sand or grit to create the hardscape, consider swapping it for surface instead. Turface is a natural soil used as an alternative to sand and works well with this recipe.

  1. Perlite/pumice

Perlite is an organic soil amendment. It resembles foam and you add it to your potting mix as a natural way of controlling soil compaction, aerating the soil, improving drainage, and adding moisture-holding capacity.

Perlite helps your soil drain faster, which is what you are looking for in good soil. You can purchase perlite and pumice at most nursery shops or home improvement stores. It should be located close to the potting mix section, wherever it may be.

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If you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, try ordering it online instead.

  1. Peat

When you come across soil with a high pH, the best way to solve this problem is by adding peat. However, keep in mind that adding too much can make it difficult to re-wet the soil.

  1. Gravel/lava rocks

Other additions to your cactus soil recipe include gravel and lava rocks; the latter of which will help break up the potting mix, leaving it loose and airy.

  1. Charcoal & coir

Charcoal helps to prevent disease in plants by absorbing impurities and keeping harmful microbes away from your plant’s root system.

The coir in plants is designed to retain small amounts of moisture and also helps create a non-compact structure.

In addition to the ingredients, you’ll need other supplies for making your own potting soil. These include:

  • Measuring cups.
  • One thing to have on hand is a container for mixing. An outdoor potting tray or bucket can serve this purpose.
  • Trowel (a small shovel).
  • Protect your hands from blisters with a sturdy pair of gardening gloves.

Let Us Get Started Making Our Own Cactus Soil

Now that you understand the basics of what is needed to make your own cactus soil, it is time to get down to business. To start on your own recipe for cactus soil, you will need these items:

  • Place three parts dirt or potting soil into the bucket.
  • 3 parts coarse sand, surface, and poultry grit
  • 2 parts perlite/pumice

In this recipe, the term “part” refers to a generic unit of measure that describes your potty mix ratio. Feel free to use any type of container or cup if you want to share our ingredients.

For instance, if you use a cup as a unit of measure, this recipe would convert to 3 cups regular potting soil, 3 cups coarse sand/surface, and 2 cups perlite/pumice.

Mixing your cactus soil

First, measure out the required ingredients; next is mixing. Put on your gardening gloves and let’s get started.

To prevent dust from coming out of the bucket or mix container, start by moistening the regular garden soil. Next, you need to add sand and thoroughly combine it with the moistened garden soil.

To achieve better results, stir the mix of sand, pumice, and perlite with your hands. Mix for at least seven minutes. Scoop out measured quantities of perlite or pumice and add them to the mixture; mix thoroughly. Mixing should take at least five minutes for the best results.

You have good cactus soil according to what the nursery told you, but how do you know for sure? Put some in a container and take it over to the pH meter.

If the pH is below or above the recommended values, consider adding a small amount of peat to mixture, stir thoroughly and take another reading. Repeat the process until you achieve desired pH level.

You just made your first cactus soil! You have probably realized by now how simple it is to do if you know what ingredients to use and get the measurements close.

If you use the right ingredients and follow the correct measurements, making your own potting soil is possible. Just remember to let it dry before using – it’s best for repotting or replanting plants.

Sterilizing The Cactus Soil Before Use

Simply making your own cactus soil is not enough – you also need to make sure that it does not expose the plants to bacterial or microorganism growth.

When using soil from outdoors or when purchasing soil from a local home improvement store, Cacti are even more sensitive to microorganisms and bacterial growth.

Virtually no matter how well you care for a plant, the potting mix can eventually become infected with bacteria. To avoid these scenarios, make sure to sterilize the soil before using it. One way to sterilize cactus soil is by heating it.

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To do this, place the soil in a pot or glass container, then put it in another larger pot with hot water and keep it in slow cooking mode. This is often referred to as the bain-marie method of sterilizing.

Keep heating the water inside the larger pot until it reaches the boiling point. This can take anywhere between 20-30 minutes, depending on how much water you have in your container. Once it has reached that level, turn off the heat and let it cool down naturally so that you are free to start planting.

One last cactus planting tip: You should leave your newly prepared soil outside for a few days before potted your cacti plants.

Storing Your Leftover Cactus Soil

One of the best things about making your own cactus soil is that you can always mix a big batch and store it for future use. Fortunately, storing cactus soil isn’t difficult.

You want your prepped DIY cactus soil to be fresh at all times, so storing it in an easily accessible place will give you a leg up when it comes to using the mix for planting.

Make sure your potting mix is stored in an air-tight container to keep bugs out. If you don’t have an air-tight container, make sure you purchase one from the nearest general store. The best option for storing soil is an airtight and transparent plastic container so that you can monitor it 24/7 if necessary.

How Do I Know If I Need Different Soil?

Some cactus soil is not great for all plants, so it’s important to know the type of cactus you’re working with.

Plant clones are excellent for preserving the durability of the plant as a whole, but they do not store water. If you notice any decline in your cactus’s health after potting it with your DIY soil, it could turn out to be too late for intervention.

The only way to avoid this is to make sure you have the right type of soil. For desert species, a blend of sand, grit, perlite, and regular garden soil will be fine; although for tropical cacti species one part peat with four parts potting soil can work well.

Summary

Making your own cactus soil can save you a lot of money and time. Cacti plants are native to desert regions of North and South America, parts of Europe, and parts of Africa. For a successful cacti soil, it’s important to understand the type of soil that is ideal for succulents. Cacti plants need a specific soil composition and texture to thrive. Organic fertilizers are not recommended for growing cactus except on epiphytic plants.

How To Make Your Own Cactus Soil- Ingredients. To make soil for your cactus, you’ll need four ingredients discussed below. You can buy these ingredients at a plant or home improvement store, either online or in person. Perlite is an organic soil amendment and you add it to your potting mix as a natural way of controlling soil compaction. Turface is a natural soil used as an alternative to sand and works well with this recipe.

In addition to the ingredients you need, you’ll need other supplies for making your own cactus soil. If you use the right ingredients and follow the correct measurements, making your own potting soil is possible. Cacti are even more sensitive to microorganisms and bacterial growth when grown in cactus soil. To sterilize the soil before using it, place the soil in a pot or glass container, then put it in slow cooking mode. Make sure your DIY soil is stored in an air-tight container to keep bugs out of your soil. If you notice any decline in your cactus’s health after potting it with DIY soil, it could be too late for intervention.

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