Cactus soil is an extremely popular soil for all kinds of succulents, but can cactus soil be used for regular plants? In this article, we jump into the facts and myths surrounding the use of cactus soil with regular houseplants. Let’s get started…
Can You Use Cactus Soil for Other Plants?
Yes, cactus soil can be used for other plants. The only requirement is that the cactus soil is slightly adjusted to provide enhanced moisture and nutrition. Cactus soil is already well-draining and provides great aeration, so it acts a good foundation for all potting mixes.
I like to use cactus soil as the base of the potting mix. Essentially, the bottom of the pot will be filled with cactus soil, with the rest of the pot filled with peat moss and perlite.
It’s hard to give a blanket statement about the exact soil you should use as different plants have different demands. For example, orchids love to be kept in dry soil, whereas ferns enjoy being kept in moist soil that doesn’t dry out.
What is in Cactus Soil?
Cactus soil includes everything a cactus needs to thrive. As a result, the soil is supposed to mimic the natural environment of the succulent. Cacti grow in dry areas, so most cactus potting mixes include inorganic materials, like stones and coarse sand. Here’s what you find in cactus soil:
- Sand: This is added to improve drainage and give more weight
- Compost: Promotes microbe growth
- Perlite: Promotes soil structure together and removes excess moisture
- Stones: Further helps with water drainage and provides air gaps
Here is my favorite cactus soil (Amazon link). As you can see, cactus soil contains a few inorganic materials, like sand and stones. Along with the light soil, cactus potting mix allows any excess water to drain away, which many succulents love.
What Soil do Regular Plants like?
The type of soil you’ll need to cultivate your newly acquired plants is determined by the specific plant’s specifications. Different plants enjoy different soil textures, which is the amount of drainage and nutrients in the soil. Soils use a mix of silt, clay, and sand to change the texture of soil for different house plants.
- Slit: Packed with nutrients for your plant, but retains its moisture for long periods
- Sand: Purely included to improve plant drainage and air circulation
- Clay: Not much nutrients, but they still retain moisture for longer periods when compared with sand
Miracle Grow Potting Mix (Amazon link) is my favorite soil for houseplants. Another factor when choosing the soil for your plant is the location. Although some people do it, it’s not advised to use outdoor plant soil on your indoor house plants. This is because indoor plants need superior drainage to prevent root rot and pest attacks.
What is the Difference between Cactus Mix and Potting Soil?
Cacti and other succulents don’t need much water, so it’s vital that the soil drains well and doesn’t hold excess water. In fact, you can give your cacti root rot if you use soil that retains water. As such, a cactus mix will use a healthy dose of sand or stones.
Conversely, most house plants are tropical plants that thrive in moist conditions. These plants love nutrient-rich soil that retains moisture for at least a few days. As such, potting soil doesn’t require the same level of drainage when compared to cactus mix.
House plants need soil that is rich and has a high presence of organic matter, which is in opposition to succulents that thrive in dry conditions with minimal nutrient density.
House plant also need more water than cacti, which is why standard soil holds moisture for longer than cacti potting mix. In fact, cacti do great with just a small amount of moisture retention, which is why the potting mix is usually lighter and doesn’t hold water.
Using certain compounds will improve the air circulation of your soil as there are more air gaps. Improved aeration allows your plant to benefit from more available oxygen, which promotes maximum growth and health.
So, there we have it! You can mix cactus soil (Amazon link) with potting mix for your house plants. This will provide a potting mix that offers excellent drainage, aeration, and texture for your beloved plants. With this said, the needs of each plant vary, so always take a closer look at the exact requirements before putting cactus soil in your plant’s potting mix.