Are you looking to maximize any plant’s chance of success? You must first utilize the suitable soil type that it requires. You might be wondering if you can use the extra cactus soil you have lying around for other plants.
Cactus soil is one of the most popular potting mixtures for cultivating indoor succulent plants. It has rich nutrients and a mild acidity that facilitates efficient drainage.
All succulents thrive on cactus soil, which is a great option. However, this soil mixture is particular for succulents. The cactus soil simulates the dry conditions the cactus plant needs to grow. Cactus plants typically thrive in arid, nutrient-rich environments.
Cactus soil is therefore designed for succulents and other indoor plants that don’t need moisture or water. However, there is a pending question: can you use cactus soil for other plants? This article will go through all that concerns utilizing cactus soil for other plants.
Can You Use Cactus Soil for Other Plants?
The answer to the above question in a more straightforward form is yes! First, you must adjust the soil to suit your desired plant. Once adjusted, it will offer your plants nourishing and well-drained soil to thrive.
For example, most indoor plants benefit from aeration and a well-drained soil mix, reducing the likelihood of pest infestations.
Since soil drainage and aeration are essential for all potted plants, even ordinary plants, cactus soil, or mix now helps improve these conditions. In addition, its excellent drainage system aids in preventing potential fungus outbreaks and damages caused by pests.
On the other hand, it promotes healthy soil aeration, improving adequate oxygen intake through the roots, making them more robust, and promoting remarkable plant growth.
In addition to having excellent drainage and aeration, cactus soil is particularly rich in vital nutrients, making it suitable for use with common plants.
However, as many plants prefer rich, nutrient-rich soil that is only slightly moist, you must add the proper amount of potting soil to the cactus mix for this to be possible.
In general, while some plants like jade, aloe vera, and orchids prefer well-drained soil and won’t do well in the soggy type, Others, like ferns and their tropical cousins, demand soil that retains water. The plant’s needs, therefore, determine the type of soil you need.
While we are still discussing the goodness of cactus soil to other plants, let us look at the composition of cactus soil that makes it unique.
Cactus soil is a specific kind of soil made for succulents with short root systems. In other words, you can call it succulent potting mix soil. It is the ideal kind of soil for cactus plants, succulent plants, and bonsai plants. Cacti require arid conditions to develop; thus, their soil includes inorganic components like stones and gritty sand.
Because cacti like dry, arid settings, only a few essential ingredients—stones, sand, and some compost—are used in their potting mixtures.
The following are what you will primarily find in cactus soil:
- Compost: For some microbial development
- Sand: To add weight and improve drainage
- Perlite: Holds everything together and removes extra moisture
- Stones: Using rocks to improve drainage and eliminate air gaps is a well-known trick.
Some prefer to add pumice and coir for a distinct mixture that dries evenly. Depending on where you plan to use your cactus growing mix and what kind of succulent you have, you might need to modify the soil recipe.
What Makes Cactus Special?
Because it resembles the natural environment in which these desert plants are used to thriving, cactus soil is advantageous for growing cacti. However, cacti do not do well in overly dense potting soil because of their small, sensitive root systems.
Cacti don’t do well in soil rich in organic matter and retain a lot of moisture because they are drought-tolerant and rapidly prone to root rot. Therefore, cactus soil mixes are explicitly created to help cacti thrive when cultivated indoors to suit all of these special requirements.
These desert inhabitants don’t have the conditions necessary to survive in conventional potting soil. Furthermore, cactus soil nature allows for an easy tweak or adjustment to meet the needs of some other plants. As a result, cactus can serve other plants depending on the type of plant and environment.
Differences Between Cactus Soil and Regular Potting Soil
It is worthy to note that the significant difference between cactus soil and other regular soil is moisture containment. That being said, let us jump into other things that differentiate cactus soil from a regular mix.
1. Well-drained Soil
Cacti thrive the most in the arid region, where they don’t require much watering. As a result, It is essential that their soil drains well and doesn’t accumulate too many puddles to avoid flooding that would cause them to drown or become permanently parched without water.
In addition, soil from cacti contains a lot of sand and stones. Because they are native to the tropics, most houseplants require more water to survive, unlike cactus. Therefore, rich, moist soil that can provide these lovely plants with food and water for a few days is ideal.
2. Nutrients Availability
The majority of the organic components are found in potting soil. The advantage of this organic component is that it has more nutrients than cactus soil does. This is because an increase in organic components increases the nutrients. However, the inorganic elements in the cactus soil are those with the fewest nutrients.
Most indoor plants may, however, thrive in soil that drains well, while cacti and succulents require a dry environment and little nutrients to survive.
3. Soil Aeration
Because cacti and succulents require a dry atmosphere to thrive, cactus soil is not more porous or well-drained. Therefore, indoor plants cannot thrive in soil without adequate aeration or drainage air gaps.
To increase the aeration of the soil for indoor plants, you can add several components. Your plants will grow happier due to improved aeration because it gives them more oxygen to develop.
Also read: Best Plants for LECA
In answering the question: can you use cactus soil for other plants? The answer is yes. But it doesn’t end there; you must adjust the soil according to the plant’s nutritional requirements. This is because cacti grow better in a dry environment, and its soil is tailored to such conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
People also asked the following questions:
Can I use Cactus Soil for Roses?
Instead of cactus soil, use an excellent general-purpose potting mix. Once they have finished blooming, those gift miniature roses are typically thrown away with other plants. They are primarily disease-prone greenhouse plants that are only intended to be attractive for a few weeks before disappearing from view.
Can You Mix Cactus Soil With Regular Potting Soil?
Yes, you can choose to create your cactus soil mix, which is simple to do. Mix perlite or pumice, coarse sand or gravel, and potting soil in specific quantities. However, use caution when using fertilizer-containing potting soil blends because they can scorch cacti roots and promote lanky growth.
Can You Use Cactus Soil to Grow Herbs?
You can use cactus soil for herbs that grow in arid soil. The loose nature of the cactus soil makes it easier for the soil to drain any excess water quickly. Sage, oregano, thyme, and rosemary are among the herbs that prefer the soil to be dry before watering. These can flourish in such cactus soil.
The “ideal soil mix” that can serve all plants does not exist. Cactus soil could be ideal for some plants. If you have a fern on hand, you should look for a moist environment for it.
If you have some extra cactus soil, you may add it to your potting soil to give it a little more flavor. This will offer excellent aeration, drainage, and growing plants!
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below