Can you use play sand for succulents?
Play sand doesn’t have any texture and so, is bad for succulents. The consequence of texture in the growth of succulents will be discussed in this outline.
First, succulent plants are plants that have their leaves and stems filled with fluids. The fluid comprises nutrients and water, and is responsible for the growth and development of the plant.
Succulents are mostly found in areas with little water—deserts and so, have features that help them thrive for long periods without water.
For example, the plants have leathery and thick leaves that help to control the rate at which water or moisture is lost from the plant. Examples of succulents include cacti, bromeliads, etc.
Now, these succulents are grown in homes on the basis that they do not require a lot of care before delivering the required aesthetics.
They are plants perfect for those that are just starting at the art of gardening. All you need is a pot filled with planting soil, and a place with plenty of sunlight.
However, you have to see to it that you create a desert condition for the succulents. Some set pebbles or gravel stones atop the soil, and some others set grit across the surface.
Mixing soil for succulents
Let’s now see the techniques that you must follow when mixing up soil for succulents. First, you have to fill the planting pot with a soil type that drains really quickly.
The reason is that succulents are adapted for life where there’s very little water supply. Working with a soil type like loamy may not facilitate the growth of the succulent.
Most times, drainage systems are implemented into the pots so that the roots aren’t submerged in water for too long.
It’s under the usage of a fast-draining soil that the concept of soil mixing is usually considered. You have to consider the integration of texture into the soil.
Below are some of these forms of texture;
- Coarse Sand
This kind of soil is also known as sandy soil. It barely retains water and should be used for planting succulents.
However, it is recommended that you do not work with finely-textured sand like play sand. The sand must be filled with stones and grit.
This is one material that is always included in soil mixes used for planting succulents. What it does is to increase the degree of aeration as well as drainage of the soil.
After watering the soil, you’d see it float at the surface of the water until it drains. The reason is that perlite has light weight.
When working with it, it should contribute for one-third of the mix’s components.
- Soil Conditioners
This component of a succulent’s soil mix helps to increase the level of aeration of the soil. That way, the roots can have access to enough oxygen. The level of moisture can also be properly regulated.
This component assists with the retention of moisture and nutrients needed for the growth of the succulent. Most times, it occurs in the highest percentage when included in the soil mix.
However, if you use this kind of planting medium for your succulents, you’d have to water the plants regularly.
- Coconut Husks
When these husks are shredded, the drainage system of the soil is improved some more. Making these husks occur with a one-third percentage of the overall soil mix is best for your succulents.
How to make your own succulent soil
There are tons of reasons why you should always make your soil mix yourself when planting succulents. One is that you get to control the ingredients incorporated into the mix.
The option is also a lot cheaper compared to the one you get from stores.
The supplies you need to get started include the following;
- Measuring can
- Potting tray that will allow you mix the ingredients adequately.
- The first thing you need to do is set all the materials you’d be working with on the potting tray. The materials have already been listed above—the coconut husks, pumice, etc.
You don’t have to work with everything though.
Just ensure that you have something that’ll condition your soil, e.g., turface, one or two components that will help increase the drainage of the soil, and then, one component that will aerate the soil better.
- After setting everything in place, use the trowel to mix them together. The mixing should be done in such a way that one portion served has the same composition as another portion taken from the mix.
If you do not have a trowel, you could also work with your hands. One more thing that you need to note is that the coconut husks work best when shredded.
- After mixing, you can then proceed to plant your succulents within the soil mix. If you have excess of the soil mix, all you need to do is get it bagged.
Seal the bag tightly and then, stack it in your garage or some other place that doesn’t have plenty of sunlight. You could also work with buckets instead of bags in sealing your soil mixes.
Check out the points below for more tips;
- The recipe for any succulent soil mix should be two scoops of sand, two scoops of poting soil, and one scoop of pumice.
- The kind of sand that you work with should have grains with 0.125” length. The sand should also take half of the mix’s composition.
- The components mixed should be able to absorb water that’s just enough to keep the plants hydrated. There should not be any incidence of overwatering as the plants may not survive under such conditions.
The drainage system should also not be so intense that the plants are given less water than what they actually need.
- Never work with beach sand when planting young succulents. The reason is that any water that is added to it drains right to the bottom, inadvertently creating a puddle there.
Young succulents are very sensitive to the water logging that occurs at the bottom of the pot. The older succulents are usually not inconvenienced by the issue though.