Cactus plants are wonderful since they grow quickly and need little work and the perfect conditions to thrive.
The important components to consider in order to grow them and help them flourish are light, water, temperature, and suitable soil.
Actually, using regular potting soil to develop your cactus plants might be detrimental to them since it has extra nutrients that can harm them.
Cactus plants need very little water, and standard potting soils are known to retain moisture, which is harmful for them and may quickly lead them to rot.
Making your own cactus soil mix is the greatest approach to provide the finest circumstances for your cactus plants. This way, you can manage their development and guarantee appropriate drainage to avoid overwatering issues and hurting them.
It’s also more inexpensive and simple to manufacture.
Cactus plants, on the other hand, come in over 1750 distinct kinds, each with its unique set of requirements.
In this post, we’ll look at how to prepare the ideal cactus soil mix for the two most common species of cactus that individuals cultivate on their own: desert and jungle cactus.
What Is the Difference Between a Desert Cactus and a Jungle Cactus?
To begin, you must first understand the differences between the two varieties, since this is the most important component in determining the materials and formula for your cactus soil mix.
The most frequent kind of cactus plant is the desert cactus. And, unlike jungle cactus, which is known to flourish in rain forests, it grows in deserts and other arid and severely dry areas.
They don’t resemble desert cactus at all, and some don’t even have spines.
Cactus in the Desert
Cactus of the Jungle
Cactus Soil Mix: How To Make Your Own
Cactus of the Desert
First and foremost, despite the fact that it is a ‘Desert’ cactus, you should avoid using sand to cultivate your cactus plants; desert cactus are known to flourish best in rocky environments with well-draining soil.
The aim is to start with regular potting soil and add some additional nutrients to assist the cactus plants develop faster by ensuring excellent drainage and aeration.
You’ll need the following items to do so:
- Pumice is a kind of pumice that is (you can also replace it with perlite or vermiculite)
- Coir de coco
These items may be purchased online, in a garden center, or at a home improvement shop.
Make certain you’re using high-quality potting soil.
If you’re purchasing one, make sure it’s light and porous, since these are the most important characteristics for your cactus plant.
If you don’t want to purchase it, you’ll have to clean it to get rid of any wood chips or other contaminants.
After you’ve created your potting soil foundation, you’ll add two parts pumice.
Pumice is a permeable and light-weight organic soil additive.
Its advantages include improved potting soil drainage and aeration, as well as assisting cactus plants in growing without difficulty.
If you can’t obtain pumice, you may use chicken grit, non-soluble cat litter, perlite, or vermiculite, which all have similar properties.
The next step is to add some coconut coir to your cactus soil mix. Coconut coir is an organic soil supplement that is ideal for growing cactus plants since it is effective at retaining moisture and aids appropriate drainage.
Unlike desert cactus, jungle cactus plants are epiphytes, meaning they get the nutrients and moisture they need to thrive from their surroundings, such as water, rain, and even the air.
You’ll start with a basic potting soil and boost its attributes by adding some additional nutrients, just like you did with the desert cactus soil mix.
You’ll need the following items this time:
- Orchid Pumice Bark
- The processes are similar to those for making the desert cactus soil mix, with a few minor differences.
Only 1 component pumice will be used to make jungle cactus. And instead of coconut coir, two parts orchid bark will be used.
The secret to jungle cactus growth is orchid bark, which the plants need to feed themselves and get enough nutrients to develop and flourish.
Once the orchid bark has broken down and become a part of the soil, consider repotting.
Cactus Soil Mixing Recommendations
Cacti may be found in more than 50 soil types and 20 climate zones, according to experts. In our practice, however, you and I do not have to duplicate all of the soil combinations for these bizarre plants.
First and first, this is impossible, and second, it is completely unneeded, since many generations of cactus growing in our circumstances have already adapted to them to some degree.
However, you can’t ignore some of the soil’s characteristics entirely. The most significant are listed below.
Cacti are primarily found in dry sections of the continent, where they are not used to the presence of humus, which provides a lot of nitrogen.
Flower buds are inhibited, but children’s development is accelerated. As a consequence, the plant takes on an unattractive appearance and fails to flower.
As a result, the soil should be somewhat dry and free of non-rotten plant waste.
Our dogs dislike moisture stagnation in the substrate because it causes root deterioration.
A substantial quantity of river sand, gravel, and broken red (non-silicate) bricks are added to the mixture to improve water permeability.
The root collar often rots if these requirements are not satisfied. And the plant will perish as a result of this. That is why you will not find open ground in pots among novice cactus gardeners — the root collar lies in a layer of gravel with a diameter of 3-5 mm.
Cacti, like other plants, like soils that are somewhat acidic (pH 5.5-6.5). Plants suffer from a rise in alkalinity, and at a pH of more than 8, their roots die.
A little amount of peat is added to the soil mixture to maintain the proper acidity. However, some cacti like slightly acidic or neutral mixes.
All white-pubescent mammillaria, cephalocereus, oreocereus, astrophytums, dolichoteles, and others are among them.
Some tropical plants, on the other hand, prefer acidic, high-nutrient soils. Zygocactus (Decembrist), as well as aporocactus, selenicereus, and other plants, are among them.
As a result, the pH of the soil must be appropriate for the cactus species.
The three primary principles for constructing earth mixes are as follows: (substrate). The work seems complex at first appearance, however it is simple to do if you follow the steps below.
A neutral pH earthy mixture is prepared in the quantity required for all accessible cacti. The essential chemicals are next applied to the section of the substrate according to a customized table for each cactus.
It’s a big one, with over a hundred different species. It is available for purchase at the club or at municipal flower displays.
Composition: 2 parts garden soil, 2 parts coarse river sand (1-2 mm), 0.5 parts peat (not briquette), 1/8 part charcoal The primary soil combination has a total volume of 4.62 parts.
This figure, K = 4.5, should be remembered. It will be beneficial in the production of particular combinations for us.
We hope the information above will assist you in creating your own cactus soil mix; one final piece of advice: water your cactus plants only when the soil is dry.
Also, unless you’re using cactus fertilizers, don’t fertilize more than once every three to four months!