Using Regular Potting Soil to Grow Succulents: What You Need to Know

Succulents are a great way to add some life to your home or office. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and don’t need much care.

You can use potting soil to grow succulents in various containers, including pots, planters, and even old dishes or jars.

Let’s dive in and take a look at what you need to know about using regular potting soil with succulents.

As you probably already know, succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. This means they don’t need a lot of water to survive. In fact, too much water can kill them.

Can You Use Regular Potting Soil for Succulents?

If you’re thinking about planting succulents in your garden, you might be wondering if you can use regular potting soil. The answer is yes, you can use regular potting soil for succulents, but there are a few things you need to know first.

For starters, regular potting soil is too dense and will not allow adequate drainage for succulents. This can lead to root rot, which can kill your plants.

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To avoid this problem, mix regular potting soil with perlite or sand to lighten it up and improve drainage.

In addition, regular potting soil often contains fertilizer that can burn the roots of succulents. If you’re using regular potting soil, flush it with water before planting to remove any excess fertilizer.

When it comes to growing succulents, the most important thing is ensuring they have well-drained soil.

So, if you’re going to use regular potting soil, mix it with something to improve drainage.

Also, just be sure to flush the fertilizer out before planting, and you should be good to go!

assorted succulents in clay pots

How to Make Succulent Potting Soil

When growing healthy succulents, it is important to use the right type of potting soil.

While you can technically use any type of potting soil for succulents, certain types are better suited for these plants. In particular, you should look for a potting mix that is well-draining and does not hold onto moisture.

One way to create a well-draining potting mix for your succulents is to make your own. This can be done by mixing equal parts of perlite, sand, and cactus.

You can also add in some organic matter, such as compost or coco coir, to help provide nutrients for your plants. If you live in an area with hard water, you may also want to add some gravel or pebbles to help improve drainage.

top view of green succulent plants

What to Do if Your Succulents Are Not Doing Well in Regular Potting Soil

If you notice that your succulents are not doing well in regular potting soil, you can do a few things to help them.

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First, make sure that the potting soil is well-draining. If the potting soil is too dense, it can hold too much moisture and cause the roots of your succulents to rot. You can add perlite or sand to the potting soil to help with drainage.

Another thing you can do is make sure that you are not overwatering your succulents.

When watering succulents in regular potting soil, allow the top of the soil to dry out completely before watering again. This will help to prevent root rot. Finally, make sure that your succulents are getting enough light. If they are not getting enough light, they will not be able to photosynthesize and will not do well.

Following these tips, your succulents should do well in regular potting soil.

succulent plant lot

How to Water Succulents in Regular Potting Soil

It’s easy to forget to water succulents because they are so drought tolerant. But, if you’re growing them in regular potting soil, they will need to be watered more often than plants grown in a cactus mix or other well-draining soils.

Here are a few tips for watering succulents in regular potting soil:

  • Water early in the day so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Wet leaves can lead to fungal diseases.
  • If possible, water at the base of the plant rather than from above to avoid wetting the leaves.
  • Do not let the soil stay soggy for more than a day or two. Too much water can lead to root rot.
  • If your succulents are in a container with drainage holes, empty the drip tray after watering.
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With a little extra care, you can successfully grow succulents in regular potting soil.

Just be sure to water them more often than plants grown in a cactus mix or other well-draining soils.

green and pink succulent plant

When to Fertilize Succulents in Potting Soil

You can fertilize succulents grown in regular potting soil, but it is unnecessary. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually harm these plants.

If you do decide to fertilize your succulents, only do so every few months and use a diluted fertilizer solution.

It is also essential to flush the potting soil before planting to remove any excess fertilizer that could burn the roots of your succulents.

FAQs About Growing Succulents In Regular Potting Soil

Q: Can succulents grow in regular potting soil?

A: While succulents can technically grow in regular potting soil, they’re not the ideal growing medium. Regular potting soil is too dense and doesn’t allow for proper drainage, leading to issues like root rot.

Q: What are some of the best succulents for growing in regular potting soil?

A: Some of the best succulents for growing in regular potting soil include Sedum spp., Echeveria spp., and Sempervivum spp.

Q: How often should I water my succulents if they’re growing in regular potting soil?

A: Water your succulents more frequently than you would if they were growing in a well-draining succulent mix—aim to water about once a week or when the soil is dry to the touch.

Q: What are some problems I might encounter if I grow my succulents in regular potting soil?

A: Some problems you might encounter include root rot, stem rot, and fungal diseases. These can all be avoided by ensuring that your succulents get adequate drainage.


Growing succulents in regular potting soil can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little extra care, you can make it work.

Be sure to water your succulents more often than plants grown in other soil types and fertilize them only every few months.

Ensure the potting soil is well-draining and avoid overwatering to prevent root rot. With a little TLC, your succulents will thrive in regular potting soil.