How to prepare the soil for succulents properly


Perlite is a very lightweight organic soil amendment. It’s the white pieces that look like Styrofoam that you see in many commercial potting mixes.

Perlite retains very little moisture, prevents soil compaction, and helps add better drainage for succulents. In other words, it helps the soil drain faster which is exactly what we want for succulent potting soil.

You can usually buy perlite or pumice at any garden center or home improvement store in the same section as you would find potting soil for sale, but sometimes it’s hard to find in stores, so I usually buy it online.

Supplies Needed:

Along with your succulent potting mix ingredients, you’ll need a few other supplies to help you measure and mix your ingredients. So grab these items before getting started…

  • Measuring container
  • Trowel
  • Container for mixing (I use a bucket or my table top potting tray to mix mine)


The succulent potting soil recipe* I use is:

  • 3 parts potting soil
  • 2 parts coarse sand (turface or poultry grit)
  • 1 part perlite (or pumice)

What is a “part”? – A “part” is just a generic unit of measure to use for your potting soil mix ratio. You can use anything you want to measure your ingredients, as long as you use the same type of measure for each “part”.

If you use a scoop measure for 1 part, then use the same scoop twice for 2 parts, and three times for 3 parts. So, for example if you use a 1 cup measure, then this potting mix recipe would convert to 3 cups potting soil, 2 cups sand, and 1 cup perlite.


Mixing your DIY potting soil for succulents is super easy. All you need to do is dump everything into your mixing container (bucket, potting tray, wheelbarrow… whatever) and stir it all together.

Use a trowel, or your hands to mix it. Just make sure the ingredients are evenly mixed once you’re done.

That’s it. Told you it was easy to make your own potting soil for succulents.


One of the things I love the most about making my own DIY succulent potting soil is that I can mix up a big batch, and store the leftovers for later. Succulent soil can be stored on a shelf in your basement, garage or garden shed.

You could mix a bunch of homemade potting soil ahead of time and store it for later use, or just mix it as you need it.

I like to mix up a big batch, and then I store it in a plastic bucket in the garage so I always have succulent soil on hand when I need it.

Make sure to store your succulent potting soil in an air-tight container. You don’t want pesky bugs getting in there. If you don’t have an air-tight container you can use, I recommend you buy one of these bucket sealing lids, which work with a five gallon bucket.

This DIY succulent potting soil can also be used for propagating succulent cuttings.

My succulents (and cactus plants) grow very well in my homemade potting mix for succulents, and making my own saves me tons of money (It seems like I’m always potting succulents and cactus plants!).

If you want more information about growing and caring for succulents, read my detailed succulent plant care guide. It has everything you need to know about growing succulents, including watering, light, fertilizing, pruning, pest control, propagation, and even a list of some of the easiest succulents to grow!