Cactus soil – easy DIY recipe

For the most part, your houseplants will need regular potting soil. This type of soil retains water a lot longer than cactus soil. It needs to stay moist in order to provide the plant with a regular supply of water. Your cactus will not do well in this type of soil. This is due to the fact that cacti naturally retain water and are known to grow in arid regions where rainfall is more scarce. If you plant your cactus in water-retaining soil, you will not be doing it any favours since the roots will eventually rot and the plant will die.


Apart from how quickly soil drains, it is also important to consider the nutrients that your cactus soil contains. Your average potting soil will contain nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. This is great for most houseplants but not for slow-growing succulents or cacti. They can actually burn the roots of your plant or result in deformities due to rapid growth. Your cactus is meant to grow slowly. So, don’t try to rush it. For this reason, make sure that the potting soil you choose for this recipe is low in added nutrients.

Cactus soil ingredients:

  • 3 parts potting soil
  • 2 parts coarse sand
  • 1 part perlite


The amount of each ingredient needed will depend on the size of your planter and the number of planters that you need to fill. No matter how much or how little you make, be sure to maintain the ratio. Mix all three ingredients together thoroughly. Place enough soil in your planter to allow for the roots to grow. Add your cactus and top with more soil to keep the plant well grounded.

If you are worried that you might mix too much cactus soil, not to worry. You can always store any extra soil in a bag or bucket. You will need to repot your cactus from time to time. In most cases, you will need to do so due to nutritional needs and soil quality rather than the growth of the plant. It’s always good to have some extra soil handy.