Cactus is accustomed to growing in dry, desert-type terrain. So, if you have a cactus as a houseplant, you must provide it with the right type of soil that resembles its natural habitat. It makes your cactus feel at home and reduces the chances of stress for the plant.
Soil for Cactus – Procedure
Generally, it is done by mixing three parts of potting soil, three parts sand, and two parts perlite. However, you can alter your soil by adding specific ingredients such as peat and charcoal to help improve the growth of the cactus.
Before potting the cactus, ensure that the soil has been sterilized. It can be a fatal mistake if your soil is infected, as it will make the plant prone to infections and severely affect its health.
The best way of sterilization is to place the soil in a glass container which is then put in a larger container that contains water. Keep heating the water till it reaches a boiling point and then let the soil cool down to ensure that you have sterilized soil that is ready to use.
While pre-made commercial soil mixes are available, it is best to make your mix specifically suited for your cactus to ensure proper growth. It is also an economical alternative to the expensive, store-bought soil.
Advantages of making cactus soil over commercial potting mix
So, these are some of the advantages of making your potting soil over using a commercial potting mix–
- Water Retention
Generally, commercial mixes tend to be high in nutrient content due to the presence of organic material such as moss or compost. However, the cactus doesn’t need the same level of organic matter as other plants do. So, it is best to make your mix with higher ratios of inorganic content such as perlite, pumice, grit, and sand. It helps cater to the specific needs of the cactus and helps it grow better.
While generally regular potting mixes tend to drain well, the organic content in the mixture retains moisture. However, since cactus is well suited to more porous soil, commercial potting mixes don’t form the ideal option to pot your cactus in. If you make your mix, you can add gravel and sand as per the moisture requirement of the cactus. It helps reduce the chances of overwatering as well as underwatering.
Commercial potting mixes can be an expensive addition to your gardening expense due to their high prices. So, to be able to make a potting mix would be a very economical alternative to store-bought mixes. It generally is because making a potting mix at home requires basic ingredients and minimal effort. Thus, making the entire effort very cost and labor-effective.
As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned’; every bit of saving would help make your favorite hobby more affordable and sustainable for you. Hence, making your cactus soil has several advantages over the store-bought mix, and it will help you provide nutrients that your cactus specifically needs, ensuring better growth.