Can I Use Orchid Potting Mix For Succulents?
Succulents are excellent house plants and if you’re looking to add some to your home you need to know what kind of soil works well. If you have some leftover orchid potting mix there is a chance you could repurpose this for use with your succulents.
Orchid potting mixture can be used with some succulents but it’s not suitable for all types. If you are looking for a mixture for a tropical succulent then the orchid potting mixture should be fine. Tropical succulents prefer their soil to be a little moister than other kinds of succulents which prefer drier conditions.
Can Succulents Grow In Orchid Potting Mix?
If you have spare orchid potting mixture then you might be looking to repurpose it for use with succulents. The problem is that orchid potting mix doesn’t drain quick enough for many types of succulents. The exception to this is tropical succulents which actually love a little more moisture in their soil.
Most succulents grow in the desert rather than the tropics which means they prefer drought conditions. However, there are species of succulents such as the Limelight Japanese Stonecrop or the Campfire Crassula that are tropical. These succulents are great for planting in orchid potting mix as the extra water retention is fine with them.
Why Aren’t Some Succulents Suitable for Orchid Potting Mix?
Succulents are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in extreme conditions which is what makes them excellent houseplants. However, orchid potting mix is not suitable for soft succulents that prefer dry conditions. Too much moisture in the soil is harmful to these succulents. Excess moisture can cause rotting in the long term if your soil is not dry enough.
Check to see if your succulent is tropical, if it isn’t or you don’t know, don’t risk using an orchid potting mix. Instead, swap to a regular soil mix or one specifically designed for succulents.
How Do I Prepare Your Soil For Succulents?
Most succulents will need soil that is fast-draining as they thrive in dry environments. To create or adapt a soil mixture for use with your succulents, you will need to add a coarse material like gravel, perlite, or pumice and builders’ sand. Combine this with your gardening soil or potting mixture to create a mixture that doesn’t retain as much water.
A great succulent potting mixture should contain a ratio of two parts gardening soil, two parts builders sand, and one part coarse material like perlite or gravel.
What Is The Best Soil Mix For Succulents?
Since most succulents are from desert environments, they will need a soil mix that imitates similar conditions. Therefore, we need to ensure that the soil is well-draining and provides good aeration for the succulent. The soil will dry quickly which will provide the succulent with the ideal living conditions for the plant to thrive.
There’s a simple test you can do to tell if your potting mixture is okay for your succulents. Take a sample of soil in your hand and then squeeze. The mixture should then crumble in your hand which means the soil is good for succulent. If you end up with a solid lump of soil then you may need to add more sand, pumice, perlite, or gravel.
Can I Use Regular Potting Mix For Succulents?
Regular potting mix is not ideal for succulents as a regular mixture is designed to have high water retention. However, if you have leftover regular potting soil you can add to it to make it more suitable for succulents. Take your mixture and add mineral grit to it at a ratio of 1:1.
This will provide you with a more suitable soil as it will be much faster-draining with the mineral grit. Succulents need soil that will drain well and allow the roots to breathe. Regular potting mix will not be adequate as it is too compact and can be dangerous for your plant’s health.
Can I Use Orchid Compost For Other Plants?
Leftover orchid compost isn’t that compatible with other types of plants. The problem is that the size of the bark doesn’t play well with tiny fibrous roots. The bark that’s used in the orchid potting mix is specific for allowing the orchid roots to grow as there is more space between bark particles.
Other types of epiphytic plants may be able to grow in orchid compost but you should combine it with other potting mixtures. If your mix is comprised of particularly large chunks of bark then it likely won’t be suitable for other epiphytic plants.
Can I Use Orchid Fertilizer For Succulents?
Orchid fertilizer is suitable for many types of plants including succulents. As orchids are known to be light feeders you might have a lot of fertilizer left over. It’s okay to use your orchid fertilizer with your succulents as it contains all the macronutrients that every plant wants and needs. Nothing in orchid fertilizer should be harmful to your succulents so it is perfectly safe to use.
Most plants, including succulents, will need less of the orchid fertilizer than you would give to your orchid. Since succulents and orchids both have a light watering schedule the fertilizer is well designed to feed your succulents as well.
Orchid potting mixture can be used with tropical succulents. The two types of succulents that grow in tropical areas are Senecio and Sedum (Stonecrops). These types of succulents can be used with an orchid potting mixture. Other types of succulents will not be suitable as the mixture will not be well-draining enough and can cause the succulents to rot if used long term.
Succulents prefer a harsher environment that more closely mimics the desert. They thrive in soil that remains mostly dry and requires infrequent watering.