succulents soil for other plants

Can you use succulent soil for other plants- A definitive guide

Succulent soil is exceptionally prepared for succulent plants. It may not be suitable for other types of plants with different natures and needs. However, you can use the soil for non-succulent plants after modifying it. Since each plant has a distinct moisture requirement and watering practices, the modification must be based on those factors for maximum growth and health.

Succulent Soil and its characteristics

succulent soil for other plants

This special potting mix fulfills the unique requirements of succulent plants. When the soil is prepared, fast drainage and aeration remain a priority. This technique prevents water retention and ensures the dryness that succulents need to grow. The mixture includes sand, perlite, pumice, and other similar components.

The fundamental characteristics of succulent soil are: 

  • Well-draining: It drains quickly and holds no excess water.
  • Loose and airy texture: It ensures good aeration and smooth water flow.
  • Low organic content: The soil has minimal organic content to avoid water retention and maintain a desert-like environment.
  • Neutral to slightly acidic: The pH range of the soil is around 5.5.
  • Fast drying: It dries fast between watering to prevent root decay.

Succulent Soil vs. General Plant Soil

If you ever had a succulent gift box, you may notice the soil is pretty different than regular grounds. Your identification is valid, but how is it different from general plant soil? Check out the comparison below for a quick grab. 

Soil features

Succulent Soil

General Plant Soil

Suitable for

Succulent and some specific plants.

Most indoor and outdoor plants except succulents.


Loose and airy.



Fast and excellent.

Slow and moderate.

Moisture retention



Organic matter

30% or less.

30% to 70%.

pH level

5.5 on average.

Between 6.2 and 6.8.

Drying speed

Very quick.


Unique benefit

It prevents root decomposing.

It provides plants with moisture and nutrients.


Plants That Can Benefit from Succulent Soil

Plants that require well-draining or dry soil will surely benefit from succulent soil. For a quick example, check the list below. 

  • Succulents (Aloe vera, Echeveria, Sedum)
  • Cacti
  • Haworthias
  • Lithops (Living Stones)
  • Agave
  • Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
  • Sempervivums (Hens and Chicks)
  • Kalanchoes
  • Portulaca (Moss Rose)
  • Gasteria


Plants That Should Avoid Succulent Soil

Many plants need moist soil or sufficient humidity levels to grow and stay healthy. Succulent soil will be conflicting for them. The following plants should never be transplanted to draining soil. 

  • Ferns
  • African Violets (Saintpaulia)
  • Orchids
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Philodendrons

Can you Modify Succulent Soil for Other Plants?

Modify Succulent Soil for Other Plants

You can modify succulent soil to make it usable for other plants. But remember that you need to understand the moisture requirement of the plant that you want to use the soil for. The modification will depend on the plant's specific moisture needs.

The changes in the succulent soil may include:


  • Increasing organic matter: Add elements like compost, peat moss, coco coir, etc., to the succulent soil. They will enhance the water retention capability of the soil.
  • Reducing grit: The modification also includes reducing potting grit from the soil. It will allow the plant's root to drink for longer.
  • Adjusting the pH: If your plant requires alkaline soil, add some lime to increase the pH level. For most non-succulents, neutral pH is okay.

Note: If you decide to modify the succulent soil for a non-succulent plant, guesswork is highly discouraged. Research your plant, note its needs, and adjust accordingly.

Challenges while using succulent soil for other plants

Using succulent soil for regular plants is challenging. The result may not be satisfactory if your experience of the plant’s needs is inaccurate. Here are the common obstructions while using the soil for non-succulent plants.


Moisture Retention

Succulent soil has quick-draining characteristics. It can make non-succulent plants struggling for water. Since regular plants require consistent moisture in the soil, succulent soil can keep them dehydrated.


Nutrient deficiency

Most plants need proper nutrients to grow and stay healthy. When transplanted to succulent soil, they can face nutrient deficiency. The soil also provides nutrients but can be insufficient for non-succulent plants.


pH Levels

Using succulent soil for alkaline plants can be highly conflicting. Alkaline plants need soil featuring a high pH level. However, succulent soil is slightly acidic. It can also be an issue for plants preferring balanced or neutral pH levels.


Soil compaction

Succulent soil can be denser with age. Even if you have modified it appropriately, compactness is a common issue. It makes water and air flow harder through the soil. Compactness is stressful for plants, which can result in slow growth.

Tips for using succulent soil with other plants

Modifying succulent soil once for regular plants is not sufficient. The excellent result comes with consistent monitoring and adjustment. Here are a few tips to follow:


  • Do some research to learn about a plant’s specific need for which you want to use succulent soil.
  • Choose a plant that is also habituated to well-draining soil.
  • Monitor your non-succulent plant’s water requirement and adjust the watering schedule.
  • Add organic substances to improve the soil’s moisture.
  • Make sure that the plant is comfortable with the soil’s pH level.
  • Check the plant’s root health and whether any sign of over-drying or suffocation appears.
  • Observe the plant’s growth, reaction, and health regularly and plan depending on the condition.

Final Words

Though succulent soil is unusable for water-loving plants, modification is a proven process to make it happen. Since each plant has different needs, experiment from various aspects without going for strict rules. Regular attention to your plant will naturally provide clues about what to do.

If you want to make your space more vibrant, check out our succulent collections. As a Menifee, CA succulent provider, we craft each plant considering the event or theme. Get in touch for more advice on succulent care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does succulent soil go bad?

The soil never goes bad. But its effectiveness decreases with age, which you can recover.

Q. Is succulent soil the same as cactus soil?

No. Cactus soil is more coarse, contains more sand, and is low in organic matter.

Q. Can succulents live without soil?

They can live but will not thrive. They can survive about two weeks without soil, their primary nutrient source.

Back to blog