Cactuses or cacti are desert plants that have always been interesting to own.
Its look, its spines, and its features, in general, have always been intriguing to people.
Since cactus plants normally grow in extremely dry areas, most people thought that it might be interesting to have such a plant in their homes.
That’s why the cactus plant has become one of the most popular houseplants and that’s why we have decided to bring you the list of the best cacti soil.
Talking about desert cactus, what most people think is that you don’t need to water it.
However, that’s not true and there are plenty of things to do around the cactus plant and a lot of things to take into consideration since, apart from desert cacti that everybody heard of, there are holiday cacti, jungle cacti, and many other cacti species.
One of those things is the choice of the proper cactus potting soil, since desert cactus cannot grow everywhere not any type of soil can be used for it.
In general, good cactus soil should be similar to desert soil as much as possible.
Some people even tried to make their own cactus soil mix but there’s no perfect soil recipe and it’s always safer to buy good cactus potting soil which can be found in all garden centers and, also, making your own potting mix and ideal soil composition can be hard.
After you plant your cactus it should be watered regularly and thoroughly but you should let the excess water flow through the pot’s drainage holes so that the soil could dry between waterings.
Since cactuses are desert species, they need the best possible lighting except for the first couple of weeks after planting when it should be kept in a shaded area.
Besides, plants like cactus plants, palms, succulent plants, and citrus plants should be re-potted once a year into a bigger pot, ideally in the early spring.
Thus, if you want a cactus or perhaps have a cactus plant, check out our list because there you’ll find many useful pieces of advice, especially when it comes to choosing the proper cactus soil mix.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Soil for Cactus
Miracle-Gro Cactus Potting Mix
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Espoma Cactus Potting Mix
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Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
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1. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Cactus
Miracle-Gro joined with The Scotts Company in 1995, is one of the leading brands in the field of gardening, and describes its products as innovative, trustworthy, and with astonishing results.
As for its cactus soil, Miracle-Gro asserts that it is the perfect potting mix and 4.7/5 stars on Amazon definitely prove it.
Additionally, the formula is enriched with Miracle-Gro plant food which, according to the manufacturer, guarantees amazing plants, beautiful cactuses, and healthy succulents.
- Enriched with Miracle-Gro plant food
- Feed duration: up to 6 months
- Weight: 3kg
- Dimensions: 10x33x43cm
The manufacturer describes this cactus soil mix as a fast-draining formula that is, apart from cactus plants, suitable for palms, citrus plants, and succulent plants.
It is supposed to be used only in containers and pots which is quite logical since you won’t be able to grow a desert cactus outside unless you live in a desert.
This cactus and succulent soil mix contain perlite, coarse sand, calcined clay, sphagnum peat moss, and forest products which improve drainage and prevent soil compaction.
Given that the plant food is added to the blend, your cactus should get all the necessary nutrients.
When it comes to planting the cactus with this soil, firstly you should fill the pot with 1/3 of this cactus mix.
After that, put the plant in the pot and then add more cactus and succulent mix until you fill the pot up to a couple of centimeters from the top.
Afterward just water it thoroughly (even though it probably sounds ridiculous) and then let it drain through the drainage holes.
Finally, place the plant in a spot with appropriate lighting and take care of it in accordance with its requirements.
This cactus potting soil received many positive reviews and customers were mostly satisfied with it.
However, some customers claimed that they found some insects in the soil, which was not the case with our bag, but it’s still something to beware of.
- Contains coarse sand, perlite, and peat moss
- High feed duration
- Plant food added
- Possible insect issue
2. Espoma Cactus Potting Mix
The Espoma Company was founded by Herbert G. Sanders in 1929 in Millville, New Jersey, and reopened in the late 1940s after the entire production building was destroyed in a fire.
Nowadays, Espoma produces more than 70 products and more than 50 million pounds of garden soil per year and is, thus, one of the leading brands in the gardening industry whose products are sold all around the world.
As for this cactus potting soil they claim it’s all-natural, organic, lightweight, and specially designed for cactus plants, palms, citrus plants.
Finally, it has exceptional 4.9/5 stars on Amazon and that deserves respect.
- Available in 4qt and 8qt bags
- Organic cactus mix
- Astonishing rating on Amazon
This potting mix contains composted rice hulls, aged forest products, sphagnum peat moss (35-45%), humus, perlite, worm castings, yucca extract, and limestone that is supposed to regulate pH levels.
Speaking of pH, this cactus soil has an almost neutral pH level.
As for active ingredients, there are Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Endomycorrhizal Fungi.
All these ingredients are high-quality and they provide enough air to the plant roots and prevent root rot.
Additionally, the above-mentioned perlite is a very important ingredient since it drains very well.
And if the soil has good drainage and aeration then the entire plant, and especially roots, grows.
This cactus potting mix is also enhanced with Myco-tone, a special type of soil microbe that can add to healthier cactus roots, and given that it is formulated especially for cactus plants, excess water runs through the soil quickly, but the soil retains enough moisture for supporting the plant.
So, all in all, this cactus soil has amazing reviews and we realized that those positive reviews are totally deserved since Espoma Organic Cactus Mix contains nutrients of the highest quality.
When it comes to the cons of this cactus potting mix the only one is the fact that it sometimes retains excess moisture which can harm plants like cactus.
- Premium quality
- High concentration of peat moss and other essential ingredients
- Provides aeration, good drainage, and root growth
- Prevents root rot
- Excellent price-quality relationship
- Fantastic reviews
- Soil sometimes retains too much water
3. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
Apart from potting soil, Miracle-Gro also produces plant food and lawn care products and it pretty much offers a total solution for any gardener’s needs.
They claim that they have managed to create a special soil mix using innovative techniques and experience.
As for this Indoor Potting Mix, the manufacturer asserts it contains the best ingredients and nutrients which guarantee protection, strength, healthy cactus, and healthy succulent growth.
Customers on Amazon apparently agree that this product is very good since they gave it 4.7/5 stars.
- Designed for use in pots and containers
- Weight: 1.27kg
- Dimensions: 6.3×25.4×40.6cm
- Feeds plants up to 6 months
As mentioned in the specs, this cactus and succulent soil mix is created for use in pots and containers only.
For that reason, the soil needs to dry fast, to hold and release water fast, and, finally, to re-wet easily.
Well, this Indoor Potting Mix fulfills all mentioned conditions, since it contains coconut coir, which is the ingredient that is great when it comes to water retention.
This cactus soil mix also has a high level of porosity and a balanced pH level.
Feed duration is very high, so you will need to reapply this soil mix only after 6 months which is, you have to admit it, a long period.
Finally, another thing the manufacturer, at least theoretically, has done well is related to the soil composition.
Namely, Miracle-Gro avoided New Zealand pine bark and compost and didn’t put it in the soil mix since those two ingredients attract fungus gnats.
Therefore, with this cactus potting soil, the expectation would be that you would be safe from those disgusting and annoying insects.
However, even though Miracle-Gro claims to have used a special formula to avoid fungus gnats, they have still appeared.
What is the reason for the appearance of these insects, even though the manufacturer said that there is no such possibility, we don’t know, but we have to admit that we’re quite disappointed.
- High feed durations
- Good water retention properties
- Fair price
- Fungus gnats
4. Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil
Dr. Earth Company was founded in 1991 and since then started setting new standards in the organic gardening industry.
This company’s main characteristics are the vision for a sustainable future and innovative technology.
According to Dr. Earth, cheap ingredients are not used throughout their production process and that’s why their products are the best.
When it comes to this soil, it’s completely organic, GMO-free, and pathogen-free and, thus, Dr. Earth eliminates every organic gardener’s food safety concern.
- Environmentally friendly
- Dimensions: 48×30.5x10cm
- Weight: 2.7kg
Unlike all the other soil mixes on this list, this one is not created specifically for cactus plants or succulent plants but is actually regular potting soil (all-purpose soil).
That means that you can use it for growing cactus, flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables as well as for both indoor and outdoor potting.
Additionally, unlike other cactus soil mixes from the list which can be used for potted plants only, Dr. Earth soil can be used for in-ground planting as well.
As we have already mentioned, this soil is 100% organic and doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, GMO-infested chicken manure or chicken grit, or any inorganic matter whatsoever.
Instead, it contains beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizae.
Besides, organic material that can be found in this soil is broken down and released into the soil so that cactus roots could absorb them any time they need them.
This organic matter helps with drought tolerance and increases plant performance.
Apart from being organic and GMO-free, this soil is also odor-free, so you won’t need to put up with some disgusting smell.
However, even though it looks very good, this soil also has some bad sides.
First of all, we have to admit that this soil hasn’t been specifically created for cactus plants, so it’s not a regular cactus soil mix.
In addition, it represents fertile soil for fungus gnats.
- High-quality nutrients
- No chicken manure
- Fungus gnats
- It’s not a cactus potting mix, but regular potting soil
Things to Consider When Buying Best Soil for Cactus
The first thing to consider is the most logical one.
Everyone definitely wants their cactus soil to have the ingredients of the finest quality.
From our perspective and experience, commercial potting mixes for cacti plants should contain sphagnum peat moss, mycorrhizae, humus, perlite, oak leaf mold, and other forest products.
Since plants like cactuses cannot be watered as often as some other plants, you need cactus soil that will be able to retain water in it after the watering.
Some of the great ingredients that can help with water retention are coconut coir or orchid bark, but most of these special cactus soil mixes that we mentioned in our list have very good water retention properties.
The soil needs to have good airflow so that the plant could “breathe”.
Namely, if the soil provides good airflow to the plant, its roots develop their strength and the entire plant grows much faster and becomes healthier.
That’s why cactus soil should be a bit dryer and should have a good level of porosity.
Perlite is one of the ingredients that dry fast and you definitely want it in your cactus soil mix.
Last but not least, your cactus potting soil should have a high feed duration.
The longer the soil feeds your plant, the better, stronger, and healthier your plant will become, because, just like people get used to each other, plants get used to the soil you use, so if you find a proper soil mixture for your plant, tend to change it as rare as possible and if the soil has a high feed duration, you will change it more rarely.
In gardening, you can always learn something new and we hope that from this text you have actually learned something new about cactus plants and the cactus soil that is appropriate for them.
So all in all, hopefully, you found this text useful, helpful, and interesting.
Finally, the cactus soil we would underline as the best in our opinion is Espoma Potting Mix and it looks like most people who have used it agree with us since it really has unbelievable reviews.