Coconut Coir for Succulents

While I highly recommend using a gritty mix for growing succulents, there are times I've found a need for a more organic material so the soil stays wet a little bit longer.

A great example of this is for leaf propagation...

While I plant my full grown succulents in gritty mix, I want the soil for my leaf babies to stay damp.

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Most traditional potting soils (and even most of the bagged succulent mixes you'll find at big box stores) are peat based. Peat based soils are very hydrophobic -- meaning they repel water when completely dry.

This makes it really hard to ensure water is soaking all the way through the soil to the roots.

Which is why I highly recommend using coconut coir as an organic potting medium for succulents.

Coconut coir is a great soil option for succulents that like more water. And the great news is that it absorbs water much more easily than peat, especially when completely dry.

For my leaf propagation, I use exclusively coconut coir.

However, for potted succulents I use it a bit differently. Sometimes I'll mix the coconut coir into the gritty mix, but only for succulents are are really having a hard time getting the water they need.

The most common way I use it for larger succulents, is by filling my pot most of the way with Jack's Gritty Mix and then adding a layer of coir on top. This has tremendously helped my outdoor succulents stay cooler in the extreme summer heat in Phoenix.

You can see how I implemented this with my String of Dolphins plant here:

This technique works really well for getting new cuttings to root and for succulents like String of Pearls, String of Bananas, String of Dolphins, and Ruby Necklace that need a really tight root system at the top of the soil before they begin trailing.

So if you're looking for something to help your succulent soil stay wet a little longer or you're ready to start propagating succulents, be sure to give coconut coir a try.