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Question:

I’m certain I overdid the “add perlite” instructions as I bought Sungro cactus mix and then added as much perlite as cactus mix and potting soil. My plants are doing well, but several haven’t put any new roots out. Suggestive criticism please. I’m 75 and am obsessed with these babies. Since July 1 I have over 100 varieties. The root balls are just that…tight little balls. Thank you for giving a housebound old lady new interest.

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Answer:

I’m so excited that you’re taking on this adventure!

Adding Perlite to your mixture helps with drainage. It sounds to me like the amount you added is just fine. If you mixed equal parts Perlite, cactus mix, and potting soil, you probably have fairly well-draining soil.  Even half Perlite and half cactus mix would be fine.

The only potential problem I could see with adding in so much Perlite is that it is easily crushed over time. However, potting mix in general breaks down over time, so I don’t think this will be an issue.

If your succulents aren’t putting out new roots, it’s possible that they need more water. While succulents can survive on limited water, they will be much happier with consistent watering. Be sure that when you water, you are watering deeply, not necessarily more frequently.

Best of luck on your succulent journey!

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