The pH Preference of Succulents: Acidic or Alkaline?



Succulents are hardy plants that don’t ask for much. But when it comes to soil, do they have a preference? Specifically, do succulents like acidic soil? Understanding the pH balance of your succulent’s soil is key to ensuring its health and longevity.

Succulents and Soil pH: The Middle Ground Most succulents prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH, somewhere between 6.0 and 7.5. This range allows succulents to absorb nutrients effectively without being harmed by overly acidic or alkaline conditions.

Why Not Too Acidic? Highly acidic soil can be harmful to succulents, leading to poor growth and a weak root system. It can also make it hard for your plants to take up necessary nutrients.

And Not Too Alkaline Either On the flip side, soil that is too alkaline can cause nutrient deficiencies, particularly in iron, which can lead to yellowing leaves and stunted growth.

Testing and Adjusting Soil pH To ensure your succulents are living in soil with the ideal pH, it’s a good idea to test the soil. You can find soil pH testing kits at most garden centers. If you need to adjust the pH, adding ingredients like peat moss can increase acidity, while adding pulverized limestone can make the soil more alkaline.

Creating the Perfect Blend Many potting mixes designed for succulents and cacti already have the right pH balance. These specialty soils also ensure proper drainage, which is crucial for the health of succulent roots.

Observation is the Best Tool Keep an eye on your succulents for signs that the soil pH may not be optimal. If the leaves look discolored or the plant’s growth seems stunted, it might be time to check the pH.

In summary, while succulents can tolerate a range of soil conditions, they tend to prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. Regular checks and adjustments can help maintain the perfect soil environment for your succulent garden.

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