Succulent care requires a balance of water and nutrients and proper drainage. All of this is rooted in having healthy soil for your succulents. Like sunlight, watering, and feeding, having the perfect garden soil mixture is crucial for your succulents’ well-being. This is the perfect article if you are considering whether you can use peat moss for succulents or if peat moss is suitable for succulents.
Peat Moss Introduction To Succulents
Peat Moss is an excellent amendment to your potting mixture and garden soil. It comprises decomposed organic and fibrous materials in peat bogs over thousands of years. Naturally, peat moss is formed in cold marshy ecosystems. It is an amalgamation of fibrous materials from cold-weather wetlands. Sphagnum moss is the most common plant material in peat moss. Since succulents love this light-fibered material well, peat moss works well for succulents.
Is Peat Moss Good For Succulents?
Succulents will naturally thrive and grow into peat moss. Using peat moss for succulents might be a good idea since it is naturally hard to wet. Peat moss holds moisture and water well, keeping the succulents hydrated. At the same time, peat moss quickly dries off. This is also crucial to your succulents to avoid root rot. With a proper mixture ensuring proper drainage, peat moss for succulents can be beneficial. To achieve a good garden mixture (as I also mentioned in this post), the ratio is 2:2:1, relatively potting soil, organic matter and inorganic matter. For example, combining 2 parts of potting soil, 2 parts of peat moss, and 1 part of sharp sand, vermiculite, or perlite will produce a good soil mix with aeration and drainage.
More related helpful guides:
- How To Choose Pumice For Succulents – A Guide For Planting Succulents in Pumice
- Overwatered Succulent Remedies: Everything You Need To Know
- Water Therapy for Succulents
What Does Peat Moss Do To The Soil?
Aside from the most common reason for absorbing and retaining water by holding proper moisture, adding peat moss to your soil has other benefits. The pros are:
Preventing soil compaction: Having non-compacted soil for your succulent is essential for the water and nutrients to get through your plants’ roots. Peat moss prevents your succulent from losing essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Perfect for acid-loving succulents: Peat moss is naturally acidic, with a pH ranging from 3.5 to 4.5. When it breaks down, the acidic pH of the soil will be well maintained. Some types of cacti (like Schlumbergera, Rhipsalis, etc.) and lithops can significantly advantage with peat moss.
Free of bacteria/ fungi/ weed seeds: Peat moss is formed under anaerobic (low-oxygen) conditions, combining the natural acidity (as mentioned above), making it a discouraging place for common bacteria to grow. Furthermore, the harvesting and processing of peat moss is often subjected to high-temperature sterilization treatments, which terminate those microorganisms.
Ability to last several years: Peat moss has a long decomposition process, giving you many years free of maintaining the soil.
Despite the benefits, one must also know the cons of using peat moss for succulents. Some of it is being a non-renewable source, contributing to climate change, and being expensive. Sadly, peat moss is known to absorb more carbon than it releases and only releases carbon emissions.
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Peat Moss Alternatives
Among the popular peat moss substitutes is coconut coir, also known as coco peat. Coconut coir is super suitable for succulent soil. It is composed of the shorter husk produced when coconuts are harvested. Similar to peat moss, coconut coir is good at holding water.
Another alternative for peat moss is compost, also known as black gold. Compost is an all-round solution to replace any organic matter. It is made up of microbes’ breakdown of yarn and kitchen waste. Typically, compost is mixed with other ingredients to create a commercial potting mixture.
The third alternative is bark or wood chips. They are sawdust-like materials introduced to commercial soil mixtures in the early 1950s. It is good that they provide better drainage, aeration, and a near-neutral pH, which are ideal for succulent growth and can be more sustainable.
How To Transplant Succulents With Peat Moss?
To transplant succulents with peat moss, you must first correctly combine the peat moss, coarse sand, and potting soil in a bowl. Water the mixture until it is appropriately moist and allow it to drain for at least 30 minutes to rehydrate. Put the mixture in the pot with enough drainage holes. Allow the mixture to drain for at least 30 minutes so it is not soaking wet. You may now transplant the succulent to your prepared pot and soil mixture. Make sure to firm the soil properly using your fingertips.
Acquiring or creating the perfect soil mixture is very important for your succulents. Peat moss for succulents is one of the everyday things you’ll probably need to keep your succulents happy and healthy. However, if you are still unsure if you can use peat moss for succulents because of its negative effect on the environment, you may also explore some alternatives mentioned in this article.
Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!