Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 8:11 am
Location: England

Cactus Soil help.

So I have 2 main aloe vera plants (which are still in the soil that I bought them in, which is made up of wood chippings / bark) and they keep having lots of pups.

They were in normal potting mix, until 2 developed root rot due to the soil retaining too much water.

So yesterday I went out to B&Q to buy some cactus compost. I watered one last night, came to look at it this morning and the soil is sopping wet still.

I let it drain out last night and it's in a saucer, which had no water filled in it, so the soil is retaining all that water, isn't cactus compost meant to help with water drainage?

Do I need to go out and buy some wood chippings and mix it 50/50 with the cactus compost?

Or should I just put all my baby aloe's 100% in wood chippings like the parent plants?

Thanks in advance for you help.


Cool Member
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:47 pm
Location: East Coast, USDA zone 7a

I could only ever find Cactus, Palm, & Citrus soil. I just add extra perlite to it. Drains very well. Not sure what most recommend but this has worked well for me. :)

Green Mantis
Greener Thumb
Posts: 931
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:52 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada zone 1a

Your soil sure should drain better than that? Especially if it's for cactus. When you say cactus Compost, is this actual cactus soil or a mix of?? You should just get a good light cactus mix, then half it with a good potting soil, mix and plant. Try putting them in clay pots. They let the moisture out quicker. Plastic pots hold the moisture in. Good Luck. :D

Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta

I find cactus soil sold in garden centres here are more *soily* than ones I'm used to in the UK. I usually mix equal parts of cactus mix, perlite and coarse sand/fine terracotta potsherds and it seems to work great.

Also a good idea to use clay or terracotta pots instead of plastic ones as the former wicks water out of the soil and the evaporation helps cool the cacti roots. Plastic pots normally retain so much heat you're cooking the poor cacti's roots!

Green Mantis
Greener Thumb
Posts: 931
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:52 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada zone 1a

:?: FH---When you say potsherds, what exactly are you talking about??

To put in your cactus soil? :oops: Never mind, I figured it out! :oops: Thanks.
Last edited by Green Mantis on Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:40 pm
Location: London

Hi marto

The cactus soils alone are pretty useless, I would add some perlite (its ...£3 for 10 litres in wilkinsons) that will help with the drainage

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