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Best Pumice for Succulents: Soil Recipes & Tips to Use

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Have you been wondering what the best pumice for succulents is? There are a lot of different types of pumice on the market, and I’ll share with you my favorite that I use, along with a super easy soil recipe that you can use for your succulents and houseplants.

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WHAT IS PUMICE?

First off, what is pumice? Pumice is a porous volcanic rock, and it is formed when hot rock is ejected from volcanos. It is basically solidified foam that forms from lava.

Because it is rich in gasses when it forms, it is lighter weight than you’d think, contains many pores, and as a result can absorb moisture.

best-pumice-for-succulents

WHY PUMICE IS GREAT FOR SUCCULENTS

Using pumice in your succulent mixes works beautifully for many reasons. Pumice:

  • Doesn’t float to the top of your soil mixes like perlite does
  • Improves the drainage rate when blended into any potting mix
  • Is full of small holes and pores, so it does retain some moisture and releases it as needed
  • Provides porosity and aeration in your potting mixes, allowing air to your roots and helping to minimize root rot
  • Will not decompose
  • Is lighter weight than you’d think, but heavy enough to provide some additional stability for your top-heavy succulents
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BEST PUMICE FOR SUCCULENTS

Not all pumices are created equal, and my favorite pumice by far to use for my succulents is the Bonsai Jack 1/4 inch Horticultural Pumice.

I purchase mine from Amazon (see link below).

Bonsai Jack 1/4 inch Horticultural Pumice
$16.41

Great to amend potting mixes for succulents and cacti.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/18/2022 02:31 am GMT

I love this pumice because it is always uniform in size and is very consistent in quality. I regularly purchase and use this item throughout the year. You will not regret using this product!

AMENDING YOUR SUCCULENT MIX WITH PUMICE

Making a good succulent mix does not have to take a lot of ingredients, although many growers have their own special blends. Use what works for you and don’t be afraid to experiment!

I find that many of the commercially available succulent/cactus mixes don’t provide enough porosity and drainage for succulents, and they don’t dry out quickly enough.

To remedy this, I simply start out with about 2 parts of Espoma Organic Cactus Mix (or whatever succulent/cactus mix you have on hand) and mix in 1 part of Bonsai Jack 1/4″ Horticultural Pumice.

This mix works well for me, provides enough moisture retention, but still improves drainage and is able to dry out in a reasonable amount of time.

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Depending on your environmental conditions, if you need your mix to dry out even more quickly, you can do equal parts of a cactus mix and pumice.

I’d recommend experimenting to see what works for your own growing conditions.

There are numerous factors that affect how quickly your potting mix will dry out, including:

  • Light levels
  • Pot type and size
  • Potting mix composition
  • Temperature
  • Humidity

I talk about all of these aspects in my book, Houseplant Warrior. Ultimately, you need to balance all your conditions in order to have thriving succulents and houseplants.

Houseplant Warrior: 7 Keys to Unlocking the Mysteries of Houseplant Care
$21.99

Published by Countryman Press. A veritable bible for the beginner, this book is geared to YOU! I've taken all the most common, real-world problems from my readers and address them here. You will walk away with the confidence to be a better plant parent!

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05/18/2022 01:56 am GMT

Keep in mind though that the more “chunky” material that you add to your mixes (in this case, pumice), the more quickly your potting mix blend will dry out.

There really is no right or wrong, but the more pumice that you add to your blends, the sharper the drainage and the more quickly the blend will dry out, so you will be watering more frequently.

As you experiment with the amount of pumice, you can strike a balance that works for you and your growing conditions.

There is no right or wrong (as long as your mix is well drained and dry out in a reasonable time period and you are comfortable with your watering routine!)

OTHER USES FOR PUMICE

Some succulent growers will top-dress their succulent pots with pumice. It makes an aesthetically pleasing substrate, and it also will keep the base of your succulent drier.

Be sure not to miss my blog post on perlite vs. pumice to explore the pros and cons of both.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the best pumice for succulents. Comment with any questions. I’m happy to help!