Repotting cacti: an experiment with different substrates to understand how potting soil affects growth

The fundamental factors for the growth of a plant are many: from exposure to watering; from fertilizations to temperatures. Among these factors, one of the most important – at least for cacti and succulent plants – is the substrate. The ideal soil for cacti must have at least two properties: it drains well and it dries quickly. (…)

The possibilities for making soil suitable for growing cacti and succulents are endless, as you can read in the articles in the appropriate section of this site. The materials with which we can make a substrate, on the other hand, are many: peat, pumice, lapillus, field earth, sand, gravel, etc. Likewise, it is important to remember that the various “ingredients” can be mixed together in many ways: for example, favoring the so-called “inert” rather than the organic component, or the coarser elements in the finer part, and so on.

If you want to learn more about the various materials that can be used to obtain substrates suitable for growing succulents, you can read this specific article.

The experiment

In this specific case, however, I have chosen, as an experiment, to repot some plants obtained from the same sowing (Echinocactus texensis) in three types of soil, so as to be able to evaluate how the various compositions of the substrates influence the growth of the plants. Naturally, it will take time to obtain the first results, even if the first differences in growth (mostly in the growth rate) can be appreciated already after the first year after repotting.

On repotting you can consult the articles contained in the section of the site which can be reached by clicking here. If, on the other hand, you want to know more about the texensis species of the Echinocactus genus, you can read this specific article.


And here is the video of the experiment with the different types of substrate and the description of the materials used:

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Correlated articles

My experiments
How cultivation changes plants
A substrate test
The soil: the materials you can use
Wild cultivation

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