I have seen very few gardeners (online) use gritty mix for succulents. Here are two of them:

Gritty Mix

another different gritty mix

Both of them talk about gritty mix and to me gritty mix makes sense.

I am thinking of trying this succulent mix enter image description here

Ingredients mentioned: Four different kinds of Grit, Pumice, Coco chips and plant food.

But what I don't get is that how do the plants get nutrients then? From those big chunks? And what are some important materials for a succulent gritty mix?

Wouldn't these stones get too hot in summers and damage the roots?

Should I try this mix (it's quite expensive) alone or mix it half with the succulent mix I already have?

  • 1
    I am just using peat moss and perlite just increase the quantity of perlite. They are doing very well, I water them after 20 days only when pot seems light i.imgur.com/5nA3h0a.jpg
    – OmiPenguin
    Feb 13, 2020 at 17:15
  • @OmiPenguin The succulents don't die from the soil being moist for that long?
    – 4-K
    Feb 13, 2020 at 17:25
  • nope , mine are in doing very well they were in small pot and were crowded so i moved them to bigger pot now they are thriving. I just mist the succulents in morning and that's all. As you can see i placed them near window and they receive plenty of indirect sunlight. But in summer i will have to move them away from window or else they all will be dead in a week
    – OmiPenguin
    Feb 13, 2020 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


Many succulents/desert type plants are expecting their water and nutrient in short sharp bursts; some get most of their water and food from being either drip/rained on, or absorbed through water accumulating in the cupped axils of the leaves. So the function of roots is mostly to keep the plant solidly in place, either in desert grit or clinging to the bark of a large tree.

A gritty mix implies that the pieces are large and have very angular sides and edges; as a result when two or more pieces are put next to each other the air spaces between them are large. Water manages to adhere to the chunks either because they absorb the moisture into their interior (vermiculite, etc.) or in the case of gritty gravel the water clings to the surface in a thin film due to surface tension. This ensures there is a lot of air able to circulate through the root volume - fresh air leads to less root rot and ensures the roots can breathe even if they have little water available.

When rain comes the plants grab what they can; they don't need much because they are designed to transpire very little and then only at specific times of day when they can be most productive. Water that hits the soil percolates rapidly down and as it does so brings fresh air behind it. The small air pockets are quickly restored. If a peaty wet soil was used instead, the channels would disappear, water would persist much longer, longer than the plant needs to take a quick drink and therefore becomes harmful rather than beneficial.

  • What about the nutrients? Should I just plant my succulents in gritty mix and water them once a month and not to use any fertilizer? Is there any way succulents suck nutrients from rocks that hold moisture?
    – 4-K
    Feb 18, 2020 at 17:22
  • Occasional weak soluble fertilizer in water spritzed (see @OmiPenguin response); enters through foliage, stems, roots. Fert. in solution will wrap itself around the surface of the chunky materials. Feb 18, 2020 at 18:25

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