A lesson in soil compaction / why sand isn’t a good substrate for potted succulents.

I was running low on pumice so I mixed this with some old bagged cactus & succulent mix. WELP – most of the commercial mix went straight to the bottom and compacted into a wet mass!

Most sand is too fine to use as a potting medium. It will quickly clog up any air pockets or gaps (which are important for roots to breathe). And as you can see here, the roots that reached the sand at the bottom are covered in algae – the small particles retained too much water.

But look at that top half!! Healthy, white roots and plenty of space between soil particles for air and drainage. Pumice and bark fines are where IT’S AT.