“What kind of soil do you use to replant cacti?” Question from Joy of Hemet, California.
Answer: Most true cacti grow best in nutrient-poor soils that drain fast, whether grown in-ground or in pots.
If dividing and replanting your cacti in a dryland garden, remember that they need ground that is well drained but porous and deep with little water-holding ability. Some organic matter is recommended, but it should be minimal. You can rely on amending the soil with products like Black Gold Cactus Mix and crushed granite for extra drainage. I also like to cover the base of plants with rock or pebble to help surface water trickle down while holding it better at the roots. Newly transplanted/planted cacti require extra water for several weeks after planting while they set deep roots.
If replanting your cacti in pots, choose a pot that’s several inches wider than the old and a good bit deeper, and transplant it in Black Gold Cactus Mix, which drains well while holding just enough organic matter. A deeper pot will help plants set deeper roots in your hot, dry climate. Be sure to cover the potting mix with attractive rocks or pebbles.
Happy cactus planting!
Black Gold Horticulturist