All cacti can be divided into two groups: forest and desert. Forest cacti usually have extensive root system and need a light nutrient mixture with an acidic or slightly acidic reaction. Desert cacti have a rod or ripopodibna root for them suitable clay soils with neutral or slightly alkaline reaction.
For planting cactuses, the soil should choose loose, easily absorb moisture and air. The soil must contain a large amount of mineral substances and not to contain organic matter.
Experienced cactus is not recommended to use for planting purchase ground. Purchase land for cacti poorly wetted by water and it contains too much organic fertilizer. The prepared soil can be used as a basis for the preparation of a suitable substrate for species of cacti.
For the vast majority of species of cacti will fit a mixture of leaf, clay or peat lands with coarse sand and small pieces of charcoal. In the prepared soil is necessary to add granulated superphosphate. The reaction pH of this mixture is usually not more than 6-6,5.
The approximate proportions of the mixture can be such: the little red brick – 30% of the volume, loamy earth and 30% coarse sand and 30% gravel or expanded clay 10%, peat 5%, pieces of charcoal – 5%.
When planting cacti need to take into account the individual characteristics of some species. Plants with lots of thorns and abundant bloom in the soil mixture is added to the lime. As lime used chips of limestone or marble. The most available and inexpensive material – old plaster. In any case you cannot add the fresh lime.
For epiphytic cacti and Echinopsis it is useful to add a little rotted cow manure. For columnar saguaro in the mixture increases the amount of humus and gravel.
For cacti with rod or ripopodibna root in the fertile soils and increases the proportion of clay additives. But to avoid stagnation of water in such soils, the clay is added eroded or frozen. To find such clay is in the ruins of buildings, or on mountain slopes.
Any soil for cacti is purchased or prepared independently, should be subjected to sterilization. To do this in the oven, microwave or on the stove. On the bottom of the tank, which is made by steaming the soil, poured some water. Container tightly closed by a lid. Sterilization is carried out at a temperature of +100 ° C 25-30 minutes. The dryness of the soil during steaming is unacceptable, it degrades its properties.