Can I Use Cactus Soil for Peace Lily?


An indoor peace lily plant  in a container.

Among evergreen houseplants, the peace lily (spathiphyllum) is one of my favorites. Houseplant lovers grow it due to its highly decorative qualities and simplicity in care. 

If you want long flowering and leaves having a rich green color you need to choose the right soil. You be may be wondering if you can use cactus soil for a peace lily. Keep reading, you will get the answer. In this article, I will show you the exact way to prepare your own soil.

Can I use cactus soil for peace lily? Yes, you can use cactus soil for growing peace lily without any doubt.  This rain forest plant needs consistent watering but can’t tolerate stagnant water like cactus. So porous soil mix is the best option for both cactus and peace lily. You can also use the cactus soil mix for repotting peace lily. On top of that, both the plants love slightly acidic soil. They prefer the pH 5-6.5 range.

What soil do peace lilies like?

Peace lily also grows in the natural environment. You can find this plant in the wetlands, flooded meadows, near rivers and lakes. It prefers soils with weak acidity, consisting of decomposed leaves, dry branches, and charcoal. It is also important that the soil is light and loose to allow proper drainage. Excess or lack of moisture in the soil will adversely affect your peace lily. It begins to get sick and gradually fades.

Basic requirements for soil mixture for peace lilies:

  • Adequate air and water permeability;
  • high fertility;
  • looseness;
  • Lightness;
  • Acidity indexes within the limits of 5-5.5.

In the market, you will find the enormous range of soil substrates available. You need to find a loose texture soil for your peace lily to grow well. If you purchase market soil, you should add 10 % from the total volume of vermiculite, sand, brick chips or charcoal. Crushed bark of trees is also a loosening component for your peace lily soil.

Ceramsite is very popular because of its porosity and lightweight. You should sterilize these components before using it as a good drainage option for peace lily soil.

Such a drainage layer will ensure the smooth flow of moisture and air in the pot. If Your right approach to the preparation of soil will make it easy to grow this beautiful plant in your home. In a quality soil substrate, roots are not susceptible to rotting, flowering is rich and acidity is optimal.

Soil Composition for peace lily

Soil mix composition for peace lily

To choose the soil for growing a species of the Aroid family, you need to know which components have a beneficial effect on it. A suitable version of the soil substrate includes:

  • leaf humus;
  • peat;
  • Fern roots;
  • expanded clay;
  • charcoal;
  • moss sphagnum;
  • mineral components;
  • sand.

Only these soil components provide favorable conditions for the growth and development of evergreen peace lily.

Types of ready-made soil

You can buy readymade soil mixtures for plating or repotting peace lily. The ready-made mixtures work well for this type of houseplant. So, they are worth buying if you do not want to make it by yourself.  Here are some top-performing suggestions of ready-made soil for peace lily:

  • Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix: This soil mix contains a high concentration of organic components. Your plant will get nitrogen, potassium, and a balanced portion of phosphorus.  You can use this type of soil to grow all members of the Aroid family. You can feed your plant instantly with this soil mix. This ready-mix soil will ensure long term (up to 3 months) food supply for your peace lily. Because it is a slow-releasing nutrient mix for your plant.
  • Black gold All Organic Potting Soil: This soil mix contains only eco-friendly ingredients. You will find an optimal proportion of nutrients is this organic potting soil. Its main advantage is the presence of Perlite and pumice which prevents the development of rot on the root system of a peace lily. Because perlite and pumice ensure very good water drainage and aeration.
  • Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix: You already know that you can use cactus soil mix for peace lily also. So almost any kind of soil mix which is designed for houseplants, you can use that for your peace lily. This organic mix will provide your peace lily well drainage and aeration. You can also use this soil mix for the repotting of the peace lily. You do not need to sterilize this soil mix before use. It has already been sterilized before packaging.

When you are deciding to use ready mix soil for your peace lily, it is very important that you decide very carefully. Because the different plants have different types of requirements in case of soil. You should consider the strengths and weaknesses of each type of soil.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Here are some positive features of the purchased  soil mixture:

  • You can save time on soil preparation. In contrast to the home-made soil mixture, the store version only requires the addition of perlite or sand.
  • There is no seasonality of buying soil mixture. You can always buy soil for peace lily at any time of the year.
  • Low probability of infestations of parasites into the soil mix.

Despite the whole list of advantages of the readymade soil, there are some disadvantages to it:

  • You have to open your pocket a bit to buy this type of soil mix.
  • Non-compliance with the characteristics and composition indicated on the package. After planting in such a soil, houseplants can wither or die. If you are using a home-made substrate, you always know about its components and their qualities.
  • You need to monitor constantly the state of the plant, sometimes additional nutrients supplement may be needed.

Before buying a particular soil for a peace lily, you should pay attention to the information on the package. The purpose of the soil, species of plants suitable for the substrate, the level of acidity, advice from the manufacturer are important information to keep in mind.

How to make soil with your own hands

If you are not satisfied with the ready-made soil mix then you make your own soil at home.  Now I will talk about a recipe for making your own soil at home.

Components and Proportions

You can prepare soil suitable for a peace lily in many ways. The differences between the ingredients of different types of soil are insignificant.

The main thing is to make a loose and nutritious substrate. Then it can fully satisfy all the needs of your peace lily plant.

Peace lily can easily survive a week without water. It can revive very quickly if you water it properly. However, like all other indoor plants, they require easy, but proper care. 

Now, let’s find out the type of soil mix peace lily love. Here I’ll also discuss the soil mix formulation so that you can make your own soil.

Here is a table of soil components that will help you make the best mixture by yourself.

IngredientsThe propertiesWhere to get them
Soil with decomposed leafRich in nutrients, loose, light, easily absorbs water.You can find this type of soil under a deciduous tree. The fallen leaves of the tree incorporated with soil and increased its fertility. 
Clay turf soilIt retains the water and nutrients are washed out more slowly.Near the garden, where the ground is covered with turf (thick grass). Remove the turf with the ground using a shovel.  Then leave it for at least one year. If this technology seems difficult for you, you can get this soil in another way. You have to dig up the turf and hold the grass and shake off the soil well from its roots. In this case, it will not be as nutritious as if it had been pressed for a year. Nevertheless, the soil will meet the requirements.
Old greenhouse soilYou can use this when it is not possible to get the soil or clay-turf soil.In the old garden bed.
Well decomposed manureYou should use it in a small amount if the soil is nutrient-poor.Mix the soil with kitchen waste, cow dung and place it in the compost pit. Cover it with tree leaves and some more soil.  Dug up and use it after six/ one year. You need to sterilize the soil before using. 
Coarse river sandGives the soil friability and porosity. This is an essential component in any soil for cactus and peace lily.On the river, on the beach, it is necessary to wash well from fine dust. For cactus and peace lily a fraction of sand of 2-3 mm is needed, it is almost fine gravel.
Zeolite or burnt clayIt increases the porosity of the soil, helps moisture to absorb and dry out quickly.We need a non-clumping filler such that the granules can be washed and sieved. All small things less than 3 mm – discard, use granules 4-5 mm. You can find it here.
CharcoalYou should use this for disinfecting roots (wounded roots are sprinkled). This will increase the antiseptic properties of soil.You can burn wood or any stick of deciduous trees. Crush the charcoal into powder and leave in small pieces and add to the soil.
Brick chipsGives soil looseness and porosity, has the ability to retain excess moistureBreak a red brick into a crumb with a hammer. Then you are ready to go. 

Before choosing a particular soil mixture, you need to know that it must meet the following requirements:

  • The soil for any cacti and peace lily should be loose, easy to pass water and air;
  • Soil acidity should be slightly acidic reaction better than pH = 5 – 6.5

You need to know that leafy soil is friable than clay-turf and garden beds. You can make the soil loose with brick chips and river sand. 

And to give the soil the right acidity, either add peat (to increase acidity) or lime (it gives an alkaline reaction and reduces acidity). You should always keep in mind that young peace lily needs a friable and more nutritious soil.  

Therefore, a significant proportion of the soil mixture for them is soil with decomposed leaf. 

For older peace lily, you should you denser soil. so in this case, you can use gardened soil and clay-turf soil. Humus is added to soil mixture for the rapidly growing peace lily. 

Improve The Soil Mixture Quality

You can improve the air permeability of the soil mixture for peace lily by adding coconut fiber to it. Besides, this component will reduce the acidity level of the soil, increase its nutritional value and make it more aerated.

Regardless of which method you choose to prepare the soil at home, do not neglect the drainage layer. Because this is very important to remove excess moisture from the pot. This protects the plant from associated diseases like root rot.

Step-by-step instructions

The soil substrate for planting or transplanting peace lily is prepared in the following sequence:

  • Choose a suitable container with drainage holes.
  • Place the brick chips at the bottom (layer thickness 2 cm).
  • Put all components of the soil in the tank in the right amount.
  • The components are mixed and transferred to a container.
  • Upon completion, make sure the drainage holes are working.

Here is a useful video for soil mix preparation. This video will walk you through the steps of soil mix preparation.

The Consequences of Using The Wrong Soil

If you choose a soil that does not meet the needs of peace lily, then you are in trouble with your plant.  Here are some of the unpleasant consequences that you might face:

  • The absence of flowers against the active growth of leaf mass. Such symptoms indicate a high concentration of nitrogen in the soil and a deficiency of phosphorus and potassium. You can save the plant by applying fertilizers to flowering plants.
  • Withering, loss of rigidity in the stems. This physiological disorder is the result of the too dense substrate. The roots at the bottom of the pot do not receive full moisture. You will find it very difficult to water the bottom of the container. It is better to transplant into another container.
  • The decay of the underground part of the plant. Stagnation of water in the container is the cause of damage to the peace lily plant. In such cases, houseplant needs to be transplanted into a new soil substrate. You should remove the rotten roots before transplanting.  Before planting in another container, dry the roots for two hours. You should irrigate the plant after  2-3 days after transplantation.
  • Black spots on leaf blades. The appearance of dark spots is caused by an oversupply of useful components in the soil and a high level of acidity. Only a complete replacement of the substrate will help the plant.
  • Change in the natural color of leaves to yellow with green veins. Change of natural leaf coloration to yellow with green veins. Chlorosis most often occurs when there is a shortage of nutrients in the soil mixture. Then you should fertilize Peace lily with a universal composition.

Conclusion

Finally, You can easily prepare the soil for keeping Peace Lily at home. The main thing is to observe the proportions of the selected components. To avoid further problems, you must first take care of a suitable nutrient mixture for a peace lily.

Recommended Products

  1. Coco Coir Brick
  2. Compost
  3. Perlite

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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