Can I Use Cactus Soil For Bonsai? (Know The Answer With Pros And Cons)

You’ll find specific bonsai soil in the nursery and online that are specially designed to use for your bonsai tree. But these are highly expensive, so require a handsome budget to own. 

But, if you are a beginner bonsai gardener and don’t have that budget, you have to look for bonsai soil alternatives that are similar to bonsai soil. Here at first, the name of cactus soil hits your brain. 

This article “Can I use cactus soil for bonsai?” will provide this question’s accurate answer. However we also share detailed information about the soil, its making ingredients ratio, usage amount, and system to survive your bonsai with this soil. So keep reading till the end to save your cash and grow your tree. 

Gardener change soil for cactus

Can I Use Cactus Soil For Bonsai?

Yes, cactus soil is an excellent option for cultivating bonsai and other succulent plants. This soil has mostly similar ingredients, water retention, and an excellent drainage system like bonsai soil. 

So this soil will work great for your bonsai, but to get the maximum results, you must know the soil’s condition and the best process to use it. 

What Is Cactus Soil?

Basically, the cactus soil is a formulated soil made with organic medium and inorganic aggregates to cultivate cactus and other succulents. It works great, especially for drought-tolerant plants, and it is designed to ensure a well-balanced drainage system, water retention, and aeration. 

Is Cactus Soil Suitable For Bonsai Plants?

Sure. As caucus soil has as many quality ingredients as bonsai soil, it is suitable for bonsai plants. If you closely check the soil-making ingredients, ratio, and texture, you’ll find a slight difference between cactus and bonsai soil. So you can undoubtedly use cactus soil as the cheap DIY bonsai soil.

How To Make Cactus Soil?

The Cactus soil-making recipe is not difficult to follow and doesn’t require many ingredients. So you can make your own cactus soil at your home. For this, you just need three ingredients. Such as 

  • Regular potting soil
  • Poultry grit, or sand, or turface, or gravel,
  • Pumice, or perlite

Making process

First, take 3 parts of regular potting soil, 3 parts coarse poultry grit or sand or turface or gravel (What you can manage among them), and two parts of pumice or perlite. Now, carefully mix them to make your cactus soil. 

Note: Don’t use any potting soil mixed with fertilizer, as the fertilizer may burn the cactus roots and reduce the growth rate. 

Where To Buy Cactus Soil?

If you know any specific nursery that sells cactus soil, you can buy it from there. But if you don’t have a nursery near you, then the online e-commerce website is the ultimate option to buy it. Here, you’ll find different branded cactus soil, and from there, you can buy it.  

However, among all the branded cactus soil, the Miracle-gro cactus soil for bonsai is one of the most popular soils used by more than 15000 plant lovers. It combines all the necessary ingredients to boost your plant growth and bring colorful results. On top-notch, you will get 8.51 pounds of soil below $5. That’s amazing. 

Cactus soil vs. Bonsai soil

The main difference between cactus and bonsai soil is their price and volume. When you can buy 8 quarts of cactus soil below $5, you have to spend around $14 to buy 2 quarts of bonsai soil. 

Secondly, caucus soil is absolutely excellent for a high water retention system that won’t break the plant condense. But the bonsai soil’s water retention rate is higher as the soil is mainly designed for bonsai. 

The cactus soil productive rate is suitable for bonsai cultivation once it is made by maintaining proper ingredients ratio. Otherwise, it may do your plant harm. On the other hand, bonsai soil is made by keeping in mind bonsai species, so there is a rare chance of harming your tree if you use bonsai soil.  

In short, these three key points are the specific differences between cactus soil and bonsai soil. However, if you carefully notice bonsai soil mixture, you can make commercial grade bonsai soil with cactus soil with some real and error. 

Pros of cactus soil

Before using cactus soil in your tree, you must know the advantages of this soil. It will help you to justify its benefits and effects on your tree.  

Top-notch drainage

The regular potting soils are made with many organic properties, like compost, moss, coco, or peat. But the cactus soil is made of inorganic properties like lava rocks and pumice. These are mainly porous and offer top-notch drainage facilities. So your tree will enjoy moist but not over wet soil to keep the root system healthy.

Excellent moisture retention rate

Cactus soil will provide balanced water and nutrition to the tree’s roots, which helps you avoid root rot due to overwatering. When you water the plant, the ultra porous feature of the soil will slowly supply water, minerals, and other necessary substitutes so that the soil won’t dry up or be too wet. 

The soil will condense the water to keep them moist for a longer time. As a result, you don’t have to water your plant frequently, but it won’t have water lackings that ensure proper growth. 

Adequate Aeration

Unless your tree gets enough air, the excellent drainage system may dehydrate the plant. But, the cactus soil ensures proper air and oxygen circulation to the bonsai neath to breathe the tree and prevent fast root dehydration.

However, if your tree medium is potted loosely and has the proper air circulation, it will prevent bacteria and fungi from growing to prevent pest and insect infestation. 

Cons of cactus soil

Besides having many advantages, it has minor disadvantages too.

Required expertise to use

The first and foremost disadvantage of the cactus soil is that it needs a lot of expertise to use them for your bonsai correctly. If you don’t have enough experience, you’ll find it challenging to make the exact cactus soil best for your bonsai.


Is cactus soil good for all plants?

Sure, you can use cactus soil for growing vegetables besides cactus, succulents, and bonsai cultivation. Moreover, the fruits that need proper drainage, aeration, and nutrition can also grow on cacti soil.  

Can you plant herbs in cactus soil?

Yes, you can use Cactus soil to cultivate herbs that require less water and dry soil. Some of the most common herbs that you can grow with cacti soils are thyme, sage, Oregon, and rosemary. 

Final Verdict

So, now you have got your answer on; Can I use cactus soil for bonsai or not? Cactus soil can be an absolute option to use when you want to save your bucks without affecting your bonsai growth. 

Cacti soil is a cheaper alternative than bonsai soil that brings excellent outcomes. So why not use them. But, you should also be aware of choosing the right mix of cactus soil based on your bonsai species.