Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix #111 – 3.5 Gallons – Fast Draining – Zero Root Rot – Optimized pH


7 Bag Sizes Available. Click HERE to compare all bag sizes and prices.

Succulent and Cactus Soil . Ultra fast draining design helps prevent root rot and over watering. Contains no heavy potting soil ingredients such as sphagnum or peat moss. Provide your prized plant with a potting soil that mimics its natural dry environment. Proven number one seller.

Features include.

  • FASTEST DRAINING SUCCULENT / CACTUS SOIL AVAILABLE!  Prevents root rot and over watering. Will not damage roots.
  • Optimized pH of 5.5. Perfect for succulents, cactus, bonsai and other acid loving plants.
  • Pathogen free with extended pathogen control.
  • Ultra lightweight and airy. Contains Bonsai Block®, Monto Clay® and Pine Bark Fines.
  • Available in several bag sizes.

Soil Mix: Bonsai Succulent and Cactus Soil Gritty Mix #111
Ingredients: 33% 1/4 Pine Bark Fines, 33% 1/4 Bonsai Block(calcined clay) and 33% Monto Clay(1/4 inch Turface).
Bulk Density: .350 ounces per cubic inch
pH: 5.5
Re-water Days: Succulents 5-30 days. Bonsai Trees 1-5 days
Average Particle Size: ¼ Inch
Minimum Size: 1/8th
Maximum Size: 3/8ths
Application: Acid loving plants including succulents
Condition: Sifted, Washed, Treated, Dried and Bagged.

Did you know?
All of our soil products are state inspected and tested on a regular basis in order to comply with multi-state regulations.
This ensures you receive material free of dangerous pathogens that can damage or kill plants. This is also required to maintain six nursery stamps that allow us to ship to all 50 states.
Products containing organic material may have been treated with one or more of the following to ensure multi-state compliance.

1. Bifenthrin drench.
2. Steam at 200 degrees Fahrenheit

Click the Additional Information tab for more details.


SKU: 799600830734 Category:

Additional information

Weight16 lbs
Dimensions10 × 20 × 5 in

A mix of tan, dark brown and a variety of earth tones.

Raw Material

Calcined clay, pine bark and Montmorillonite clay.

Country of Origin(COO)

United States

Average Particle Size

1/4 Inch

Minimum Particle Size

1/8th Inch

Maximum Particle Size

3/8ths Inch


Bonsai Jack LLC


3.5, Dry

Cubic Inches


Cubic Feet



One 3.5 Gallon Bag



Plant Type

Formulated specifically for succulent and cactus plants.

Other Applications

Other acid loving plants that prefer a fast draining soil blend to prevent root rot.

Bulk Density

.290 ounces per cubic inch


Dye-free. We comply with State laws which require products containing Pine bark to be treated with a Bifenthrin drench. This helps prevent the spread of invasive species and provides some residual pathogen control for your plant.


  1. JL

    Hi there! I got 3.5 gallons of this mix and I am planning to repot all my succulents, my Christmas/Thanksgiving Cactus, and my aloe plant. My question – could I also use this soil to repot a few begonias (Rieger and Angel Wing) and an Orchid? Or will i need to add some more soil or organic matter to the mix for that?

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello JL. Begonias will do better in a traditional potting soil from a big box store. Orchids require an orchid mix with a larger particle size.

      I hope this helps

      Have a great week


  2. Sandy L

    Just starting out with succulents and I am going to purchase this Gritty Mix 111. I am wondering if African Violets would also do well in this soil? As for size of pots, in general, do you plant in a pot that is about 1-2 inch larger than the outside dimension of the leaves and what is the best depth?

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Sandy,
      Our succulent soil is great for succulent and cactus but not violets. I would suggest using a store-bought soil product for your perennials. Regular potting soil is inexpensive. Save the expensive soil for mission critical applications.

      Have a great week


  3. Lauri Drummond

    Hello! I just bought the 3.5 gallon of your #111 mix (from Amazon but next time I’ll know better, lol) and although I’m super excited to introduce some of my cacti and succulents, I’m having a hard time knowing if they’ll all like it. Do you have a list of which succulents do well or don’t do well in #111? I’m guessing my sempervivums and desert cacti will love it, but I’m brand new to using a soil like this, and a little nervous. Will the #111 be good for my lithops, haworthia and aloinopsis? I have several hundred plants in my (used to be) kitchen, and I want each and every one of them to thrive and help get me through the long Maine winters!

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Lauri. Very good question. No soil will work perfectly for all plants. We do not have a list of approved succulents. This mix is generally good for the vast majority of succulents. It can be used straight or mixed with standard potting soils. Growers will sometimes add regular potting soil for succulents that prefer a little more moisture. The vast majority of succulents prefer dry feet and a fast draining soil. Please try it on your plants before relying on it.

      Have a great weekend


  4. Laurie Pappas

    I am new with succulents; reading a lot, making my way through this. I found your soil mix through an article. When it arrived, it seemed so strange, so unlike soil. And then, washing away all the soil from the plant… that was pretty scary! But, it was apparent even to me that if I left it in the soil it was in, it was going to completely rot (had already started, and I hadn’t watered it even once). All this to say, one by one, I have taken the plunge, and every single plant I have repotted with your mix is doing very, very well. That having been said, I still am learning how to work with it. For example, to get an echeveria high enough to keep the leaves off the pot, (at least the one I have) the soil has to be mounded up. Is there a way to prop that up? No place to tie a stake. Any advice on that would appreciated. My biggest question, however, has to do with top dressing. If I want to use a top dressing that is much smaller than the soil, is there a screen material or something I could place under it to keep it from falling down into the soil? I would think it would have to be flexible to follow the contours of the soil. Cheesecloth, for example, might work, but I am thinking it would potentially rot, and nowhere have I seen that idea, so am thinking it probably isn’t a good one. Any thoughts? thank you!

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Laurie,
      Thank you for the feedback. Plants that have previous root damage from poor draining soil can be propped up using bamboo skewers or a chopstick. Let the plant be for a couple of weeks until it recovers from the root rot. Just water as needed during recovery.
      I do not recommend using a weed barrier to prevent top dressing from settling. This can cause drainage issues and prevent he roots from breathing. The best option is to stick with atop dressing that is at least 1/8th of an inch.

      I hope this helps


  5. Ilovepunky5150

    Hi Jack, I was wanting to order the 3.5 gallon succulent mix and was wondering if I only use some of that will it be good next year if I keep it sealed? Also, if I order today Saturday, approximately how long would it take to get to ZIP Code 43081? Thanks and take care, Ronda.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Ronda,
      The soil will keep for a year as is. You may want to dry the soil in the sun if you plan on storing it for more than one year. This will ensure all of the Florida humidity has been removed from the bag. Transit times can be found on our FAQ page. A 3.5 gallon order to your zip code will ship on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday) and arrive on Friday.

      Have a great weekend


  6. erin10471 (verified owner)

    Just wanted to leave a review but couldn’t find where to do that! I’m currently over wintering my small collection of 20 or so succs. I decided to behead some and repot all in hopes they will be nice and ready to go back outside in a couple months. Ordered 3.5 lbs of Bonsai Jacks gritty soil mix to help me do the job right. I was a bit concerned because it is winter and all here in Upstate New York and from everything I’ve read repotting should only be done in winter as a last resort. I have to say, what a difference I’m seeing in my plants in just 3 days! If anyone is on the fence whether to buy this I say go for it. Definitely worth the price for the quantity and quality of the product.
    Also, the shipment included pH test strips, chopsticks, a large bag tie, and latex gloves. Small details that really go a long way to show you care about the customer and believe in your product.
    Thank you for that.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Thank you for the feedback E. You are correct. Some plants should only be repotted during the hottest months. Use caution when repotting out of season. You asked about product reviews. Emails are sent out shortly after the order is filled containing a product review link. Have a great week


  7. ntrikate (verified owner)

    Hi – I’m new to growing succulents and your soil was the first I’ve tried and I don’t plan to switch! I was wondering though about a Crassula I have that seems very dehydrated after planting in this soil. I’ve given it plenty of water – since the soil is so fast to drain I seem to have to keep watering every couple of days with no change. I wonder in this case if adding maybe coco coir to the Bonsai Jack soil might help? Or maybe some additional pine bark fines? Or any other options?

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello. Thank you for the message. Some growers will add other ingredients but i do not recommend for most succulents. The issue you are having is more likely related to over watering than under watering. I would suggest reducing the water for a few weeks to see if things improve. Here is a list of common things that should be checked as well.

      1. Drainage Holes. Water needs to drain from the pot.
      2. Watering intervals. The plant should be watered only when the soil is completely dry. A good initial watering will hydrate the soil.
      3. Preexisting root damage. If the plant is too far gone from previous peat based root rot it may not fully recover in the new gritty mix.
      4. Proper Repot vs. Slip Potting. Most of the old peat-based soil should be removed from the plant before potting it up in a gritty mix. Failure to do this will result in wet and dry areas in the container.
      5. Over fertilizing / too much insecticide. More is not always better. Please be sure to follow all instructions when treating your plant with chemicals.
      6. Added ingredients. Adding peat-based soil products will defeat the fast draining and balanced properties of the gritty mix. This soil is ready to use as is.

      You can also call us at 786-262-3135 8-4pm ET.

      Have a great week

  8. Rick (verified owner)

    Just ordered the 3.5 gal gritty mix. Knowing that your mix is ph balanced at 5.5…my question is, will theis ph level change with time depending on the ph level of the water used for watering? Or will it maintain at 5.5? Our water is neutral…will I need to do anything with time to keep the ph level at the 5.5 level? Thanks, anxious to work with this mix.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Rick. This is a good question. We have not performed aged pH tests on any soil. It would be an interesting test. I suspect all soil will degrade over time. Our soil does not use chemicals to achieve the pH level. Regular soil requires the addition of chemicals to achieve a certain pH level. These chemicals can break down faster that actual ingredients. Our soil acidity comes from the raw ingredients. I suspect the pH level will hold acidity for many years until all of the pine bark and Monto Clay degrades. I wish I had a better answer for you but the tests have never been done.

      Have a great week

  9. Ariel

    Do you ship the 3.5 gallons to Canada? 🙂 Are their duties to pay for on top of product purchase and shipping? How long will it take to arrive in Ottawa?

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Ariel. Thanks for the message. We ship hundreds of bags to Canada every month. You are responsible for paying import taxes for anything you import into your home country. Delivery to Canada is about 7 days.

      Have a great week


  10. annieee (verified owner)

    Do you know how snake plants (sansevieria) would fare in this mix? I have a couple that are in regular potting soil mix that having drooping leaves from suspected overwatering. I’d like to repot in this fast-draining succulent mix. Thanks in advance!

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Annie,
      Gritty mix will work well but you may experience issues with stability for tall plants like this. It’s a very loose soil. It should work as long as you have a strong root system and “chopstick” the soil properly. Please test it before relying on it.

      Have a great week


    • annieee (verified owner)

      Thanks, I just watched the chopsticking video, very helpful. Appreciate the kind and fast response!

  11. Elliot Pilshaw (verified owner)

    This is the first time I’ve used Bonsai Jack Succulent & Cactus Soil Gritty Mix. I have a number of small cacti and succulents in nursery pots, and will be transplanting them into nicer pots, making dish gardens, etc. I did my first dish garden project with this soil yesterday and found it very challenging. First, I removed most of soil around the roots of each plant. Sometimes the roots were several inches long. But because of the size & texture of the BJ Succulent Mix, it was impossible to dig a hole for the roots without the mix immediately falling back into the hole. I even had this problem when using plants will smaller, shallower root systems. I’m also using some succulent cuttings, with stems about 1″ long. I’m finding it difficult to get the stem down into the soil for the same reason as described above. I can’t make a little hole that will stay open long enough to get the succulent stem into it. If I try to just push the stem down into the soil, there’s too much resistance, and it feels like I’ll break the fragile succulent if I apply to much pressure pushing it into the soil. I thought it might help if I wet the soil. But everything I’ve read about transplanting succulents –especially cuttings that haven’t rooted yet — is to keep the soil dry, and not water for at least a week after planting.
    I thought perhaps the chopstick might be part of the solution. But I watched your chopsticking video, and it didn’t address the issue about digging a hole and not having the mix immediately fall back into the hole. I love the idea of using your soil because I understand why it’s so healthy for the plants. But I’m finding it very difficult and frustrating to work with. I would really appreciate any specific suggestions you may have. Thank you!

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Elliot. Thank you for the message. I am sorry you are frustrated with the soil. Gritty mix can be a bit of a learning curve. I wish you were local so I could show you a great method. It’s pretty difficult to explain via text. We have potted thousands of plants up in gritty mix. The best method I have found is to hold the plant, in the position you want, over the pot while filling the container with soil using the other hand. Keep the plant in position while you tap the pot to encourage settling. The plant should stand on its own when done. You then want to chopstick the plant while holding it in place. Lastly you want to add water. Let the plant recover and fully root our before handling again.
      If you are still having issues please contact me. If you feel the soil is just not worth the effort please contact us for a return. Gritty mix is not for everyone. It’s a great soil but it does take some patience the first time you use it.
      Also, on a another note. Many growers purchase our soil as a last resort for plants that are dying in peat based soil. Plants with damaged or rotted root systems may require support until they recover. This can be done using the chopstick or bamboo skewers as support. Similar to what you see in orchid supports. Most plants will recover in 2-4 weeks.

      I hope this helps. Please call or email if you would like to talk via phone. We will be here until 7pm ET.

  12. mcgeeoj

    Hi Jack,

    I just wanted to take a minute to give feedback on the gritty mix for you and your customers who may be seeking the most savage medium for their jades. Previously, I had a really sandy soil that I mixed myself from a recipe I found online. Did well for a year or so, but I saw stagnant (to no) growth and noticed uneven wetness in the soil when probed with a chopstick.

    I knew repotting was going to be a pain in the a** and likely going to stress, if not kill, a few of the jades, but it had to be done. Bought a few bags of the gritty mix and went at it. Now, I water with a PH at around 6 – 6.5 and a super weak “Growth” solution by DynaGro every time. Obviously had to stake and train the jades due to their root characteristics, but off they went.

    I had few days of floppy leaves but after a few waterings they hardened up and the growth exploded. The only problem with the mix, and it’s not a problem just feedback for others looking for a similar/same solution, is the increased need for watering. It just drains so well and effectively that those individuals who are used to watering succulents, say, monthly will likely need to go to weekly. At least in a heavy growth time anyway.

    Anyway, here are some images. Just thought you might was some feedback on this soil, not that you didn’t know how phenomenal it is in the first place. For anyone and everyone with mediocre to poor Jade results, go this route. You will succeed if you get this mix and provide stability during the transition.

  13. juddblake (verified owner)

    I just watched the “Bonsai Jack” video and then transplanted and “chopped sticked” my overcrowded succulent to a new pot.

    since I removed almost all of the old soil and transplanted the succulent into your new substrate, do I have to water any differently?

    the transplanting process in the video basically creates a bare rooted plant and installs it into the “Bonsai Jack’s” succulent soil.

    my instinct would be to water more, reduce sun exposure and wait for the roots to grow into the new succulent mix.

    or … should I keep the watering schedule the same, which is once a week. (the old soil held moisture)

    please let me know if you have any ideas. thanks.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello. Thanks for the message. You want to water when the soil is dry. It’s hot and dry in your zone(South Florida) this time of year. We are also in SW Florida and are watering every 48 hours. It would not hurt to keep the plant in partial sun for a couple of weeks while it recovers.

      I hope this helps.


    • judd blake

      Hi thank you for your quick response. Will do, I have several more to transplant. Thanks again.

  14. Admin

    How to use the chopstick your order arrived with.

  15. Jo French

    I have received this sice bag of the succulent soil (and should probably order more) and need to replant soon because I have gnats pretty bad in all my arrangements. I didn’t notice it as much over the summer but now that I brought them inside for the winter the gnats are bad and pretty gross. My question/problem is that the soil I have them in currently is still pretty saturated. I’ve waited over 2 weeks and it’s still nowhere near dry. I am concerned that if I repot the plants now, with the wet soil, that too much soil will stick to the roots in transfer and I will just be carrying over gnat babies to the new, good soil. There is even one specific plant that has gnat babies in the top of it… I want to get this over with and get them healthy and happy, but I worry about replanting with such currently saturated soil. Any advise or input would be appreciated. I know there are chemicals that you can dilute with water to help kill gnats, but at this point I don’t want to re-wet everything again and wait several more weeks to plant.

    • Jo French

      Thank you very much, Jack. I will try the bifenthrin and postpone the repot. Hopefully until late spring/early summer. One last question, would it be safe to use the bifenthrin in a propagation tray, or is it too harsh for the tiny plants? If so, would it be advisable to go ahead and transfer the propagation leaves to a tray of your succulent soil at the same time that I “bifenthrinize” everything else? Thanks again for your help, I am becoming a very loyal customer!!

      • Admin

        Hello Jo.

        I think you will be fine. Bifenthrin is a great product for pest control. It works for the vast majority of plants. We have only experienced foliage loss on one species after accidentally spraying the leaves. A little drench on the soil will do wonders for your problem.

        Be sure to try it before you rely on it. Avoid using around bee colonies. They are having a tough time as it is.
        Thanks for the positive feedback and photo.

        Have a great weekend.


    • Mandi (verified owner)

      Hi Jack – I love this mix and I’m about to place my third order! Quick question, how can you tell when the mix is dry inside the container? I have a water meter, but these things do not tend to work well with succulent media. Most of my containers are quite small – no sticking fingers in these guys! Is there a succulent water meter or method you recommend with your mix? Thanks!

      • Bonsai Jack

        Hello Mandi,
        Thank you for the kind words and feedback. You can tell when the soil is dry by scraping back the top layer of soil. If the under layer matches the top color then you know it’s ready for more water. We water our succulents once every 7 days.

        I hope this helps

    • Admin

      Hello Jo. Thank you for the message.

      Gnats and root rot are common problems with many store bought succulent soils. These products are produced for pennies per bag. It’s important to let the soil dry out completely between watering. This can be difficult if the soil contains peat or other heavy organic matter.

      You can rinse the roots off before transplanting in the new soil. Once replanted they will have a chance to dry out because of the larger particle size of our soil. Water the plant well one time and let it dry out for 3-7 days before watering again. You should see an immediate improvement with your gnat problem.

      I would only repot during the winter months as a last resort. Its best to wait until the hottest months of the year. If a repot is absolutely necessary during the winter months try and keep the plant in a warm part of your home for a few months until it recovers. Repotting a stressed plant is always dangerous. The plant is stressed from the poor potting soil, gnats, wet feet and cold weather.

      I would suggest that you let the existing soil dry out and treat the plant with a very mild does of bifenthrin. You can find 10 or more products at your local hardware store that contain this chemical. This will temporarily solve your problem until its safer to repot. A little bit of this chemical will go a long way. Be sure to follow the instructions. Maybe reduce the strength by 50 percent just to be safe.

      Please remember to only water you succulent and cactus when they soil is dry.
      I hope this helps. Call or email if you have questions or concerns.


  16. judd blake

    i have some left over succulent mix(excellent BTW) i bought and was wondering if it would be appropriate for a jade plant? it seems possibly too porous, what do you think? any experience with jade plants in this mix?

    • Bonsai Jack

      Thanks for the feedback Judd.
      Some of our growers have used the succulent soil for jade. One of the issues will be tipping. Jade tend to be taller plants. Our soil is very porous. You may need to use a chopstick or small stick to secure the plant until the root system takes hold. I use bamboo skewers for orchids. These are in stock at most Walmart locations in packs of 100 for $3. item number 001426282. They work well and do not rot.
      As always, try it before you need it. It’s never a good idea to test a new soil on a specimen plant. Testing should be done on low priced plants.
      Have a great weekend


  17. John H

    Interested in this soil but looking for advice. Most of the succulents I use are 3 inches or under for container arrangements. I think this soil would be great when working with just one plant but concerned with how this would work with design when you’re using 7 plants in a 6 inch pot. Am I wrong here? Do you carry another product that you’d recommend for this situation and working with smaller plants?

    • Jan (verified owner)

      Thank you Jack. I am really looking forward to seeing how my plants like this mix! It really makes more sense to me than a peat moss mix.

    • Jan (verified owner)

      Hi Jack. I am going to be moving my succulents into your succulent mixture and I am wondering if I leave them for a few days after I have them planted or do I water them right away?

      • Bonsai Jack

        Hello Jan. You want to water well after repotting. Leave the plants undisturbed(but still water) for a couple of weeks until they recover from the stress.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello John,
      This is the best soil choice for succulents. The soil will work the same for one plant as it does for multiple plants. The only thing you want to be careful about is stability. Succulents who have suffered root damage may not be stable until they have a chance to root out in the new, healthier mix. You can stabilize them with wire, chopsticks or bamboo. This soil has been tested from cuttings all the way up to 15 gallon plants. You will be fine.

      Have a great week

  18. Jen Maki

    I have a large collection of succulents in my screened-in patio that get bright, though filtered, southern sun. Several are starting to etiolate and definitely need more sun. I want to move them outside, but we’ve been getting an extraordinary amount of rain and, unless I swap out their medium, I’m fairly certain they’ll all die of root rot.

    So I’m planning to repot a selection of them to your Gritty Mix 111 (completely removing the current medium). After repotting, I’ll give them time to acclimate to the 111, slowly harden them off to the new sun exposure, and hope to move them out from under the protection of the patio.

    So I was wondering … if they’re repotted in the 111, will they be able to withstand the constantly alternating drenching-rain / sweltering-sun of our northeast Florida summer?

    P.S. – I have an arrangement of ice plant, haworthia, and kalanchoe (flap jack) that are outside in a pot with morning/midday exposure and are thriving right now, despite being in a peat-based medium. But they’re hardy plants, and the base of the pot is filled halfway with pea gravel for drainage. That said, I don’t think I’d have the same success with the graptoveria, crassula, and other more tender succulents I want to move.

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Jen. You are correct. Succulents in organic based potting soil will not survive long with the Florida rain. Walk into any Home Depot(except Ft Myers) and look at the Succulent display. The employees change the plants out every few days when they start to die. They are planted in Miracle Mud and do not do well. Our soil is very forgiving.

      The repotting methods you mentioned are spot-on.

      Direct and full sun is ideal. Succulents love it hot and dry. You asked about constant rain. The plants will be fine with 10 inches of rain over 24 hours. The plants will not like 5 inches of rain per day, with no sun for ten days straight. The soil needs time to dry out between watering. This can be done by moving them to a covered area. I would not worry about the rain if its every few days as the soil will dry out from the August sun. I hope that makes sense.

    • jen.maki (verified owner)

      This is great to hear. I received my Gritty Mix 111 yesterday and look forward to doing some repotting this weekend. Thanks for the speedy response and helpful advice!

  19. Harvey (verified owner)

    Most succulents I buy are in a soil that retains water. Is it best to remove or wash that soil before planting in your 111 mix? Thank you, Harvey

    • Bonsai Jack

      Hello Harvey,
      Thank you for the message. It is best to remove all of the old soil when repotting by rinsing it out. This can be an issue if you need to show the plant for an event or you are repotting out of season. Some people will “slip pot” the plant if you need immediate stability. Slip potting is done by sliding the plant into a new container and surrounding the root ball, old soil and all, with the new soil. This can confuse the plant because you have a fast draining and a slow draining mix throughout the root system. Slip potting should only be done in emergency situations. The best option is to fully repot and let the plant fully recover before disturbing it.
      This rule only applies to succulents. Other plants may prefer to have some of the old soil mixed in with the new.

      I hope this helps


    • Laurie Pappas

      Thanks; that helps!

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