People often want to experiment with new techniques for gardening. For some of those techniques, they can work, and for others, they can’t work because they don’t support the growth of a plant. For instance, can succulents grow in sand? 

Yes and No. Succulents are hardy plants that can grow in any medium as long as it provides them with the growing requirements. Sand is a suitable medium for growing succulents, but they won’t survive long. 

It is a short-term project. Sand has poor drainage and water retention capabilities. Also, it can’t provide enough nutrients for succulents. So, you can’t plant succulents in the sand for long-term succulent growth. 

However, if you mix sand and potting soil, then you can have succulents grow in sand. 

In this article, we will look at how you can start growing succulents in the sand and how long they can last. 

Do Succulents grow in sand?

As you know, succulents are hardy plants that can survive in harsh conditions. They require some nutrients from the soil, adequate water, and proper sunlight. Conditions such as sunlight are easy to be met if you are on the path of growing succulents in the sand. 

However, water and nutrients can be adequate only if the soil is reliable. That means the soil should absorb enough water for the roots and supply nutrients on time for the plant to grow. 

If you have sand that has fast drainage, you can grow succulents. Sand on its own doesn’t have good drainage. But if you mix sand with soil, it improves the drainage of the mixture. Also, sand doesn’t have enough nutrients to supply your plants. 

If you want to grow succulents in sand alone, your plant will not grow. It works best if you mix sand with soil. 

How to use sand for your succulents

When using potting soil to grow succulents, it is highly recommended that you mix the soil with sand. Potting soil provides high nutrients, while sand ensures there is proper drainage. 

So how do you mix potting soil and sand? Here is a step-by-step process. 

  • Take three parts of succulent potting soil. 
  • Take two parts of coarse sand
  • .Take 1 part of perlite or Coconut-Coir. 

Mix these three ingredients thoroughly in a container until the mix is perfect. Once you mix it, it is ready for plants. That’s how growing succulents in sand is done. 

Things to consider when growing succulents in sand

There are many factors that come into play for succulents to grow in sand. They include;

  • Type of sand
  • Temperature 
  • Drainage 

Type of soil.

The soil you choose to mix with sand can determine whether your plant can grow or not. For instance, if you have soil with poor drainage and you’re trying to add sand to improve drainage, it might not work. You must use soil with good drainage and water retention capacity. 

Also, sand with high drainage can lead to a plant losing all the water. That’s why you mix the sand with soil so that it can hold some water for the plant to absorb water at its pace. 


A growing plant should receive the conditions it requires, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor succulent. For instance, outdoor succulents that survive in winter and frost conditions by becoming dormant are likely to struggle in high temperatures on the sand. 

So, when growing succulents in sand, ensure you know their natural environment and match it as good as possible. 


Sand has big grains that allow room for water to seep through easily. This is a good thing, but a plant that absorbs water slowly will find all the water has seeped through. Mix it with succulent potting soil, so the plant receives good draining and water retention soil. 

This is a method to have succulents grow in sand. They receive the best of both worlds; nutrients via soil and proper drainage via sand.

Which succulents grow in sand?

Succulents are divided into different varieties. Some grow well in sand, and others prefer normal potting soil. If you want to grow succulents in sand, you should choose these plants. 

  • Corpuscularia lehmannii (Ice Plant)
  • Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)
  • Agave americana (Century Plant)
  • Aloe ferox (Bitter aloe)
  • Senecio serpens (Blue Chalksticks)
  • Shrubs 
  • Lithops and Split Rock
  • Moss Rose
  • Edge succulents (Donkey Tail Spurge and Showy Sedum)


Generally, succulents can grow in sand if you mix them with potting soil. But not all succulents enjoy growing in sand. If you plant them in a pure sand mixture, ensure the plant is suited for those growing conditions. 

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