Molly’s Succulent Mix FAQs

How is Molly’s Succulent Mix different from typical “Big-Box” products?
The main difference between Molly’s Succulent Mix and traditional soil-based mixes sold at big-box retailers is how each handles water drainage and general aeration. Traditional soil-based mixes tend to compact quickly since they’re made up of very small particles. As a result, they retain a lot of water which is not ideal for indoor container-based plants and especially succulents which are highly susceptible to root rot and other pitfalls associated with over-watering. Molly’s Succulent Mix is soil-free and designed to address the primary needs of succulents and other container-based plants that thrive in dry, arid conditions, by providing them with;
• Proper levels of moisture retention
• Space for free root, water, gas, and nutrient movement
• pH levels that support nutrient uptake
• An environment free of soil-borne diseases and pathogens
• Enough support to anchor the roots and the plant itself

What plants can Molly's Succulent Mix be used for?
Molly's Succulent Mix is made for succulents, cactus, hoya, and caudex plants. If you're unsure as to whether the mix will work for a specific plant just ask us and we'll be quick to respond with a recommendation.

Do I need to add anything to Molly's Succulent Mix?
No - Molly's Succulent Mix is a complete standalone potting mix. It contains a range of organic (alive) and mineral (inert) ingredients that plants require. It does not require the addition of anything else in order to meet the needs of your plants. If you want to mix it with other mixes or additives you can but please note that doing so is not required.

How do I use Molly's Succulent Mix?
(1) Remove the plant gently from its current container and gently shake off any loose substrate. 

(2) Add an inch of Molly’s Succulent Mix to the bottom of the pot and insert the plant, carefully maintaining its upright position as you add Molly’s Succulent Mix around the base of the plant making sure to completely cover the root ball. It’s a good idea to leave Molly’s Succulent Mix at roughly the same height as the previous mix relative to the plant.

(3) Make sure to leave some room between the top of the mix and the rim of the pot to allow water to pool when watering.

(4) Water thoroughly on first use as some dust may accumulate in the bag as contents shift during handling and transport. Molly’s Succulent Mix drains very quickly so water freely but note that moisture is kept in the particles which make up the mix, many of which are porous to retain water and nutrients.

What are Akadama and Hyuga?
Hyuga is a type of volcanic rock and is a lightweight and porous material that is commonly used as a soil amendment for growing plants, often in bonsai cultivation. Hyuga is known for its ability to improve soil drainage and aeration, as well as its water retention properties. It is often mixed with other materials such as akadama, another type of volcanic soil, and organic matter to create a well-draining yet moisture-retentive growing medium for plants. Hyuga is also used as a decorative dressing for potted plants, as it can add texture and visual interest to the soil surface. It is a popular choice among bonsai enthusiasts, but can also be used for growing other types of plants, including succulents and cacti.

Akadama is a type of volcanic soil that is widely used as a growing medium for bonsai trees and other container-grown plants in Japan and around the world. It is a granular, clay-like substance known for its excellent water retention and drainage properties, making it an ideal growing medium for plants that require good soil aeration and drainage, such as succulents and bonsai trees. It is also pH-neutral, meaning that it will not significantly affect the acidity or alkalinity of the potting medium. In addition to its physical properties, akadama is also prized for its aesthetic qualities, including its distinctive reddish-brown color. It is worth noting that there are different grades of akadama, ranging from coarse to fine, and that it is often mixed with other materials such as hyuga and organic matter to create a suitable growing medium for different types of plants. Molly’s Succulent Mix uses Double Red Line Hard Akadama which is a hard variety that breaks down slowly.

Does Molly's Succulent Mix contain soil?
No, Molly's Succulent Mix is a soilless potting mix, meaning it does not contain soil but does contain a mix of organic and mineral ingredients. As a soilless medium Molly's Succulent Mix is free of fertilizer, soil-borne pests, and disease.

Do I need to wash the soil off my plants before potting in Molly's Succulent Mix?
No - you do not need to wash the soil off your plant before repotting it. Just shake the root ball and remove as much soil as you can before repotting. The only time you should carefully rinse the root ball is if the plant has a noticeable pest problem. 

How come the mix is sometimes brown when I first open a new bag?
The mixing process tends to spread out the worm castings across the other ingredients, leaving them with a brownish color until the first watering. Once watered and dried, the mix takes on a beautiful range of colors just like the picture on the bag!  

What's the best way to water Molly's Succulent Mix?
Molly's Succulent Mix generally requires watering every 1-2 weeks, depending on the plant and local environment. The mix is formulated to drain quickly since over-watering a plant is harder to recover from than under-watering a plant, and potted plants are susceptible to root rot. As the mix drains quickly it's important to properly distribute the water throughout the mix. For best results, we recommend making sure that the water pools on top of the mix in the pot and drains uniformly, vs. e.g. finding a small route through the mix and not spreading out. We also recommend bottom-watering the plant once in a while by placing the pot in a small cup/bowl/saucer with an inch or so of water and letting that soak up through the hole in the pot for 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the plant. Doing so will completely rehydrate your plant and potting mix while encouraging strong downward root growth.

How often should I change Molly's Succulent Mix?
We recommend changing the mix once per year, which often coincides with repotting the plant to accommodate new growth. The mix takes a long time to fully break down and can remain unchanged for longer if needed. If you are repotting or changing the mix, don't worry about the parts of the mix that cling to the root ball - they can be transferred into the new pot and/or mix.

How many plants can I pot with a bag of Molly's Succulent Mix?
One 5 dry quart (5.5 liters) bag fills approximately 10 to 12 4-inch pots, or, 6 to 8 5" pots, or, 4-6 6" pots. The mix breaks down very slowly and as such is a premium yet economical solution for your indoor plants.

What role do bacteria and fungi play in Molly's Succulent Mix?
Rhizophagus irregularis and Bacillus pumilus are beneficial fungi and bacteria. Rhizophagus irregularis is a mycorrhizal fungus that acts as an extension of the plant's root system and is more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves. Bacillus pumilus are bacteria that colonize plant roots; enhancing nutrient provision, controlling disease-causing pathogens, and promoting natural pest-defense systems. Every bag of Molly's Succulent Mix contains these beneficial microorganisms.

Are you cutting down forests for the bark used in your product?
No. Our raw bark is a by-product of the timber industry. All of the bark that we use is Pinus radiata. Pinus radiata covers 1.8 million hectares of forest in the area we source from and all the forests are completely man-made and renewable as they are used for the local timber industry. We do not use any endemic or non-renewable resources.