Succulents are unique plants and can make everybody fall in love with them immediately, but you will need to feed them often to get amazed by their thick, fleshy leaves and beauty.
There are more than 60 families of succulent plants that include approximately 10 000 different species.
Succulents are not difficult to care for, however, they have some specific maintenance requirements which need to be fulfilled. These tiny, delicate plants occasionally require additional vital nutrients that any amount of soil can not provide. At that point, plants require fertilizer. However, Many plant lovers are unsure of what fertilizers to use or how often to fertilize succulents.
If you are unsure of how often you fertilize your loved succulents, you are reading the right article. Here, you will find proper information about the fertilizer options and how often they must be used.
Do Succulents Need Fertilizer?
Just like any other plants, succulents sometimes require help and additional food too. You probably won’t need to add any more fertilizer to your succulents if you frequently propagate them (every one to two years) and provide them with a new substrate rich in nutrients.
Even while they may get some nutrients from the earth, fertilizers will help succulents develop and will result in more vibrant colors and strong leaves.
Succulents may experience chemical burn if you apply a fertilizer that is too strong. However, using a proper succulent fertilizer every few months will significantly accelerate your succulents’ growth.
How Often Should You Fertilize Succulents?
Depending on where you live and the kind of succulents you have in your garden, you should fertilize your lovely succulents once a month or once a year (Depending on fertilizer type). You must be careful not to use a fertilizer that is too strong because it can burn the plant roots. However, if you use the proper one, your plant will develop really healthily and generate a stunning color
While you can feed your succulents once a month, particularly if you are using a DIY fertilizer like manure tea, you should find that fertilizing them once a year is plenty for most plants.
Fertilizers encourage succulent growth, However, if the succulents do not get enough light and get fertilized, they will start to stretch.
After fertilizing your succulents, if you can, move them outside into a sunny, shaded area to help them maintain their compact size while benefiting from the nutritional augmentation. If you keep them inside, try to provide them with as much light as possible. You might even think about getting an artificial growing light.
When To Fertilize Succulents?
It is difficult to say exactly when to fertilize your succulents because the preferred timing can vary depending on the species. Generally, a rule of thumb is that the succulents have to be fertilized in the early spring. This is the growing season and therefore, the fertilizer will provide additional help and nutrients.
You can also give the fertilizer in Summer. Don’t bother fertilizing your succulent plants in winter and autumn. This is a dormant period for them and therefore, does not need additional support. The succulents will require to be fertilized a few times a year. Therefore, you can make the one-month period between the feedings.
Avoid fertilizing in dry soil because doing so could burn your succulent plants. Instead, incorporate the fertilizer into the water before or after you water your plants.
Options Of Fertilizers
Picking out the right type of fertilizer for your succulents is essential. Several options you can choose from include:
- Fertilizer, which is specially designed for succulents and cactus.
- You can use the regular “Universal Fertilize” which is generally used for ornamental plants. However, in this case, you will have to make sure to use the low dosage.
- Give your favorite succulent plants the DIY fertilizer made by you like ground coffee leftovers.
The fact is that there aren’t many particular fertilizers for succulents on the market, Mainly because there are so many distinct types of succulents, each with its own requirements. Therefore, applying one fertilizer to all of them can be the wrong thing to do.
If you can’t locate a fertilizer made specifically for succulents, you can still use regular fertilizer, just consider giving them a very small amount of it.
For instance, you may fertilize your succulents once a month using a normal fertilizer type 8-8-8 (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium), dissolving it roughly two or three times the suggested quantity on the pack.
Nitrogen is mainly used for the development of the leaves when phosphorus and potassium provide enough nutrients for healthy development.
However, if you are using a fertilizer that includes nitrogen, make sure to give the minimum dosage because nitrogen, generally will not do any good for succulents.
Too much nitrogen makes plants develop quickly, it also makes them more susceptible to common pests like soil mites. You should never use a fertilizer with more than 15 percent. Additionally, using chemical fertilizers is not recommended due to the increased danger of burning plant leaves and roots.
Manure Tea Fertilizer
One of the greatest organic fertilizers for succulents is considered to be manure tea. This is one of the best and safest options because even if you overdose, it will not burn the plant roots and foliage. It does not smell bad and is quite safe to use with our plant. You can make manure tea yourself and it is actually a pretty easy process.
In order to make manure tea, you will need a teabag, a small bucket, a bucket covering, and distilled water. You will require the following items to make manure tea.
- Step 1: Get the regular tea bag from the packet and put it in the bottom of the bucket.
- Step 2: Fill up the bucket with water and cover it either with the lid or with something that can completely close it up.
- Step 3: Leave the bucket for a minimum of 2 days.
After two days, your organic manure fertilizer is ready. You can simply pour a small amount of tea into the soil and that is it. Your plant will soon benefit from the healthy and nutritious mild fertilizer made entirely by you.
Alternative Succulent Fertilizing Options
Some organic materials can be useful in the succulent fertilizing process. As for the example, such material is an eggshell.
Eggshells can be crumbled up and boiled like tea. The eggshell contains calcium and will boost your plant. Additionally, it will also give the succulent a small amount of potassium. The thing that eggshells lack is nitrogen. Therefore, this element has to be provided as an addition.
Eggshell tea can be made easily.
- Step 1: Wash the shells carefully to get rid of the egg white and yolk.
- Step 2: Crumble up the shells.
- Step 3: Pour the boiling water on the crumbled shells and let them soak at night.
- Step 4: Strain the shells and your “eggshell tea” fertilizer is ready.
So how often fertilize succulents? If you are a succulent lover, it is natural to want large succulent plants with juicy leaves and a healthy look. Fertilizer can be a great help in your favorite plant’s care.
Depending on the fertilizer type, it can be used every month during the growing season, or if it is a stronger one, just once a year. There are various options of fertilizer you can choose from, however, we recommend you to use organic ones.
Peride is an avid planter, Tour Manager and freelance writer. She is a plant collector who mainly focuses on succulents. She loves studying cultures, traveling and learning new languages.