Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use?/Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve been taking care of succulents for a while, you’ve probably heard that fertilizer nutrients can burn your succulents. Sounds pretty scary, right? Nobody wants to burn their beloved succulent collection, so using a fertilizer can seem a little intimidating!

But don’t worry! Fertilizer is completely safe to use on your succulents as long as you apply it properly. Today, we’re going to teach you the right way to apply fertilizer to your succulents so that you don’t damage them. We’ll even give you a few natural alternatives to chemical fertilizer just in case you don’t feel comfortable using chemicals on your plant babies. 

Let’s jump right into the post and get your succulents growing with fertilizer! 

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Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Use it Correctly @queenplantarina

Chemical Fertilizer 

If you’ve heard that fertilizers can burn and damage succulents, we’re sad to report that the rumors are true. Chemical fertilizers can damage your succulents if you use the wrong kind or apply them the wrong way. If you follow our tips, though, you won’t have to worry about damaging your succulents! 

The best kind of chemical fertilizer to use on your succulents is a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer like this one. Stay away from fertilizers that have high amounts of nitrogen or release slowly—they’re bad for your succulents and can damage them! 

To prepare your fertilizer, get out a big watering can and fill it with a gallon of water. Then add your plant food. Don’t follow the instructions on the back of the package—if you put in that much plant food, your fertilizer will be too strong and burn your succulents, which is definitely not what you want! Dilute the fertilizer to half strength instead by adding half the amount the box instructs you to. So if your box of plant food says to mix a whole tablespoon into a gallon of water, you should only use a half tablespoon.

Then take your diluted fertilizer and water your succulents plants as normal. Try to avoid splashing fertilizer on the leaves, though, as they’re the most easily burned part of your succulents. Be sure to check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents plants” for tips on watering your succulent correctly.

Since succulents plants don’t need much fertilizer, you only need to fertilize your plants a few times during their active season to grow, which is usually in the summer. Even fertilizing your plants just once or twice a year will give them the nutrients they need to keep sprouting nice and grow healthy!

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Fertilizer for Your Succulents @queenplantarina

Manure or Compost Tea 

Compost and manure teas are more natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers. They won’t burn your succulents, and in our experience, they do a pretty good job of providing them with nutrients! They’re a great way to fertilize your plants if you like to use natural, organic products rather than chemical ones. 

You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get your hands on compost or manure when you live in the city. Well, that part is surprisingly easy! Manure and compost tea bags are readily available for purchase on Amazon. That site really does have everything, doesn’t it?

Did you know that this article is sponsored by Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Click here to get your free trial started and enjoy that free 2-day shipping!

To brew your manure or compost tea, grab one of your tea bags and put it in the bottom of a big, five-gallon bucket. Fill up the bucket with anywhere from one to five gallons of water depending on how strong or weak you want your fertilizer to be. We like to make ours on the weaker side because succulents don’t need super strong fertilizers. 

After you’ve filled it up with water, put the lid back on the bucket and leave it outside for two or three days to steep. Once the tea is done steeping, take the teabag out and use the tea to water your succulents just like you normally would. You can water your succulents with this fertilizer as often as once a month during their active season to grow.

There you have it! That’s how you use compost and manure tea. 

If you can’t get over the ick factor of watering your succulents with manure, don’t worry! There are other natural fertilizer options for you, like brewed coffee.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Natural Pesticide @drsherikeffer

Brewed Coffee 

If you’re a little grossed out by manure tea or worried that it will stink up your house, then try out brewed coffee instead! Coffee grounds have lots of essential nutrients that your succulents need, like nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. By brewing them, you’ll make the nutrients in the coffee grounds easier for your plants to soak up and utilize!

So to make this type of fertilizer, brew a cup of coffee and dilute it with water. You should use equal amounts of coffee and water for the best results. Once you’ve diluted your coffee, use it to water your succulents just like you usually would. You can brew up this fertilizer and use it on your succulents a few times during their active season for growth. Be sure to also check out “Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?” for more info on using ground coffee.

Casting Worm

Worm castings are another natural fertilizer option, but like manure tea, they’re a little gross! Worm castings are essentially worm droppings. You can mix them in with the soil and they’ll provide a host of beneficial micronutrients to your plants, including potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. They can even help repel pests like aphids and mealybugs that might want to feed on your outdoor succulents! 

Worm castings are best for outdoor succulents. If you use them on plants that live indoors, they break down too slowly and act as a slow-release fertilizer, which isn’t good for your plant. Plus, using worm castings indoors can get a little messy! 

But luckily, there is a worm castings product that you can use on indoor succulents. It’s called vermicompost tea. It’s essentially the worm castings version of manure tea. It comes in a handy spray bottle, so it doesn’t leave a mess! 

Vermicompost tea is easy to apply to your indoor or outdoor succulents during their active season for growth—just spray it right onto the soil and they’ll soak it right up! You can even spray it directly on their leaves because it’s all-natural, or use it as a treatment for mealybugs. 

Take a chance to read “Are Grow Lights Bad for My Succulents” to see if the grow lights you’re using at home for your succulents are doing more damage than good.

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use
Worm Casting @queenplantarina

Phew, that’s a lot of different fertilizer options! They’re all great, so if you need help narrowing things down and picking just one, leave us a comment down below or head over to the Succulent City Plant Lounge to get some advice. It’s a great community of succulent lovers who are always willing to answer questions and swap gardening tips! 

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents” or even “The Best Soil Recommendations for Your Succulent”  today! 

Happy Planting! 🌵

Is Succulent Fertilizer Safe to Use?/Everything You Need To Know
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