The Only Succulent Fertilizer Guidebook You Need

succulent fertilizer featured image

Thick, supple, and firm leaves are the ultimate features of a healthy succulent. Watering your succulents and keeping them out of too much sun will enhance their growth. Keeping it thriving is the ultimate goal. To achieve that, it helps if you feed your succulent with the best succulent fertilizers.

The key is to balance the fertilizer for your succulents and the water you feed them. Excessive watering will flush out all the nutrients within the fertilizer. Too little water and you may create problems with the roots and leaves from the fertilizer.

And watering is only one thing to care for. There are many more to notice. Should you use succulent fertilizers? What makes a well-rounded fertilizer for succulents? How to apply it? When, how much, and how often? … This article has everything sorted out. Let’s dive in!

What Happens If You Don’t Use Succulent Fertilizers?

Do succulents need fertilizers (or, in other terms, “plant food”)? We all know succulents – the plant type thrives under harsh conditions like drought and sunny deserts. Therefore, it won’t matter succulents if you use fertilizers/ plant food or not. Fertilizers are encouraged if you want succulents to grow bigger than their standard form. Sometimes, the plant grows far too quickly than expected. You will need to trim it to support a new life.

If you plan on having terrariums or a garden of cute little succulents, you should avoid fertilizers. The only necessary thing is the right soil mix. The good news is we can make our soil mix at home. That’s enough for succulents’ growth.

For succulent fertilizer components, you will only need to know the succulent fertilizer ratio of N (nitrogen)P (phosphorous)K (potassium). The ratio of NPK is usually stated clearly on commercial fertilizers’ packaging. For example, 10-10-10 or 5-10-10. The best succulent fertilizer ratio will be 2-7-7 or, more commonly, 5-10-10. This means it’s easier to find a 5-10-10 fertilizer package out there than the 2-7-7 one. But if you can, pick the 2-7-7 as succulents love low-nitrogen fertilizers:

Schultz Cactus Plus 2-7-7 liquid Plant Food, 4-Ounce
  • Feeds through the roots
  • For All Cacti and other Succulents
  • Just 7 drops of water every time you water

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Amazon

How To Fertilize Succulents

spraying fertilizer pellet into the soil

Before fertilizing, you should make the soil wet. This will help the distribution of fertilizers better when applied. After the dirt is wet, dilute the succulent fertilizer with water and pour the mixture into the soil until it drains through drainage holes. If fertilizers are pellets, spray them evenly on the soil and water. Make sure the pellets you use are the slow-release type.

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti ๐Ÿ™‚ Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

When To Fertilize Succulents? How Much & How Often To Fertilize Succulents?

Timing for fertilizing succulents is essential. Not every season is suitable for this activity. If you fertilize in winter, when most succulents are dormant, there will be no progress. The best time to do it is springtime or, more generally, the succulent’s growth season. When the daytime temperature reaches 15 degrees Celsius (~ 59 degrees Fahrenheit), it’s the best time to perform the technique.

You should only use half the amount written on the package for liquid fertilizers. If you use succulent fertilizer pellets, spread them evenly in small amounts and then water them thoroughly. Using too much diluted fertilizer or too many pellets can cause succulent burns. So, how often should you fertilize succulents during their growth season? It’s recommended to fertilize succulents once in their growth season. You can do that bi-monthly or quarterly using organic fertilizers like manure tea for succulents with extended growth season. No fertilizer when it’s not the season.

An interesting read: 199+ Positive Succulent Quotes For Succulent Lovers (A Collection).

Easily-Bought But Adequate Commercial Fertilizers

Now, you know how to deal with commonly manufactured fertilizers. Here are my 2 recommendations for easily-bought commercial fertilizers at fine quality:

#1. Leaves & Soul Succulent Fertilizer Pellet

Leaves and Soul Succulent Fertilizer Pellets |13-11-11 Slow…
  • ๐ŸŒฑ 6 MONTH TIMED RELEASE – A single application…
  • ๐ŸŒฑ SUITABLE FOR ALL VARIETIES – You can use our…
  • ๐ŸŒฑ DURABLE PACKAGING – These fertilizer pellets…
  • ๐ŸŒฑ ALWAYS GUARANTEED – Our tree nutrients are…

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Amazon

#2. EarthPod Premium Bio-organic Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

EarthPods Organic Succulent Plant Food Spikes + Christmas Cactus…
  • FAST & EASY TO APPLY โ€” Push 1 EarthPod into…
  • ECO FRIENDLY & COMPACT โ€” Stores easily on your…

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Amazon

Organic Alternatives For Succulent Fertilizers

Don’t want to feed your succulents with commercial fertilizers? We have organic options. The most common solution is manure tea. You must know how to prepare and use manure tea to do this. Worm casting is the less common method and is also harder to execute. Someone not a gardener doesn’t dare touch those creatures (even if they are dead). We have the topic covered here for succulent organic fertilizers: 5 Organic Succulent Fertilizers For Naturally Feeding Your Garden.

Final Words

Fertilizers are a great addition to your succulent growth. Make sure you use the right time, the right way. Overfeeding your succulents will lead to leggy growth, leaf burn, or even the deadly root rot. Your succulents will take a break from the water during winter, so it makes sense to give them a break from fertilizer, too.

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment telling us which fertilizer works best in your experience. You should join us in our exclusive Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge”, where succulent enthusiasts like yourself share experiences, tips, and photos to help inspire your inner- gardener. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletters and get access to the free ebooks from Succulent City!

Happy Planting!

Furthermore, I extend our topics a bit from succulents. We do mention cacti (which are basically succulent) and air plants as they share the same low-maintenance attribute. Here are the 2 related helpful reads that you don’t want to miss:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

6 thoughts on “The Only Succulent Fertilizer Guidebook You Need

  1. Dear Richard,

    I just began my journey with succulents this year. I have adorned succulents since 2013. I went to Guatemala to visit friends and each year after that I always wanted to bring a plant home even though I have a black thumb and was flying.

    I started with a few plants and did not have any trouble keeping them alive so I got a lot more. They were doing good until I got fungus gnats. I recovered from the gnats and love my plants but have trouble getting them to grow.

    That is why I am writing to you today. I was using succulent soil with luquid fertilizer. I then went to the gritty mix with perlite and the plants were there but not growing at all. I am so afraid of getting fungus gnats again but my plants are not happy.

    Can you tell me what is the best solution for succulents. I live in Mississippi. Thank you for your time and help.

    Loving succulents
    Karen Hidalgo

    1. Hi Karen,

      It’s funny that everyone who is a beginner in this journey writes to me think they have a black thumb. Well, I had the same thought at the beginning.

      Regarding your problem with fungus gnats, it’s the conditions you need to modify. The fungus can grow if you plant the succulents too close during humid weather or excess moisture. I am glad that you recover from that situation.

      The gritty mix is why your succulents find it hard to grow bigger. A gritty mix contains more inorganic matter than organic matter, encouraging better drainage and evaporation. I often use this mix for a succulent after a water therapy. But it’s better to use a soil mix with more organic matter for growth, which is more efficient in retaining moisture and nutrients. Imagine the liquid fertilizer you gave your succulents quickly drains away as there is nothing to retain the nutrients. For the fertilizer mixture, you can follow this guide.

      As for the return of fungus gnats, you can see this guide. I think your concern is justified, as you will apply a more organic mixture.

      I hope the guides are helpful!


  2. Thanks for the tips. Someone gave me a mother of millions. It is true. I found them growing in the carpet. I trimmed the gangly stems and they produced more branches which bloomed with an umbrella shaped top. Lasted forever. Beautiful. I now have multi kalanchoe some chandelier on window sill in studio. Love the blue tower and saphire m. O. Thousands. Thanks friends are beginning to avoid me lol plant nut

    1. Hi Nan,
      This is awesome. You just made my day! I am so happy to see people living in their own grown gardens. I wish everyone who reads this comment the pure happiness I have now!

  3. We love succulents. Greatly added aesthetic to our home. This is such a really helpful post. Thank you for sharing.

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