5 Safest Fertilizers For Succulents/Organic Fertilizers Reviews

5 Safest Fertilizers For Your Succulents

So, you’ve been bitten by the succulent bug, and now you have one or five of your own. It might have been the unique shape that attracted you to it or the fact that these no-mess-no-fuss plants are great for those trying out their green thumbs. Either way, you are ready to watch your succulent growth take off.

We understand that succulents will thrive with the right amount of sunlight, water, air, and well-draining soil. However, occasionally, during horticulturist gatherings, you may stumble upon talk of fertilizer. Word on the succulent grapevine is that these chubby plants may or may not require some fertilizer, which leaves you confused as to whether they need it or not.

 

5 Safest Fertilizers For Your Succulents
A person adding fertilizer to a succulent planter @sucstu

What is Plant Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is the confidence boost that your succulent needs to assure the plant that it is in a safe place to grow. Fertilizers for succulents provide nutritional support for your succulent, helping it grow the perfect forms, fully bloom, and even better respond to environmental stresses.

Do Succulents Need Fertilizer? 

It is not a rule set in stone, but every so often, it is advisable to fertilize your succulent. Depending on the type of fertilizer you have, you could either mix it into the soil, place it on top of the soil, or have it in liquid form to water your plant.

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A balanced blend of fertilizer should have nitrogen to promote overall growth (grow to larger fuller leaves and bright colors), potassium to encourage flowering and fruit production, and phosphorous to stimulate better disease resistance.

The right time to fertilize your succulents would be in late summer or early fall when it’s period to grow starts.

Too Much or Too Little?

Deciding to give your succulent fertilizer should not be a difficult one. It is not about how often or how much fertilizer you give your plant, but more about doing it the right way.

Considering that succulents tend to hold on to a reasonable amount of dissolved nutrients, overfertilization can be a danger. The nutrients boost might cause the plant to grow too quickly, leading to stringy succulents with weak stems. Under-fertilization will leave your succulent vulnerable to nutrition deficiencies, meaning it may not develop or even produce flowers.

Identifying and being familiar with your succulent will help you decide the right amount of fertilizer it may need. Every succulent is different. What may be suitable for the Agave may not necessarily be good for the Echeveria.

Chemical Fertilizers and Succulents – Good or Bad?

Chemical fertilizers are also known as artificial or synthetic fertilizers and are made from unnatural elements and procedures. These fertilizers feed the plant directly with high concentrations of supplements and provide rapid nutrition for the plant. Because of this, chemical fertilizers can easily shock or overwhelm your succulent. They may burn the roots of the plant and can cause misshapen or scarred leaves.

Diluting the chemical fertilizers is important before giving the liquid to succulents. The dilution ratio will differ depending on the size of the plant and type of succulent, which makes using chemical fertilizers a little tricky. Most growers will agree that chemical fertilizers are often too harsh and too fast-acting for succulents.

5 Safest Fertilizers For Your Succulents
Water pouring in a watering can next to potted succulents @sucstu

Organic fertilizers – Your safest bet for succulents

1. Compost manure – As natural as mother nature gets

If you live on or near a farm and you have outdoor succulents, well-composted manure from grazing animals like cows, sheep, and chickens has been recognized as priceless, because it provides an array of minerals and nutrients that are critical to the health of your plant. We emphasize outdoor succulents because some composted manure can have a rather strong lingering scent at first that may not be very pleasant indoors.

Compost manure revitalizes the soil, increases soil aeration, and releases the carbon content making it easier for the plant to absorb nutrients.

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2. Worm castings – wiggly worms that feed plants and keep off pests

The worm castings are technically worm manure – the waste products of earthworms. Worm castings are rich in humus, which improves soil aeration, and they also can balance out high or low pH levels in the soil.

Worm castings are rich with over 60 micro-nutrients that are essential for healthy succulents. In addition to nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, worm castings are abundant in magnesium, calcium, carbon, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. They also remedy heavy metals in soils, preventing your succulent from absorbing toxic amounts of these compounds.

A great advantage of using worm castings to fertilize your succulents is they are rich in enzyme chitinase. Chitinase breaks down chitin in an insect’s exoskeleton. When the chitinase absorption happens in the succulent’s roots, distribution follows to the leaves and other sections of the plant. Mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies can sense the chitinase in your succulent and will be less likely to feed on your plant. Pests will walk away from their death!

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3. Teabags – Succulents can have a cup of tea! 

When looking for organic manure but without the hassle of cow dung or rotting vegetables from a garden compost, look no further than the Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea. The Authentic Haven Brand owners have created little manure tea bags that you can soak in water and feed your plants with.

The manure comes from organically raised cows that have been pasture-fed with no antibiotics or hormones and are packed in 100% biodegradable cotton bags. A tea bag should be soaked in about 5 gallons of water for 24 – 36 hours until the liquid turns a golden-brown color. This water can replace tap water when your succulent is dry and needs a drink.

The Authentic Haven Brand Manure Teabags can confidently take on two 36-hour soaks each and are available in a packet of three for $12.95.

Also, try our pick for organic tea bag manure!

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4. Spray it with Miracle-Gro

When looking for the benefits and nutrients of organic fertilizer without the work of composting or preparing tea, you should invest in a bottle of Succulent Super Food from Miracle-Gro

This easy to use spray bottle contains liquid fertilizer made from all-natural worm casting tea and works well on both indoor and outdoor succulents. You can spray it straight on the soil around your succulents or directly onto the leaves to dissuade whiteflies or mealybugs. 

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Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food
$9.16

Made for all cacti, jade, aloe, and other popular succulents.

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5. Slow-release fertilizer for outdoor succulents

The Grow Better Organic Cactus and Succulent Fertilizer have been acclaimed for being the ultimate fertilizer for outdoor succulents. This organic, slow-release fertilizer is made from composted chicken manure and can be pre-mixed into potting soil when planting or as a top dress. The plant should be watered after the fertilizer has been applied for the granules to dissolve.

This low odor fertilizer slowly releases the micro-nutrients into the soil, with each application lasting for up to two months. The GrowBetter Organic Cactus and fertilizers for succulents are nutritious for both ornamental and edible succulents and cacti.

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GrowBetter Organic Cactus & Succulent Fertilizer
$8.89

Great slow-release for indoor & outdoor cacti and succulents. Can be pre-mixed with potting soils or top-dressed. OMRI Listed.


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Thank you for reading with us today on the safest fertilizers for succulents. Be sure to check out similar content to keep your succulent knowledge growing like “Why Are My Succulent Leaves Falling Off?” or even “7 Mini Garden Hand Tools For Your Succulents“.

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

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