You don’t have to, but when you do fertilize succulents, it encourages them to produce more dazzling flowers, vibrant colors, and healthier leaves. Applying good-quality succulent fertilizer will make them pretty and keep them in optimum health to live longer.
However, there are vital factors you need to consider when you fertilize succulents. That includes the ideal kind of fertilizer for plants, whether you are using organic options or not, and the best time to feed them. Otherwise, your plants may not grow as you’ve hoped.
Kinds of Fertilizers for Succulents
You can use different kinds of fertilizers to feed succulents from homemade organic matter to prem-made fertilizers you can find in stores. One type is not necessarily better or more effective than the other. Choosing the kind of fertilizers for succulents is a matter of preference and convenience.
Manure compost is a popular fertilizer option for most growers. It can be from a variety of animals such as sheep, chickens, horses, and cows. Manure compost is rich in nutrients necessary for plant growth. They also act as a natural but potent soil conditioner that can promote lusher and healthier plants.
You can make manure compost at home, or you can buy manure tea products from specialty stores.
Manure fertilizers for succulents can also come as casting. Essentially, it is worm manure, valuable compost for gardeners because of the 60 micronutrients and minerals it contains. Worm castings are terrific in balancing the acidity levels of the soil so the roots can suck up enough nutrients for the plant’s growth.
Inorganic fertilizers for succulents are also available. They are unnatural and artificially made with nutrients to offer rapid nutrition to boost plant growth.
Chemical fertilizers are tricky to use as most of them come in high concentration. They need to get diluted with water, so they are not too harsh for the plants. They also have specific fertilizer to water ratio you have to follow, depending on the brand or type of chemical.
There are good bacteria and bad ones. Microbial fertilizers made of good bacteria that help boost nutrition for plants are available. There are PGPB or plant growth-promoting bacteria products, although they are not readily available.
Ways to Fertilize Succulents
There are different methods to use when you fertilize succulents, depending on the type of fertilizer you are using.
If you want to fertilize plants using pellets, the best way to feed them into the plants is by scattering them around the soil. This method promotes a slow release of the fertilizer into the ground.
If you are using liquid fertilizers, the best way to introduce them to the plants is by spraying. It is an easy and quick way to apply fertilizer, and it provides enough control over which part of the plant you want to fertilize. Aiming the spray around the roots of the succulents is the best way to go.
Fertilizing and Watering at the Same Time
Other liquid fertilizers have high concentrations that they need to get diluted before introducing to plants. For this, you need to mix the recommended amount of fertilizer to water before applying them to the succulents.
Fertilizing Needs Focus On:
When you fertilize plants mindlessly, not considering if it’s the ideal fertilizer to use, they may harm more than help. So, check the best type and time to fertilize succulents and the things to avoid in the process.
There are 3 common types of fertilizers for succulents, with each of them having a different purpose. These fertilizers, known as the big 3, play an essential role in the healthy growth of your plants.
Nitrogen for Leaf
Nitrogen is the one responsible for promoting leaf growth in succulents. It’s what the plants need, so they grow into lush, large, and tall stems. Choose a fertilizer with high nitrogen content if you want to fertilize succulents to promote healthy leaves.
Phosphate for Roots
Phosphorus or Phosphate is primarily responsible for the abundant and healthy roots of succulents. It is one of the earliest fertilizers for plants as they grow to promote robust root systems.
Potassium for Flower
Potassium is necessary for succulents in terms of their overall biological growth and function. This kind of fertilizer helps with healthy growth, hardiness, resistance to diseases and pests, and efficient water absorption. Potassium also promotes blooming for succulents.
Depending on the type or variety of succulents you have, there is the best and worst time to fertilize them. It is essential to consider dormancy or when they conserve energy and stop growing in terms of the right time for feeding the plants.
The rule of thumb is to fertilize your succulents during their growing seasons.
For varieties that bloom during spring, like echeveria, the best time to feed them is at the beginning of the season.
The summer season is also one of the best times that most succulents experience substantial growth. Unless they are dormant during summer, succulent can benefit from feeding during this season.
For winter growing succulents, it’s best to start feeding them early as the start of the fall season.
Succulents often have the slowest growth during the cold months. During winter, you can feed them lightly or opt-out altogether.
When using manure as fertilizer, you should avoid using a solid stool as they are more challenging to break down. It will be more difficult for plant roots to absorb the nutrients and minerals they need.
Especially when using chemical fertilizers, you should avoid introducing it to succulents during scorching weather. With high temperatures, chemicals can burn the plants, mainly when applied directly to the cactus.
The best way to fertilize the plants is to focus on the soil where the roots can absorb them. Avoid spraying or pouring fertilizers directly to the plants, and it may do more harm than good to your succulents.
Succulents are famous for being reliable and hardy plants. They can grow without a lot of fuss, even without feeding them. However, if you want growth and beauty boost for your house plants, you can fertilize succulents using the tips mentioned above.