Succulents are generally easy to care for but using the best fertilizer for succulents can take your plants to a new level.
If you’re new to succulents or if you’ve been looking for a way to get yours to grow bigger or brighter, fertilizer might be just what you need.
Table of Contents
- Do Succulents Need Fertilizer?
- The 8 Best Fertilizers to Use For Your Succulents
- Best Succulent Fertilizer Reviews
- 1. Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food
- 2. EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food
- 3. Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food
- 4. Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice
- 5. Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, Aloe Fertilizer
- 6. Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food
- 7. Aquatic Arts Succulent Fertilizer
- 8. Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants
- When to Fertilize Succulents?
- How Often to Fertilize Succulents?
- How to Fertilize Succulents?
Do Succulents Need Fertilizer?
It’s easy to think that succulents don’t need fertilizer. If you think about the natural environment of a cactus, it doesn’t seem very hospitable. The desert is dry and harsh with brief intermittent periods of rain yet cacti thrive.
So, if a cactus is a succulent and can survive in soil with little to no moisture or nutrients, why would your succulents need fertilizer?
Whether your succulents are planted outside in a pot or garden or in a small pot on your window sill, giving your succulents the right fertilizer can help your plant adapt to a different environment.
While your succulents may stay alive without any fertilizer, they will grow and multiply quickly no matter what season it is. Plus, you’ll likely get brighter colors and hardier plants.
The 8 Best Fertilizers to Use For Your Succulents
There are a lot of different options when it comes to succulent fertilizers. No matter what type of plant you have or where it’s growing, we found eight of the best products out there to help your succulents thrive.
|Pictures||Succulent Fertilizers||Fertilizer Analysis||Links|
|Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food||0.5-1-1|
|EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food||2-2-4|
|Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food||2-7-7|
|Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice||1-7-6|
|Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, Aloe Fertilizer||2-2-2|
|Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food||1-2-2|
|Aquatic Arts Succulent Fertilizer||3-1-2|
|Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants||13-11-11|
Best Succulent Fertilizer Reviews
1. Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food
This plant food for succulents is from Miracle Grow, one of the most well-known brands when it comes to plant food. This is a great choice for any succulent, from aloe to jade to cacti. It feeds instantly so you get results fast.
One of the nice things about this product is that you can apply it directly to the soil or mix it with water and apply it to your succulents every two weeks. Choose whichever method fits in best with your plant-care routine.
The easy-to-use bottle has a pump so you can easily measure how much fertilizer to use. Miracle-Gro recommends two pumps for small pots or five for pots more than six inches in diameter.
Each bottle is only eight ounces but you won’t use a lot with every application so one bottle should last a while. If you have a lot of succulents or prefer buying in bulk, this one is also available in packs of two or six.
2. EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food
If you’re looking for something organic, take a look at this succulent fertilizer from EarthPods. It uses a mix of trace minerals, nutrients, natural growth hormones, and beneficial soil microbes to stimulate strong growth.
A single tube includes 100 pods of plant food. Per EarthPods, this supply is enough to feed a single large succulent or small collection of succulents for six years! Each pod contains a concentrated formula that slowly releases the nutrients into the roots.
Application is really simple. Just push one of the pods into the soil or, if using bark or pebbles, open the capsule and spread the contents around the base of the plant. Use one to two pods for small plants, two to four for medium, and four to eight for large.
After application, water, and you’re done! Repeat every two to three weeks, depending on how often you water your succulents. This product comes in an eco-friendly and compact container that’s easy to store between feedings. Each is sustainably made in the USA and can be recycled when empty.
3. Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food
Schultz cactus fertilizer is obviously great for cacti but is also a good choice for most succulents, including aloe vera and jade. This formula feeds through the roots every time you water, encouraging new growth and giving you gorgeous, strong plants.
Use the easy-to-measure dropper to measure how much of the formula to add to the water. Schultz recommends using seven drops per quart of water for indoor plants if you feed once or twice a month. If you think your plants need a little more or if you water less frequently, you can use up to 14 drops.
You can use this for outdoor plants, too, just use four drops per gallon or up to eight drops if you wait longer between feedings. There are detailed application instructions on the box. Since you don’t use too much, this four-ounce bottle should last a while.
4. Grow More 3130 Cactus Juice
You can probably tell by the name that this product is meant specifically for cacti but it works well for other succulents, too. It contains calcium along with other nutrients that these plants need to grow strong.
Application is simple, just mix one teaspoon of fertilizer with a gallon of water and use the mixture to drench the soil at the base of the plant. Grow More recommends applying every two weeks during the growing season. Continue to water as needed between feedings.
This 16-ounce bottle should last a while depending on how many plants you have but multipacks are available if you prefer to buy in bulk or if you have a lot of plants. Two, three, four, and five packs are available. It has a shelf life of one year, though, so make sure you can use what you order.
5. Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, Aloe Fertilizer
This formula was specially made for hardy plants like cacti, aloe, and other succulents. One of the great things about it is it’s so easy to apply. Use the pump applicator to add one to two pumps to the base of the plant. Believe it or not, the small eight-ounce bottle can feed a single succulent for up to one year.
For best results, apply once a month or right before normally watering to make sure the formula gets down into the soil where it’s picked up by the roots. This set comes with an empty eight-ounce bottle with a sprayer to use for watering.
If you have a lot of succulents to take care of, you can also order this product in bulk and get two or three eight-ounce bottles. On the other hand, if you only have one or two small plants, four-ounce bottles are also available.
6. Espoma Organic Cactus Plant Food
Espoma is a popular brand of plant care products and this product is a great example of why. This formula contains all the major nutrients succulents need to thrive. Plus, it adds beneficial microbes to the soil so you continue to get good results.
This formula is obviously meant for cacti but is safe to use with any kind of succulent. The application is really simple thanks to the dosing cap. You don’t have to worry about accurately measuring or making a mess.
Turn the bottle upside down to fill the chamber then add to your watering can. Drench the plant and the soil and reapply every two to four weeks depending on how often you have to water your succulents.
This formula feeds instantly and the eight-ounce bottle should last at least a season, depending on how many succulents you have.
7. Aquatic Arts Succulent Fertilizer
This formula from Aquatic Arts is balanced to promote healthy growth in your succulents, including cacti, aloe, haworthia, and echeveria. It’s also great for growing cuttings and encourages healthy roots, stems, and leaves.
An eight-ounce bottle of this fertilizer lasts between six months and a year. You only use a little bit at a time. Mix one teaspoon with two cups of water. The natural ingredients are effective yet gentle enough to use every time you water without having to worry about burning the roots.
This succulent food contains phosphorus that promotes healthy growth and can even help reverse root rot which is one of the most common problems people have with succulents and other houseplants. For best results, use a pot with a drainage hole. If not, be sure to water sparingly.
8. Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants
This pellet fertilizer from Perfect Plants is a slow-release formula that feeds plants for up to six months. It’s suitable for all succulent types and helps with growth and color saturation. It also makes your succulents more resilient to a changing environment and easier to propagate.
One of the best things about this product is the small five-ounce bag lasts for up to five years with a single plant. The bag is resealable, too, so the small pellets stay fresh for a really long time.
Application is easy. For new plants, add pellets throughout the soil when potting. For established plants, place the pellets on the top of the soil and water thoroughly. The best part is you only have to apply it twice a year.
For a small, two-inch pot, use ¼ teaspoon of pellets. Just make sure they don’t sit against the stem or petals – they only work in the soil where the nutrients can get right to the roots.
When to Fertilize Succulents?
The thing to remember when fertilizing succulents is that you don’t want to use too much or fertilize too often. Succulents don’t require a lot of fertilizer. If you use too much, too often, you may still see growth but it is usually spindly and weak.
When you add the fertilizer is important, too. Most succulents have a dormant season that lasts through the fall and spring. If you want to follow the plant’s natural growth patterns, fertilizer shouldn’t be applied during this time.
That said, you can continue to fertilize succulents throughout the winter to encourage growth. If you choose to go this route, it’s essential to make sure they have enough water and light to grow properly as well. Just adding fertilizer isn’t enough. You have to support their growth in every way.
When you apply fertilizer is important, especially if you’re trying to follow the plant’s natural cycle. While it varies from plant to plant, most have an active growing period between early spring and late summer.
In this case, begin applying fertilizer at the beginning of spring to make sure your succulents have the nutrients to grow when it comes out of dormancy. When you apply again depends on the type of fertilizer you choose.
How Often to Fertilize Succulents?
How often you fertilize your succulents depends on a few things, including the type of fertilizer you choose and what variety of succulent you’re growing. It’s always a good idea to do as much research as you can to figure out the plant’s natural growth cycle and plan from there.
It’s also important to pay attention to the instructions that come with your fertilizer. Each is formulated differently. Some are formulated to release nutrients slowly over a longer period of time while others are meant to deliver nutrients quickly and in small doses.
For some plants and fertilizers, a single application in the spring is sufficient. This is typically the case with extended-release fertilizers. By applying them in the spring, you’re preparing the soil for the plant’s growing period throughout the spring and summer.
Sometimes, it’s worth considering the second application in the early summer, particularly if you’re not seeing much growth but the plant is still alive. A little extra boost may be all the plant needs to increase its growth rate.
Some plants can tolerate a monthly feeding but make sure you’re using a fertilizer that is meant to be used that frequently. Although most succulent fertilizers are mild and shouldn’t burn or damage the plant, you never know what will happen if you use too much, too often.
Like we said, researching your plants is important. When in doubt, take some time to understand your succulent’s natural growth patterns and fertilize accordingly.
How to Fertilize Succulents?
How to fertilize your succulents very much depends on the type of fertilizer you are using.
Most of the extended-release fertilizers come in pellet form. These small round balls of fertilizer usually have a special coating that allows the nutrients to slowly release into the soil. This type of fertilizer is generally really easy to apply.
Follow the directions for the fertilizer you choose but, for the most part, pellets are applied the same way. Add the appropriate amount to the top of the soil and mix of water in. For new growth, mixing fertilizer throughout the pot is a good idea. For established plants, you can add it to the top inch or two of soil.
Some of the shorter-lasting fertilizers come in a spray bottle. This is one of the easiest ways to apply fertilizer because it gives you a lot of control over where the fertilizer is going. Spray directly to the top of the soil, around where the roots of the plant would be.
Pumps work the same way, only instead of using a spray nozzle, you use a pump to expel the fertilizer directly onto the surface of the soil. Depending on the size of your plant, this option may be a little difficult to aim.
Capsules work similarly to granules. They’re usually extended-release and they’re very easy to apply. Just place a capsule into the dirt around the base of the plant and water in. In some cases, you can pull the capsules open and sprinkle fertilizer directly to the surface so it can be appropriately watered in.
Concentrated liquids are exactly what they sound like. You have to measure a certain amount of product and mix it with water before application. This is a popular option for short-acting formulas and gives you a little bit of control over how much fertilizer you’re actually using.
There are so many factors that go into fertilizing succulents, having the opportunity to mix your weaker or stronger depending on what your plants need is a nice option to have.
In most cases, liquid fertilizer that’s been mixed with water is applied every few weeks with watering. Again, it’s usually not very strong so you don’t have to worry about burning the plant’s leaves or roots.
It’s easy to understand why some people might think that succulents don’t need fertilizer. After all, they’re known for being very strong and hardy, thriving in the desert where there’s a lot of harsh sunlight and not a lot of water.
That said, it’s important to understand that the right fertilizer can make your succulents grow faster, stronger, and more colorful. If you’re not happy with the way your succulents are growing, take a look at our top fertilizer picks to see what you can do to help them.