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Top 10 Fertilizers To Feed Your Succulents

Explore the top 10 fertilizers for succulents, enhancing growth, and boosting plant health with optimal NPK ratios.

Succulents aren’t just about aesthetics. They purify the air and add life to your home. But beyond sunlight and water, these plants need optimal nutrition for optimal growth fertilizer. 

Just like a balanced diet fuels our bodies, plant fertilizers provide essential nutrients. These nutrients aid in better vegetation growth and stronger stems. 

However, choosing the correct fertilizer can be daunting. There are various types, and that can include confusing NPK ratios. Choosing the right one feels like a complicated science.

In this article, we will simplify plant nutrition. It’ll help you select the perfect fertilizer to keep your succulents flourishing.

Assortment of succulent plants in various pots ideal candidates for top indoor plant fertilizers to promote healthy growth

Understanding Succulent Nutrition

It is important to understand that your plant babies require proper nutrition like you do. You need to be able to feed your succulents properly. For that, you’ll need to know what they require.

NPK Fertilizer: The Ideal Balance

When we go to find a fertilizer, the labels often display a cryptic code: N-P-K. This assortment of letters that seem random holds the key to understanding your plant’s nutritional needs.

N stands for Nitrogen, and it promotes the healthy growth of vibrant green leaves. P represents Phosphorus, whose abundance is mandatory for strong root development. 

Finally, K signifies Potassium, and it takes care of water regulation and disease resistance. A balanced NPK ratio ensures your plant receives the right “nutrients” for its specific needs.

Forms of Fertilizer

The world of succulent fertilizers offers various options. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid Fertilizers can become easy, water-soluble solutions. They are readily absorbed by plants and offer precise control over nutrient delivery.

Liquid fertilizers are user-friendly for beginners. There is one thing that might be an issue. 

They require more frequent application. Liquid fertilizers usually need reapplication every 1-2 weeks during the growing season.

Granular Fertilizers

Granular Fertilizers are slow-release pellets that release nutrients over time, typically 2-3 months. Such fertilizers are convenient and require less frequent application. 

However, the difficulty that many arrive with such fertilizers. It’ll be tough to adjust the nutrient levels once applied.

Slow Release Spikes

Similar to granular fertilizers, slow-release spike fertilizers provide a steady stream of nutrients over a set period. They’re easy to use but offer minimal control over the feeding schedule.

Organic Fertilizers

These are obtained from natural materials like compost or fish emulsion, these fertilizers are eco-friendly and promote soil health. However, their nutrient content can be less predictable and require more frequent application.

Synthetic Fertilizers

These commercially produced fertilizers offer concentrated nutrients in specific NPK ratios. They’re readily available and effective.

For the usage of synthetic fertilizers, you need to remember that their excess use can harm the environment and contribute to salt buildup in the soil.

How to Make the Right Choice?

Choosing the best fertilizer is dependent on a number of variables. These are as follows:-

Plant Growth and Development

It is important to understand the plant for which you need fertilizer. Succulents need more Nitrogen, whereas flowering plants usually need more Phosphorus. 

Another factor is the growth stage of your lovely plants. Plants at different growth stages require different levels and quantities. For example, actively developing plants require more regular feeding than dormant ones.

Lastly, lighting affects nutrient requirements. It is observed that plants that receive less light may use less fertilizer than those that receive a lot of sunlight.

Ease of Use and Application

Succulent fertilizers should be simple to use. They need to allow plant parents and gardeners to apply them with ease and accuracy. 

You can choose liquid fertilizers as they are frequently selected due to their convenience. The reason is that they may be diluted with water. This dilution can be applied straight to soil or plants.

Granular fertilizers, on the other hand, may be required to be mixed into the soil or applied to the plant base as a top dressing.

Assorted succulents with lush green and soft white leaves nestled together in a garden setting

Safety for Both Plants and The Environment

When choosing fertilizers for indoor usage, you should prioritize plant and environmental safety. 

You need to make sure that the products used are of harmful chemicals and heavy metals. These substances are considered to be problematic as they hold the potential to harm plants.

You can go for organic fertilizers made from natural sources like compost. They are selected due to their gentle, sustainable plant-feeding approach. 

Affordability and Value for Money

We understand that quality should always be our priority. Along with that, our fertilizer also has to be affordable. 

The best fertilizers provide a balance of quality with value. They must supply concentrated formulations that produce advantages.

This should be with no requirement for regular application. Moreover, long-lasting fertilizers that provide long-term sustenance will eventually become less expensive.

Customer Reviews and Expert Recommendations

You should always consider feedback from horticulture professionals. Such reviews from experts can provide vital information. This will help you evaluate the effectiveness of the fertilizer.

The one thing that you will benefit from greatly is positive feedback and recommendations from credible sources. This feedback establishes your trust in a product’s efficacy.

Recommendations about compatibility for certain plant varieties or growing environments help you gain more awareness. The right knowledge always leads to the right choices.

Top 10 Fertilizer Types and Options for succulents

There are specific fertilizers to cater to the specific needs of the plants. These specifications and fertilizer options are mentioned below.

1. The Balanced N-P-K (10-10-10)

We need to understand that many houseplants require a fertilizer with equal parts of major nutrients. A fertilizer with an equivalent macronutrient ratio produces a well-balanced diet.

The normal ratio for this fertilizer is 10 parts each. You can choose a balanced nutrient diet as this equal ratio makes it appropriate for most succulents. Equal parts fertilizer proves to be a blessing during their active growth months.

The balanced fertilizer ensures that all of the necessary building blocks are accessible for optimal overall plant health. 

Using a balanced fertilizer saves you the hassle of guessing. This finally encourages continuous and regular growth.

2. High-Nitrogen N-P-K (20-5-10) – for Proper Green Leaves

We like our succulents to have vibrant green leaves. Much like leafy greens, your cute indoor greens can benefit from fertilizers with a higher Nitrogen content. An NPK ratio of 20-5-10 prioritizes Nitrogen. 

If we choose this fertilizer, it promotes adequate leaf growth.  The other greenery-focused plants, like Snake Plants and ZZ Plants, can benefit from this fertilizer.

You should remember that while Nitrogen encourages beautiful green leaves, it, at times, can come at the expense of flowering.

3. High-Phosphorus N-P-K (5-15-10) -for Green Leaves

A fertilizer with a greater Phosphorus concentration becomes essential for succulents. We also need to learn that it is beneficial for sturdy and strong root growth. A Phosphorus-rich NPK ratio would be 5-15-10. 

In addition to succulents, this fertilizer is also perfect for plants that produce brightly colored flowers, such as hoyas, African violets, orchids, and bromeliads. Moreover, nutrient absorption and general plant health depend on stable and efficient roots.

4. High Potassium N-P-K (10-5-20)- for Proper Fruiting and Disease-Resistance

Potassium (K) plays a massive role in promoting fruit and flower development. The K in NPK has also been a helper in increasing the disease resistance of plants. A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-5-20 prioritizes Potassium.

This ratio is ideal for succulents but also for plants that produce fruit or flowers, such as lemons and tomatoes. Additionally, Potassium helps regulate water flow within the plant. This further strengthens its resilience against diseases.

5. Calcium Nitrate with Boron

While NPK is the primary for plant development, succulents can benefit from other micronutrients such as calcium and Boron.

Calcium Nitrate with Boron combines these two key elements:

Calcium (Ca)

Promotes strong cell walls, which results in stronger stems and greater disease resistance. It also promotes plant Nitrogen absorption.

Boron (B)

Boron is an essential nutrient for cell division and development. It also makes a significant contribution to healthy leaf and flower growth.

Your plants can graciously benefit from the addition of Calcium Nitrate with Boron as it can be especially effective for:

Fast-growing plants: As they require, they receive extra support for cell development.

Flowering plants: It enriches plants with Boron, as Boron deficiency can negatively impact flower formation.

Plants with weak stems: Calcium strengthens cell walls, creating sturdier stem structures.

Variety of cacti and succulents benefiting from calcium nitrate with boron fertilizer displayed in small pots

6. Ammonium Sulfate Fertilizer

Ammonium Sulfate fertilizer has the goodness of two key nutrients, Nitrogen and Sulfur. Their benefits are as follows.

Nitrogen

A key component of chlorophyll, Nitrogen promotes healthy leaf growth and vibrant green leaves. 


Succulents often struggle to get enough Nitrogen. This protects them from leading to stunted growth and pale leaves.

Sulfate

While less prominent, sulfur plays a vital role in protein synthesis. It also is a great facilitator of enzyme function within the plant.  


It also helps with Nitrogen utilization, ensuring your plant gets the most out of its Nitrogen source.

There are a few limitations that come with ammonium sulfate when we talk of succulents.

Increased Acidity: It may mildly acidify the soil, and certain plants love acidic conditions. For others, please take care of the proper pH level.

Concentration: Ammonium Sulfate has a lower Nitrogen concentration (about 21%) than other fertilizers. You may need to make more regular treatments to fulfill your plant’s Nitrogen requirements.

Ammonium Sulfate can be a helpful fertilizer for Nitrogen-hungry succulents, but consider your plant’s specific needs and soil pH before using it.

7. Magnesium Sulfate Fertilizer

Magnesium sulfate fertilizer is also known as Epsom salts. It provides a vital duo of nutrients for thriving succulents: magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S).

Here’s how they support plant growth:- 

Magnesium 

This nutrient plays a significant role in chlorophyll production. Ultimately facilitating vibrant green leaves and efficient photosynthesis. Deficiency of Magnesium can cause yellowing leaves with green veins (chlorosis).

Sulfur 

While less prominent, sulfur is essential for protein synthesis. This supports magnesium in this composition while helping enzyme function.

Magnesium sulfate offers several benefits for succulents:

Healthy magnesium levels translate to efficient food production within the plant, promoting overall growth. Magnesium contributes to stronger cell walls, improving plant resilience against stress and disease.

Sulfur in magnesium sulfate aids in the absorption of other nutrients present in the soil, ensuring optimal plant health.

Overall, magnesium sulfate fertilizer can be a valuable tool for preventing magnesium deficiencies as well as promoting healthy, vibrant succulents.

8. Organic DIY Fertilizer

DIY organic fertilizers provide a natural and environmentally responsible way to help the growth of your plants. Here’s why they may be a good fit:

These fertilizers are a true representation of sustainability. These are made from kitchen wastes such as eggshells, coffee grounds, and worm castings. They help to decrease waste while equally encouraging a closed-loop system.

They are gentler on plants compared to synthetic fertilizers. Organic choices frequently release nutrients slowly. They reduce the possibility of over-fertilization

These fertilizers provide a good soil health boost. Organic fertilizers can help to maintain a healthy soil environment. They do that by encouraging beneficial bacteria to break down organic matter.

However, DIY organic options have limitations:

The nutrient content of the can be a concern. It can be less predictable. Organic fertilizers also require more frequent application compared to commercial fertilizers.

These fertilizers require ample preparation time. Also, it requires genuine effort, which might not be ideal for everyone.

Some organic materials, like fruit and vegetable peels, can have a noticeable odor. This can happen, especially if they have not been properly composted.

Succulent plant in focus with vibrant leaves showing signs of proper fertilization among other potted plants

9. Seaweed Fertilizer

Seaweed fertilizer provides a distinct set of advantages for your plants. This serves as a natural plant booster.

Seaweed is high in important micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and manganese. These nutrients can be typically deficient in indoor conditions. These micronutrients serve important roles in plant processes such as enzyme activity and photosynthesis.

Seaweed fertilizers help your plants build exceptional stress resilience towards factors such as low light, dry conditions, and repotting. It does that as seaweed extracts include natural chemicals that can help plants deal with stressors.

This fertilizer also supports improved root development. Some research suggests seaweed extracts can stimulate root growth, leading to a healthier root system. Ultimately supporting better nutrient and water uptake.

While the science is still evolving, seaweed fertilizer offers a natural approach to enhance Succulent health and resilience.

Remember: Seaweed fertilizers typically have a low NPK ratio and shouldn’t be your primary source of these essential nutrients. Use them as a supplement alongside a balanced fertilizer for optimal plant growth.

10. Amino Acid Fertilizer

This is a relatively new fertilizer option that has come into being for the correct development of your succulents. Here is how they have the potential to help.

Building Blocks for Growth: Proteins are made up of amino acids. Proteins are required for a variety of succulent processes, including cell division, growth, and stress response. Supplying readily accessible amino acids may improve these processes.

Improved nutrient absorption: According to certain research, amino acids can act as chelating agents. They improve the absorption of other nutrients found in the soil. This might potentially benefit overall plant health.

However, amino acid fertilizer might not work. The doubts come from

Limited Research: More research is required to conclusively verify their advantages and best application techniques.

Alternative Sources: Plants may frequently produce their own amino acids or receive them from decaying organic substances in the soil.

Things to Consider While Fertilizing succulents

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you use your fertilizer on your succulents.

Follow the indicated dosage.

Avoid Over-Fertilization

Over-fertilizing succulents can result in a certain amount of negative consequences. You need to always follow the manufacturer’s directions for application rates and frequency.

Lush green succulent with layered petals thriving amidst a collection of potted plants exemplifying careful fertilization

Water properly

Before fertilizing, you will have to make sure the soil is sufficiently irrigated but not saturated. Applying fertilizer to dry soil can cause root damage. On the other hand, applying it to wet soil can accelerate nutrient leaching.

Monitor the plant’s response.

Pay attention to how your succulents react to fertilizer. Keep checking for indicators of over-fertilization, such as leaf burn or stunted growth. You also should check for symptoms of under-fertilization, like pale leaves or decreased vigor, and alter your fertilization plan appropriately.

Consider seasonal variations.

Your succulents’ nutritional requirements may vary depending on the season or stage of development. Adjust your fertilization schedule to account for these swings in order to maintain overall plant health throughout the year.

Wrapping Up

Finally, delivering sufficient nourishment to your succulents is to be considered highly important for their development and general health. 

Understanding the NPK ratios and selecting the appropriate fertilizer based on your plant’s demands and specifications will only result in healthy houseplants.

Each fertilizer works best for certain plants only; study your plant’s requirements before making a fertilizer choice. For best results, follow the correct application instructions and check in from time to time. 

For high-quality fertilizers for indoor gardening, look into Hans Chem’s solutions.  They have all the right fertilizers, from organic ones to synthetic ones. You just have to choose wisely. Happy gardening!

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