Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Succulents in 2024

Are your succulents looking a little lackluster? Finding the right fertilizer can be a game-changer for your plants, providing the nutrients they need to thrive. In this guide, we’ll dive into the best fertilizers for succulents in 2024, breaking down everything from organic options to synthetic blends. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, this comprehensive guide will help you make informed decisions to keep your succulents healthy and vibrant.

What Makes a Good Fertilizer for Succulents?

When choosing a fertilizer for succulents, it’s crucial to understand their unique needs. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, which means they don’t need as much water or fertilizer as other plants. The best fertilizers for succulents typically have a balanced ratio of essential nutrients like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A common recommendation is a 2-7-7 or 3-1-2 ratio, which supports growth without overwhelming the plant. You could always look for a totally balanced NPK ratio like 10-10-10 and diluting accordingly. Personally, even though succulent food is already quite diluted compared to regular plant food, I always like to dilute it even more when drenching the soil.


Types of Fertilizers for Succulents


Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources and are an excellent choice for environmentally conscious gardeners. These improve soil health over time and provide a steady release of nutrients. Popular organic plant foods for succulents include:

  • Compost Tea: Rich in beneficial microbes that enhance soil structure and nutrient availability.
  • Worm Castings: Packed with nutrients and beneficial organisms, worm castings are gentle and effective for succulents.
  • Fish Emulsion: A potent fertilizer with a high nitrogen content, ideal for boosting growth in the early stages.
Organic plant food


Synthetic fertilizers offer precise nutrient formulations and are often easier to apply than organic options. They can quickly address nutrient deficiencies and promote rapid growth. Key synthetic fertilizers for succulents include:

  • Liquid: Easy to dilute and apply, providing immediate nutrient availability.
  • Granular: Slow-release formulas that ensure a consistent supply of nutrients over time.
  • Water-Soluble: Quickly dissolve in water, allowing for uniform application and rapid uptake by plants.
Liquid succulent fertilizer

How to Apply Fertilizer to Succulents

Proper application is crucial to avoid over-fertilization, which can harm succulents. Here are some tips for fertilizing succulents effectively:

  1. Dilute: Always dilute liquid fertilizers to half the recommended strength to prevent nutrient burn.
  2. Frequency: Apply succulent food only during the active growing season (spring and summer) and reduce or stop fertilization during the dormant period (fall and winter).
  3. Application Method: Apply to the soil around the base of the plant, avoiding direct contact with the leaves and stems.

Consider amending your soil with Bonsai Jack’s gritty mix to ensure your succulent soil drains quickly to prevent it from staying moist for too long. Source: Etsy

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Over-Fertilization: Too much plant nutrition can lead to root burn and stunted growth. Less is more when it comes to succulents.
  2. Wrong NPK Ratio: Using plant food with high nitrogen content can cause succulents to grow too quickly, making them leggy and weak.
  3. Frequent Fertilization: Succulents require less frequent feeding compared to other plants. Stick to a bi-monthly or monthly feeding schedule during the growing season.
Banana fertilizer


Choosing the best fertilizer for your succulents doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding their unique needs and selecting the right type, you can ensure your plants remain healthy and beautiful. Whether you opt for organic or synthetic plant food, proper application and avoiding common mistakes are key to success.


1. How often should I fertilize my succulents?
Feed succulents once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce or stop fertilization during the dormant period (fall and winter). When succulents are dormant, they go into sort of a state of hibernation and can’t handle the excess nutrients.
Learn more about succulent dormancy here.

2. Can I use regular plant fertilizer for succulents?
It’s best to use a plant food specifically formulated for succulents, as many regular plant fertilizers may have higher nitrogen content that can harm succulents by burning their roots or leaves. Remember that succulents generally don’t need much fertilization as they’re used to poor soil conditions in their natural habitats.

3. What are signs of over-fertilization in succulents?
Signs include yellowing leaves, brown or burnt leaf tips, and stunted growth. Always dilute and apply sparingly.

4. Are organic fertilizers better for succulents?
Organic plant food improves soil health and provide a steady release of nutrients, making them a great choice for long-term succulent care. They also give you the peace of mind knowing you’re gardening with fewer harsh chemicals.

5. Can I make my own succulent food?
Yes, you can make a simple compost tea or use diluted fish emulsion as homemade plant food for your succulents.

Here’s an easy Compost Tea Recipe to complement your succulent feeding routine.

By following these basic guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to choose and use the best fertilizers for your succulents, ensuring they thrive all year round.

Want even more info? Get into the nitty gritty details about fertilizing your succulents with this in-depth succulent fertilizer guide found here.