I have often wondered whether I should fertilise my succulents but have never really bothered to do so. It is a question that many succulent lovers would ask themselves. Plants can grow without any fertiliser, my garden has survived 20 years without regular applications of fertiliser. The occasional watering with some Seasol (seaweed solution) when I remember is the only additional fertiliser they received. They receive some natural fertiliser as possum poo is a regular addition to my soil.
To fertilise or not to fertilise?
There are positives and negatives for fertilising.
Here are some positives.
- Succulents can benefit from regular fertilising, as with all plants succulents use nutrients to help them grow.
- They can get nutrients from the soil. However, as they are succulents they generally need less fertiliser and not as often as other plants.
- Fertiliser can help them to grow and produce more vibrant colours.
- Fertiliser can also help your succulents to flower profusely.
Here are some negatives.
- Fertiliser causes succulents to grow more quickly which can cause stretching if the succulent isn’t getting enough light.
- If you use a fertiliser that is too strong it can burn the succulent.
- Succulents are, by nature, slow growing, fertiliser will not speed that up.
If I do fertilise how often should I do it?
Generally fertilising once per year in Spring should be enough. For many succulents this is the beginning of their growing season so this is a good time to fertilise. However, some succulents which have their growing season in the Winter should be fertilised in Autumn.
Succulents grow in stone crevices!
Succulents grow in stone crevices, sandy soils, paths and in rockeries where there is hardly any soil. Succulents are tough plants that can survive without the luxuries of the plant world. Yes succulents will do well with some fertiliser but they will survive without it and probably be a lot hardier because of the lack of it.
So if you want to fertilise your succulents make sure you check out the best type at your local nursery or hardware store. If you do not want to fertilise them they will be fine without it I have used Seasol (seaweed concentrate) on my succulents on occasion which is not ‘by definition’ a fertiliser but more of a plant tonic. It can help the plants roots growth and help plants cope with stress.