To feed or not to feed, that is the question…
As with any plant, succulents can benefit from an added fertilizer to increase the root and leaf growth of the overall plant. The main difference with succulents compared to other plants is the frequency and strength of the fertilizer. Most succulents can benefit from a feeding in the early weeks of spring as the succulents start their growing phase for the year, and once more in the middle to end of summer for that last boost of nutrition before the succulents go dormant over the winter. When you do choose to fertilize your succulents it is best to use an organic fertilizer at ½ strength of its recommended dosage. There are many commercial fertilizers that are available that would work if you are not interested in using an organic or naturally produced plant food, however, keep in mind that succulents can be very sensitive to overfeeding. Too much fertilizer and a succulent’s roots will rot and the plant will die, so it is always best to err on the side of caution and feed with a diluted solution of ½ strength or less.
We fertilize our houseplants with a very diluted formula on the monthly basis, except in the winter when we take a break feeding most of our plants. We suggest diluting your fertilizer if you are going to feed often to ensure you are not overfeeding your plants. Read above for more about over-fertilizing!
Here at Suburban Succulents, we add organic materials like compost, worm castings, and rabbit manure to our soil blend to increase the available nutrients to the plants over a prolonged period rather than a liquid fertilizer supplement. We feel this is the best approach as worm castings add micronutrients and enzymes beyond the basic Nitrogen – Phosphorous – Potassium of most fertilizers and are slowly released over the course of watering the plant throughout the year.