Succulents – undemanding, beautiful plants that have an original appearance and are easy to care for. But in order for such crops to develop fully, it is necessary to regularly apply fertilizers. These plants receive part of the nutrients – mainly minerals – required for their growth from the soil. But sometimes this is not enough. In this article, you will learn about the substances that you will need for the full development of such crops. After reading this material, you can easily find the best fertilizer for your succulents.
When to use fertilizer for succulents
To understand that a succulent needs to be fertilized, you can pay attention to its appearance. Let’s consider the most important points:
- complete or partial stoppage in development, this signals that the plants are not enough nitrogen;
- die-off of branches, the formation of red spots, indicates a lack of sulfur;
- change in the color of the leaves indicates a lack of oxygen, this phenomenon is the result of a lack of fluoride;
- lack of development of the root system is a signal of calcium deficiency; lightening of color, long absence of flowering indicates a lack of magnesium;
- falling buds, die-off of the growth point – a lack of iron.
These are the main signs by which you can understand that the culture lacks nutrients. Based on them, it is recommended to start gradually introducing compositions. Periodically saturating with a small amount of nutrients, succulents will be able to find brighter colors, grow faster and bloom better.
Information about succulents
What components are included in the optimal fertilizer for cacti and succulents
Let’s look at the most important substances that are necessary for the full development of succulents.
This substance is responsible for the full development of crops, allows the covers to coarsen faster and better. Thanks to him, succulents better tolerate temperature fluctuations. Thanks to potassium, the process of formation of buds improves, the duration of flowering is regulated. But from an excess of potassium can also be detrimental consequences, they appear in the form of cessation of growth, the emergence of problems with the development of the root system.
This element is responsible for the full development and normal growth of the root system. Also phosphorus stimulates the appearance of buds, which affects the full flowering of plants. With a lack of phosphorus succulents may not bloom at all and their growth may stop. When using a complex fertilizer for succulents, make sure it has as much phosphorus as it does potassium or nitrogen.
The main building material that contributes to the full development of prickles, hairs, bristles. If there is a lack of calcium, the soil becomes acidic. The problem can be solved by applying lime.
Without nitrogen, succulents cannot fully develop, they may be stunted, branches and shoots become underdeveloped. But the percentage of nitrogen should always be less than or equal to the amount of potassium and phosphorus.
For succulents, manure, poultry manure and other types of natural organics should not be used. If you still want to use organic fertilizers (and only for flowering plants) – it is better to use small amounts of liquid compositions, which are sold in special stores. Such organic fertilizer stimulates plant growth, improves the formation of buds, protects plants from diseases.
Properly selected fertilizers for succulents and cacti guarantee the full development of cultures, their flowering, active growth.
The main condition when choosing and buying fertilizers. In complex fertilizers the amount of nitrogen must be equal or less than the amount of phosphorus and potassium.
How and when to fertilize house succulents
Depending on what type of fertilizer you are going to use, this will affect the frequency of application. Let’s describe this point in more detail.
How often to apply fertilizer
- Slow-release granular fertilizer: Before you plant your succulent in a new pot, mix the pellets with the soil mixture. Granular fertilizer is a great choice for planting a new plant. You can also add it to a flower that is already growing if you are not going to transplant it. Fertilise with this fertiliser once a year at the start of the growing season.
- Liquid fertilizer: Fertilize the plant during the growing season. Be sure to dilute the concentrate with twice as much water as directed. Succulents can receive this fertilizer every 2 weeks. This period begins in March and ends in the second half of September. With the onset of the dormancy period, fertilization should be discontinued.
When not to fertilise
- Fertilizing during unstable weather is not recommended. During this time your flowers’ metabolism slows down and their growth stops, so the amount of nutrients needed should also be reduced.
- After a plant is transferred to a new container, it does not need to be fertilised for 21 days. Weakened plants should also not be fertilised as this will only cause them harm.
- During the dormancy period (in different species it occurs at different times), when the succulent stops developing, it is not recommended to apply fertilizer at all.
In any case, if you use a purchased fertilizer, be sure to read the instructions for use first.
Tip: Whichever type of fertilizer you choose, it is recommended to use only 50% of the recommended dose. Too much fertilizer can harm your succulents.
A few types of fertilizer for indoor succulents
To avoid buying ready-made fertilizers for succulents, you can prepare them yourself based on individual ingredients. Let’s look at a few popular recipes:
- We take 5 liters of water, add superphosphate, iron (1 gram each), as well as magnesium and calcium (2 grams each). We also add 4 grams of potassium.
- For 1 liter of water, use 1 gram of a mixture based on ammonium nitrate (30 grams), potassium (250 grams), sodium (40 grams), and ammonium sulfate (80 grams).
‘Amber acid’ is also used to treat the soil of succulents. This substance is used once a year, the optimal period – the beginning of spring. For 5 liters of water, 1 g of succinic acid will be required. Such a preparation promotes better development of the green mass, increases the abundance of flowering, helps to better absorb nutrients from the soil.
‘Boric acid’ is also often used. It is also relevant for use in the spring period. The preparation promotes the activation of the formation of new sprouts, stimulation of flowering, uniform growth, increasing the resistance of the culture to pests or rot of various types.
Fertilizer ‘Bona forte’ for succulents is often used at home. This drug is designed to take into account the peculiarities of the development of the culture. It can be applied once every 7 days. The drug is relevant for root application. 5 milliliters of the composition are diluted in 1.5 liters of water..
Organic fertilizer for succulents made from natural raw materials
We want to mention an important point right away – not all succulent crops are good with organic fertilizers. Before you are going to feed your plants, find out – whether your flower can be fed organics or not.
There are many different fertilizers that can be made at home. For example, one of the best options for flowering succulents is castor oil. 1 teaspoon of the substance is dissolved in 1 liter of water. Also among the improvised means will do:
- Yeast. They contain many proteins, minerals, and amino acids. They help activate the formation of the root system. 100 g of yeast is dissolved in 0.5 liters of water, then the composition is brought to 5 liters of liquid. Watering is carried out once a month;
- Apple. Grind 1 kg of apples, then insist them in 5 liters of water. The duration is 48 hours. The infusion is stored in a refrigerator. Watering the soil with such a substance is recommended 1 time in 2 weeks.
Onion husks. Apply as a complete nutrition. 4 handfuls of husks from onions are diluted in 2 liters of water, boiled for 5 minutes. The resulting solution is cooled, strained. Plants are watered for a month – only 2 times;
- Potato decoction. This fruit is an excellent source of starch. The substance helps to strengthen the root system. Potatoes are boiled in jacket, and the water that remains is used to water the plant. The frequency is once every 30 days;
- Sugar. This substance contains a lot of glucose, which is an excellent building material for the root system. 2 tsp. dissolve in 1 liter of water. Watering is carried out once every 2 weeks.
Another popular fertilizer for succulents is wood ash. 1 tbsp of such a substance is poured 1 l of boiling water, insist for 7 days, sometimes mixed. The resulting solution should be watered succulents 1 time in 10 days.
Competent and harmonious application of nutrients is a guarantee of obtaining beautiful, spectacular succulents.
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