Best Fertilizer For Cactus And Succulents {Based on Multiple Expert’s Opinion}

Most cacti and succulents grow well when a highly diluted universal fertilizer is given to them. Yet, water-soluble fertilizer with low nitrogen is the best. Using a 5-10-10 blend or 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to 1/4th strength is recommended.

Below are the Best Fertilizers for Cactus and other Succulents:

Best Fertilizer For Cactus And Succulents

Cacti and succulents are some of the most splendid and distinctive plants of different shapes and sizes. Like other plants, they also need periodic fertilization to replenish the nutrients used from the soil.

The fertilizer brand Dr. Earth manufactures an all-purpose fertilizer named “Life” having an NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) of 5-5-5.

It is used by the garden centers for most plants including cacti and succulent plants. But the formula is diluted before using it. This brand makes a formula best suited for cacti and succulent fertilizer needs.

The “Root Zone” fertilizer with NPK of 2-4-2 also gives excellent results.

Let’s know more about the best fertilizer for cactus and succulents 

Dr. Earth Premium Gold Pure & Natural Fertilizer

If your plant is turning yellow or pale, this is the ideal fertilizer to use. This fertilizer contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

It has a concentration of 10-10-10 i.e. 10% nitrogen, 10% potassium, and 10% phosphorus. Nitrogen is useful for the leaves, potassium helps the succulents to fight diseases and phosphorus helps in healthy root growth and also in blooming of flowers.

Just be careful when mixing this fertilizer though, ensure that it is not too concentrated or it could burn the roots and destroy them, thus killing your plants.

Ideally, take about one teaspoon of this fertilizer and mix it in a gallon of water. Instead of plain water, use this fertilizer while watering your plants.

Organic Worms

If you want to use organic fertilizer, then get a few wiggly worms.  Worm castings released by the worms are their nutrient-rich waste. 

You can keep the worms in a small box and feed them small vegetable wastes so that they release the castings. 

Actually, these castings contain more than 60 different nutrients such as carbon, magnesium, calcium, nitrogen etc.

These worm castings can be used to balance the pH of the soil for your succulents. When potting your succulent, mix the worm castings with your soil.

Grow Better Organic Cactus & Succulent Fertilizer

To feed your succulents for a longer  time, you will need a slow-release fertilizer and the Grow Better is an excellent choice for the same. 

As you have applied it, all the nutrients will be released in about two months, into the soil. This will keep the roots healthy and help it flourish in the growing season. 

It can be used on succulents grown indoors as well as outdoors and is effective for different soils. You can use it either by mixing it with potting soil or adding it to the surface of your land.

Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea

One of the best fertilizer for cactus and succulents is Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea.

You can make your own manure tea, however, choosing this brand will be much better for your Succulents. Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea has been perfectly made so that it does not burn your plants.

 Prepare it like a cup of tea. Keep it in the water for at least 24 hours or a little more. The water will be brown. Use this solution as water, when the soil is dry.

When you want to fertilize your succulents, weather is the one thing that you should keep in mind. In  winters, succulents require less water, so you can avoid giving them  any fertilizer too.

Make sure to fertilize your plants when they’re growing actively as this will not allow the harmful salts from building up in the soil. The ideal weather for this will be in the summer when they flourish through the heat. 

Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food

Miracle-Gro succulent plant food is an excellent option to make your succulents healthy. It goes deep into the soil, providing long lasting nutrition to the roots. It is the best option if your succulents are ailing. It gives a quick boost to them by restoring their health. This fertilizer is concentrated, so read the directions carefully to mix it right for your soil.

Miracle Gro succulent plant food instantly feeds succulents including cacti. It is considered a good plant food for all cacti, aloe, jade and other succulents. 

You can apply it directly to the soil or by mixing it with water. It can be given to the plants every 2 weeks. Your succulents will remain healthy with Miracle-Gro.

How To Use Miracle Gro?

You can apply the foam directly to the soil and water as normal. Foam from leaves can be rinsed with water. 2 pumps should be given to smaller pots and 5 pumps for larger pots over 6″ diameter.

Can Too Much Miracle Gro Kill Plants?

Although fertilizers like Miracle-Gro are very useful for gardens, if properly applied, it gives the plants the nutrients they need to flourish. So, if you are also wondering, can too much Miracle Gro Kill Plants?

Yes, excess of any fertilizer can be a problem as over-application can result in poor plant health and even death.

Is Miracle Grow A Good Fertilizer?

Yes, Miracle-Grow is the best overall fertilizer.

It is a water soluble, all purpose plant food that is a very popular and trusted brand among gardeners. 

It is a versatile and pocket-friendly mineral fertilizer that can be used on vegetables, houseplants, trees etc.

How To Make Homemade Miracle Grow?

Let’s learn how to make  homemade Miracle-Grow 


  • 1 gallon of water 
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp of Household ammonia.

Mix all these ingredients together and use it once a month on your plants for best results.

How To Dilute Miracle Gro Liquafeed

Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed Refill is diluted with water spontaneously as it is sprinkled out at approximately 1.5 teaspoons per gallon of water.  A dosing spoon can be used to measure the liquid fertilizer for use in 1 or 2 gallons of water.

How Often To Fertilize Succulents?

We have already found the best fertilizers for cactus and succulents. Now, it is important to know how often to fertilize succulents and what is the best season to fertilize them.

  1. While succulents can be fertilized once a month, especially when using manure tea as it is very mild.
  2. They will be usually fine with fertilizing once every year in the spring.
  3. You can feed your succulents with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength, three times a year to ensure their good health.
  4. For many succulents, spring is the start of the growing season, so that the added nutrients can be used well.
  5. However, the succulents growing in winters should be fertilized in the fall.
  6. Avoid using slow-release options, if you want to use something besides manure tea for your succulent fertilizer. These are very strong and can burn the succulents instead of helping them to grow. 

Fertilizing Indoor Succulents

The fertilizers enhance the growth of succulents, thus causing a lot of stretching if they aren’t getting sufficient light.

Fertilizing the indoor succulents just once every year in the spring when the days are getting longer, is enough.

You can shift your succulents outside to a bright, shady area just after fertilizing to help them in using the nutrients. If they are kept inside, try to place them in a bright area. You can also use a grow light to provide sufficient light.

Alternative Fertilizers

Some organic materials can also be utilized as alternative fertilizers. 

For example,  broken eggshells can be boiled. Wash the shells to remove any yolk or white and then add boiling water to them.  Soak them overnight and then strain the shells out in the morning. Pour this eggshell water on your succulents to add calcium boost. 

It will also provide them some extra potassium, but it doesn’t contain nitrogen, an element needed by the succulents, so you can give an additional fertilizer having nitrogen. Animal droppings can also be used as fertilizers.

Commercial Fertilizers

Commercial fertilizers can also be used, provided they are not too strong or the succulents can burn. However, using the right fertilizer every few months can help your succulents to thrive well.

Miracle Gro Cactus Fertilizer can also be used as per the instructions mentioned on the bottle. For commercial options, they should be balanced (10-10-10) and dilute first before using to prevent burning.

Manure Tea Fertilizer: Using Manure tea as fertilizers for succulents is great. It is similar to using compost or manure as fertilizer, but it’s not messy and doesn’t stink. It is safe for succulents and they grow larger and healthier. To Prepare Manure Tea, take the tea bag from the packaging without opening it and then put it in a 5-gallon bucket or any large bucket. Fill the bucket with water and keep running the water over the teabag as the bucket is filled. 1 to 5 gallons of water can be used. 

Let the tea bag remain in the water for a few days and cover the bucket.  After 2-3 days, remove the lid and the teabag. Now start fertilizing the plants. The tea is mild and it won’t burn your succulents if sprayed on the leaves. Pour the tea into a large watering can to pour it on your succulents. 

How Fertilizer Kills the Plants?

When we try to figure out how fertilizer kills the plant? It is usually seen that salt is the primary reason when it comes to over-fertilizing. This is poisonous for the plants

Salty plants are unable to absorb water properly. 

To adjust to the salts around them, the plants use a lot of energy that would otherwise be used in growing. 

Also, plants with excess new foliage grown by too much fertilizer attract pests like aphids that love tender leaves. These pests can result in the death of the plants. 

Signs of over-fertilization are:

  • light green or yellow leaves,
  • smaller leaves,
  • less leaves,
  • wilted foliage,
  • dead branch tips,
  • short twigs,
  • and plants requiring excess pruning.

Once the plants have these symptoms, there is no cure. If caught immediately, over fertilization can be removed with excess amounts of water to wash away the fertilizer.

Using Fertilization

Wait six to eight weeks before fertilizing new plants. For the best results, apply the fertilizer lightly in the fall or spring, using 1 tsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer for one gallon container. 

For older plants, soil tests can be done to find what nutrients are already in the soil and also how each plant should be fertilized according to the age and type.

Fertilizers, when used in the right quantities can promote houseplant growth, but overdoing it will hinder the growth of the plants.

In fact, it can slowly kill your plant and its foliage, stems or roots may be stunted, making the plant brittle, crinkled, limp or wilted.

Best Fertilizer For Root Growth

Root growth can be promoted by using fertilizers rich in phosphorus. Also the excess high nitrogen levels that can injure plant roots is corrected by using them.  

Root problems occuring due to the compact soil and drought are also rectified by using phosphorus-rich fertilizers. The best fertilizer for root growth are:

N-P-K Fertilizer

Commercial fertilizers display an N-P-K ratio that tells the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

If you need a fertilizer to support root growth, make sure that the middle and last numbers are greater than the first one. For example, a 3-20-20 fertilizer  containing 3 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorus and 20 percent potassium helps the roots to become strong and healthy.

Keep the nitrogen content low as it supports leggy green growth at the cost of roots, flowers and fruits.

Natural Sources

Natural sources of phosphorus and potassium can also be used for organic gardens and since they release their nutrients slowly, they are known as slow-release fertilizers. 

This means that they keep on releasing phosphorus and potassium to promote root growth for several weeks. 

Bone meal and rock phosphate have high phosphorus content and they don’t contain nitrogen or potassium. 

Wood ashes, kelp, granite meal and greensand are the best sources of potassium. Some of these organic materials may contain trace elements like iron and magnesium that are useful for the plants.

Application Tips

  • To enhance root growth without initiating flowering and fruiting, apply phosphorus and potassium before planting. 
  • Mix the fertilizer several inches into the soil where growing roots can reach them. If you apply phosphorus and potassium after the first growths appear, the nutrients will also stimulate flowering and fruiting.

Best Nutrients For Root Growth

Phosphorus and potassium are the two best nutrients for root growth in plants. Particularly, they help the plants to suppress the dense growth of new roots and nourish the existing roots.

The fertilizers high in phosphorus and potassium are useful during the active growing season. But keep in mind that phosphorus also stimulates flowering and fruits.

Fertilizing Seedlings With Miracle Grow

Once your seedlings are rooted gently into the soil, all you need to do is water and feed them properly. You can add Miracle-Gro Quick Start Planting & Transplant Starting Solution to your watering can and then after a week, use it again with regular watering in between.

What Liquid Helps Plants Grow Best

There are many options available when we are considering what l helps plants grow best. Liquids such as milk, juice, and water are good for the plants and though each one has its own benefits, pure water is still the most trusted and widely used liquid for the plants growth.


  • The correct type of fertilizer given properly at the right time will help the plant blossom.
  • Fertilizing a plant in an active growing period stimulates healthy growth, bright colors and blooming.
  • Cacti and succulents do not require many fertilizers. They grow well when fertilizers are given at a quarter or half strength.
  • Strong fertilizers, the particularly high-nitrogen mix will create problems. Mostly, succulents don’t need a certain mix.
  • A highly diluted all-purpose fertilizer will help them grow healthy. This will keep a constant amount of nutrients in the soil.
  • The main point is to get the balance between the fertilizer and the water you are giving it. If more water is given to the succulents, all the nutrients of the fertilizer will be washed out. Less water will create problems with the roots and leaves from the fertilizer.


Nikita is a Succulent lover. She really enjoys planting and nourishing them. She loves to share information about various Succulents on this blog to aware people more about these awesome plants.

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