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

Succulents are known to be low maintenance plants that is why the requirement for the fertiliser for cactus is quite limited in nature. They can thrive in the harsh environments and thus do not require any sort of neglect that you may throw at it. That is perhaps one of the reasons why the cacti do not need any sort of fertilizer requirements. However, using the right cactus fertilizers can help you in making them bloom.

The fertliser requirements of a cactus plant are quite limited. You can simply use good houseplant food for the cacti. It would be advisable to use a plant fertiliser that has higher in phosphorus than nitrogen is the right choice. It is recommended to use the– solution for most of the requirements of cactus fertilisers. 

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:

What does  Cactus Fertiliser Contain? 

The succulent fertilisers or cactus fertilisers – just like every other fertiliser consists of three major elements-

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus and
  • Potassium


Nitrogen is the element that provides the growth of the stems and leaves. This should be the most vital nutrient for the perfect growth of the plant. If you find the leaves of the cactus growing to yellow, you should use a fertiliser that has a higher percentage of nitrogen. It may be a good idea to opt for a fertiliser with the 5-15 percentage.


The lack of phosphorus can result in the leaves oof the cactus turning into greenish purple. It would help in the growth of stems and flowers. If you notice any such issues with your cactus, you need to use a fertiliser in the range of 5 to 15%.


Potassium is known for the best options in fighting off germs and helps it protect the cactus from the diseases. It is advisable to use the same proportion of the potassium as nitrogen. if you notice the edges of the leaves turning yellow, you need to use the fertiliser that has  higher percentage of potassium.

Does a Cactus Need Fertilizer?

Like most other plants, cactus also needs nutrients for an effective growth. In general conditions, it may survive without fertilisers for a longer time period, but ultimately they will need some nutrients if your soil lacks some sort of elements that are needed of the proper growth. Using the cactus fertilisers helps you in encouraging a better growth, and enhance the quality of flowering. 

Just the way a cactus does not need much of watering when compared to the other regular house plants, the fertiliser requirements of the cactus are very simple and low end. However, that should not mean you need not use cactus fertilisers. Using the right sort of fertilisers will help your cactus to grow in by adapting to the environment in a better way.

You will need cactus fertilisers during the active growing periods as opposed to  any other time. In most of the scenarios, the gardeners prefer using the cactus fertilisers once every three or six months. This will help the cactus to grow consistently during its active growing period.

How Often Do Succulents Need Fertilizer?

The frequency of using a cactus fertiliser would ideally be dependent on the type of fertiliser that you are using. If you  are using a mnaure tea fertiliser, we would recommend using the fertilisers once every month. However, it should be noticed that the cactus will continue to thrive even when you use the fertilisers once every year. 

In the case of indoor succulents we would recommend using the cactus fertilisers once every year. Based on our experience, we found that fertilising for more than once a year did not offer any benefits. Since indoor plants do not get enough light, the fertilisers induce a growth thereby making them stretch out giving them a very ugly look.

Recommended reading- 

Based on our experiecne with the the succulents and their fertilisatiion, we learned a few lessons which may be helpful for the would be gardeners –

  1. The succulents can be fertilized once a month, especially when using manure tea
  2. They will be usually fine with fertilizing once every year in the spring season.
  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. We recommend using the cactus fertilisers during this season for a better growth. 

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 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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. 

4. 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 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.

Can Fertlisers Kill Cactus? 

Over watering and over fertiliation are the two most dangerous aspects that can kill your cactus. Analysis of the fertiliser is much important before you can decide on the exact amount fertilisers used for the cactus. It is advisable to take care not to overfeed the cactus. The cactus can become more weak and spindy. 

Too much of nutrient mix or feritliser can result in root rot and other leaf burn issues. Avoid using toomuch nitrogen on your cactus. This will help you an optimum care of the plant. Since the cacti are not the fastest growing plants, you may end up finding that the cactus is not able to utilise much of the fertiliser.

A few of the signs that can indicate the over fertiliation of the cactus can include

  • A leggy sort of growth or an unusual elongation of the leaves
  • Discoloration in the leaves and stem
  • Loss of leaves

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.

A few FAQs

Do cactus need special fertilizer?

It is a good idea to use the low nitrogen fertiliser for the cactus. A 5-10-10 proportion in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium should be the right option for an enhanced experience.

What is a complete fertilizer for cactus?

The fertiliser that includes all the three elements viz Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium is called the complete fertiliser for the cactus. If you have the phosphorus and potassium levels already high in your soil mix, it would be advisable to ise the fertiliser that has nitrogen alone.

Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?

Coffee ground do provide a good combination of nitrogen, potassium and magnesium, and thus can be the good option for the complete fertilisers. Even when I have not used them, I have witnessed that they induce a better growth at other gardeners.


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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