Learn how to fertilize succulents

Often people think that you don’t need fertilizer for succulents. Just like most plants though, succulents will benefit from regular fertilizing. Find out how often you should fertilize and what you should use!

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As with all plants, succulents need nutrients to help them grow healthy and beautiful. Surprisingly though not many people think succulents need fertilizer! While they can get some of the nutrients they need from the soil, fertilizer will help them grow more full and produce better colors.

You do have to be careful not to use a fertilizer that is too strong, otherwise the succulents can burn. However, the right fertilizer used every few months can dramatically change how well your succulents thrive.

Over the winter I got to photograph with Cindy Davison of The Succulent Perch and she was kind enough to give me a bag of Haven Brand Manure Tea. I highly recommend this for a succulent fertilizer. You can also use Miracle Grow Cactus Fertilizer, but I think the tea works much better, plus it won’t burn the succulents, even in large amounts.

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Your succulents will thank you for fertilizing them! Find out how often you should fertilize succulents and what you should use

Cold hardy Sempervivums and Sedums

The idea behind manure tea is great: it’s like using compost or manure as fertilizer, but you don’t get messy and it doesn’t stink. It’s a great natural way to fertilize succulents and my succulents loved it! It is really safe for the succulents and they grew so much larger and healthier than they would have other wise.

You’ll get 3 bags for $12.95 including shipping. Only available in the United States.

Preparing manure tea

Remove the tea bag from the packaging (but leave the tea bag as is) and then place it in a 5 gallon bucket (or any large bucket you have).

Place your manure tea bag in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and then fill it with water

Fill the bucket nearly to the top with water. Run the water over the tea bag as you fill the bucket. The directions suggest using somewhere between 1 and 5 gallons of water. I used 5 gallons.

Steep your manure tea for several days for a more potent fertilizer

Cover the bucket and let the tea bag sit in the water for a few days. I didn’t want to fish the bag out of the water later, so I left the string hanging over the edge of the bucket.

Cover the manure tea while it steeps

After 2-3 days (or longer… I accidentally left mine for 4), open up the bucket and remove the tea bag. Now you can begin fertilizing!

After 3-4 days of steeping your manure tea is ready to use!

Using manure tea

Your succulents will benefit from using fertilizer - find out how often they need it and what to use

Cold hardy Sempervivums and Sedums

The tea is mild enough that it won’t burn your succulents if it gets on top of the leaves. I poured the tea into a large watering can and generously poured it on my succulents just like I would with any other watering. I only fertilized my outdoor succulents (I’ll tell you why a bit later) and I only watered them with the tea once. Here’s what they looked like before the manure tea fertilizer…

Help your succulents grow bigger and more beautiful with manure tea fertilizer

Find out how to improve the health of your succulents with fertilizer

The succulents looked healthy, although they were a little sparse. I was really curious to see how much the fertilizer would help. I was so amazed to see how quickly the fertilizer helped! Within just 30 days I noticed a difference in how filled in the container of succulents became. They were all very healthy and growing quite large. I didn’t get around to photographing them until about 2 months after using the fertilizer, but here is what they looked like…

Your succulents will grow faster after you fertilize them

Find out how to fertilize succulents to get this full and lush look

After using fertilizer succulents will become more lush and full

I love how full this rain gutter succulent garden is and I’m confident the fertilizer really helped. I have a couple other planters outside and they don’t look nearly as good. The great thing about using the manure tea is you aren’t likely to burn your succulents or over fertilize them because it’s such a mild form of fertilizer (but very powerful all the same!). I’ve also used a Miracle Grow Cactus Fertilizer but wasn’t as impressed.

You can get 3 bags for $12.95 including shipping. Only available in the United States.

How often do succulents need fertilizer?

Now that you know about a great fertilizer, you may be wondering how often to fertilize succulents. While you can fertilize succulents as often as once a month, especially if you’re using manure tea, they will generally do just fine with one fertilizing each year in the spring. For a lot of succulents this is the beginning of their growing season so they can are ready to use the added nutrients. If you have mostly winter growing succulents, I’d recommend fertilizing in the fall.

If you decide to use something other than manure tea for your succulent fertilizer, stay away from slow release options. These are extremely potent and can often burn the succulents rather than help them grow. I recommend using a water soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength.

Have fun watering your succulents stress free with the tips in this ebook!

Fertilizing indoor succulents

I’ve gone back and forth on whether indoor succulents need fertilizer. Ultimately, I’ve decided to fertilize mine just once per year in the spring (when the days are getting longer). The fertilizer causes succulents to grow more quickly which can cause a lot of stretching if you’re succulents aren’t getting enough light. If possible, move your succulents outdoors to a bright, shady area just after fertilizing to help them stay compact as they enjoy the boost of nutrients. If you do keep them inside, try to give them as much light as possible and even consider using a grow light.

So, if you’re itching to fertilize your outdoor succulents, order some manure tea and get started! I know you’ll love how large they grow and fill in. I’d love to know about your experience fertilizing succulents! Feel free to leave a comment below! Also, if you know anyone who you think would benefit from this post, please share it with them on social media or via email.


2017-10-05T16:02:23+00:00

118 Comments

  1. Pat September 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I am ordering my first order for the manure tea. I will let you know how they turn out. I have felt they need something as they are a tad pale. But always being thrifty minded – after I make up 5 gals of tea, can I use the bag again?
    Would love to hear more from the member that has greehouse also and she waters over head. I have not been to pleased with mine so wonder if she could make some suggests. Would apprecyate hearing from others also. I have oh maybe getting close to 100 plus some babies.lol. Love collecting any a tad differnt. Always order from Mountain Crest from the Hardy list.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team September 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      After making 5 gallons of tea, there aren’t much nutrients in the manure tea anymore, so it’s usable only once. Sounds like you’ve got a great collection going!

  2. Beness October 6, 2017 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    How long does the yea last/store? I don’t have many succulents and 5 gallons would be a lot.

    • Chantile -- Succulents and Sunshine Success Team October 9, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Once it is made up you should use it within a day or two. However, you can mix it in smaller quantities and let the tea bag dry out in between. It will make about 5 gallons total.

  3. Maura October 16, 2017 at 4:39 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this information You’ve been very helpful

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