Ask a Question forum: Succulents

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Oct 2, 2015 10:21 AM CST
I just bought some Cactus Succulent Fertilizer, is it okay to use on new baby succulents and on the older ones?
Or do I have to wait till Spring?

Thank you
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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Oct 2, 2015 11:06 AM CST
Hi Angie,

I am not experienced with growing many cacti or succulents but I'm always wary of using any fertilizer or plant food full strength. Many years ago some of my plants experienced fertilizer burn so I began to use much less than the recommended amount listed on the container. If it states to use 1 Tbsp. to a gallon of water I always use 1/2 Tbsp. but that's just me ... and I must admit that I'm really bad about feeding my plants on a regular basis. *Blush*

Hopefully those who grow succulents will pop in with suggestions on whether you should be fertilizing you young succulents.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Oct 2, 2015 11:25 AM CST
Hello angiegist Smiling

Typically I refrain from giving fertilizer to my succulents. I would rather give them a good repot as needed. Oftentimes, it causes more harm if applied too much. They have very low needs compared to most houseplants and have been conditioned to use minimal that is why it is much easier to grow provided the other aspects of light, proper drainage, temperature and timing of watering is met.

When temps are getting cooler in winter, and if you need to move them indoors, the plants will naturally slow down in growth. They still need light but don't fertilize. I do not know what type of succulents you have nor where your location is. Maybe give us your general location and the manner you grow them like:
1)where are the plants now
2) how much light and orientation of light they are getting- is it natural light or artificial light; is it getting south sun or north sun orientation
3)what type of succulent are you growing- like cacti, these will not need fertilizer in winter, they are dormant, best to keep them dry and warm.
4)your watering frequency-when temps are cold, reduce or stop watering, cold and wet kills them faster, applying fertilizers will not help
5)how are they planted, what media are you using and are the containers with holes - is media quite porous and container well draining. Those fertilizers need to be flushed out too, otherwise too much concentration will damage the roots.

And, observe if they are actively growing, some are winter growers, some are summer growers. So if you do have to apply some fertilizer, do it at their active growing time. Best to use half concentration than indicated on the package, at times less is more.
[Last edited by tarev - Oct 2, 2015 11:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Oct 4, 2015 9:01 PM CST
I very rarely fertilize my succulents (or small cacti) -- and I wouldn't recommend it for ones you've just bought or repotted. When I have fertilized it was at even less than half strength and that was for some of my older succulents in slightly larger pots.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”

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