Top 5 Best Plant Foods For Succulents (2021 Review)

Succulents claim to be one of the most beginner-friendly houseplants out there.

They require minimal watering, don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re adorable.

So why is it that I’ve killed nearly every single succulent I’ve ever owned?

Well, there are actually a lot of reasons, but the main reason all of my poor plants have kicked the bucket is a lack of proper nutrition.

Did you know that fertilizing your succulents is one of the easiest ways to keep them happy? I didn’t either!

Fertilizing your succulents can help to ensure that they don’t drop petals on you as soon as you bring them home from the store. I love the results I’ve had with fertilizing my surviving succulents—now they don’t just survive, but thrive! A high-quality fertilizer can also harden up your plants a little, making them less delicate and kill-able. Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of fertilizing your succulents.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should fertilize your succulents
  • How to choose the right plant food for your succulents
  • How a high-quality plant food will help to keep your succulents from dying
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of my favorite plant foods for succulents. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best plant food for your succulent garden.

ImageProduct
digital-business-prep-table__image
Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer
  • Easy application
  • Designed specifically for succulents and similar plants
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy application
  • Designed specifically for succulents and similar plants
  • Long-lasting
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
EarthPods Premium Cactus&Succulent Plant Food
  • Good for the environment
  • Easy to use
  • Organic
  • Good for the environment
  • Easy to use
  • Organic
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food
  • Gentle nutrient composition
  • Liquid formula
  • Easy application
  • Gentle nutrient composition
  • Liquid formula
  • Easy application
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food
  • Instant results
  • Easy to use
  • Trustworthy brand
  • Instant results
  • Easy to use
  • Trustworthy brand
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants
  • Slow-releasing
  • Amplifies color saturation
  • Increases your plant's durability
  • Slow-releasing
  • Amplifies color saturation
  • Increases your plant's durability
View on Amazon

My Overall Top #1 Pick: Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer

Although I would purchase all of the fertilizers on this list in a heartbeat, my number one choice would have to be Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer. It’s amazing for so many reasons; let’s talk about them.

Firstly, it’s super easy to use. Since it comes in a bottle with a pump, you just need to add one-to-two pumps to the soil near the base of your plant. The pump is designed to give your plant the perfect amount, so you don’t have to worry about measuring anything or overdosing your plant.

I know this isn’t something all gardeners might care about, but the bottle is also adorable. Since a lot of us grow our succulents indoors, it makes sense to keep our fertilizer there, too. Having a cute bottle is helpful if you don’t have somewhere to hide it. It’s also only 8 fluid ounces, which means it’s pretty tight if you need to tuck it into a junk drawer.

Let’s talk size. 8 fluid ounces doesn’t seem like a lot, I know, but one bottle can sustain a succulent for up to an entire year. If you have a ton of succulents, obviously it’ll last a shorter amount of time, but you definitely get a good deal on this.

You also only need to apply this fertilizer once a month, which is great for gardeners like me who tend to be kind of forgetful. The slow-releasing formula also ensures that your succulent will get nutrients for the whole month, which means constant growth.

Luckily for you guys, I did a little digging around for the NPK ratio—unfortunately, it wasn’t listed on Amazon, so I did some inquiring and found out it’s 16-9-25. Now, that’s pretty strong for a succulent! Although I adore this product, I have to warn you guys that if you have a very young propagation or simply a newly-transplanted succulent, this fertilizer might be a bit too harsh. I would dilute it or add half a pump to start.

The nutrient composition is wonderful for more established succulents, though. It promotes vibrant colors and will help to harden up your plants so that the slightest change in temperature or light won’t kill them (I swear my succulents used to wilt or thrive based on the phase of the moon).

You can also use this as a specially-formulated cactus fertilizer as well, so I double-recommend this if you have cacti in your home garden.

Overall, this is simply an amazing product for your succulents. It’s easy to use, long-lasting, and American-made. It also promotes more saturated colors, which just means your succulents will be even cuter than they were before, and it will keep them happy and healthy for a long, long time. Just in case this product doesn’t float your boat, I have some other options listed down below.

Top 5 Best Plant Foods For Succulents

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these wonderful plant foods for your succulents.

  1. Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer (My Top Pick)
  2. EarthPods Premium Cactus&Succulent Plant Food (Best High-End Pick)
  3. Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food (Best Budget Pick)
  4. Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food (Fastest-Working Pick)
  5. Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants (Best For Producing Brighter Colors)

Why Should You Invest In A High-Quality Plant Food For Your Succulents?

Succulents are so, so cute. They come in literally all shapes and sizes, from large displays to miniature plants so tiny they could hide behind your thumb. They’re also “beginner-friendly.”

I can only speak from my experiences, but in my opinion, that statement is a blatant lie. I must’ve killed about 15 succulents before it hit me: why hadn’t I tried fertilizing them? So as my 16th little succulent started dropping petals, I figuratively ran to Amazon and purchased the first succulent plant food I saw.

And man, did that change the game! Within a few days, my sad little plant perked up, which was exactly the confidence booster I needed to get another plant… and another… and another! Now I have an overflowing indoor garden filled with all sorts of adorable succulents.

For being “easy keepers,” succulents are pretty picky. They need exactly the right conditions or they’ll simply keel over and die (not really; they’ll drop petals and wilt first). So, what are those conditions?

Firstly, they need light. A lot of light. 6-8 hours a day if possible, which makes them seemingly perfect for a windowsill… except for the fact that indoor succulents get used to the nice warm temperatures, and if the window gets cold it can make them drop petals. Dramatic, much?

Oh, and if you over-or-under-water them, they’ll just die. Root rot is a super common problem with succulents, and I’ve drowned my fair share of them. I get it—all you want is to keep your succulent baby happy, and water is something that all plants need, so of course you water it! And then of course, it dies.

As you can see, they’re picky plants. No need to worry, though—I’ve got you covered! High-quality plant food can actually help to prevent some of these problems, as can making potting soil just for your succulents.

A high-quality fertilizer or plant food can harden up your plant and help to keep it from keeling over at every minor temperature fluctuation. It can also improve the soil quality and help with drainage, with is a huge problem with succulents in general. Root rot is a big succulent problem that fertilizers can help avoid.

A good fertilizer will also promote vibrancy in your succulents. We’ll talk about the specifics of nutrient composition soon, but for now, all you have to know is that nitrogen is the element succulents need the most of. A higher nitrogen content will promote those vibrant colors we all know and love so much.

Obviously, good plant food promotes overall plant health, too. And you need a healthy plant to make more healthy plants. If you’ve never considered propagating your succulents before, I highly recommend checking out this YouTube video:

I’m so excited to do this later, once my succulents are a little more established and can spare a leaf or two. You can also propagate fiddle leaf figs if they’re been fertilized properly.

Healthy propagation sometimes isn’t attainable, though. When your original plant is unhealthy, the leaves may be unable to form new plants. A good fertilizer will keep your original succulents healthy so that you can propagate new ones for years to come!

And, of course, a high-quality fertilizer will be specifically formulated for your succulents. Many of these fertilizers are meant for both cacti and succulents, and all of them are specifically formulated for plants that enjoy airy soil.

I’ve specifically curated this list of amazing succulent plant foods so there’s at least one option for everyone. Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best plant food for your succulents.

How to Pick the Best Plant Food For Your Succulents?

Composition

An in-depth knowledge of plant food composition is vital for gardening in general, but especially for the healthy growth of your succulents. The nutrients in plant food and fertilizer have a direct correlation to the coloring of your succulents.

Fertilizer/plant food is composed of three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Any product you buy should have three numbers representing these three ingredients (they look like this: 10-10-10).

A good product for your succulents will have a fairly high number since nitrogen is the nutrient that promotes leaf/petal growth and improves color vibrancy. For example, my top pick has a nutrient formula of 16-9-25, but some other products have formulas as gentle as 3-1-2. Both are perfect for succulents since the higher nitrogen content is vital for vibrant growth.

If you have a flowering succulent, I recommend a product with a higher phosphorus content, since phosphorus promotes blooming. I also recommend phosphorus-heavy fertilizer for fruits, such as strawberries.

Stressing over the numbers on your fertilizer isn’t necessary, though. It’s not a make-or-break kind of thing—potassium and phosphorus are still very important for growth, so a little more of them won’t hurt. Any of the fertilizers in this article are great for your succulents and are designed just for them.

Organic Versus Inorganic

In my experience, organic fertilizer is almost always better than inorganic, regardless of the type of plant. I definitely stick to organic fertilizers when dealing with two types of plants—ones that I eat, and ones that my pet could potentially eat.

Since succulents aren’t edible, a lot of products for them are not organic. I did include an organic product on this list for people who are really avid about organic gardening, but in my opinion, it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Allow me to give you a brief overview: organic fertilizers are comprised of all-natural materials. They don’t contain any artificial substances or pesticides, which means they’re usually non-toxic to animals. They’re also less likely to crust on the soil of your garden or to burn your plant.

Inorganic fertilizers may contain synthetic materials and pesticides. When used properly, they shouldn’t cause any harm to your succulents, but improper use can cause some hefty consequences. The pesticides in inorganic fertilizers can be really helpful, however, especially if you’re dealing with harmful pests such as aphids.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the organic versus inorganic debate. It’s all about finding what’s right for your garden. What I can say is that there is a product on this list that’s perfect for your succulents. Keep reading to learn more about these awesome succulent fertilizers!

My Reviews of the Best Plant Foods For Succulents

1. Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer (My Top Pick)

This fantastic fertilizer is one of my all-time favorites in gardening! It’s easy to use, long-lasting, and designed specifically for your succulents.

You only have to use it once a month, which is perfect since succulents don’t require too much watering. One or two pumps at the base of your plant are all it takes. The pumps are also perfectly designed so your plant gets the perfect amount every time.

The 16-9-25 nutrient ratio will promote both vibrant colors and healthy petals, but is definitely suited for mature succulents.

One bottle can also sustain your succulents for up to a full year, and you’ll be seeing pretty much instant results.

The only downside is that you have to apply it at the base of your succulents. If you have one that’s growing kind of wild, or a large pot with multiple plants, it can be a little tricky to get in there and apply it evenly.

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Made just for succulents and cacti
+ Easy to use
+ Promotes vibrant colors
+ Minimal applications required
+ Near-instant results
– Can be tough to apply to crowded plants
– Harsh for propagations or delicate succulents

2. EarthPods Premium Cactus&Succulent Plant Food (Best High-End Pick)

This high-end product is a little pricier than the others on this list, but in my opinion, it’s worth it for your succulents!

Firstly, it’s the only organic product on this list. EarthPods naturally stimulates root and petal growth, and increases the overall vibrancy of your plant.

The NPK ratio is only 0.2-0.2-0.4, which makes it extremely gentle. It won’t harm your succulents, but it might not make much of a difference in a large pot.

It’s super easy to use, too. One package contains 100 plant food capsules, which you just insert into the soil near your succulents’ roots. And one package contains a 6-year supply for a single plant!

The only downside is that if you have larger succulent pots, you need multiple pods. And if your succulents are already really lush, it can be hard to find space to poke these into the soil.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Encourages strong root growth
+ Slow-releasing
+ Easy to use
+ Great for young succulents
+ Organic
– Can be tough to use on a lush/overgrown plant
Super gentle nutrient composition

3. Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food (Best Budget Pick)

This liquid plant food is perfect if you want to give your succulents some quality nutrients without breaking the bank.

It’s super easy to use (add 7 drops per quart of water or less if you’re only watering a few plants) and has a built-in dropper.

It also comes in a compact little bottle, so you can hide it easily in a drawer, on a shelf, or even behind a plant. No more trips to the shed to get your fertilizer!

The only downside I could find with this product is the nutrient composition. It’s 2-7-7, and if you have a flowering succulent it’s perfect for promoting blooms, but the low nitrogen content doesn’t increase the overall vibrancy of your succulent’s petals.

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Gentle nutrient composition
+ Easy to use
+ Promotes blooms on flowering succulents
+ Increases petal vibrancy
+ Made just for cacti and succulents
– Low nitrogen content

4. Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food (Fastest-Working Pick)

This liquid plant food is another great option for your succulents! It works so quickly; your succulent will feel refreshed and rejuvenated practically overnight.

Like the Cute Farms fertilizer (my top pick), this product has a pump top, which means it’s super easy to apply and you get the correct dosage every time.

The NPK ratio is 0.5-1-1, which makes it perfect for younger succulents. It’s also a bargain, less than $5.00 per bottle.

The biggest downside to this product is that you have to use it once a week for good results. Make sure to ease your succulents in; try using it every 2-3 weeks to begin with, then every week if necessary.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Gentle nutrient composition
+ Great for young or delicate succulents
+ Easy to use
+ Made just for succulents
+ Instant results
– Should be used once a week for best results
– Very gentle NPK ratio not suited for mature plants

5. Succulent Fertilizer by Perfect Plants (Best Pick For Producing Brighter Colors)

And last but certainly not least, we have this wonderful granular fertilizer from Perfect Plants.

The slow-release formula lasts up to six months, and if you have just a few succulents, this tiny bag could last you literal years. Talk about an investment!

This product also increases the durability of your plants, so they become less picky about things like light and water. For dramatic succulents, that’s a huge perk.

It’s designed to increase the vibrancy of your plants, amplifying their natural colors. It’s kind of like turning the saturation up on your Instagram pics, only in real life! The strong NPK ratio is what promotes more vibrant colors, especially the strong nitrogen content.

The only reason this fertilizer is not higher on my list is actually that nutrient composition. The 13-11-11 NPK ratio is pretty strong, especially for small succulents. For more established plants, this is perfect, but if you have a young propagation or even a super picky succulent, I would try something else first.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Increases the vibrancy of your plants’ colors
+ Lasts up to six months
+ Increases your plants’ hardiness and durability
+ Made just for succulents
– Strong nutrient content might overdose delicate plants
-Granular formula can crust on the soil

My Top Pick: Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer

In my opinion, you can’t find a better fertilizer for your succulent garden than Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer!

It’s designed specifically for plants that originate from a more arid climate and has a pretty strong NPK ratio (16-9-25) so you’ll see dramatic results. You’ll be seeing more vivid colors thanks to the high nitrogen content, and the overall strength of the product will help to harden up your plant so it can thrive practically anywhere.

Succulents prefer acidic soil, and this fertilizer isn’t too alkaline, which will help your plant feel more at home.

This product is also painfully easy to use. Just apply one or two pumps to the base of your plant once a month and boom! You’ll be seeing results practically overnight, even if the formula is slow-releasing to provide nutrients to your succulent all month long.

I really cannot recommend this product enough, but like I mentioned before, I would personally use any of the products on this list. Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, and Aloe Fertilizer would be my first pick, though!

Final Thoughts On The Best Plant Foods For Succulents

Succulents are an adorable addition to your indoor (or outdoor, if you live in the right climate) garden, but they can be pretty finicky about their growing conditions. Any of the high-quality plant foods on this list will help improve the quality of your succulents and help them not only survive, but thrive.

With the right product, you’ll be noticing more vibrant colors and overall hardier plants within just a few days. I can’t wait for the amazing results you’ll see with one of these fertilizers—heck, I’m excited for the results I’ll see, too! I’m so excited to fertilize my succulents and keep them happy and healthy, and I’m excited for you to do the same.

Emma Grace

Emma Grace

Leave a Comment

Emma Grace

Emma Grace

About Learn Planting

Here at Learn Planting, I review the best planting tools and products so that you can get everything you need to create your vibrant garden, whether indoors or outdoors!

Recently Published Guides