How to Fertilize Succulents and Echeveria

Fertilizing succulents is a widely debated topic and, like managing rot, has little consensus. In the following post, I'll explain what we use to fertilize our succulents and how crucial it is to the health and longevity of our plants that we select the right products.

If you look for a "succulent" fertilizer, you'll likely come across big box store fertilizers that are often heavily watered down nitrogen phosphate potash fertilizer.

Here's the problem: Succulents' native habitat has soil with little to no nitrogen phosphate or potash. Using a fertilizer high in these elements is not particularly useful to Echeveria and is often harmful. Nitrogen is especially harmful to Echeveria as it causes the plant to stretch and weakens the cell wall. A Weakened cell wall is a welcome invitation for bacterial rot and fusarium rot. 

When fertilizing succulents like Echeveria, it's best to select stimulant fertilizers and vitalizers. Succulents don't need additional nitrogen, phosphate or potash, so its best to provide microelements, biostimulants, and other compounds to increase and support growth.

Below, I'll list the fertilizers we've used to professionally produce Echeveria in the hope they'll help our customers and succulent hobbyists throughout the USA care for and strengthen their beauties.


1. Seaweed Fertilizer (Kelp Supplement) is the ultimate succulent fertilizer. While extremely low in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, the stuff succulents don't need, kelp contains 60 trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and natural plant growth hormones like auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins. Not only does kelp stimulate growth, but it also helps make succulents like Echeveria more robust and rigid. Rigidity is the perfect natural defense against fungi and bacteria.

Seaweed can be used as a foliage spray or used in watering and is best applied every other month. It also encourages roots on new cuttings and bare root plants; simply apply a spray to the root zone. We use this regularly in our greenhouse!

We recommend 10mL per gallon for both foliage spray and watering and only suggest the product linked above due to the NPK content and exceptional quality.


2. Liquid Karma (Growth Enhancer) is another excellent succulent fertilizer. It is also extremely low in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash. Liquid karma has seven groups of nutrients: Fermented compost, Amino acids, Vitamins, Plant Extracts, Humic Acid, Seaweed Extract, and Carbohydrates. All of these components help stimulate growth and overall vigor. 

We've trialed Liquid Karma in our waterings and as a foliar spray with great success. It can be alternated with Seaweed fertilizer. 

We recommend 10mL per gallon for both foliage spray and watering.


3. HB-101 All-Purpose Plant Vitalizer is a great additive for many different kinds of plants, especially succulents! It's extremely popular in Japan and Korea and is gaining popularity here in the States. Made of saps and secondary metabolites, this vitalizer helps increase growth, vigor, and overall vitality. 

This additive is a bit more expensive, so we can't trial it here in our greenhouse, but it's been recommended to us by several succulent hobbyists.

Recommended dosage is 1mL per liter or 8mL per gallon for both foliage spray and watering.


4. Rot-Stop (Calcium Supplement), while not a fertilizer, is a secret weapon for growing exceptional succulents. Typically used for tomatoes, Calcium supplements increase calcium in the cell walls of our plants. This results in more rigid, vigorous plants that can fight off fusarium rot and bacterial soft rot.

We've trialed calcium in our waterings. Apply every three months for the best results.

Recommended dosage is 2fl oz per gallon or 60mL per gallon for watering.


It's important to trial fertilizers and determine which products suit you and your garden best! Remember, less is more when it comes to fertilizing succulents! While these are the fertilizers we have tested and found effective, many products are out there!

We want to share this information so our customers and other succulent hobbyists can grow bigger, more vigorous plants!


*The information on this website is for general informational purposes only*

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