Fertilizer for succulents

Succulents: common characteristics and cultural needs

Succulents, or more precisely succulents, belong to different botanical families and give life to numerous species, very different in shape, size and color. However, they share the characteristic of having adapted to living in arid environments, and being able to survive for a long time without water. This capacity depends on the presence in these plants of particular tissues, the aquifer parenchyma, capable of absorbing the water they receive during the short period of rain that precedes the long drought in the places of origin. The water stored in this way is released when needed. The particular appearance of these plants depends on the presence of these tissues, whose stems, leaves and roots appear thicker and fleshy than other plant species. For succulents to grow well it is necessary that the

Fertilizers: what they are for, what they contain

Plants derive their nourishment from the water and soil in which they live, which provides them with all the elements they need. For plants grown in pots, in the house, balcony or garden, the substances present in the soil are exhausted at a certain point and must be integrated through fertilization interventions. These substances provide the chemical elements necessary for the life and development of plants, in particular the so-called elements of fertility such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which are essential for all plants. Other less important elements such as calcium, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen may also be present, or microelements specific to a particular species. The percentages of the three main elements are shown on the labels, following the NKP formula,

The characteristics of a good fertilizer for succulents

Each plant species has its particular needs in terms of nutritional elements, which also vary for the individual specimen based on the size or environment in which it lives and the phase in which it is found, of rest, growth or flowering. The elements a succulent plant needs are mainly phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus helps the roots and the ripening of buds and fruits, potassium allows healthy growth and beautiful flowering. Succulents do not need as much nitrogen, indeed this element must be supplied with caution, since by promoting growth it causes the weakness of stems and leaves and can seriously damage the plant. For succulents that have replaced the thorns for the leaves, calcium is also very important, which gives solidity to the whole plant. Depending on the species and culture medium may also require microelements such as manganese, copper, zinc, and iron. A fertilizer for succulents must be well balanced, the proportion should be one part of nitrogen, three of phosphorus and five of potassium.

Fertilize succulents: When and how succulents should be fertilized

Succulents should be fertilized with caution, possibly avoiding universal fertilizers. It is necessary to strictly follow the doses and methods of use indicated on the label each product is supplied with. These plants do not easily absorb nourishment from the soil, therefore it is recommended to use a liquid fertilizer for succulents, to be added to the watering water so that it reaches immediately deep and therefore to the roots, and does not remain long in the soil, where it could also cause damage. The best time to proceed with fertilization is at the vegetative restart, usually at the beginning of spring; absolutely to be avoided during the rest phase. Do not fertilize a young plant, with roots not yet well developed, nor a plant that has just been repotted, it is better to wait a couple of months.

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