Fertilizer for succulent plants: how to choose it
The fertilizer for succulents must be chosen according to the variety. Coming from areas characterized by a dry, arid and hot climate, succulent plants, also called succulent plants, need fertilizers rich in organic substances, able to favor their development. In addition to hydrogen, carbon and oxygen, they need calcium, potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Nitrogen, in particular, is present in any part of the plant, from flowers to stem; calcium is essential for the development of thorns; potassium affects strength and determines the presence of fruits and the color of flowers; lastly, phosphorus has an influence on seeds. Each plant, however, needs a different fertilizer, depending on its needs, with different proportions and sizes. As for the cacti, cylindrical or spherical from South or Central America with evident thorns and areoles, they do not like to be fertilized, as they are accustomed to dry places, characterized by long periods of drought that are followed by very rainy seasons short.
Potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen
Moreover, they do not like abundant quantities of nitrogen, an element that facilitates the development of soft and green fabrics, which risk being hit by various rots, fungi and cold. For this reason, cactaceae must not be fertilized with manure: this element, in fact, initially would make the succulent and turgid cacti, but within a few months it would make them easy prey for fungal parasites, or even cause death due to an excessively cool climate. Succulent plants generally prefer a rather damp and cool soil, and therefore the presence of manure would not be welcome. Much better to resort to specific fertilizer characterized by a high content of potassium and a low nitrogen content, to be used every three weeks or less frequently, depending on the type of plant. In the case in which the plants have just been repotted, it is necessary to wait for the following year to resume fertilizing. The quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is specified on the packages of fertilizers: the letter K indicates potassium, the letter P the phosphorus and the letter N the nitrogen. Therefore, there is an abbreviation, NPK, followed by three numbers, which specify the concentration of these elements within the fertilizer: if the first number is not lower than the others, it means that you are using the wrong fertilizer. The ideal mixture for most succulent plants, in fact, includes five parts of potassium, three parts of phosphorus and a part of nitrogen. It is therefore evident that these species must be fertilized with a certain parsimony, preferably by mixing the fertilizer with the water for watering, so that it is able to penetrate deeply, between the roots. Moreover, if the fertilizer is not placed directly on the ground, the salts stay for a short time, and therefore there is no risk of damaging the plant.