Fertilizing Senecio

The best part about growing senecio plants is their tendency to be very low maintenance. Tasks like watering, pruning, and fertilizing are on a much more relaxed schedule than they are for many other houseplants. Potted plants will require supplemental fertilizing at some point as the nutrients become depleted over time. Fortunately, senecio thrives in poor soil in its native habitat and can survive in the same pot, in most cases, for years. 

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Why Fertilize Senecio

Fertilize your senecio plant only during its active growing season, spring and summer. This gives the plant the nutrients it needs to put on steady and strong growth. Avoid fertilizing this plant during the fall or winter when growth slows. Giving the plant excess nutrients during this time can lead to leggy stems and weakened growth.  

How Often To Fertilize Senecio

Senecio should only be fertilized in the spring and summer. Typically, senecio only needs one feeding during the spring to support healthy growth. Avoid using potting mixes with added fertilizers. Not only are the nutrient levels generally too high for succulents, but the perlite or sand content is generally too low to support proper drainage. 

How To Tell If Senecio Needs Fertilizer

Senecio is not a hungry plant and will thrive in poor soil compared to what tropical plants prefer. When the overall growth seems to have slowed or new shoots are smaller than expected, a dose of fertilizer may help revive a sluggish plant. A hungry plant may also appear dull in color, with less glossy leaves. 

Best Fertilizer For Senecio

Senecio responds well to premixed liquid fertilizers intended for cacti and succulents. Look for an organic and sustainable brand with a balanced NPK ratio. An NPK ratio of 2-2-2 or 1-1-2 will support strong root and foliage growth. Dr. Earth's Succulence liquid fertilizer is easy to use and dilutes in water quickly and evenly. 

Senecio Fertilizing Tips

Fertilizing senecio is not a chore high on the yearly maintenance list. Applying a dose of liquid feed early in the spring as the plant begins its active growing phase will provide enough nutrients to support vigorous growth.

  • Fertilize only during the active growing period of spring and summer
  • Use a liquid feed formulated for succulents and cacti
  • Dilute the fertilizer in water before applying
  • Avoid using potting mixes that have fertilizers or water-holding gel added

Warnings

-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 12-21-2023