Keep Your Succulent from Dying With These Essential Elements

by Succulent Market AdminAug 12, 2020

image of a healthy succulent

Have you ever wondered why your succulent randomly becomes weak, leggy, or outright dies? There are many reasons why this may be happening, but you need to consider whether this is happening because your succulent is starving for one of these five important elements. All succulents require Nitrogen, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, and Phosphorous. A deficit of any one of these major elements can be detrimental to your succulent and can be the reason why your succulent is dying. In this article, we will outline the most important nutrients for all succulents and what happens when a succulent is starved of one of these major nutrients. 

  1. Nitrogen

The first important element for succulents is Nitrogen. Succulents absorb nitrogen from its soil by means of its roots. Nitrogen is important for succulents because it provides for strong stem growth. A Nitrogen deficit can cause the stem of your succulent to become weak. This can be seen as the stem of your succulent slowly start to become weak and the veins in between the leaves of your succulent begins to yellow. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the soil surrounding your succulent has adequate Nitrogen. If your soil does not have adequate Nitrogen then it is important to utilize a nitrogen fertilizer like Superphosphate during warmer months, like summer and spring, when your succulent is actively growing. When applying a nitrogen fertilizer to succulents it is best to use only a half dose. During dormant periods like winter it is best not to use a nitrogen fertilizer as this can result in too much Nitrogen that can become toxic to your succulent and cause it to die. If you are using too much Nitrogen then this can become toxic to your succulent as the excess nitrogen will cause the leaves of your succulents to burn and wilt.

  1. Magnesium

The second most important element for succulents is Magnesium. Magnesium is essential to a succulent’s ability to engage in photosynthesis. If a succulent is unable to photosynthesize then it will be unable to maintain its green and vibrant color causing it to die. You can identify if your succulent is in a Magnesium deficit if it begins to lose its color and the older leaves begin to yellow between their veins. To fix a Magnesium deficit use Epsom salts or limestone as a fertilizer. Do not apply too much as this will cause the leaves of your succulents to slowly begin to curl and die.

  1. Phosphorous:

The third most important element for succulents is Phosphorous. Phosphorous is critical to the development of a succulent’s roots. A deficit of phosphorus will cause a succulent to have a weak stem and weak roots causing it to die. This will affect the overall strength of the succulent making it appear weak and fragile, as it grows slower than usual. After testing your soil or after seeing the listed problem above you are able to determine that your succulent is suffering from a phosphorous deficit utilize a phosphorous fertilizer such as superphosphate to compensate for this deficit. Be careful as too much phosphorous can lead to your succulent absorbing phosphorous as opposed to Iron, which is one of the other essential nutrients for succulents. This can result in your succulent dying. 

  1. Calcium 

The fourth most important element for succulents is Calcium. Like Nitrogen, Calcium is essential to the development of a succulent’s stem in addition to the tips of the succulent’s roots. A calcium deficit can be identified when new leaves die quickly and the growth of your succulents’ roots is inhibited. To solve for a Calcium deficit use a Calcium fertilizer like Gypsum or Dolomite. Be careful though, because too much calcium will inhibit the uptake of magnesium, causing your succulent too die.

  1. Iron

The final most important element for succulents is Iron. Like Magnesium, Iron is essential to chlorophyll formation. Thus, if your succulent lakes Iron then it will not be able to photosynthesize. In addition, Iron is essential to the overall health and growth of your succulent’s roots. If your succulent lacks Iron then its growth will be stunned, in addition new leaves will begin to yellow between their veins. To solve for an Iron deficit, utilize Iron Sulphate and Chelate as a fertilizer.


To find out more awesome information on succulents and stop your succulents from dying check out Feed Spot. They have a great source of blogs where you can find a lot of information on plants and plant care.