Although there are general guidelines that are useful to know as a beginner succulent owner, perfecting the art of watering succulents takes time. When watering your succulents, keep these points in mind and make adjustments based on what works or doesn’t.
1. Succulents are prone to decay. Never let a succulent sit in a puddle of water, regardless of the variety. Remove excess water from saucers, avoid letting water pool on plants, avoid letting soil become soggy around leaves, and avoid letting roots rot in planters with poor drainage.
For extended periods of time, pools of water were always resting on these leaves. They’ve been overwatered, or flattened and turned into mush.
2. They will certainly survive prolonged droughts but probably not thrive in them. Some succulents, anywhere from a few times per week to once every two weeks, want to be watered more frequently than others. Most of the time, you should only water a succulent when the soil is completely dry (and drain).
3. During the winter, most succulents go dormant. Most people grow and bloom throughout the spring and summer, which need extra water. Water can be fatal to succulents during the dormant season, which is typically winter. In months of dormancy, watering needs to be drastically reduced, and in some cases, completely stopped. By doing some study, make sure you are aware of when your succulent goes dormant, and water accordingly.
4. They’ll communicate with you if they receive too much or too little water. Succulents’ leaves begin to resemble shriveled fingers that have spent too much time in the jacuzzi when they receive too much water. If leaves are overwatered, they frequently turn brown, decay totally, and then start to fall off.
Succulents frequently get dry, dark blotches on their leaves when they don’t get enough water. As the plants start to shrivel up, fleshier leaves will also appear and feel much more brittle and dry than typical. If the leaves seem wrinkled, try touching them. You can use it to determine whether they are being over or under watered. Underwatered leaves will be considerably stiffer and firmer than overwatered leaves, which will feel mushy.
How can I tell if my succulent has too much water?
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about succulents that are dry, but what about those that have received too much water? Well, if you recall, overwatering essentially causes those particular balloon-like cells to overfill and burst, leading to damaged cell structures and rotting leaves and roots.
Discoloration and a change in the shape of the leaves are the first indications of overwatering to look out for. The leaves will turn transparent, floppy, and squishy, and unlike those that have been under-watered, they won’t be retrieved by the plant. It won’t be simple for succulents to recover from this state, but they can. Taking leaves and cuttings to root and grow new plants is an alternative to rescuing the overwatered succulent.
How frequently should a succulent be watered?
During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.
A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.
Can succulents bounce back after being overwatered?
The more quickly you act, the more likely you are to be able to save your plant. The likelihood that a plant may succumb to rot increases with the amount of overwatering. As you can see from the examples above, there are times when a plant is simply too damaged to be saved.
The plant is essentially drowning from too much water and needs to dry out as quickly as possible if it is exhibiting early signs of overwatering, such as mushy, soft, and pale bottom leaves.
Steps on How To Save an Overwatered Succulent:
- It is preferable to remove the plant from its current location and thoroughly clean the roots of any moist soil.
- For at least three days and up to a week, let the plant to completely dry out.
- The plant should be placed somewhere dry and sunny, but out of direct sunlight to prevent burning of the leaves and roots.
- Replant in an appropriate, fast-draining potting mix once it has dried up; do not water right away. Before watering again, wait about a week and take care not to overwater.
You might get away with leaving the plant alone and not repotting it if you believe it is already in the proper potting mix but you were just excessively watering your plants.
Prior to watering again, wait at least a week and feel the top inch of the soil for moisture. You can water it once more if it feels dry. Your plant needs a new pot if the soil is still moist because the soil it is now in is not drying out quickly enough.
Will The Leaves Grow Back?
Yes. As long as the plant is not decaying, even if you lose a lot of leaves due to overwatering, it will eventually recover. You may soon see fresh growth or tiny leaves along the stems if you allow it time to dry out.
Additionally, you’ll see new growth coming from the plant’s sides, top, or even bottom. When you start to see new growth, your plant is typically out of danger and has fully healed.
Steps on How to Save a Rotting Succulent From Overwatering:
- Check the plant to see how bad the rot is. You may be able to salvage some of the plant if the rot is not too bad.
- Keep any leaf that seems to be reusable. As many leaves as you can preserve for propagation. Leaf propagation can be challenging, so you’ll need as much leaf as you can obtain to give some of them a fighting chance. Ensure you collect the leaf in its entirety, including the base. A broken leaf won’t survive.
- Allow the leaves to dry for a few days by placing them somewhere dry and out of the sun.
- When the leaves are completely dry, either lay them flat on the soil or bury the ends in well-draining potting mix. You can dip the leaves in rooting hormone as an optional step. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
- Avoid direct sunshine and water the soil every few days or if it seems dry. Await the development of new plants and their roots.
Other than leaves, you can also save parts of the stem
- Examine the stem, including the roots, and remove any rotten spots. Save any stem pieces that are still green or healthy. When you cut the stem, you will be able to tell if it is viable or not. If the stem’s inside reveals green, fragile sections that aren’t brown or black, they may have a chance of surviving and can be multiplied to start a new plant.
- Saved stems should be stored in a dry, shaded area. All cuts should calluses and seal after a few days to a week of drying. Dip the stems in rooting hormone, if desired. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
- When the stems are dry, make a well-draining potting mix and place them in it.
- Every couple of days or whenever the soil gets dry, mist. To prevent sun damage, stay out of the sun until your roots are completely established.
You can see that the stem still has a lot of green, healthy sections after removing the decaying portion, indicating that it can be preserved. I placed this stem in soil to root and grow after letting it dry out for a few days.
Overwatered echeveria that has withered. I kept a few of the leaves for future growth.
Do succulents need to be in the sun directly?
1. Ensure that your succulents receive adequate light. Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.
If you keep a proper watch on your habit of watering, everything should run smoothly. Overwatering succulents is a bigger issue, but underwatering is less of a problem. Consequently, avoid overwatering. Additionally, keep an eye on your plants every day to guarantee healthy growth and prompt problem detection. Happy gardening!
How long should soil in succulent plants remain wet?
Succulents respond best to the “soak and dry approach” of watering. Fully soak the soil, then let it dry completely before watering it once more. Additionally, make sure the succulents are in a container with a drainage hole and well-draining soil (more on that in a minute).
Pretty basic, yes? Watch this technique in action:
In general, it is better if water doesn’t reach the leaves of indoor succulents. It can decay if left on a leaf for an extended period of time.
Use a squeeze bottle or a tiny watering can with a nozzle (this one is great) (like the one in this super handy tool kit).
For outdoor succulents, where there is more breeze and the water will dry off more quickly, this is less of a problem.
If at all feasible, simply saturate the soil around your succulents with water. UNTIL the dirt has completely dried from the top of the pot to the bottom, DO NOT water your succulents again.
Why keep dying my indoor succulent plants?
Overwatering and poorly draining soils are the main causes of succulent deaths. Succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings because they are drought-tolerant plants. Succulents get root rot in wet soil, which turns their leaves brown, black, or yellow and gives them a withering appearance.
While overwatering is the most frequent cause of dying succulents, there are several other potential causes as well:
Succulent plants typically die back when they are kept in environments that are drastically different from their native habitat.
Replicating some of the minimal rainfall, full or partial sun exposure, and stony, well-draining soil conditions will help revive dying succulents.
Is it possible to hydrate succulents with ice cubes?
One of the most enjoyable pastimes you can engage in is caring for plants. They will not only give you many advantages, but they are also aesthetically beautiful. Simply ensure that you are aware of how to care for them.
Be mindful of the risks if you decide to attempt watering succulents with ice cubes. It’s conceivable that your plants will be harmed or killed if you subject them to such jarring temperature variations.
Any plant won’t like having its watered with ice cubes, succulent or not. To avoid stressing them out, it is preferable to use room temperature water. Additionally, you should plant plants in containers that encourage proper water drainage as well as good air circulation.
How may an overwatered succulent be dried out?
Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.
Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.
2. Permit the roots to breathe.
Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.
Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.
Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.
3. Modify the ground
You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.
Must I remove the dead leaves from my succulents?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of growing succulents, in our opinion, is getting to remove all the dried leaves from the area around your plant’s base. Most individuals find it to be quite calming and enjoyable since it is so enjoyable and genuinely healing.
Aside from that interesting fact, you should remove any dried leaves and blossoms for the sake of your plant’s health. You can maintain the happiness and health of your plants by carrying out this easy chore.
New growth, New plants, New Blooms
Energy can be recycled back into the plant by removing any spent, dried-up bloom stalks and dry leaves from your succulents. Your plant will be able to produce new growth, blooms, and occasionally new rosettes or pups if you do this. And who doesn’t desire succulents that are bigger and more numerous?
To remove, gently lift the plant’s healthy leaves, and then pull any dried-out leaves from beneath. They ought to be rather simple to remove. If they don’t, you can either leave them to dry out more or, if they are past their prime and unsightly, try to snap them off completely.
Good Air Flow
Humidity, wetness, and/or succulents make for a dangerous and occasionally lethal mix. You may provide your plants sufficient air circulation and make it easier for the soil to dry out by removing these dried leaves from beneath your plants. Removing these dried leaves will assist avoid the growth of rot, mildew, and/or illnesses, especially in humid or very rainy weather. Additionally, air circulation around the plant’s base is made possible by this procedure.
Succulents are susceptible to a wide range of pest attacks, just like most other plants. Getting rid of the dead leaves beneath your plant can also help deter pests. Little insects adore wet areas where they may hide and reproduce. A succulent’s compressed lower leaves are likely to retain moisture around the plant’s base, which will attract pests. Your plant has a higher chance of repelling these pests if you remove these leaves.
Another alluring nesting habitat for bugs, specifically aphids, can be bloom stalks. If you see that your blooms are starting to develop this bug problem, you can either completely remove the bloom stalk or treat the bloom with a mix of diluted rubbing alcohol and water. These bugs frequently spread disease to surrounding plants and flowers if the situation is left untreated. In order to remove bloom stalks from your plant, either gently wriggle the stalk back and forth or, if it hasn’t dried up yet, snap or cut it low.
Do we have any ASMR fans out there??
We made this little movie to demonstrate how to take these leaves off your plants, but since we adore succulents, it also serves as our take on ASMR. Am I correct?
(According to The Urban Dictionary, ASMR’s sole function is to help people unwind. The goal of ASMR videos is to relax the viewer by sending a tingling sensation down their spine or back.