How And When To Water Succulents

As you are aware, Because they require little water to survive, succulents are tough tiny plants. They are native to arid regions and store extra water in their thick leaves, so they don’t require much assistance from you or a watering can. But how frequently should you water this tough plant? every week? every two days? every month?

The most crucial piece of advice for watering succulents is to never water until the soil in their container is completely dry. Let the soil completely dry out in between waterings, we say. Don’t water the soil if it isn’t a dry, crumbly dirt. See, the majority of houseplants require constant moisture in the soil. Unlike your succulent. Keep the soil constantly moist, and the roots will rot. Dead succulents have rotten roots.

How frequently do I need to water my succulent?

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.

How do you tell whether a succulent needs to be watered?

Succulents are better off dry than wet, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the need to water them. In fact, the plant needs water to survive, and much like people, it will exhibit dehydration symptoms. Your succulent clearly needs extra water if its leaves are wrinkled and shriveled.

The cells attempt to bring in more water to make up for the water that has been lost as they release their stored moisture to the rest of the plant. The cells shrink as they run out of water and the plant is forced to rely on its limited reserves, which causes the once-firm and full leaves to collapse and shrivel.

Do:

  • Water flowing downward till it exits the pot’s drainage hole from above: Succulents respond well to this kind of watering, which is the norm for most houseplants. Run a moderate, constant trickle of room-temperature water over the top layer of the soil in your succulent plant using a watering can or cup that has been filled. Your indication to quit is when water begins to flow from the pot’s drainage hole. Give the plant 15 minutes to absorb the last of the moisture. After that, empty any remaining liquid from the tray into the sink.
  • If your succulent’s soil is tightly packed and not appearing to be uniformly absorbing your top watering, you can try the bottom-watering method. The horticulture and owner of the Planthood store in Amsterdam, Monai Nailah McCullough, says that watering succulents from the top can occasionally cause damage to the roots. Watering it from the bottom allows it to slowly and effectively consume enough water. Put your succulent(s) in a shallow dish, plastic container, or tray that is 2 to 3 inches deep with water to bottom water them. Allow them to soak in the water for five to fifteen minutes, or until the top of the soil feels just damp to the touch. Refill as necessary.

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Don’t:

  • Mist its leaves: Succulents are not among the plant species that benefit from a good misting, although some do. Mirroring a plant’s natural surroundings is essential to ensuring its happiness in captivity. Additionally, because they are native to dry regions with low humidity, succulents are unaccustomed to having wet leaves. Thompson notes that “the water can get trapped and develop fungal concerns.” There is basically no point since they aren’t used to being sprayed.
  • Put it in a container with no drainage opening: Drainage holes act as a pathway for water that your plant is unable to absorb. Succulents definitely need it because they are so sensitive to overwatering.
  • Use ice cubes: Some plant owners use ice cubes to give their plants a more gentle and controlled soak because they disseminate a tiny amount of water very slowly. Again, though, if the goal is to simulate the succulent’s natural desert habitat, giving them something very cold makes little sense and might even startle them.
  • Water it less frequently, but more often: You should give your succulent a deep soak rather than a light misting every few days.

Do succulents need direct sunlight?

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.

Are succulents sun-loving creatures?

Succulents generally require at least 4-6 hours of sunshine each day to thrive. They enjoy being in places that are sunny and bright. Lack of sunshine will cause difficulties in succulents such elongation or etiolation, when the plants extend for more light. Weak stems and low growth are the results of this procedure. Lack of light causes succulents to lose their bright coloring and turn pale or back to a drab green tone. Plants that receive enough sunshine will display their whole spectrum of brilliant hues, showing their genuine beauty.

How should I water succulents the best?

Here is how to water succulents now that you are aware of the variables that influence how frequently you should water them. Yes, there are right and incorrect ways to do things. Native to the desert, succulents receive little rain in their natural settings, but when it does, it pours. Desert downpours resemble monsoons because sheets of water fall from the sky. When you water your succulent, soak it completely to simulate desert rain. Slowly pour water over it, continuing to do so until the drain hole at the bottom is completely filled. Succulents benefit more from irregular, cautious waterings that only moisten the top inch or two of the soil in the pot than they do from periodic, long, deep drinks that soak the soil to the bottom of the pot.

So when the earth around your succulent plants is completely dry, water it. Re-saturate the soil after allowing it to totally dry out. Dried up. Drench. Dried up. Drench. You can have succulents that are perfectly watered if you follow that pattern.

How long can you go without watering succulents?

In general, succulents that are grown indoors or outdoors during the cooler months will need less water. They can go without water for one to three months.

Indoor succulents will be less exposed to the weather outside because the soil dries out more quickly outside than it does indoors due to the wind and sunlight.

The soil remains moist for extended periods of time in milder climes, typically fall and winter.

To avoid overwatering indoor plants during the cooler months, read more about our toothpick test here.

To avoid root rot, it’s crucial to examine the soil before watering indoor succulent plants and to make sure it is completely dry between waterings.

What does a succulent look like when it is overwatered?

How can you tell if your succulent is getting too much water? You can usually determine if a succulent is being overwatered or underwatered by looking for telltale indications. A plant that has received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.

The leaves would either turn translucent in color or appear lighter than they would on a healthy plant. A succulent that had received too much water would frequently lose leaves readily, even when only lightly handled. Usually, the lowest leaves are the ones to suffer first.

The plant will look to be unhealthy overall. When this occurs, the plant is either being overwatered, sitting in the incorrect soil that does not dry out quickly enough, or both.

Your plants are being overwatered if you have been giving them regular waterings or if you have been following a watering schedule regardless of how the plant appears.

On the other hand, a succulent that has been submerged will have withered, wrinkled, and deflated-looking leaves. The leaves will appear thin and flat. The entire plant will appear withered and dry.

The leaves of a good succulent plant should be thick and solid, not mushy or desiccated.

To learn more about this subject, visit my post titled “How To Tell If Your Succulent is Over or Under Watered,” in which I go into great length about how you may determine whether your succulent plant is being over or under watered.

This String of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’ plant leaf is one that has been overwatered. If a succulent’s water storage capacity has been exceeded, it may physically burst from overwatering.

Are your succulents misted?

When I first learned about succulents, I was fascinated by the notion that they couldn’t die. They were frequently referred to as very low maintenance plants that adored being neglected. That sounds fairly simple, hmm.

To add to my bewilderment, I frequently heard the word “succulent” used in the same sentence as the word “cactus.” We won’t get into it here because there is a really fantastic essay on this site that explains the link between cacti and succulents, but a widespread misconception regarding cacti is that they never require water. Because I believed succulents required little to no water, I occasionally misted them rather than watering them. They love to be ignored, right? They require little upkeep, right? Well, I hate to ruin the surprise, but my succulents barely made it through this abuse.

The scoop about misting and watering is as follows:

*Water: After the dirt has dried, drown your succulents in water. Put them in water until the bottom of the pot is filled with water. If you have a catch pan, remove any water that has accumulated there. The best kind of pots are unglazed, porous ones with drainage holes (think terracotta pots). Your succulents will appreciate that they allow them to breathe.

*Low Maintenance: Succulents grow in nature with shallow roots that quickly absorb water and store it in their leaves, stems, and roots for periods of drought. Succulents are considered low maintenance because of this. They are designed to hold water for extended periods of time, so you don’t need to water them as frequently as some plants, like every other day. They won’t wither and die while you’re away, so you may travel with confidence. Just remember to give them a good drink when you do water them!

*Water Type: Rainwater or distilled water are the ideal water types to utilize. Numerous minerals in tap water can accumulate in the soil and even appear on plant leaves.

*Watering Frequency: A number of factors determine how frequently you water (climate, season, humidity, pot size, pot type, drainage etc). The best general rule is to wait until the soil has dried before watering it again. The roots may decay if the soil isn’t given a chance to dry up or if water is left in the catch pan. You can stick your finger into the ground and feel around to determine the amount of moisture in the soil, or you can use a moisture meter (commonly sold in gardening centers or online and relatively inexpensive).

Leave the misting to the babies, please! Actually, fully developed succulents dislike being misted. Because they prefer dry environments, misting them will alter the humidity in the area around the plant. Additionally, this might cause decay. To gently hydrate your propagation babies’ tiny, sensitive roots, spray them.

Is watering succulents at night acceptable?

Succulents can also be watered at night. Your succulents might not drink all of the water at night, and the extra water may pool and result plant overwatering issues. Additionally, pests like fungus gnats, mold and mildew growth, and root rot thrive in overly wet soil. It’s a good idea to avoid watering soon before bed because drainage is important for succulents. In this manner, you can ensure that the soil drains entirely without any issues.

How are succulents maintained indoors?

Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:

  • 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
  • 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
  • 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
  • 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
  • 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.