Watering is the main challenge that novice succulent growers encounter while trying to keep their plants alive indoors. So much so that I’ve written a whole ebook and an entire post about watering succulents. You can read the two together here.
It’s significant! Surprisingly, succulents require a lot of water to survive. They require less watering than the majority of indoor plants do, though.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that succulents seldom ever require water, though. So, here’s the situation…
Succulents enjoy having their roots well wet, but they also dry out quickly. The soil was then irrigated once more after drying up for a few days.
Succulents can be kept alive temporarily by being lightly sprayed with water, but if you want them to thrive, you need to use the “soak and dry method.”
Additionally, be aware that during their dormant stage, succulents don’t require as much water. This typically occurs during the colder months of the year. They require less water because they aren’t actively growing.
People who think their succulents are dying because the leaves are drooping and shrivelling up frequently email me. Here’s a little secret: Succulent lower leaves will eventually shrivel up and die, just like all other plants.
Only if the topmost or most recent leaves on your succulent are shrivelling should you be concerned about dying leaves. You shouldn’t be concerned if it only affects the stems that are closest to the soil at the bottom.
How frequently should indoor succulents 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.
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 fertilise. The periodic fertilising is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertiliser a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertiliser.
- 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 fertiliser. 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.
Where should indoor succulents be placed?
Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.
Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.
The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.
Give the plants a good draining potting material.
You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.
Decide on a container.
When repotting, use a container that is at least 1 to 2 inches bigger than the nursery container and has a drainage hole. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.
Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.
Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.
Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.
Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.
Succulents should be fertilised at least once a year.
Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertiliser (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.
Is misting or watering succulents preferable?
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 utilise. 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 metre (commonly sold in gardening centres 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.
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.
Succulents—can they be kept in small pots?
Don’t you share Nell and my passion for succulents? By include them in your design, you may add some life and light to a dark spot in your house. And if you pair those succulents with the appropriate container, everyone wins. I put up this collection of 20 compact succulent pots to make your buying easier.
Succulents can thrive for a long time in these little pots because they don’t have extensive root systems. Because succulents don’t like to have their roots maintained consistently wet, it’s preferable if the pots contain a drain hole. Put at least an inch or two layers of stones on the bottom of the pot if there isn’t a drain hole, and reduce the amount and frequency of watering.
Remember that succulents are not low light plants when deciding where to place them. As much natural light as you can provide them with, the better. Check out this post on two incredibly simple techniques to propagate succulents if you already have them and want to grow more of them to plant in your new pots.
Although selecting pots is enjoyable, it may be overwhelming. These are my current favourites among the many different fashions that are available. Even if there are still many options, they are all conveniently located for easy browsing.
There may be affiliate links in this article. Our policies may be found here. Although there won’t be a price increase for you, Joy Us Garden will make a tiny commission.
Why do leaves on succulents fall off?
Sometimes a plant’s natural defence against prolonged periods of extreme heat or drought is to shed its leaves.
Even if managing with fallen leaves is a common strategy, you don’t want it in a lovely decorative plant.
When kept outdoors in hot weather, you should place your succulents in the light shade to avoid them from becoming stressed by the intense heat.
Keep your succulents a little bit away from windows when you’re indoors so they can get lots of brilliant indirect light without getting burned by direct, enlarged sunshine.
Conversely, when affected by frost, succulents may also shed their leaves and exhibit other signs of stress.
The majority of succulents cannot endure freezing temperatures; they may burn black and lose their leaves.
A plant that has been harmed by frost but not killed will typically produce some new leaves to replace the ones that were damaged.
Instead than pulling or pruning away the damaged leaves, it is preferable to let them fall off naturally. NOTE: Consider using the leaves to create some new plants.
Succulents that need protection from the cold should be planted outdoors in protected areas and covered or mulched as necessary in the winter.
Keep indoor succulents away from places where they might get chilly air blasts during the winter (like as close to exterior doors).