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.
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 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.
Do succulents require direct sunshine to thrive?
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.
How much water per day should I be giving my succulent?
Only water succulents when the soil has totally dried up. There isn’t a standard watering schedule that applies to all succulents in all environments.
Many indoor succulent growers discover that watering their plants every 14 to 21 days keeps them healthy. Use this timeline as a guide and make adjustments if necessary.
The earliest symptoms of underwatering on the leaves are the greatest time to water your succulents. To see what that looks like, have a look at the cheat sheet above.
The best course of action is to wait for a signal from your succulent before watering because most succulents are particularly susceptible to rot with regular watering.
And keep in mind how crucial it is to monitor your watering routine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve assumed that I haven’t watered in a while, just to discover that it was only a few days ago thanks to my notes in the Succulent Tracker app (Apple | Android).
In this video, learn about a several factors that could influence how frequently you water your succulents:
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 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.
If my succulent lacks water, how can I tell?
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.
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.
How come my succulents are dying?
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.
Are succulents able to endure shade?
Your aim is to provide as much sun as they can bear without burning because light improves the development, form, color, and blossoms of succulents (and other plants, for that matter).
Below in my gallery of outdoor shade succulents, I’ve ID’d each one along with how much shade it wants, abbreviated PS, BS or FS.
Adapt my three shade options to your specific region. Closer to the water and farther from the desert, succulents can withstand more solar exposure. These are primarily for Zone 9b (inland Southern California), where I have planted a variety of succulents for shade for the past 25 years.
Part shade (PS)
This is sometimes referred to as semi-shade and consists of bright shade for the majority of the day and full sun for a few hours in the early morning or late afternoon. “Dappled light” or “dappled sun” that glimmers through a canopy of leaves can also be considered part shade.
Bright shade (BS)
This is side-facing indirect light that reaches plants when they are placed beneath eaves, shelves, tables, or trees. Bright shade, often known as “filtered light,” is common in greenhouses, nurseries, lath houses, shade structures, as well as under patio umbrellas and sun sails.
Full shade (FS)
If any sunlight reaches plants in full darkness (also known as “deep shade”), it is weak and fleeting. Some succulents, like sansevierias, can survive in complete darkness, but for the most part, they require some sun to grow and look their best.
Succulents—can they survive indoors?
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 fertilized 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 fertilizer (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.