How To Water Succulents In A Pot

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 best if water doesn’t reach the leaves of indoor succulents. It can rot 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 soil has completely dried from the top of the pot to the bottom, DO NOT water your succulents again.

How frequently should I water my potted succulents?

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:

  • 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.

The amount of water a succulent plant needs is unknown.

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:

Do my succulents need to be 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.

Are succulents sun-loving creatures?

Succulents enjoy direct sunlight, but if yours is always in the same position, only one side is probably receiving enough of it. Langton and Ray advise often rotating the plant. Rotating succulents will help them stand up straight because they like to slant toward the sun. (Leaning might also indicate that they need to move to a more sunny area.)

How can I determine whether my succulent needs water?

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.

A succulent can survive without water for how long?

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.

When watering the bottom, can you overwater?

Yes, you can still overwater your plant by watering from the bottom if it has been submerged in water for too long. Bottom watering is a more controlled way to water your plants, though. You may dramatically lower your risks of overwatering and triggering root rot by remembering to inspect your plant every ten to fifteen minutes or so while it’s submerged in water.

Succulents can be submerged in water.

Recent years have been a rise in the popularity of water treatment among succulent enthusiasts. Many people have discussed the benefits of water treatment for succulents and shared their own experiences with it on numerous social media platforms. However, there are many worries that this approach would have the opposite effect, especially since succulents like a dry environment more than other plants. This essay will examine this water therapy technique and discuss its benefits and drawbacks.

But this is not a technique that needs to be overused. Succulents don’t require water therapy very often or at all. After being removed, drowning in water, and then being planted again, the roots are more susceptible to bruises or damages. Before replanting the succulents in soil, it is advised that you let the roots entirely dry out for a few days to reduce the likelihood that the roots may break. Additionally, to prevent root rot, wait to water your succulents after replanting them until the roots have calloused over.

If at all possible, avoid utilizing water therapy due to the significant risk of root injury. Try keeping your succulents in soil and giving them a good watering first if you find they are becoming dry. See our instructions on how to water your succulents properly. Water therapy should only be used as a last resort. It is not worth the risk to follow this trend at the expense of your succulents.

What does a succulent that has been underwater look like?

The appearance of the leaves is the best indicator of whether your succulent is being overwatered or overwatered. While an overwatered plant will have mushy, nearly translucent leaves, an underwatered plant will have wrinkly, shriveled up foliage.

These are the plainly visible warning signals that your succulent is being overwatered or underwatered. However, the signs are frequently difficult to read. A succulent that has been submerged in water may act similarly to a plant that has been overwatered.

And here is the part where most folks are perplexed. Other indicators can help you determine whether you are indeed overwatering or underwatering your plants.