Your location, the conditions in which your succulents grow, the season, and the needs of each plant will all play a significant role in determining how often you need water them. Though there are numerous contributing aspects to take into account, don’t be alarmed; succulents are remarkably adaptable and will survive as long as they are not over-watered.
First off, only water succulents when their soil is almost entirely dry. By inserting a dry chopstick into the soil or by using a moisture meter, you may determine how dry your soil is. The succulents don’t need watering if moist earth adheres to a chopstick. Another choice is to use your finger and get dirty. It’s time to water if there isn’t much moisture surrounding the root ball.
Second, there isn’t a magic schedule for watering succulent plants. Waterings may need to be done daily or as infrequently as every three to four weeks, but always err on the side of underwatering. When the temperature is a little warmer, such as in the summer and spring, more frequent waterings may be necessary, whereas fall and winter call for less frequent waterings. Additionally, compared to succulents cultivated outside, indoor-grown varieties are probably going to need less frequent watering. Again, checking the soil’s moisture content is the simplest approach to assess whether your plant needs watering.
Third, the time of day is one of the most frequently disregarded guidelines for watering succulents. Never water succulents after 2 o’clock in the afternoon in the summer or after 11 o’clock in the winter. We’re not sure where this regulation originated, but it seems to make a difference.
How to Water Succulents
There is no one right technique to water succulents, however the following advice will help you get the best results.
Start by using a watering can or hose adapter that says “rain.” Basically, you don’t want to spray the plants or the soil around them with high-pressure water. Overly strong water currents can harm plants and shift the soil around their roots, which can lead to instability.
Second, give your succulents plenty of water. Similar to how it happens in nature, succulents develop robust, extensive root systems through the alternating wet and dry periods. By completely soaking the soil, you are training your plants to become accustomed to intense irrigation. Naturally, a time of “drought” must follow, which you may manufacture by letting the soil to totally dry out. In preparation for the upcoming “downpour,” the plant will naturally start to spread its roots during this period.
When water pours out of the drainage hole in your plants’ containers, the roots are fully saturated. Avoid letting extra water sit in drip trays because this might keep the soil soggy for a longer period of time and cause root rot.
How much water should a succulent receive?
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.
Should the soil be dry for succulents?
Before watering your succulents, make sure the soil is fully dry. Otherwise, root rot could do serious damage to your plant. Put your finger into the top inch of dirt to determine how dry it is. To determine whether the dirt at the bottom is damp, feel the drainage hole as well. You may further assess how damp the soil is by looking at the pot’s weight.
Water will probably be appreciated by your succulent if the planter feels lighter than normal. Consider purchasing a moisture meter, which can probe deeper than your finger, for a more accurate approach to assess soil. Before retrieving the watering can, look for a reading of zero or a value that is near to it.
Shrunken, soft leaves is a physical indicator of a thirsty plant. If a succulent needs additional water, it will pucker and wrinkle. On the other hand, a succulent that has received too much water will have extra-swollen, brown or yellow leaves. Perhaps soon, leaves will begin to fall. If the soil is damp, a wilted succulent may also be a sign of root rot.
Succulents: Are they too moist or too dry?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
How soon after repotting can I water succulents?
1. To get started, fill your new planter 3/4 full with pre-mixed succulent or cactus soil, which is often available at any nearby nursery or home improvement store. You can combine standard potting soil and perlite in equal amounts to try making your own soil. Make sure the planter is at least 2″ wider than the diameter of the succulent if you are relocating it to a larger container. Your succulent will have plenty of room to expand and become stable as a result.
2. Remove the succulent from its present container and gently separate the roots. To loosen the roots and remove the soil, you can “tickle” them from the bottom. Consider this phase as a pleasant stretch for the roots. They can stabilize in a larger pot and acclimate to their new soil by being spread out and lengthened. This is the ideal time to remove any dead leaves and brush away any dead roots from the plant’s base. While doing this, be careful to brush away any old or extra dirt.
3. To support the plant, dig a small hole in the fresh dirt, lay the succulent in it, and then gently cover the roots with extra potting soil. Don’t cover any leaves or allow them lay on top of the soil; only add enough to cover the plant’s base. As a result of the leaves absorbing too much moisture from the soil, this will cause them to rot.
4. After the plant has stabilized, you can add colored rocks, pebbles, or sand to give your new succulent plant in a pot a unique touch. Make sure the material drains adequately if you do add something on top so that water can reach the soil underneath.
5. In this case, the situation dictates how to water. Depending on the type of plant and when it was last watered, a succulent that has been repotted may require different first watering. However, it is typically advised to hold off on watering your succulent for at least a week following repotting. Make sure the soil is dry before giving it a good soaking without drowning it.
6. Enjoy your succulent in a new pot! Depending on your environment, sunlight, etc., water your succulent once per week to three weeks to keep it healthy. Water should be applied when the soil is dry. Leave it alone until it dries if it is still wet. They are tough little plants, so try different things to see what works best for your new addition.
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.