Watering succulents correctly is not as easy as it sounds, but it is extremely important. So in this post, I’m going to go over everything in detail, including when, how much, how often, and exactly how to do it the right way.
Succulents are a great plant to have in your home or garden. They’re easy to care for and come in so many different shapes, colors, and sizes.
But did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to water succulents? If you do it incorrectly, it will cause the roots to rot, and eventually kill the entire plant.
Succulents naturally store water in their leaves. This trait allows them to survive during the long periods of drought in their native desert habitat.
Because of this, it can be hard to know how much water they need, and exactly when to give them more.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Below I will tell you all you need to know about when and how to water a succulent plant so that you’ll have the healthiest collection around.
Here’s what you’ll find in this detailed guide…
When To Water Succulents
The biggest mistake that people make is watering succulents on a set schedule. Though it seems like a good idea, it’s a recipe for disaster.
The only time you should water succulents is when they actually need it.
You can still set a reminder so you won’t forget about them. But always, always feel the soil first. It should be completely dry before adding more.
How Do You Know When A Succulent Needs Water?
There are a few ways to know when a succulent needs water. The best way to tell is by testing the soil.
To do that, stick your finger about two inches deep, or use an inexpensive moisture gauge. If it feels damp at all, then wait another week to check again.
You can also gently squeeze the leaves. When properly hydrated, they will be full and firm.
When they begin to soften or shrivel slightly, that’s a good indication that it’s time for a drink.
Related Post: How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil (With Recipe!)
How Often Do You Water Succulents?
How often you water succulents depends on a few factors. The time of year, the environment they’re in (indoors or outside), and their size are all variables to consider.
Again, there’s no set schedule to go by, so I’m not going to give you a timeline to follow.
The best thing to do is check on them weekly for starters, and only water when the soil is completely dry.
Once you recognize the pattern, you’ll know how quickly yours will need it, and you can adapt your plan accordingly.
How Much Water Do Succulents Need?
Succulents don’t need much moisture to survive, and it’s best to err on the side of under watering.
But when the time comes, you should give them a deep drink. To do this, pour it over the top of the soil until it pools.
Then let the excess drain completely from the bottom of the pot. Don’t leave them soaking for any period of time.
If you struggle with getting it right, I recommend buying a moisture meter to make it super easy for you.
Related Post: How To Plant Succulents Indoors Or Outside
Signs Of An Overwatered Succulent
Overwatering is the number one mistake that people make with succulents, and doing so can quickly kill your plant.
It’s important to know the signs to watch out for, so you can catch the problem before it’s too late. Here are the main symptoms of an overwatered succulent plant:
- Wet or soggy soil
- Yellowing leaves
- Plump leaves or whole branches dropping off
- Soft, shriveled leaves even after watering
- Stems or leaves are brown or black and rotting
- The main stem is soft or mushy
Symptoms Of An Under Watered Succulent
Thought it’s much more uncommon, it is possible to under water succulents.
Keep in mind that many of these are also signs that the plant is rotting, so always check the main stem to know for sure.
The telltale signs of an under watered succulent are:
- Soft, shriveling leaves
- Dried brown leaves
- Crispy dead leaves dropping off
- Wilting or drooping leaves and stems
- Soil is pulling away from the side of the pot
Related Post: Propagating Succulents From Stem Cuttings Or Leaves
How To Water Succulents
If you’re familiar with how to water succulents, then you know there are two common methods: watering from the top, and bottom watering.
But what you might not know is that one method is correct, and the one other is not. I’ll discuss both in detail below.
Watering From The Top
The best way to water succulents is to give them a good soaking drink. Pour it over the top of the soil until it starts pooling and coming out of the drainage holes.
That way, you’ll be sure it’s soaked all the way down to the bottom of the pot.
Don’t pour it over the leaves though, because standing droplets could cause spots or rotting.
Make sure to dump out the excess once it’s done draining, and never leave the container soaking in water.
Related Post: How To Repot Succulent Plants
Bottom Watering Succulents
Another method that is often talked about is watering succulents from the bottom.
I do not recommend using this technique for succulents, because you can easily end up overwatering them.
When you leave them soaking, the bottom of the rootball will be wet, while the top will feel dry.
This makes it very difficult to tell whether you’re overdoing it. So, definitely stick with the first method only.
Seasonal Watering Tips
The amount of water succulents need varies greatly depending on the time of year. Below I’ve given some seasonal guidelines so you know what to expect.
Watering Succulents In Summer
Since the warmer months are their active growth period, succulents will need to be watered more often in the spring and summer.
This is especially true during hot, dry weather. So make sure to check on them more frequently to ensure they’re getting enough.
Watering Succulents In Winter
During the coldest months of the year, succulents go into a semi-dormant state, and therefore will require less water.
This means that they’re more susceptible to being overwatered in the fall and winter. So do it sparingly during the colder months, and keep them dry longer.
Related Post: How To Make An Indoor Succulent Garden
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about watering succulents. Add yours in the comments below if you can’t find it here.
What is the best way to water a succulent plant?
The best way to water a succulent plant is to pour it over the top of the soil, and allow the excess to drain completely from the pot.
Do you water succulents from the top or bottom?
You should water succulents from the top to avoid overdoing it. Leaving them soaking for any period of time is very risky, and can cause root rot.
How do you water succulents without drainage?
It is very difficult to properly water succulents without drainage holes. In this case, I recommend moving it into a container that has adequate drainage, rather than trying to maintain the proper moisture level without holes.
Should I mist my succulents?
No, do not mist your succulents. Doing so can cause spots and rotting. Remember, they come from arid climates with very little humidity, so they like dry air.
Should you water succulents every day?
No, you absolutely should not water succulents every day. Daily watering will cause them to quickly start to rot. Instead, allow the soil to dry completely between soakings.
Watering succulents the right way is very important. It can be difficult to get the hang of, but if you follow the tips in this guide, you’ll get it right every time!
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Share your tips for how to water succulents in the comments section below.