by Jennifer Poindexter
Have you noticed that everywhere you look, stores are selling succulents? Are you interested in buying them but aren’t sure how to care for or water them properly?
Don’t let this stop you from embracing these popular plants. I’m going to share everything you should know when watering succulents.
It isn’t as complicated as you might think because, in most cases, succulents are extremely forgiving plants.
Make sure you provide them with the proper growing conditions and apply water at the right times to help these plants thrive in or around your home.
Here’s everything you should know about watering succulents.
1. There’s One Huge No-No When It Comes to Succulents
When it comes to growing succulents, there’s one major thing you shouldn’t do. If you oversaturate the plants, they won’t survive.
Also, if you leave your succulents to where they’re constantly standing in water or left in consistently moist conditions, they won’t survive this either.
In general, succulents can bounce back from underwatering. Yet, overwatering is something that will take them down quickly.
2. Pick the Right Container to Grow Succulents
Now that you understand the goal with succulents is to keep everything well-draining, the rest of this article should make everything “click.”
The first way to keep the succulents from living in consistently soggy conditions is to provide a well-draining container.
It needs a drainage hole large enough to allow the water to drain away from the plant quickly. You should also pay attention to the material of the planters.
If you grow your succulents in clay, the pot will dry things out faster than a plastic container. Due to this fact, clay pots will allow you to apply more moisture to your succulents during a single watering session.
By picking the right container for your situation, it could make the difference in how healthy your succulents remain.
3. Choose the Right Soil and Growing Medium for Succulents
Succulents need well-draining soil. This is to ensure that the plants receive water without being suffocated by it.
It’s better to choose a chunky soil when growing succulents. This allows for water to drain through the planter faster.
The finer the soil, the easier it is for things to become compacted. When soil compacts, water isn’t going to drain as well.
It’s also wise to place small pebbles in the bottom of the planter. This will lift the plant from the container.
The elevation helps the roots of the plant in multiple ways. First, it lifts the roots to where they won’t become too saturated with water.
Another way, adding pebbles to the bottom of the container can help the plant’s roots, is that it increases airflow around them.
This allows the roots and soil to dry faster which is better for your succulents. Be mindful of the soil you use when planting succulents and consider adding rocks to the bottom of your planter as well.
4. Location Matters When Growing Succulents
When you’re trying to figure out how much water you can apply to your succulents, you must consider the location and size of your plant.
In general, most larger succulents can handle more water. Also, if you’re growing succulents outdoors, the growing conditions are more forgiving.
For instance, if you apply more water to an indoor plant, there’s less airflow and lower temperatures to help with absorbing the excess moisture.
However, if you do this outside, hotter temperatures and a breeze could cause some of the water to evaporate from the plant faster.
Therefore, you must be more careful when watering indoor succulents versus outdoor succulents.
5. Water Succulents Based Around the Time of the Year
In general, it’s wise to water succulents every two weeks throughout the majority of the year. There are times when the plants will require even less water.
Over the winter months, when the temperatures drop below 40-degrees Fahrenheit, the succulents should only be watered once a month. During this time the plant is dormant.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Some succulents have tiny leaves. These plants can only handle being watered one time per month year-round.
Keep this general tip tucked away in your mind as you develop a watering schedule which works best for your succulents.
6. Deep Watering is Key When Watering Succulents
We’ve spent a great deal of time discussing how to keep your plants in a well-draining scenario and less time discussing how you should actually water them.
Here is the information you’ve been waiting for. You know you should water most succulents two times per month.
When you water them, fully saturate the soil. This is known as deep watering. You’ll want to apply water until it’s running out of the base of the planter.
Allow the planter to drain fully before putting it back in its growing location, assuming you had to move it to water your succulents.
The kicker is to wait until the soil is completely dry before you water the succulents again. This should take approximately two weeks to a month, depending upon the plant and growing location.
To ensure you don’t overwater your succulents, test the soil before watering. Stick your finger into the dirt and when it’s dry to the second knuckle, the plant is ready for more water.
You’ll know if your succulent isn’t receiving enough water because the foliage will wrinkle. Again, this is okay because succulents are able to bounce back from being underwatered.
However, they die when supplied with too much water. Also, be sure to apply the water to the soil. Water being applied to the foliage isn’t such a huge deal for outdoor succulents, as the wind can help evaporate the moisture.
With indoor plants it poses more of an issue because the excess moisture can cause the leaves to rot.
Watering succulents isn’t a difficult or time-consuming process. The most important aspect is to ensure you protect the foliage and avoid over watering the plants.
7. Understand When You Can Use a Spray Bottle and When You Can’t
The flipside to deep watering is shallow watering. When you tell people to avoid overwatering their plants, they tend to take it to the extreme and “mist” their plants regularly instead of deep watering fewer days of the month.
Avoid this tactic. Deep watering will help your plants remain healthier because it encourages stronger root systems.
The succulents will dig deeper into the container, to retrieve more water, between watering sessions. This helps the plant develop stronger roots.
However, there is a proper time to mist your plants. Some people choose to propagate their succulents. When this happens, you should use a spray bottle to mist water over the plants on a daily basis.
This will keep the soil consistently moist, as the new succulents form roots, without oversaturating the dirt. Otherwise, misting your succulents with a spray bottle should be avoided.
Watering succulents isn’t a difficult process. The main thing is developing the mindset that they don’t require as much water as many other types of plants.
By following the tips provided here, you should be better prepared to care for succulents around your home.