Watering your succulents can be a common worry for any conscientious succulent lover. Knowing how often to water your succulents and how to water your succulents is very important to promote the healthy root growth of your succulent.
Succulents should be watered every 7 to 10 days on average. However, some succulent owners water their succulents more frequently, and some less frequently. When the succulent plant’s soil feels dry to your touch, it is a good time to water your succulent plant.
When To Water A Succulent Plant
Succulent plants are designed to store water for later use. They have adapted to thrive even when water is scarce and in overly dry conditions. However, eventually, your succulents will need water. One of the telltale signs that your succulent plant needs water is when the leaves have a wrinkled or shriveled look compared to the plump and firm leaves with the right amount of water.
Another sign that your succulent plant needs water is when the soil feels dry to your touch. Feel around the soil and feel through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. If the soil feels dry to your touch, then you need to water your succulent.
One other sign that your succulent needs water is the pot’s weight because water adds weight to your succulents pot. This method is done in the following three steps:
- Before watering your succulent pot, please pick it up and note its weight before adding the water.
- Add all the water that your succulent plant needs. Wait one minute for the water to distribute, and some will drip out the end of the pot. Then pick up your pot and again notice the difference in the pot’s weight with the water added. It should feel a lot heavier this time.
- After a few days, lift the pot again and see if it has become lighter and check again later to see the difference. Once it is no longer getting lighter and the weight has remained constant or near to the original weight before watering in the first step, then go ahead and water your succulent plant again.
How To Water A Succulent Plant
When Watering your succulent plant, it is a good idea to use either a measuring cup, a watering can, or even a squeeze bottle. Please do not use a spray bottle as this does not give your succulent enough water and is not an effective method of watering your succulent, and it does not promote healthy Root growth for your succulents. Some people will use a measuring cup, and if their container usually takes about a cup of soil, they will use half a cup of water to soak their succulents. However, the most important part of watering your succulents is to make sure that your succulents get enough water and that the soil is completely soaked.
When you are ready to water your succulent, go ahead and fill up your measuring cup or watering can and stand over your succulent. Pour the water over your succulent plant’s soil, thoroughly soaking the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes under the container. It is okay if water gets on top of your succulent plant. If you want to use a paper towel or an absorbing sponge to soak up the extra water on top of your succulent, that is fine but be gentle with your succulent.
This watering method allows your succulents to develop a deep and strong root system. If you are just lightly watering your succulents every once in a while, your succulents will put out thin and shallow roots, and your succulents will not be able to go through long periods of drought if they have too. With this watering method, your succulent will get used to that deep watering, and your succulent will soak up as much of the water as it can and then store it until it gets watered again.
The container or pot that is home to your succulent is important, so please make sure that you are using a container with a drainage hole or two as this will allow water to flow out the bottom. If you get a standing pool of water, it will cause your succulents to rot. There are many different types of pots and containers that your succulent will be very happy growing inside of them. Just make sure that they have drainage holes for the reason we discussed above.
If you are an established succulent grower, then you might be using pots with no drainage holes. This is not recommended for beginner succulent growers. For the pots with no holes, a measuring cup is the best way to water your succulents using one cup of soil to half a cup of water measurement or two cups of soil to one cup of water for larger succulent containers.
Signs That Succulents Need More Water
If your succulent needs more water, you will notice that the once firm and upright leaves have become limp and are now hanging down. The succulent leaves will become dull in color and will be thinner than usual and may have a wrinkle appearance.
To help your succulents when it appears they are not getting enough water, increase your watering frequency. Also, make sure when you are watering your succulents that the soil is getting soaked all the way through and starts running out the drainage hole.
Signs That Succulents Need Less Water
It is better to err on the side of giving your succulent too little water because it is easier to revive a succulent that has not been given enough water then it is to save a succulent that is starting to rot. Let us look at what your succulent may look like with too much watering.
When your succulent leaves start falling off with the slightest touch or become translucent, you may be overwatering your succulents. Your once colorful succulent leaves may turn to a yellow hue or become mushy in appearance. The succulent roots may begin to rot, and the stem may start to have black, mushy spots.
To help your succulents, if they have been overwatered, reduce your watering frequency, and do not water for at least a week or longer. Check if the soil is still wet after a week and if it is to refrain from watering for another couple of days until the soil feels dry again.
Succulents Need A Large Particle Size Soil
Use a well-drained soil as succulents need a potting soil with a large particle size that dries out quickly. The soil needs to hold just enough water that the succulents can get what they need but not stay wet for days. Unfortunately, most normal potting soils are too dense, and they retain too much water for succulents.
For indoor succulents, the best large particle size soil is called a gritty mix. This soil mix has substantial particle sizes that are about a quarter of an inch in length. The other ingredients include some organic material and inorganic material. This gritty soil mix holds water, but it dries out quickly. It also absorbs water the moment water touches the soil. Regular soil, primarily Pete Moss based soils, will repel water when they are completely dry.
This gritty mix soil is available as a premixed soil online, or you can mix it up yourself with materials available locally. You need to mix the following ingredients in a large container:
- Three parts of soil
- Two parts of poultry grit or coarse sand
- One part of perlite
How and when to water your succulent plants is very important to your succulents’ life and health. Overwatering and underwatering can have damaging effects on your succulents. Still, it is always best not to make a dramatic change to your watering schedule as this can cause problems.
If you are underwatering your succulents, make little adjustments, so your succulents get a bit more water. If you are watering every seven days and you notice that the leaves are becoming translucent or are starting to turn a little bit yellow and they look like they are just going to burst, then your succulents are probably getting too much water. So then you will want to decrease your watering frequency to maybe every ten days.
So remember not to make a dramatic change in your succulents watering schedule. Just make slight adjustments so that your succulents are getting the water they need to be happy, healthy succulents.