Watering your succulents can be daunting if you don’t have an idea about their needs. The type of water used is undoubtedly essential for the growth requirements of your succulents. You must have heard a lot of different notions about which kind of water is best. Let’s find out in this post what’s best for your succulents.
Rainwater is better than tap water for succulents because it is free from additives, purer, and has an acidic pH generally best suited for nutrient absorption through succulent’s root.
When it comes to the needs of succulents, they prefer the more natural alternative. Tap water is resourced through municipal corporations that add additives and chemicals to make it ideal for human consumption.
Rainwater is free of all the chemicals like chloride, magnesium and calcium and is thus more pure and raw than tap water.
Sometimes you may have noticed white spots in your succulents and wondered, despite taking the utmost care, why is this happening? This happens because the minerals in the tap water cause a build-up in the soil, eventually leading to the spots. Moreover, tap water is also alkaline.
One of the best methods to water your succulent involves using rainwater. As both of them are a part of nature, it effortlessly creates a perfect method for watering. Succulents have a knack for slightly acidic soil and water. What could be better to fulfil these conditions other than using rainwater? Rainwater is naturally acidic, which is preferred by succulents.
Due to its acidic nature, the succulents get a boost to drive off chemicals and other deposits of additives that may have built up over time.
Another great reason for using rainwater is that it’s incredibly cheap. Of course, it too comes with its pros and cons. People who live in locations where rainwater is not a significant concern can derive the benefits of using it, but wait a second, that does not leave out the population living in less rainfall area.
An adequate amount of rainwater can be sourced and stored all year round. It can be a bit of a task, but I assure you that you can definitely face this challenge if you are a succulent lover.
Now that you know which water type is best for succulents, check out this post to learn more about the watering needs.
First, you need a big barrel or storage container and a safe open side where you can effectively collect a large amount of water when it’s rainy season. Check out this excellent amazon product that can help you with your watering needs.
To ensure that your collected rainwater stays good for long, follow these tips.
Covering your barrel/container with a mesh sheet can be very effective to ward off mosquitoes and other breeding insects.
Cleaning the barrel once after a week or two will ensure your water stays clean and good. You may keep a backup barrel to store the water when you do the cleaning. The frequency of cleaning can be once in 3 to 4 weeks and depends on the outside temperature.
Painting the barrel black can also be helpful to prevent any algal growth. But this can be assured if you already buy a dark-coloured barrel.
You can add a layer of vegetable oil to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your precious collection of water.
Although I have proved that rainwater is undoubtedly the best method to water plants, you may be hesitant to set up a system for harvesting rainwater or may not have the time to do so. So, to make things bit easier for you, you can do these things to avoid the disadvantages of using tap water.
Make the water acidic- As you would have known by now, an acidic environment is vital for succulents. You can easily make tap water acidic. Mix one teaspoon of vinegar to one gallon of water and use it to water your succulents. Note- The amount of vinegar would depend on how alkaline your tap water is.
Give some time to the tap water before watering so that the chlorine or other gas added to the water can pass off as gas. Also, carbon dioxide dissolves in water forming carbonic acid. This slightly lowers the pH of the water.
Usually, succulents need replanting every 2 to 3 years, but if you are watering with tap water, you may need to consider changing the pots every 1 to 1.5 years.
To prevent deposition of excess water and minerals in your succulent, always use pots with holes. The material used to make a pot also plays an essential role in keeping succulent happy. Terracotta and ceramics are better than plastic and glass ones.
Have a look at this product if you are considering switching pots.
By now, you must have got a pretty clear picture in your mind as to why rainwater is beneficial for your succulents compared to tap water. Rainwater is chemical-free, acidic, and a sustainable way to water the succulents.
Even if you cannot source rainwater for a long time or are yet to figure out the system, tips like keeping water overnight, changing pots regularly, making the water acidic and using holed pots will undoubtedly keep your succulents in check.
If you want to know the best time to water your succulents, then check this incredible post.
My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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June 20, 2021