Do My Succulents Need Water?
The Top Ten Tips for Watering Succulents!

Succulents are known for not having to be watered as often as other indoor plants but they still need water to survive. Today we will be discussing how and when to water your succulents.

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Jimena Bolívar

April 18, 2021


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Introduction

Due to their ability to thrive in harsh desert conditions, succulents have a reputation of being indestructible and therefore perfect for those of us who do not have the greenest of thumbs.

And while it is true that succulents are much more resilient than other houseplants - looking at you gardenia - they still need to be watered to survive.

With this in mind, here are our top ten tips for watering your succulents.

Picture of a Succulent

Tip 1: Only Water Dry Soil.

I’m sure that when you decided to research how to water your succulents, your main concern was whether or not they were getting enough water, but did you know that succulents can be overwatered?

When caring for your succulents, it is important to remember that, being desert natives, they are built to withstand long periods of time without water.

So please, resist the urge to water your succulents every few days and wait until the soil they have been planted in is dry and crumbly, otherwise the prolonged exposure to moisture will cause the roots of the succulents to rot.

Pro-Tip!

In the desert, when it rains, it pours. So when it is time to water your succulents, do so thoroughly.

Tip 2: Pay Attention to the Seasons.

Like other plants, succulents have periods of growth and dormancy.

During periods of growth, succulents must be watered more frequently as they use the water to create new roots, stems, leaves and blooms.

However, when succulents are dormant, they require less water.

As such, knowing when your succulent is dormant versus when it is active is necessary to provide proper care.

Fun Fact!

While you may be tempted to assume that all succulents grow in the summer, some species are actually summer dormant.

Examples of Summer and Winter Dormant Succulents:

Summer Dormant Winter Dormant
Aeonium Adenium
Aloe Agave
Dudleya Ceropegia
Kalanchoe Euphorbia
Senecio Lithops

Tip 3: Soil to Succulent Ratio.

Plant pot size is a factor that is often overlooked when caring for succulents.

Soil holds moisture, the bigger your pot is, the more soil required to fill it and vice versa.

Therefore, if the container your succulent has been planted in is on the larger side, it will not have to be watered as often as one in a smaller container.

Warning.

If your container is far too big, your succulents will die as the soil will not dry.

Tip 4: Exposure to Sunlight.

Sunlight is great for succulents, however, the more heat succulents are exposed to, the more frequently they need to be watered.

To avoid scorching your succulents in direct sunlight, we suggest using a sheer curtain as a shield between your succulents and the sun, especially when propagating.

Tip 5: Adjust for Your Climate.

When deciding how often you should water your succulents, consider your climate.

Do you live in an area that experiences cool temperatures and high humidity for the majority of the year?

If you answered yes, you will need to water your succulents a lot less often than someone who lives in a hot, dry climate.

Tip 6: Create a Schedule.

A quick Google search will tell you that on average, succulents should be watered every two to three weeks.

And while this is a good place to start, it does not take into consideration many of the factors mentioned above.

This and the fact that every succulent is unique, means that the best way to determine when to water your succulents is by creating a watering schedule.

Picture of a Variety of Succulents

How to Create a Watering Schedule.

Whether you use an app, calendar or bullet journal, the steps to creating a watering schedule are the same.

The schedule should start on the first day you water your succulent.

Then, for the next few weeks, keep track of every time the soil becomes dry and needs to be watered.

Eventually, once all other conditions remain relatively constant, the schedule will give you an idea of your succulent’s water needs.

Pro-Tip!

Include the seasons, changes in weather and observations about your succulent in your watering schedule.

Tip 7: Pay Attention to Your Succulents.

Succulents store waters in their leaves, as such, the leaves are great indicators of a succulent’s health.

If the leaves are soft, detach easily and appear transluscent, your succulent is being overwatered.

In less severe cases, the succulent may be saved by removing it from the wet soil and allowing it to dry out before replanting.

Warning.

If the leaves and stem appear black, your succulent has begun to rot.

If the entire succulent cannot be saved, remove some of the healthy leaves to propagate.

Want to Expand Your Plant Family? Three Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents!

Purchasing succulents is usually relatively inexpensive but why spend any money on expanding your succulent collection when you already have everything you need?

On the other hand, rubbery, wrinkled leaves are tell-tale signs of an under-watered succulent.

To fix this issue, drench the dry soil and adjust your watering schedule.

Tip 8: Succulent Specific Soil.

As mentioned multiple times in this post, proper drainage is imperative to the survival of your succulents.

Instead of using regular soil which holds moisture, we recommend using cactus mix.

Fun Fact!

You can make your own cactus mix using soil, sand and pebbles.

Picture of Succulents Potted in Cactus Mix

Tip 9: Use Planters with Built-in Drainage.

Yes… another drainage tip.

Don’t worry, this one is very straight forward.

Planters with holes prevent excess water from settling and protect your succulents from prolonged exposure to moisture.

Check out our favourite planter at the link below!

Succulent Planters

The design of these planters makes them perfect for succulents!

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Tip 10: Use Rain Water.

It is unlikely that tap water will kill your succulents.

However, many succulent growers have reported excellent results when they switched to rain water.

Pro-Top!

If you cannot collect rain water, try distilled.

Conclusion.

Ten tips may seem like a lot but take it step by step and you will be a pro in no time.

Thanks for reading!

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

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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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

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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