How Often Should You Water A Succulent?
As you can probably imagine, it depends…
Of course, that’s not the answer you want to hear so here are some general guidelines before we get into why ‘it depends‘:
When it’s in a growing phase, your succulent should be watered at least once a week. Once it’s established this can be extended to once every 2 weeks during the summer and reduced again to once every 3-4 weeks during the cooler winter months.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple, each succulent (and succulent grower!) will have slightly different requirements so read on to learn when to water your succulents for the happiest, healthiest plants possible….
Watering Frequency Depends On How Hot And Light Your Environment Is
Just like you and me, if a succulent is bathed in bright, warm sunshine all day, it will dry out more quickly and need watering more often.
The flip side is also true – if your succulent is growing in a cooler or more humid area then it will need watering less frequently because it will be retaining water for longer
- If your Succulent is in a dry environment, water it more often
- If your succulent is in a hot environment, water it more often
- If your succulent is in a sunny position, water it more often
- If your succulent is in a cool environment, water it less often
- If your succulent is in a humid environment, water it less often
Pot Size And Soil Density
Pot size and soil mix are also important to consider when thinking about how often to water your succulent.
If your succulent is in a small pot it will need watering more often as there’s less soil to hold on to water.
Likewise, if your succulent is in a large pot it will need watering less often as it will take longer to the soil to dry out between watering.
How dense and quick-draining your soil is will also be a factor. Succulents thrive in well-draining soil and don’t appreciate being over-watered or sat in wet soil for too long.
Better drainage will mean more frequent watering but this is an important feature in your succulent pots because too much moisture in its container can result in your succulent’s roots rotting and turning to mush.
How to Know When Your Succulent needs watering
Now, it would be great if you could just set a reminder for every 2nd Tuesday of the month telling you to water all of your Succulents and you could spend the rest of your time enjoying the lush, green (forest) in your home but unfortunately, you’ll need to be a bit more proactive than that.
Succulents are well known for being able to survive in dry, arid conditions and this leads some plant owners to think they can be left alone and hardly ever need watering.
While it’s true that succulents are low maintenance and can go long longer than most plants without water, these are the tell-tale signs that your plant is getting a bit thirsty:
Wrinkled or shriveled leaves
Succulents store water in specialized cells within their leaves, stems, and roots. When these stores run low the cells are emptied and it gives the plants a shriveled up appearance
Dried up or dead leaves
If your plant is particularly underwatered, you will start seeing brown, dried up, or even dead leaves coming from the bottom up as the plant tries to preserve what little water it has left.
Check the soil is completely dry
When you do water your succulents, you want to give the soil a good soak but you should also make sure it has completely dried out before you water it again. The soil will dry out quicker than your plant will so this check is best used as an early indicator rather than an emergency warning sign.
Overwatering your succulent is worse for it than underwatering so we definitely advise you to err on the side of caution and wait a little longer if you’re unsure.
As we’ve already mentioned, too much water will stop the soil from draining. This stops air from getting to the roots and can lead to rot setting in and your plant slowly dying. Ironically, when the roots die the rest of the plant stops receiving water and can start to show the same distress signals as an underwatered plant!
If your succulent looks like it needs water but the soil is still moist, unpot it and check the roots for any sign of rot as this can be seriously bad news for your plant.
And those clever little cells that let your succulent store plenty of water for the dry times? If you overwater your plant they will swell up and can actually burst open!
Keep an eye out for bloated or puffed up stems or leaves and if you do notice any reduce your watering frequency until they’ve returned to normal.
Succulents are one of the easiest species of plants to care for but even these low maintenance wonders won’t take care of themselves.
Now you know much more about watering your succulents to keep them happy and healthy, we’ll leave you with a few key points to summarize:
- When it’s warm and dry, water your plant more often
- When it’s cool or humid, water your plant less often
- Good drainage is essential for healthy succulent
- Make sure you let the soil dry out completely between watering
- Don’t overwater your plants – succulents are great at storing water and would prefer to be too dry than too wet
- Soak the soil when you do water your plants instead of just spraying or misting the leaves
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