How to Water Succulents: The Complete Guide

How to Water Succulents

One of the main characteristics by which people choose to plant succulents is that they are low maintenance, easy to care for and require very little water to grow.

Although there are different types of succulents, some of which require more water than others, the vast majority of succulents require very little watering.

This is due to the fact that they are very resistant to drought and that they store water in their leaves, which helps the plant to endure more time without the need for irrigation.

Another feature is that the roots of succulents are shallow, so they absorb water faster. 

This water is stored in its leaves, stems also roots to be used in more difficult times. 

This means that we should not water succulents so often unlike other plants. 

You can even go on vacation and I assure you that when you return, your succulents will be alive.

Is there a specific number of days I have to wait to water my succulent again? 

The answer is no, I could tell you to water your plant every 15 days or every 20 days, but that’s wrong since only you can know when to water your succulent.

But do not worry if you still do not know how much you should water your plant, I create a series of tips that will help you know when to water your succulent.

You may like this plant.

How to Water Succulents

Let’s star with this.

Succulent Pot

The amount of water we give to our succulent plant is indeed important, but another important aspect that we must take into account in deciding how to water succulents and most do take into account is the pot.

Although we only see the pot as a simple container to place the plant or as a decorative accessory for our home or office, it is the opposite.

The pots play a very important role in terms of the health of our plant.

When you are going to select a pot for you succulents, you must ensure that it has a hole in the bottom of the pot, which is the drainage system that the pots have.

And you may wonder; What is this hole for?

This hole helps the substrate you have chosen to sow your succulent, to eliminate excess water.

As I mentioned earlier, this hole is important, since by helping the substrate remove excess water, it will prevent the roots of the plant from rotting, forming fungi in the succulent, or even the plant dying, since the main problem that can affect your succulents is excess water and moisture.

Ideal materials for pots

Clay pots: They are the best pots to grow cacti and succulents.

Clay pots quickly remove moisture from the substrate, which is ideal to prevent rotting of succulent roots.

Although the mud removes moisture, the pot must have at least one drain hole.

Some characteristics of this pot are. 

  •  Are made of clay and are designed for use with succulents and other small plant varieties. Each one feels smooth and natural to the touch
  • DIMENSIONS: Opening Diameter: 3.1 Inches; Pot Base Diameter: 2.1 Inches; Pot Height: 3.1 Inches
  • Succulent Plants’ Favourite – Featured with water-permeable and breathable, most succulent, cactus or some other plants can thrive without any resistance in such a little pot; Design with a drainage hole at the bottom, which contribute a lot to rhizomatous respiration and effectively prevent root from rotting.
  • Lovely Appearance & Simple Design – Ideal Decoration for your bedroom, kitchen, study or office, desktop, windowsill, balcony, etc; Perfect Gift for wedding, birthday, party, Christmas and so on; Great Idea for school children to learn about garden planting. Anyone will love them for the first sight!
  • Notice – Plants for demonstration purpose only, Not included; Pots are smaller than the picture displayed actually.

Concrete pots  from Ivy Lane Design moderately retain moisture in the substrate, which helps not water the plant so often.

The only thing is that if you use concrete pots, you must use a permeable substrate, that is, it does not have much moisture since if the pot and the substrate retain moisture, this can cause the roots to rot.

Another advantage of concrete pots is that they do not deform if they have it directly in the sun for long hours, unlike plastic pots that can deform.

Some characteristics of this pot are. 

  •  small containers for herbs, organization, and more
  • Filled with plants, flowers or even candy, these favor pots make an excellent gift
  • Each Gray Stone pot is 2.5 inches square
  • Makes a great event or wedding favor, a gift your guests will use and appreciate
  • Count on Ivy Lane for special days by design
  • Set of 5 Favor Flower Pots, small containers for herbs, organization and more
  • Filled with plants, flowers or even candy, these favor pots make an excellent gift
  • Each Gray Stone pot is 2.5-Inch square
  • Makes a great event or wedding favor, a gift your guests will use and appreciate
  • Count on Ivy Lane for special days by design

Ceramics pots from Greenaholics Succulent

prevent the humidity of the environment from entering the roots, so they are recommended in places where frosts are common.

And as we have already mentioned, we must avoid as much as possible the moisture in our succulents and this pot helps us avoid excess moisture.

Some characteristics of this pot are. 

  • Approximate Dimension – Diameter: 3.07 Inch, Height: 3.18 Inch, Plant NOT Included.
  •  Tiny Size & Suitable Plants – These small Cylinder Plant Pots are suitable for little succulent, cactus, and herb.
  • Novel Pattern Design – They’re painted with mandala element picture which included blue, green and red. Baked with high temperature which makes them fadeless. Colorful pattern brings a strong decor touch to your house.
  •  Fantastic Gift Choice – Perfect gift for the people who love the succulent planting, even been the present for housewarming, Christmas’s Day and New Year. They represent a good starting for the new year.
  • Attention: Due to the patterns are stitched by handcraft, they may have a tiny overlapping line which less than 0.08Inch. This can not be avoided. Please considered thoroughly before you buy them.

Substratum

Like pots, the substrate plays an important role in terms of irrigation, since this is what retains water and moisture in the pot and as we know excess water and moisture are the worst enemies for your succulents.

That is why the substrate you choose must have several characteristics so that this is the ideal substrate for your succulent. 

One of those characteristics is that it should not be too compact, that is, you should use a substrate with porous components, that have hollow spaces or you can also use components that by size add the porosity that the substrate needs, since all this benefits the drainage of the plant, this way its roots can breathe.

If the succulent is sown in the garden, it is ideal to use a substrate with lower drainage, especially if you live in a very warm place, because the outer substrate tends to dry faster compared to the substrate that is in the pots or inside.

In the case of having it inside, if the substrate must have an excellent drainage system so that the plant can remove excess water since the substrate in the indoor pots takes longer to dry because it does not receive so much direct sunlight.

Temperature

Temperature is another variable that must be taken into account when watering succulents.

Depending on the region or country where you live, or the time of the year, the temperature is different, and just as the temperature changes, in the same way, we must change the way we give care to our succulents. 

Why should these changes be made?

Well, because succulents do not need the same amount of water in summer, where the strong sun makes the substrate dry much faster, compared to winter, where the cold causes the substrate to remain wet for much longer.

And as we mentioned earlier, the worst enemy of succulents is humidity (excess water), for this reason, the irrigation in summer must be greater (but not excessive) and in winter (especially if the temperatures are very low) the irrigation must Be very scarce.

As we know that temperatures vary according to the seasons of the year, we must also change the amount of irrigation according to the temperature of the year.

Spring: Spring rains can affect the amount of watering in succulents. Although the rains reduce the amount of irrigation, the substrate must still be verified so that you make sure that the plant needs irrigation or not. Eye, this is only necessary if the plant is outside.

Summer: due to the high temperatures, the soil will dry much faster, so it is recommended to check the succulent substrate more frequently and water it at times when the sun is not so strong so that the substrate does not dry out so fast, especially if the plant is outdoors.

Fall and winter: due to the low temperatures, since the succulents are inactive during the winter, the succulents do not need much irrigation, so you must let the substrate dry completely before doing the next irrigation and do it in the least hours cold (half day)

Type of Succulents

Although most succulents need almost the same amount of watering, it is true that there are types of succulents that need a little more water than others, but even so, these types of succulents are still very susceptible to rot due to excessive water.

That is why you must investigate the specific type of succulent you have so this way you can know the specific care your plant needs.

This way you will feel safer when you water your succulent.

Do you have to water succulents?

Yes

Have a good pot as mentioned earlier, it is important that the pot where the succulent is planted, must have the hole in the bottom of the pot, so that the substrate can remove excess water.

It is also important that you remove excess water that is accumulated in the saucer that is under the pot, in order to eliminate the possibility of fungus formation and that the pot only maintains the moisture necessary for the succulent growth. .

Choose the ideal substrate for your succulents the substrate must be low in minerals and with a greater amount of inorganic ingredients (such as sand, knob, gravel, expanded clay) and a slight amount (or none) of organic ingredients (such as peat, bark pine, compost), since in this way the substrate will have the necessary characteristics for your succulents good drainage, porosity, and low nutrient content.

Drying the substrate between irrigation:

The best advice you can apply when watering your succulents is to wait until the substrate is completely dry between irrigation and watering, and then water the plant.

This technique should be applied especially in winter, leave the substrate completely dry for a few days, before re-watering the plant, and in summer you can water the plant from the moment the substrate is completely dry.

Do not use sprinklers:

If you are one of the people who water your succulents with sprinklers to avoid watering your plant too much, I must inform you that this form of irrigation is incorrect.

Succulents do not like to be sprayed and much less on their leaves since they can get stained and rot.

Also, by spraying succulents, they fail to absorb the amount of water they need to continue growing. 

That is why it is better to water them directly with a hose, to which you can add an accessory that water in the form of rain, but carefully water directly on the substrate and not on its leaves.

Another option for indoor succulents is just to use a simple watering can like this one.

The Novelty 30605

Some of the characteristics are 

The 1/2-Gallon Indoor Watering Can is creatively-designed and constructed with high-grade, impact-resistant plastic. The innovative, curved, loop handle is designed to make it easier to pour water comfortably.

The water drains perfectly as your hand moves along the handle from the front of the can to the back.

The long-stem spout and small opening allow you to control the water flow to your plants and makes it easier to water those hard to reach places.

The can is made with UV-protected, shatterproof plastic and is sure to last for years to come.

Featuring a timeless flower pattern and sleek sheen finish – the half-gallon watering can is proudly made in the USA and makes a perfect gift for any garden enthusiast.

You can also use a larger watering can for you outdoor succulents like this one.

Bloem 2 Gallon Light Weight

Some of the characteristics are 

  • Comfortable, easy-to-use handle
  • Long stem spout controls water flow
  • Size: Width 11.5 in (x) Depth 3.75 in (x) Height 7 in
  • One-piece construction eliminates leaks
  • 100% UV stabilized polypropylene plastic ensures long-lasting color and withstands extreme weather conditions + BPA free

How to water succulents without drainage?

Succulents are plants that have the ability to store water in their leaves and stems.

For this reason, succulents are plants that do not need so much irrigation.

Another characteristic of succulents is that they are very susceptible to excess water. 

That is why it is very important that at the time of planting your succulents, the substrate (soil) must have good drainage and the pot where it is going to be planted has to have a hole in the bottom of the pot, so that the substrate can eliminate excess water

You will wonder if, is it possible to plant succulents in pots without this drainage? And the answer is yes.

The biggest challenge you can have is knowing how to water the plants without drowning them. 

Succulents need their roots to dry quickly after each watering. 

How quickly? They don’t like sitting in water for more than a day or two. If this happens, its roots will rot.

However, if you are planting succulents indoors, this type of container has its advantages. 

One of them is that the water will not drain, nor will it wet anything in the house. 

But you have to be more careful, since being inside and not receiving direct sun, the substrate will take longer to dry.

But do not worry, I will give you a series of tips that will help you know how to take care of your plant if it is in a pot without a drain hole.

1. Use draining substrate in succulent plants, the draining substrate is extremely important, especially if the plant is in a pot without a hole for drainage. A substrate with good drainage allows greater airflow.

Although the water in a pot without a drain hole has nowhere to flow, using draining substrate makes it easier for water to evaporate. You can buy land for cacti and succulents or make your mix.

2. Do not put gravel at the bottom of the pot: it is good practice to use gravel at the bottom of pots to improve drainage. However, this causes problems for succulents in pots without drainage. Why? Because the water is trapped in the gravel at the bottom of the pot, which makes it difficult for the water to evaporate.

3. Measure the water at the time of irrigation it is good to measure the water your plant needs, and so you will have an irrigation pattern.

One of the biggest problems of a pot without drainage is knowing how much water we have thrown into our succulent. 

The only pots that are excluded from this situation are glass or transparent plastic pots since these pots allow visually checking the moisture of the substrate.

It is best to use a glass or a cup, even a spoon if the pot is very small and you will always know how much water you should pour into your plant.

How much water to use?

We continue with the measures. You should know how much land you used in your arrangement, and use half the volume of water. 

For example, if you have an arrangement with about 2 cups of soil, water the plant with a cup of water.

4. Irrigation frequency the best time to water your plant is when the substrate is completely dry.

Keep in mind that succulents in pots without a drain hole water do not dry quickly. 

Sometimes it takes weeks before the soil dries. 

To know if the substrate is completely dry, clean it.

The drying of the substrate is very important, especially in the winter season, since due to the cold the substrate will take even longer to dry. 

In winter times water the plant less frequently, leave the substrate completely dry for a few days, before re-watering your plant, and do it in the less cold hours.

In summer times or if you live in a warm place, you can water the plant once the substrate is completely dry.

How to know that the substrate is dry?

Use the stick trick. This is a very simple trick; You just have to bury a clean (new) skewer stick in the substrate (soil). If this comes out wet and dirty, then it is better to wait.

On the other hand, if you bury it, and it comes out completely dry, the substrate will be ready to receive new irrigation. You can evaluate your seedlings with this system, as many times as you want or need, to keep control of the irrigation.

Problems that may arise and how to solve them.

Experimentation is needed to know the frequency of irrigation. 

Pay attention to the succulent leaves. If your succulents are flaccid, withered or soft, you will want to gradually change how you water.

 Here I share some observations:

  • If your succulents are flaccid and withered you should increase the amount of water in your waterings, but not necessarily the frequency.
  • If you only water your succulent once a month because the soil remains moist, you are surely watering with too much water. You should also evaluate the substrate you are using.
  • If your succulents look translucent and their leaves are extra juicy or fall from looking at them, you are likely watering more. In this case, reduce the frequency of irrigation.

Watering succulent plants in pots without drainage requires more attention and requires more observation of the behavior of the plant. 

Over watering causes several diseases and without taking steps to prevent wet roots your succulents may succumb.

Scab is a disease caused by excess water. Symptoms include corky brown scabs appearing on the stems of the succulents.

Some species of cactus are especially susceptible to scab.

Decrease watering and increase light to fight scab. More on that later.

But pots without holes are perfect for decorating indoors since they do not spill water.

Do not be afraid to use pots without holes, practice makes perfection.

You just have to learn to know your plants, and if you follow the advice I gave you, I assure you that your plants will not die and you will have beautiful succulent arrangements inside your home or office.

How to water succulents in a terrarium?

And if by any chance you have your succulent in a terrarium read this.

Before we delve into terrarium care, though, it’s important to identify what type of terrarium you have.

The first type of terrariums and the most common and easy to care for are “open” terrariums. These are glass vessels with an opening that allows air circulation and through which you’ll care for your plants. 

The second type of terrarium – a “closed” terrarium – is a bit more complicated to maintain and less common. That’s because the glass doesn’t have a large enough hole through which to provide regular care. These enclosed terrariums act more like self-sustaining universes, and require a bit more precise and specialized knowledge to set up. If you have a closed terrarium, there are all kinds of great resources around the web detailing their care.

Water: Succulents are drought-tolerant plants, and are highly susceptible to root-rot. Combined with the fact that terrariums do not have drainage holes, you’ll want to water your succulent terrarium very sparingly when the soil has gone almost completely dry. Water sparingly around the base of each plant using a watering can or a spray bottle. Most succulents will tell you when it’s time to water by puckering slightly in their leaves. This is a great indicator for when it’s time to water your terrarium

If watering too much. Remove these plants and replace with comparable specimens, taking care not to water quite as much. Reduce watering during winter.

But if you want me to be specific, you might be watering them (on average) once a month but this will vary depending on a variety of factors.

Open terrariums benefit from being watered every 3-6 weeks. Rather than watering on a schedule, check the soil to see if and how much water your plants need.

And remember to have proper light 

Light: most succulents prefer bright, if not direct, light. Place your succulent terrarium in a very bright spot, keeping in mind that glass tends to magnify direct sun, and can potentially burn your plants. 

How to water indoor succulents 

Is basically the same deal. 

water only enough to keep leaves from withering.

Clues that a plant needs watering include shrinking or puckering leaves or normally shiny leaves that appear dull. If you suspect it’s time to water, shove a finger into soil two knuckles deep to make sure it’s dry.

When you water, apply enough so it runs out drainage holes. Empty the drainage saucer so plants don’t sit in water overnight. About 95% of houseplants need soil to dry out almost completely before watering.

how to save a succulent from overwatering?

First step: you must inspect your succulent plant to look for infected areas in the plant. This infected area usually appears as black or dark brown spots, and usually appears at the bottom of the plant. Other signs that the plant is not well are rotten root or stem, wrinkled leaves, among others.

Second step: If your plant shows some of these signs, you should stop watering the succulent plant from the moment you notice these signs of rot.

Third step: remove the succulent from the pot. Then, you must remove the substrate mixture from the pot, so that you can clean the pot thoroughly and thus ensure that there are no remains of the fungus in the pot.

Fourth step: in this step you must remove the infected black stem from the plant with a garden knife, being very careful not to mistreat the healthy roots. It is important that the healthy roots of the succulent dry naturally, with the help of direct sunlight, for several hours.

Fifth step: you must replant the succulents in the clean pot or in a new one, but with a new substrate, combining equal parts of soil, coarse sand, and peat moss, since you cannot reuse the substrate used in the infected plant.

Sixth step: You must water the plant one week after transplanting, with enough water to moisten the substrate. From this moment on, the plant can have normal and deep irrigation, always waiting for the substrate to be completely dry between irrigation and irrigation. And following the steps mentioned above, to prevent the succulent from getting sick again.

How to water succulents propagation?

When we are going to propagate our succulent plants, it is not the same irrigation as an already mature plant.

In the only case, a sprinkler is used, it is when we are propagating our succulent leaves, to have new plants.

When the leaves selected for propagation, are placed on the top of the substrate, you should water the leaves with a sprayer (you can do it daily), since this is more than enough for the leaves to begin to take root.

As the leaves are rooting more and more in the substrate, you should reduce the amount of irrigation to prevent the roots from rotting and do it in a normal way, that is without a sprinkler.

Although it sounds complicated or that there are certain aspects to consider, the truth is that the wonder of succulents is that they are easy to care for, so you should not be afraid to grow succulents.

And don’t worry because, with practice, you will become a teacher watering your succulents, you will learn to listen to your succulents, to know the amount of water they need, and you will learn to know what is good for them and what is not.

In conclusion, there is no universal answer that the number of days of irrigation your plant needs, but there are several variables and tips that will help you know when to water your succulent and the amount of water they need.

So … do not be afraid and start growing succulents, and you will not regret it since these plants are beautiful and easy to care for and add a touch of tranquility and nature to your home, especially if you live in an apartment.

Conclusion

If you can tell the methods are all very similar. 

The important things you should do when watering your succulent is to use common sense, not to be excessive.

With time and experience, you will get to know your succulents and this will help you take better care of them.

So I encourage you to be patient with yourself.

Nobody wants his succulent to die but at some point, it has happened to us.

The important thing is to continue to inform yourself and continue to get involved. 

And I’m sure one day you will be a pro at this.

I hope this article was helpful if you have any other question please let me know.

Good luck with your succulents.