When Do Succulents Need Water?
by Succulent MarketOct 27, 2020
Succulents are unique plants that have adapted to storing water for a long time. As such, they prefer to be watered less often than most other plants.
But even so, it’s important to water them properly or, just like every other plant, they will die.
So, when do succulents need water? This guide will explain.
Signs Succulents Need Watering
It’s quite easy to know when a succulent needs watering. The main sign is their leaves will shrivel and wrinkle. This is because the water stored within the leaves’ cells are depleted.
These cells attempt to replenish the water, but when the plant cannot get enough water, the cells shrink so small that the leaves look deflated.
So, with this in mind, it’s important to keep a close eye on your succulents. When leaves look plump and full, they have enough water. Don’t give them any more as that could drown the plant. On the other hand, if the leaves look like they have shrivelled up, then it’s time to give them more water.
Watering succulents is a lot different compared to how you water other plants. Most flowers and houseplants require regular watering, but if you give a succulent the same treatment, you risk drowning them.
The best strategy for watering succulents, including both indoor and outdoor plants, is with a “soak and dry” strategy. This involves watering the soil until it’s completely soaked and not watering the plant again until the soil has dried out.
This means the plant should be in soil that allows for easy drainage. The same goes for its pot; it should have plenty of holes at the bottom for the water to run out of.
The soak and dry strategy is naturally preferred by succulents and here’s why.
Most succulents come from extreme conditions like the desert. When the rain does fall, it doesn’t just rain, it pours, and their cells are designed to store water for days at a time until the next downpour.
So, by using this method, you’re replicating a succulent’s natural habitat.
How To Water Indoor Succulents
Here are some tips for watering indoor succulents:
- Use a watering can with a small spout. If you don’t have one, a squeeze bottle works just as well.
- Water the base until the soil is completely soaked.
- Don’t wet the leaves. This can cause them to rot as there’s not enough airflow indoors to clear the dew.
- Don’t water the soil until it’s totally dry. Watering while it’s still wet risks drowning the succulent.
How To Water Outdoor Succulents
Here are some tips to water your succulents if they’re planted outdoors:
- Start watering at the base of the succulent. A hose, watering can or squeeze bottle will all suffice.
- Continue watering until the soil is soaked through.
- Don’t water again until the soil has totally dried out.
You may have noticed that you don’t have to be as careful with the leaves when watering an outdoor succulent. This is because the wind brings more airflow that allows them to dry out.
That said, avoid getting much water on the leaves as best as you can anyway.
How Often Should Succulents be Watered?
There isn’t a specific timeline to follow. The plant will show enough signs that it’s time for watering again, which is why you need to keep an eye on the leaves and soil
Don’t water the soil again while it’s wet. It’s only time to water again when the soil has dried out and the leaves look like they're starting to shrivel up.
Indoor succulents typically need watering around every two weeks. Outdoor succulents, on the other hand, depend on your location. If you’re living in a particularly rainy or humid area, then you may not have to water them yourself at all. In fact, you may end up doing more harm than good. If you’re living in a dry area, then you’ll have to check on the plant every so often to see when it needs watering again.
It’s been a common theme throughout this guide, but the general rule is to never water your succulent while the soil is still wet. Only bring the can out again when the leaves and the soil look dried out.