Last Updated on October 12, 2020 by Maggie
When to Water Succulents and How
It doesn’t take much effort to see these beautiful plants thrive. The key is to know how and when to water succulents.
Are your succulents drowning in the water?
This article will show you how you can avoid this and have a wonderful succulent display you’ll be proud of.
The beauty of succulents is that they can resist drier conditions. While still adding beauty and variety to your garden bed.
There are an estimated 200 different species of succulents. This includes all cacti.
As well as some basic understanding of different types of succulents, we’ll also cover:
- the best soil ratio for succulents
- how to best water succulents
- how often you should water them
Q: What exactly is a succulent? What classifies a plant as a succulent?
A: Succulents store water in their fleshy stems and leaves and can thrive in dry climates.
Succulents are water-preserving plants.
So you can see why they would need special attention when it comes to the way you water them and how often.
In general, they all have similar needs but vary in how much water or sunlight they’re given.
Before you plant any succulents in your garden. The first thing you need to do is look up their sunlight preference.
Do they thrive in the shade, partial shade/dappled sunlight, or full sun?
Before you water any succulents, you need to plant them with the right kind of soil.
It is pertinent that it be one that drains well. Use two parts of soil and one-part drainage material (perlite or pumice).
Note: If you’re going to keep your succulents in containers or pots. Ensure they have proper drainage holes.
Succulents’ roots shouldn’t stay wet for long periods of time.
Once it has absorbed as much water as it needs, the rest needs to be able to drain away.
If your succulents are in pots outside and it has a tray underneath.
That means you will have to discard any water not soaked up by the roots.
What’s The Right Way To Water Succulents?
First off, you don’t want to be “misting” your succulents with a spray bottle every few days. This will not sustain them, and they won’t thrive.
Nor should you be watering them every day. Or even every other day as this can cause the roots to rot if they stay wet for too long.
Wilted, withering, rotted plants! This is the last thing we want to see in a garden bed.
There is ONE instance in which you can use a spray bottle to water succulents and that’s when you’re propagating! Then and only then does it give your succulent cuttings adequate watering.
How Often Should I Water Succulents Then?
A good rule of thumb is that you don’t need to water your succulents for at least 5-7 days after soaking them.
The key here is to wait until the soil is completely dry and then give them a good soak
Give them a deep watering to hold them over until next week.
Depending on which zone you live in and what the climate is like, this can vary.
Let me explain.
In Spring when succulents grow most. They may need more water to accommodate their increased growth rate.
In summer, they need a bit less, and cooler months even less. (as daylight-time decreases it takes longer for the soil to dry out).
No matter whether your succulents are in the ground or in containers. Whether they’re in deep or the soil seems shallow, even if a plant is full-sun or shaded.
You have ONE question to ask yourself before you water your succulent: is the soil completely dry?
If the answer is ‘no’, wait a day or two and check again.
More Succulent Tips & Tricks
If moving your succulents from indoors to outdoors, allow them to acclimatize.
Place them in a partly shaded area for a little while before moving to a sunny location
Deeper pots keep more moisture for longer. This means it might take longer for the soil to dry out between soakings
Try a large squeeze bottle to water succulents close together so you can focus on soil and avoid the leaves.
You will notice that some have thin leaves and some have chubby plump leaves.
Leaves that are thinner will store less water. These will need soaking a couple of days before those with plump leaves.
Better airflow may or may not also dry out your succulents faster.
Humidity can also play a factor
This is all to reiterate that succulents have different needs. Paying attention to the soil conditions will tell you when they need watering.
It can be a lot of fun knowing where your succulents originate from. What they’re scientific name is or how often they’ll bloom.
Don’t worry, to make it easier for you I have done the research for you so you don’t have to.
20 Succulents For Your Outdoor Garden
For your viewing and sharing pleasure, I’ve created two infographics (it’s hard to fit so many beautiful succulents on just one infographic!).
They include the succulents. Common name. Scientific name. Watering needs. Light preference and how often they bloom/flower.
The first infographic includes:
- Aeonium Arboreum – Sunburst
- Agave Ovatifolia – Whale’s Tongue
- Aloe Aristata – Lace Aloe
- Kalanchoe Laetivirens – Mother of Thousands
- Crassula Perforata – String of Buttons
- Dasylirion Berlandieri – Berlandier’s Sotol
- Sedum Morganianum – Donkey’s Tail
- Dudleya Lanceolata – Lanceleaf Liveforever
- Senecio Candicans – Angel Wings
- Echeveria Elegans – Mexican Gem
Our second infographic features:
- Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii – Moon Cactus
- Graptopetalum Paraguayense – Mother of Pearl
- Haworthia Limifolia – Fairy Washboard
- Sempervivum Arachnoideum – Hens and Chicks
- Parodia Magnifica – Ball Cactus
- Cotyledon Orbiculate – Pig’s Ear
- Mammillaria Crinita – Pincushion Cactus
- Sansvieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentil’ – Snake Plant
- Anacampseros Rufescens – Sand Rose
- Portulacaria Afra – Elephant Bush
Hope you enjoyed this article and learned some new ways to take care of your succulents.
I would love to hear what succulents you have in your garden and if you have any watering tips.
I can be contacted here.