How Often Should I Water My Succulents?
Watering Succulents the Right Way
Succulents are fleshy plants that store water in their leaves. The name succulent comes from the latin word sucus which means “juice” or “sap”. Succulents are around 70 percent water which allows them to go long periods of time without being watered. In their natural habitat they grow in porous soil and get water infrequently. When caring for plants it is helpful to mimic their natural habitat. Both the frequency of watering and the amount of water you give your succulents is important. Not following the proper instructions for the amount and frequency of watering can lead to rotten succulents or succulents that are not deeply rooted and robust.
Frequency of Watering
Frequency of watering depends greatly on how much sun the plant is getting and temperature. Generally speaking you should water your succulents weekly or bi-weekly. Check the soil to make sure that it is dry before watering. This ensures that the leaves have absorbed the water from the soil and also had a little time to get thirsty again. If you touch the soil and you think, “Hmmm….. Not sure if it is dry yet. It feels a little moist.”, then wait! Succulents will always forgive you for underwatering but overwatering can be sudden death.
Amount of Water
The amount of water you give your succulents is also important. I often tell customers to water heavily but I am coming to understand that this is not totally clear. What you want to do is fill the pot completely with water until the water drains out the holes in the bottom of the pot. Do this a couple of times to make sure the soil is saturated. The exception to this rule would be if you are watering a plant in a pot that does not have drainage. In this case, only give the plant enough water to moisten the soil but not leave it soggy. It is also important to note how compact the soil is when you water. If the soil has become compact due to being overly dry make sure the water is actually penetrating the soil and reaching the roots.
Common Signs Related to Incorrect Watering
The most common issues arise when people overwater their succulents or do not give them enough water when they are watering. If you overwater them, the fleshy leaves become too full of water and you burst their cell walls leading to a mushy, dead plant. If you do not give the succulent enough water, meaning when you water the plant ,you only give it a small amount (or you only give it an ice cube), chances are the succulent will not grow deep, strong roots and it will not be as robust as it could be. It will probably survive but it won’t be at it’s best. When trying to remember how to water succulents just think flood then drought.
Follow these guidelines in order to keep your succulents happy and thriving. With proper care, these low maintenance plants will last a very long time.