Humidity is the presence of water vapor in the air. High humidity means that there is a considerable amount of water in the air. Such a situation often manifests in a fog or a morning mist. No doubt this phenomenon is beautiful for the eye. But what about the succulents? Can they survive, let alone thrive in a humid environment?
As a rule of a thumb, succulents do not like humidity because it adds to the moisture of the soil, which is one of the top reasons why your succulents may star rotting, wilting, and eventually dying. What’s more, humidity could also trigger fungal problems of the plant, because all sorts of fungi enjoy humid and wet conditions–if helps their ability to multiply.
Humidity & sun–good combination for succulents
Succulents are hardy plants, and they can sustain a lot. Most of them can tolerate a humid environment, as long as it does not last for too long, since rotting is the ultimate result of high humidity experienced over a prolonged period of time. At the end of the day, succulents are accustomed to semi-desert areas, and humidity is not common to such areas.
However, what you can do with your succulents in a case of a humid weather is that you expose them to the sun. After rain there is always sun as they say. Succulents love some hours of direct sunlight exposure every day. So if it is humid in your area in the morning, or if you experience a bout of rainy weather, just make sure to place them in the sun anytime possible, to make sure their soil dries again and they won’t be prone to rotting.
Beginner’s guide on humidity and light for succulents
Giving your succulents a dose of sunlight every day is probably the best remedy. It is not always possible though. What I found difficult is to transfer my indoor succulents back and forth to the sun. I have plenty of succulents indoor that need sunlight. This means that I should bring them outside every morning and bring them back inside some four to six hours later.
If you are working a regular job, the task becomes almost impossible. The second problem that I encounter is the weight of the pots of my plants. If you have succulent arrangements, the pots are usually bigger than those with single succulent planted in them. In this situation, transferring a plant back and forth simply takes time and a lot of effort. Sure, it can be a good exercise for your body if you feel like exercising. But that’s not the case on every day. Let me give you some tips that can help you save this effort, and that relate to keeping your succulents healthy even in a humid environment.
Place the succulents near the windows to maximize the exposure to light
Placing the succulents close to the window allows them to catch some sunlight in the morning, or anytime a sun shines outside. It can help with reducing humidity on the leaves and in the soil, and preventing the eventual issues.
Ideally you should choose a window that’s oriented towards sun, that means south, south-east, or south-west. It makes a little sense placing a succulent on a window that remains in a shade all day long… Remember that plants need sun to thrive. Give it to them, and you’ll reap rewards in the form of their beautiful leaves and colors.
Use grow light in humid areas
High humidity usually occurs during the cold season. This is also the time when the sun is almost invisible in the sky. Putting your succulents close to the windows may not work in such conditions. The plants just cannot get enough sunlight, especially if there’s no sunlight :).
In such cases I recommend you to use grow light (check my favorite grow light on Amazon, * please note that this is an affiliate link and I may earn a few cents at no extra costs to you if you purchase the produce). Grow light can do all the difference for your succulents in winter. It does not only reduce humidity but also helps the succulents get the required amount of light every day.
Will high humidity harm your succulents?
Definitely it will, unless you take the precautions I just described. Back when I was just starting as a grower of succulents, I did not know what to do during the humid season. All my succulents were left outdoors. Not surprisingly, many of them died. I did not even think that high humidity was the cause. As I already mentioned, most succulents will develop fungal problems in humid conditions, or they will start rotting.
This usually occurs especially if you are growing soft succulents (Echeverias, Aeoniums, Senecios, etc). These types of succulents cannot tolerate extreme conditions, and humidity is extreme for the succulents. They are simply more vulnerable than other varieties.
Succulents would love an indoor environment as long as it isn’t very humid. In most cases, succulents grow well in an environment with 70%-90% humidity, at least if they get the desired amount of sunlight every day.
Some succulents though are more sensitive than others. What I found is that succulents grow better in non-air-conditioned space. Air-conditioned spaces are even more humid, and there’s perhaps something else the plants do not like about them.
At the end of the day, there are some succulent varieties that can withstand high humidity. Hence growing succulents successfully in humid seasons requires a good understanding of your plants and their needs. And if you are not sure, you can always use some grow light to get them the extra support they need in humid conditions and indoors.
Q: How often should I water succulents in winter, in humid conditions?
A: During winter, most succulent varieties are dormant. They are not actively growing, therefore, they need less water and nutrients.Your watering schedule during winter should be infrequent. But this, of course, will depend on the type of succulents you are growing, as well as the humidity of your area. Some succulents do actively grow in winter so they need more water than the dormant ones.
What I found an effective strategy for watering is examining the soil. If it is dry, the succulent needs water. This works pretty well with all types of succulents. If you are researching online, you probably have come across some contending views on how, when, or how much water do succulents need during winter. To me, this only suggests that succulents care may vary as a result of many defining factors, and humidity is definitely up there. The key is to learn as much as you can about your succulents, and also to experiment, and learn from your mistakes…