How much water do succulents need? If you are a beginner in growing succulents, this is one of the most important questions you might ask yourself. Since many sent me this query, I decided to write a post. I hope this helps.
For me, succulents are unique plants that have specific water needs. Too much or too little water could harm their growth. This means that you need to make sure that you give the right amount of water.
But, how much water do succulents need?
There is no exact measurement of how much water do succulents need. But the best practice is that the soil of succulents should be soaked during watering and the excess water should be drained through the drainage hole of the pot. This will help the roots grow downward instead of upward. Succulents should not be lightly watered because the roots will only grow upward looking for water.
When watering, avoid targeting the stems and leaves. Although some succulent varieties love to be watered from the top, the majority do not. Watering the leaves and stems may only result in rotting.
The pot should have a drainage hole. This allows the excess water to drain. Keep in mind that the stuck water at the bottom of the pot will cause root rot to the succulent plant. So make sure that the excess water drains leaving just enough moisture for the plant to enjoy.
How Often to Water Succulents?
Succulents are native to semi-desert areas. This means that they can tolerate drought. Their leaves and stems are water reservoirs that store water which allows them to thrive in dry areas.
This characteristic of succulent plants causes confusion, especially to new succulent growers. If you have done some prior research online, you might find once a week, twice a week, or once a month watering recommendations.
Trust me, I tried many watering tips before but most of them do not apply to all conditions. Throughout the years, I learned that there are many factors that shape the watering frequency of succulents.
But I also learned the best watering technique that works well with all my succulent plants. What I am talking about here is the soak and dry method. This watering strategy is very good at keeping succulent plants from being overwatered.
The method is simple. When watering, just soak the soil and let the excess water drains. From that moment, do not water again until the soil gets completely dried.
Always check the soil before watering. You can stick your finger into it and see if the soil sticks to your finger. If it does, it means that the soil is still moist and does not require water.
The good thing about the soak and dry watering method is that it works with all succulent varieties in all seasons.
Factors that Shape the Watering Frequency of Succulents
As mentioned, there are many factors that affect the watering frequency of succulent plants. In this post, I list some of the most common factors. If you are interested to learn more, just continue reading.
1. The Season
One of the strongest factors that determine how often you should water succulents is climate or season. In spring and summer, for instance, succulents tend to grow actively therefore they need more water. Also, the high temperature makes the moisture in the soil evaporates quicker.
In contrast, during winter, most succulent plants are dormant. They do not actively grow so they do not more water. Also, the moisture in the soil in this season takes a longer time to dry than in the hot season.
Again, the safest strategy is to apply the soak and dry watering technique. It will save your succulent plants from overwatering in any given season.
2. Pot Size
The size of the container also plays a very important role. Larger pots hold more soil which in turn retains moisture longer. If you plant your succulent in a large container, you need to be careful because this could potentially cause root rot.
On the other hand, small and shallow pots are not good for succulents either. This is because smaller and shallow pots only hold a small amount of soil which dries faster.
Choosing the right size of the container is critical for succulent plants. The wrong size could potentially cause harm to the succulent plants.
3. Light Source
The next very important element of successful succulent growing is the light source. Succulents are natives to semi-desert areas which means that they need sunlight.
However, this does not mean that they could stand hot sunlight. High temperatures could cause them sunburn. Again, sunlight exposure should be monitored.
Succulents should get at least 4-6 hours of sunlight exposure every day preferably in the morning. Because they can get sunburned under the scourging sun, they need shade in the afternoon.
Succulents require more water during the hot season. So be sure to consider the sunlight exposure of the plant.
The last factor that affects the watering frequency is humidity level. Succulents in high humidity areas need less watering than those in dry climates. But again, the soak and dry method still work in this case.
The only thing you need to do is to check the soil before watering. The moisture in the soil determines when to give water to your succulent plants regardless of climate.
How to Water Succulents the Right Way?
Giving the appropriate amount of water to succulents is one thing, doing it the right way is another. Both can be detrimental to plants if done incorrectly.
Watering succulent plants the right way needs an understanding of their natural habitat. Because succulents are native to arid areas where rain pours, they also get a similar source of water.
Thus, the best way to water succulent plants is to completely soak the soil until the water drains through the bottom of the pot. Avoid light watering because it only encourages the roots to grow upward.
The soak and dry method is again the perfect watering method you can use.
What Time Should You Water Succulents?
You can water your succulent plants anytime if you want to. However, during summer, it is always a good practice to water succulents in the morning. This is perfect because the temperature is still low.
Avoid watering in the afternoon when the temperature is too high. Wait until the evening before you water the succulents if you haven’t yet in the morning.
But watering in the morning or in the evening is not recommended in winter. It is better to leave the soil dry to avoid fungal infections. Wet soil attracts fungal infections and pest infestations.
How much water do succulents need? Although there is no exact answer to this question, there is a correct way of watering succulent plants. That is, when watering, make sure to soak the soil and do not water again until the soil gets completely dried.
It is also important to remember that there are many factors that affect the watering frequency of succulent plants. All of those factors are mentioned above.
You can use this post as your little guide in growing your succulent plants successfully. I hope this helps.
If you want to learn more about growing succulents, then this free complete guide is for you.