Optimal water schedule for Echeveria – Ins and out of successful growing

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Let me get straight to the most important thing: Echeveria, like vast majority of other succulents, does not like too much water. Over-watering can no doubt kill this plant. But it doesn’t mean that you should not water it at all, since lack of water is fatal for any living organism–human, animal, or plant.

So how to water your echeverias? In my experience, you should adjust the watering frequency according to the moisture in the soil. Water your plants more frequently during summer, and less frequently in winter, when the succulents do not grow.  The reason is that during summer, the moisture in the soil dries more quickly than it does in the cold season. Logically echeveria and other plants need more water to thrive.

Guide on watering your echeveria correctly

One of the challenges you may encounter when growing echeveria is the frequency of your watering. This is because we people often think that nature works the same way our lives do. We go to gym every Tuesday, take shower every evening, or visit our parent on Sunday afternoon, and we suppose the plant kingdom is just the same–giving our echeverias the same amount of water every Saturday morning, for example. This is wrong though…  Now I will share with you some things you need to avoid, in order to make sure that your plants will thrive.

Everything starts with right pot and fitting soil mix

Throughout the years, I found that the success of watering depends heavily on the pot and soil you use with your echeverias. Namely:

  • A pot with a drainage hole. I usually use the terra-cotta pot for my echeveria (click here to check this pot on Amazon). The good thing about this pot is that it provides not only drainage but also good aeration to the plant which prevents root rot, the most common cause of echeverias dying.
  • Fast-draining soil. Perfect soil for echeveria is a fast-draining one. It is composed of coarse organic and inorganic materials (check my recommended fast-draining soil on Amazon).  You can create your own succulent soil though. But if you lack time and are busy with other spheres of life just like me, buying a good mix online is perhaps the way to go. 
  • Watering can with a thin long spout. This one is optional, but it will make the watering easier. The key is to water the soil and not then plant, and tools like this make it possible.

    Four mistakes you need to avoid to make sure your echeverias thrive

    Growing echeveria for years, I learned so many things especially when it comes to watering the plants, and mistakes one can make. Believe me, I lost so many of my plants before, making the mistakes I will tell you about now.

    Mistake no. 1: Using an inappropriate pot

    Back in the day, when I was just starting my journey of a succulent grower, I had no idea that the pot I was using greatly influenced the health of my succulents. As a result, many of my plants died before I discovered the truth. The thing is, succulents like echeveria need an appropriate pot–one that has a drainage hole. The hole serves as an outlet for the excess water during watering.

    Without a drainage hole, the excess water will  stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will in turn cause root rot, and your plants will die. I also recommend you to choose a shallow pot a little bit bigger than the root ball of echeveria. The reason for this is that echeveria does not like large pots. A large pot can only potentially absorb too much moisture, and that’s another reason why the roots of the plant may start rotting.


    Mistake no. 2: Incorrect potting

    You can have the best pot in the world, but if you pot the plant in a wrong way, it won’t serve you. What I like to do is to lay gravel at the bottom of the pot. This will enhance the drainage of the pot. The next step I do is to add fast-draining soil on top of the gravel. Lastly, I press the soil down a little bit. This is to eliminate hollow in the soil.

    Once you follow these three simple steps with your echeverias, you do not have to be afraid of potting them in a wrong way, causing them distress.


    Mistake no. 3: Bad growing environment

    When I was a beginner, I had no idea that environmental factors also shape the health of succulent plants. I learned just later that light, air circulation, and temperature also influence the watering frequency of the echeverias.

    As we all know, succulents are native to dry areas. So when you grow them at home, the key is to try to emulate the conditions in their native lands. Echeveria is one of the succulents that love bright sunlight and warm temperatures ranging from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Air circulation should also be good–so make sure to keep the windows open regularly.


    Mistake no. 4: Bad watering techniques

    Many plants love to be watered from the top, when you soak their leaves and stems with water, just like a rain does. But succulents and especially echeveria do not like to get their leaves wet.  Hence I suggest you to wet the soil only, not the entire plant.

    When watering, make sure that you only target the soil, not the stems and leaves. My favorite way to water succulents is the soak and dry method. It consists in soaking the soil completely and then let the excess water drain through the hole at the bottom of the pot. I wait then, watering the plants only when the soil becomes completely dry again. This watering method works well for any succulent plant in any season.


    Few tips to take care for echeveria indoors

    Growing echeveria indoors is different from growing it outdoors. This is because the indoor environment is very much different from the outdoor one. Let me give you a few tips here:

    1. Appropriate light source. Without access to sunlight, echeveria may start to show growth problems, such as stretching and changing the color of leaves. You can place the plant near the window that has access to daily sunlight. Observe which window of your house has the most sunlight exposure throughout the day, and place your echeveria there. During winter, I suggest you to use grow light (check my recommended grow light on Amazon).

    2. Appropriate soil. Echeveria is one of the succulent varieties that need well-draining soil. The good thing about succulent soil is that you don’t need to make your own. It is available on the market. You can just buy it. Commercial succulent soils provide more than enough for succulent plants.

    3. Appropriate amount of water. In most cases, the indoors environment is colder than the outdoors one. This also means that the moisture inside the house takes a longer time to dry, and you should lower the watering frequency.


    Final thoughts

    How often should you water your echeverias? There is no exact watering schedule for echeveria and other succulent varieties,  because the time that it takes for the soil to dry depends on the climate, season, your growing environment.

    As a rule of a thumb, echeveria needs more frequent watering in summer than it does in winter. This is because, during summer, the moisture in the soil dries faster. However, the best way to water echeverias is the soak and dry watering method, just as I described in this post. Hope this helps, and do not forget to check also my complete guide on succulent growing.