Watering plants is easy in most cases, as one faces little risks. However, when you are growing special types of plants like succulents, things can get a bit tricky. Unlike other plants, succulents require a specific amount of water. Giving them too much water can harm their growth or even kill them. So, how often should one water succulents they grow indoors?
The answer to this question depends on your understanding of the very nature of the plant. Because succulents are capable of storing water in their entire system, they do not need much water. For indoor succulents, the general rule is that water them only when the soil is dry.
But how long will the soil dry? It depends on the moisture inside the house and the outside temperature. In rainy seasons, the potting soil usually remains moist up to two weeks without water. But during summer, the soil can dry within a few days, and then you should water your succulent again. Having said that, as a rule of a thumb I recommend watering indoor succulents once every two weeks during winter. And once a week during summer. But of course, it always depends on the moisture of the soil, and that should be your primary benchmark.
Is tap water good for indoors succulents?
Most people use tap water for their succulents. You should remember though that tap water usually contains dissolved minerals, and often also chemicals that are good neither for humans nor for plants. These minerals could build up over time in the soil which in turn harms the succulents in the long run.
My recommendation is to use rainwater. I know that it requires additional effort on your part. But if you really want to grow healthy and beautiful succulents, collecting rainwater will definitely pay off. The reason why we recommend rainwater over tap water is that obviously, rainwater is safer than tap water.
So during the rainy season, try to collect the water. You can build a special underground tank for this purpose on your backyard, or just use a bigger empty barrel. Don’t forget to keep the stored water safe though. Uncovered water storage is a favorite habitat of mosquitoes. They lay eggs there making it dangerous not only for your succulents, but also for your family. So cover your water storage. Make sure that no mosquito can get inside.
Appropriate watering technique for indoors succulents
Apart from how often to water succulents indoors, many of our readers also ask how they should actually do it. Like with many other things in life, you have a variety of options, and at times you may struggle to decide which one to use.
However, our recommendation is to soak the soil or make the whole potting mix completely wet then let it dry. Then, water the soil again once it dries. The watering interval depends on the season and climate of your location. If you are living in regions where temperatures are high, the watering interval for your succulents may be short. In contrast, if you are living in a location where temperatures are low, the watering interval may be long, two weeks or even more!
Bigger indoors succulents are less prone to both lack of water and excess of water
Bigger succulents can survive for many days without water. This is because they have so much liquid stored in their big bodies and leaves, almost an endless resource they can gather water from when you do not give them any water. Remember though that although succulents are very good at storing water in their leaves, they cannot survive in the total absence of water in the long run. Like other plants, they need water.
Aside from location and temperature, potting soil also plays an important role in how much water should you give to your succulents. If you are using our recommended gritty mix from Amazon, you can water your indoor succulents once a week. That’s because this excellent soil mix does not hold too much moisture, and the soil dries more quickly.
Another thing that you need to consider in watering your succulents is the thickness of the leaves. Succulents with thicker leaves are more resistant to drought. This means they need a lesser amount of water and more capable of surviving without water. The secret to successful succulent growing is understanding that the size of the plant, the thickness of the leaves, location, and season are all factors we should consider when deciding about an optimal watering schedule for the plant.
Helpful tools for watering succulents
The fate of your succulents relies on the choices you made at the beginning. Yes, that is right. The success of your succulents depends on the tools and materials you picked even before the propagation process, or before you planted your first succulent. The following tools are, in my opinion, crucial for the overall health of your plants:
- Container or pot with drainage. If you are using a pot without drainage holes, chances are the soil will absorb all the water which will in turn harms the plant. Pots with drainage holes provide a better drainage system that allows the water to drain faster. In this way, the soil only retains moist which is perfect for healthy succulents growing. If you already bought succulent pots without drainage holes, don’t worry. You can always make holes in them using a ¼-inch diamond drill bit which you can buy from Amazon. If you are planning to buy a perfect pot with drainage holes for your succulents, you can consider my recommended planters.
- Perfect potting soil mix. Not only succulents need a certain amount of water, but they also need certain potting soil mix. A potting mix that gives them excellent drainage. In our previous post, we mentioned the perfect ratio of potting soil and sand. If you want to make your own mix, you might want to read the former article. However, if you want to buy a perfect mix from a supplier, you can consider our recommended mix from Amazon.
- Perfect succulent watering tools. If you are new to growing succulents, you might be thinking that you can use pretty much anything to water your plants. But this belief is, in most cases, inappropriate. The truth is that watering succulents need special watering tools. In our case, we recommend the use of a squeeze bottle (you can order this bottle on Amazon).
Watering succulents indoors is no rocket science. Once you understand your plants, have the right tools, and consider all factors that affect the moisture of the soil (climate, season, size of pot and succulent, moisture of the air etc) you can come up with a great watering schedule for your plants.
I hope you will succeed, and as a result enjoy the beauty of your thriving plants. For more info about growing succulents, you can check my complete guide on growing succulents here. Thank you!