How to tell if succulents need water? This is one of the most important questions you might ask yourself if you are a beginner in growing succulents. In this post, I will share with you what I learned from years of growing these plants.
One of the trickiest parts of growing succulents is watering. This is succulents do not like too much or too little amount of water. Over and under-watering are both harmful to succulent plants.
In most cases, underwatering is easier to fix than the overwatered succulents. However, underwatering can lead to several growth problems in succulent plants. Thirsty succulents should be given water.
How to tell if succulents need water?
Some of the indicators that succulents need water are when the leaves become rubbery, soft, wrinkled, and can easily be bent. Well-watered succulents have a firm and pump leaves.
Another sign that your succulents need water is when they grow aerial roots. Mostly, these roots have clear white or pink colors that grow just above the soil. This means that that plant tries to collect water from the air.
When you see these symptoms in your succulents, there is a high chance that they need water. You need to be careful though. Overwatering could also cause some of these problems.
Before you water your succulents, make sure that you check the moisture in the soil. This is what I found the best strategy to keep my succulent plants safe from overwatering.
Can You Save an Underwatered Succulent?
The good news is that underwatered succulents can be saved. It is, in fact, easier than saving the overwatered ones. This is possible especially when the problem is just started.
When you noticed that your succulents’ leaves wrinkle, feel rubbery, and shrivel, give them a drink. Here’s what you can do:
1. Using a watering tool, soak the soil not the leaves or stems.
2. Make sure that soil is totally wet.
3. Make sure that the excess water drains at the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole.
4. After a couple of days, your succulents should go back to normal. If not, repeat the process.
5. Once the succulents return to normal, apply the regular watering.
Underwatering happens sometimes when you are super confident that there is enough moisture in the soil for the succulent to enjoy. Then you totally forget and the plants become thirsty.
To make sure that your succulents get enough water, always check the moisture of the soil. There are many ways to do this. In my case though, I like to pick up the container and feel the weight of the container.
From the weight of the pot, you can tell whether or not succulent soil is still moist. Lighter pot suggests that the soil is dry. Wet soil weighs more than dry one.
The other technique you can use is to stick your finger into the soil. If your finger comes out clean, it indicates that the soil is already dry. Wet soil tends to stick to your finger.
If you are not confident using these simple and free methods, you can use water meters. You can buy them online. These gadgets will give you assurance on the moisture level of the soil of your succulent plants.
How to Water Succulents Correctly?
As mentioned, watering is one of the trickiest things to do in making sure that succulents grow healthily. Water is one of the most important needs of these plants. Giving them too much or too little can cause them growth problems.
The key to successful succulent growing is knowing how to water succulents correctly. But how will you water your succulents correctly?
There are many recommendations you can find online. Unfortunately, not all of those recommendations are applicable to your succulent plants.
Throughout the years, I found that the soak and dry watering method works well with my plants. This watering strategy also applicable regardless of the season.
Using this method, you just need to soak the soil and not the leaves or stems of your succulents (although you cannot totally avoid it). Make sure that all the soil gets wet then let the excess water drains in the bottom of the pot.
After the watering, wait until the soil gets completely dry before you water again. The time it takes for the soil to become completely dry varies depending on the season. This means that the watering frequency also varies.
In most cases, watering succulents can be more frequent in summer and less during winter. This is because the climate affects moisture in the soil significantly.
The good news is that the soak and dry watering method is applicable in all seasons. Just apply this method and you do not have to worry about under or overwatering with your succulent plants again.
To learn more about watering succulents, watch the video below from Succulent Fame.
If you are a beginner, watering succulent plants can be challenging. I was in that same situation when I was new to growing these cute plants.
Back then I had no idea that succulents need more water than I thought. As a result, most of my succulents suffered from underwatering. Once I learned the techniques of knowing the water needs of my plants, everything started to become manageable.
The more you know your succulent plants’ needs, the more you become familiar with them. Watering will not be an issue anymore.
But if you want to make the process shorter, you can use my suggestions in this post. The soak and dry watering technique work for all my plants. In fact, since I applied this technique, none of my succulents suffered from underwatering or overwatering.
But of course, you can explore on your own and discover what is best for your plants too.
Nonetheless, I hope that this short post gives you an idea of how to tell if succulents need water.
If you want to learn more about growing succulents, feel free to visit my free guide.