How To Water Succulent Plants Properly

Last Updated on June 16, 2020 by Kimberly Crawford

Although succulents are very unique for their low water requirement, one way or another, they would still need it because to begin with, they are still plants. Water is an essential part of your succulent’s growth and sufficient water will become very important specifically during the active growth phase.

In this phase, succulents need to be watered once to three times a week or even more often depending on what would fulfill their individual requirement of a good soaking. But we also know that overwatering is the main pitfall of not knowing how to water succulent plants properly. That is why in this article, we will teach you just that. So how?

watering succulents 1

How to water baby succulents

watering baby succulents

This is the one and only moment when the water spray will come in handy because you will need to water the baby succulents every day until they grow to up to two to three inches. However, you will need the spray because you will not water them by the soil but you will only spray them with water on top of the succulent.

The growth process involves the leaves and the stems more than the roots because it is where the water is stored. But of course, once in a while, you will have to water them by the root especially if they are now transferred in specific pot mixes. As soon as you see that the roots become pink or white, this will signal you to lessen the intervals of watering.

How to water succulents indoors

water succulent indoors

Indoor succulents are one of a kind bunch because they thrive within the range of partial to total shade and partial to full sun. Because of this unique characteristic of theirs and also the fact that they are not expected to be taken in and out for the sun, the best way to water succulents indoors is through the soak and dry method.

By the term itself, this method shall require you to really soak the soil with enough water and then wait for it to dry completely before watering the succulent again. Letting them to be completely dry and then soaking them again will allow them to grow sturdier roots. It will take five to seven days for the soil to completely dry out so be mindful about this.

How to water succulents outdoors

water succulent outdoors

Honestly, outdoor succulents will also follow the soak and dry method but the intervals for watering will depend on the humidity of the area you are growing your succulents in. Of course, if the temperature in your area is very hot, the soil will be easier to dry out so you might have to soak the succulents every five days.

In cooler temperatures, it will require you at least seven to ten days and even lesser during winter. Why is this? Remember that these succulents are planted directly in the ground and at night, the soil becomes cooler so no need for water all the time.

How to water succulents in winter

You might wonder why this would even be a question since we really normally don’t water plants during the winter. Well, succulents are a special case but the trick during winter is to pay attention for shrivel, indentations and spots.

Once you notice that the leaves are shrinking or has holes that were not there before, it means that it needs more moisture in the soil, thus, needing water but only on a small amount.

When spots are present in the leaves during winter, it means that you have overwatered the succulents before the winter and that it has stored more water than what it needs. Generally, you will still have to spray on the leaves of the succulents every two weeks to keep your succulents hydrated during the winter.

How to water succulents without a drainage hold

water succulents without drainage

Sometimes, succulents without a drainage hold can be inevitable. If you are in this situation, you will need to exert extra effort. After watering the succulent, you will have to tip the pot or planter in sideways motion for you to be able to drain the excess water.

If you don’t have the time to always do this, you may buy a larger pot where you can place the smaller planter on where it can sit. You need to put holes in the smaller planter and put soil mix on the larger pot where it is resting.

This process is called double-potting. Through this method, you will satisfy two important processes in the growth of succulents: one, you will avoid overwatering and therefore, you will also avoid the onset of fungal diseases as seen in the spotting in the leaves of the succulents and two, you will be able to give more space for the roots to grow.

How to water succulents in terrarium

Most succulents in a terrarium are not drought-tolerant so you need to water them in shorter intervals but regulated enough to not overwater them. So for these kinds of succulents, you will have to specifically let dry the top inch of the soil in between watering.

After letting the top inch of the soil totally dry, spread the water at the base of the succulent using either water spray bottle or the watering can. Normally, the top inch of the soil will completely dry out after three to five days depending on the temperature of the place they are put in.

How to water succulents in pots

water succulents in pots

The most general rule is how large is your pot? Of course, the larger the pot, the more soil it can hold, therefore, the more water it can absorb and store and the longer shall the soil become dry.

This is the exact logic as to why, the general rule of thumb would be, large pots are watered once every two weeks and small pots are watered once a week. The time interval here is crucial because this is observed as the general interval when the soil in the pots is expected to have dried.

But then again, identify your succulents well and there are limits to the amount of water you can pour. Just remember, when you are not sure, under-watering is still better than overwatering.


watering succulents 2

In conclusion, there are three basic things to consider in watering succulents properly. First, make sure that your pot has drainage holes for the excess water to flow out. Second, make sure that you got the proper soil mix.

The soil is the one that absorbs the water so if your soil is too dense or too loose, you should expect that over-soaking and under-watering shall happen and each will have a repercussion in the growth of the succulent.

And third, control over watering by getting a squeeze bottle. You do not need to go extra with the watering can because we all know that it does not need too much water.

If you get these three things right, you get the key to how to water succulents properly. Of course, the other things that you need to always remember would be the quality of the soil mix you are giving the succulent and the temperature of the room/area the succulents are planted.

how to water succulents properly