The Most Important Factors of Succulent Watering
This is one question that is very key in helping us to answer, how often to water succulents. However, If you look at their fleshy thick looking leaves, you wonder: Do succulents need water at all? How often to water succulents in Summer? Or, how often to water small succulents?
These plants are natives of the arid climate and have found a way to adapt themselves to these harsh conditions. However, if you have them in your garden or indoors by the window sill, you will need to know how often to water them outdoors and indoors.
Knowing about succulent watering is so crucial in knowing how to propagate succulents. These plants know how to survive the toughest of climatic conditions. So the fundamental rule in watering them is that you have to let the soil dry out completely rather than water it.
How do you know your succulent soil is dry? If it crumbles in your fingers and is dry and dirty. It’s at this juncture that you water the soil. At no time should you water the plant, only put moisture in the soil? Do not keep moisture in the soil at all costs because the root will rot.
The Four Factors That Affect Succulent Watering
These factors also are very crucial in how to propagate succulents. They include;
Amount of Light
If a succulent is exposed to 10 hours of sun, it will require more water than when they are exposed to less light. This applies to succulents outdoors instead of indoors as they will need less water.
In succulent watering, larger containers carry more soil, meaning they can hold more moisture longer, whereas smaller containers are shallow, therefore holding less moisture content. This means you’ll need to water the smaller container after a short period instead of the larger container.
The humidity and temperature will determine how often to water outdoor succulents. In high humidity and cooler temperature, you will water it less because the soil retains water for a long time.
The reverse applies to succulents in low humidity and hot temperatures. Is your succulent in full sun in Phoenix? The succulent watering will have to be daily. Is it on a deck in San Francisco? Two times a week or once will do.
Seasons play a crucial role in succulent watering. How often do you water your succulents in summer or spring? Keep in mind that it’s in these seasons that they thrive like crazy. Their sturdy roots draw water from the soil at a stunning rate to make new leaves, roots, stems, and blooms.
These are the times you water them three times a week, but confirm that the soil is very dry before watering. During the winter, you will only water once or twice. At this time, the plant stops growing, so there is less water uptake. Don’t be tempted to water the plant because giving it too much water in the winter is the easiest way to kill it.
How to Water Succulents Indoors and Outdoors
To effectively know how to water your succulents, you will need to identify whether it’s a summer grower or a winter grower. Yes, indeed, succulents can still do well in the winter season. Therefore, we have covered tips on caring for it in the winter.
For now, you will need to understand that how you water your succulents, whether indoors or outdoors, is greatly determined by whether it’s a winter grower or summer grower.
Succulents will not always be active 365 days a year. It will take some time (season) for a shut-eye. During this time, its metabolism activity is seriously minimized. This is called dormancy. It means that the succulent has sensed some unfavorable conditions and has adapted to reducing the use of its resources like water and light.
Now, the summer growers are active in the hot months of May to August and go to dormancy in winter. The reverse is true for the winter growers. They are active from November to February and slow down in the summer months from May to August. Is your plant dormant? Then that will determine how often to water succulents.
How to Water Succulents Indoors
During winter, you may need to plant succulents indoors. But, first, you should learn how often to water succulents in winter. Some of the most popular choices of indoor succulents include Aloe Vera, Sempervivum (commonly called hens-and-chicks), Sedums, Jade Plants, Kalanchoe, and Sansevieria (also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue).
When you get to the winter season, the light reduces, and water needs are reduced. At this time, the plants get to a dormant state, which means their water consumption is low. So instead of giving these water-storing plants water all the time, as is the case with most plants, soak its soil until the water begins to drain out from the drainage holes on the pot.
Give it time to utilize the moisture in the soil. Check the status of the soil once a week. If it’s still moist, come back the following week. This is also how often to water succulents in the spring and summer. The only difference is that during spring and summer, succulents consume water rapidly. This is because they are in their active season, hence requiring more water.
Remember to only water your plant when the soil is dry. The size of the pot determines the frequency of the watering. Shallow pots carry less water, while large pots carry more water and hold moisture longer.
How to Water Succulent Outdoor
Succulents, like other plants, love the sun. Summer is usually the best time to get your plant outdoors. However, you will need to give them a chance to acclimate to the outdoors. So instead of putting them under direct sun, place your potted succulent under a partial shade.
Then gradually take it to the sun. Keep them off the direct sun from late morning to mid-afternoon.
Your conditions will dictate how to and how often you water them. Succulents can withstand short periods of dryness. The dry soil about 2” (5 cm) should be watered deeply and left until it dries completely again. This will keep the root from rotting and killing the plant.
Keep checking your pot to see whether it’s dry, then drench the soil with water. You may need to check frequently of its outdoors since they tend to consume more water when out.
How Often to Water Succulents and How Much?
These plants draw water from the soil at a stunning rate as they thrive on making new leaves, roots, and blooms. This mainly occurs in the summer and spring seasons. As a result, they will demand water at least three times a week. It’s therefore essential to know how to water mini succulents.
Factors like light and temperature will also determine how quickly they consume the moisture. The winter season is marked with less light and low temperature, and the succulent growth comes to a stunted state.
At this time, they require water, but their consumption is little. To be safe, water them only if the soil is bone dry. You may need a standard schedule if you’re new to growing succulents. Many of those who grow succulents indoors have found out 14 to 21 days the frequency is good.
When you see your leaves looking shriveled, that is the first sign of under-watering. It is most likely overwatered when the leaves look soft, mushy, and translucent-like. Be careful to only water if the soil is parched, or watch out for signs from the leaves.
Keep a watering schedule to help you get the accurate frequency and consistency in watering. Save yourself from the ‘I think I have not watered my plant in a while’ syndrome by using a tracking app on Android or iPhone. They have come in quite handy for me.
Other Succulent Watering Tips
What Type of Water Should You Water Your Succulents With
The best type of water for watering succulents is either rainwater or distilled water. Tap water is rich in magnesium or calcium that can build up in the soil making the leaves appear like white dots. Consider collecting rainwater when it’s rainy to water throughout the year.
Soak and Dry Method for Watering
Succulents are natives of the desert. Therefore, they experience flash water floods with storms lasting 24-48 hours, followed by weeks without any water at all. This is what is called the Soak and Dry method. Indoor succulents will benefit from this method, especially if you are yet to develop a schedule.
With this method, the succulent has plenty of water to use, but it grows new roots to absorb more water as the water levels come down. This method, therefore, helps the succulents develop a healthy and robust roots system, making the plant grow steadily and withstand drought as opposed to other plants.
Never Use Spray Bottles for Watering
Spraying water to your succulent will. Make it develop weak roots. The water does not get to the depth of the soil and therefore cannot withstand drought.
Watering Mini Succulents
Wondering how often to water mini succulents? The pot size to grow them is about 2-4″ (5-10 cm). They are grown in a small soil mass, which quickly dries out. Water them as often as possible but only when the soil dries out.
The Right Soil is Crucial for Watering Success
The right soil in making watering succulent efficient is the well-drained one. The pot it grows in should also have a drainage hole. The top half of your soil should be mostly dry, especially the top half of it. This prevents the succulents from rotting, as mentioned earlier.
In moist soil, succulents usually decay quickly. Within 2-3 days, your soil should be mostly dry, especially in the top portion of the pot. A well-drained soil consists of ¼ ” (6 mm) particles, ⅔” (16 mm) of which is inorganic (rock), and ⅓” (25 mm) should be organic. (coconut coir, pine bark, etc.).
Therefore, you cannot go out there and pick soil from your garden to grow succulents because traditional soil stays wet for long. The succulent soil on the market is not better because they are too organic and poorly drains water.
Use a Pot with a Drainage Hole
Another important tip is to use a pot that has a drainage hole. Remember I mentioned earlier that succulents don’t like sitting in the wet for long? So for your soil to dry completely, you need a hole for drainage.
Excess water can drain out of the pot and away from your succulent roots through the hole in the bottom. It also allows more air to travel through the soil, allowing it to dry out faster.
The function of the drainage hole is to drain off excess water and allow air circulation into the soil to help dry the soil well. Get a pot with a drainage hole or drill one for yourself if you are just starting as a succulent grower.
How to Water Succulents in Pots without Drainage
As we mentioned earlier, it is imperative to use a drainage hole pot. However, you would want to water your succulent without worrying that you will get your counter wet.
- Choose the right kind of pot. For example, use a terracotta pot made of porous clay and evaporate water faster.
- Prepare your potting mix to consist of rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice that allow water to drain down quickly and prevent the root from sitting in the wet soil for long.
- Use a moist meter to help you know the exact water quantity required.
- Utilize a chopstick, a clean skewer, or anything similar to test if the soil is wet or not. If the soil sticks to the chopstick or gets wet, there is no need to water it.
- Use a watering bottle with measurements or a syringe to know how much water to give. Alternatively, use a measuring cup, just to be precise.
How to Ensure Your Succulents Thrive in Winter
Winter is known for dark and gloom for succulents if not well taken care of. So how do you then keep your succulent vibrant in this season?
- Cut back completely on watering and fertilizing it, as it absorbs very little moisture in its dormancy and doesn’t need too much food from the fertilizer when the temperature drops.
- Protect your outdoor succulent from the cold by covering it with a drape and securing it firmly with rocks. The purpose is to insulate them from frost.
- Avoid repotting your succulent in the winter season as they are brittle at this time. Instead, wait for summer or spring.
- Lastly, bring your succulents indoors during winter because the indoor temperature can easily be controlled.
So, what you need to remember from this article as crucial information, is the following:- Succulents are built to withstand adverse conditions. However, this fact should not deceive you. Water the succulent as soon as the soil is dry of moisture, whether in winter or summer. This will significantly help you in your plant growing journey.
We hope you enjoyed reading this piece. So we leave you with this, have you watered your succulents today?