If you’re like most gardeners, you keep wondering how often do you water succulents? And with all fairness, it’s a genuine question asked not only by newbies but experienced gardeners as well.
My short answer:
As a rule of the thumb, you may water your succulents 3 times every week when the temperatures are ranging above 40 degrees during non-winter periods.
When the winter months arrive your succulent becomes dormant with the temperatures below 40 degrees, hence you only need to water them once a month.
However, we have some few exceptions regarding this rule.
Some types of succulents need to be watered frequently due to their tiny types of leaves that do not retain as much water when you compare to those with plump leaves.
For the tiny leafed succulents, never hesitate to provide them water at least once in a week during the non-winter months.
Especially, if they seem wrinkly.
That’s an indication of dryness in the succulents. But keep in mind that, it’s safe to under-water a succulent than to over-water.
Why Succulent Watering Frequency is a Big Deal
Succulents come in a wide range of colors, sizes, forms and even shapes.
This is the reason why these plants create an appealing mood to almost everyone. Frankly, no matter how dramatic it sounds, you do not wish or want to see your succulent die.
It is kind of a big deal, because all lives matter. To keep your plant alive and afloat you need to water it. And it matters how much water you provide to your succulent plants.
It’s important to learn which variables determine your watering frequency. We’ll be discussing some of them in this article. So you may want to stick around.
Pro Tip: Always remember, excess water is likely to kill your succulent plant. If the plant stays in a lot of water without proper drainage, it will die due to root rot. But it might survive from under-watering. Therefore, it’s better to err on the side of minimal watering.
Factors affecting how often do you water succulents
Let’s go through the variables which may come to affect the amount of water you give succulents. They include:
Container type and size.
Planting pots play a major role in growing your succulents.
Suppose your container has draining holes, you’ll be required to give the succulents extra water because most of the water will drain out when you are watering.
If there are no holes in your pot, you have to be extra cautious not to fill up the container with water until it surpasses the roots.
Furthermore, growing succulents in small sized clay pots will need a bit extra water because they’ll dry out faster much faster. Especially for small and shallow pots – hence you will need you need to water a bit more frequently.
While having a larger container means you will water less often since they contain a lot more soil that keeps moisture longer.
How the succulent is planted
Although a controversial practice, one of the best ways to plant succulents is to place pea gravel at the bottom of your planter.
This helps boost the space that will accommodate excess water because succulent's roots will be lying up on top off the bottom of the planter.
Additionally, pea gravel creates room for air circulation by allowing air to get through more easily into the bottom of the pot and quickly dry it out.
Succulents’ growing location will also affect the basis of watering.
If you plant succulent outdoor, it means they will be exposed to tougher conditions such as heat and wind which will make it require more water compared to those grown indoors.
Generally, having larger succulent plants will need to take more water than smaller ones.
This is in categorized with the ones with tiny leaves.
During the spring and the summer months, succulents tend to grow much aggressively because it’s their active growing season.
During this time, they take up water from the soil rapidly due to the formation of stems, leaves, roots and blooms.
So you’ll automatically need to water them a lot more often. Such as three times a week. Temperature and light will be major determinants too during the season.
You may keep up watering them for three times a week or so, depending on conditions like light and temperature. On the other season, winter, succulents become dormant. This are the months of November to March. You’ll need to refrain from giving the plants a lot of water – they don’t need it anyway.
Once a month or twice the entire season is enough. Here's a definitive guide to growing and caring for Christmas cactus.
How to Properly Water Your Succulents
Having known the factors that affect how often you water succulents, let’s now learn on how you need to water them.
Everything has a right way and a wrong way, this is not an exception.
Succulents should be watered in deep soak drinks that are periodically long. Water requires to flow though and soak the soil till the bottom of the soil.
Let the water run through the soil till it drains off through the drain holes.
Leave the soil to dry out at least thrice, then water again respectively while giving the soil time to dry. First water, leave it to dry, then water and leave it to dry.
Then water again.
This drenching pattern will have your succulents perfectly watered.
If you’re still in doubt, read this article on how to water properly water potted plants.
Practical Examples of how to water a succulent correctly
Example #1: A five inch wide and a foot tall succulent. Planted in pea gravel, in a clay planter. Has a drain hole and is placed outside on a patio (except during the winter).
Watering Directions: You should water the succulent with about two cups of water each week during the non-winter months while on the winter 1-1.5 cups of water watered once a month.
Example #2: Three inches wide and three inches tall succulent. Planted in pea gravel, but in a shallow container without a drain hole. The plant is placed indoors near a west facing window.
Watering Directions: Since the plant does not experience strong sun, it should be watered with 1/8- 1/4 cup of water each week during non-winter months. In the winter, it will need 1/8 cup of water once a month.
Example #3: About 2 inches wide and 4 inches tall succulent that has tiny leaves. Planted with pea gravel and is placed indoors in a container with a drain hole.
Watering Directions: The said succulent plant will be watered with 1/4 cup of water each and every week or a week and a half during the non-winter season. When experiencing winter a1/4 cup of water each week
Tools to help you water succulents efficiently.
When watering succulent plants we have things to consider such as easiness and survival of the plant. Here are some of the products that you’ll love to use in your succulents growing plan:
Recommended Watering Cans
A watering can help boost how you water the succulents in your home. Cans such as:
1. Bloem Aqua rite
- It holds half a gallon of water.
- Has a Comfortable and easy-to-use handle.
- Contains a long spout which controls water flow.
- It’s portable.
- Easy to repair to prevent leaks.
- It withstands all weather conditions hence it’s long lasting.
- Some people find the spout too narrow.
- A bit tricky on refilling water.
2. MyLifeUNIT Plastic
So, as you’ve learnt, there are a lot of variables that are involved on how often you should water succulents. From the conditions, pot size, intensity of the sun or wind, whether they’re indoors or outdoors, all have to be considered.
I hope this helpful and makes an impact in your current or future succulent plantings.
Remember, just like any other plant there is always a line between too much water and a little water.
Go easy on the water.
Responses of Succulents to Plant Water Stress
Featured Image Credits: Proflowers.com