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It’s great you saw this adorable little succulent plant, and it captured your heart looking all cute. You immediately bring it home.
Still, you wonder, “How often should you water indoor succulents?” or what to do when you grow them outdoors. You are a succulent beginner, and it is your first succulent plant. Well, we are here to help with all the information you need.
What are Succulent Plants?
The first thing to know about succulents, according to Britannica, is they have thick stems and fleshy tissue leaves to store water. So, when it comes to “How often should you water succulents?” the fleshy leaves already are a giveaway.
So the water requirements are different from your outdoor plants and other houseplants. You find that some succulents like the cacti can store water in their stem as it has tiny leaves. While agaves only hold water in the leaves.
You will find that most of these plants have a broad root system native to dry regions like the desert or areas with the semiarid season. The truth is there are 60 succulent families. Some of these include the Cactaceae, Aizoaceae, and the dominant one is Crassulaceae.
You can also find some cultivated plant succulents used as houseplants and for ornamental purposes. These plants are:
Echeveria and other plants
The exciting thing is that all of these plants have one common thing: the stomata openings timing.
It is a small structure looking like a mouth found on the plant leaf surface and stem. It allows for the uptake of carbon dioxide in the environment and the loss of oxygen and water. Compared to other plants, a succulent stomate remains closed throughout the day and only opens at night.
The result is that during the day, water loss minimizes, resulting in the uptake of carbon dioxide at night. Thus, the plant shows a form of photosynthesis and carbon dioxide fixation. It is known as crassulacean acid metabolism. Interesting right!
Great, now that you have some background history of how your growing succulents work, when should you water them?
How Often Should You Water Succulents
Many gardeners believe that the succulent is easy-caring. But, still, many do not know when is the right time to water them. These plants can go for long periods without water. Thus you cannot water them the same way as your other houseplants.
There is a secret to getting you started before we provide you with some tips on watering your indoor and outdoor plants. The rule of thumb is to let the soil mix dry out before watering them again. Still, it all depends on the species you have.
Another crucial thing is to provide your cute cacti or other succulents with suitable drainage holes in the pot. Your houseplant sitting in wet soil for a long time will drown, leading to rotting of the root. Lastly, your plants’ leaves can rot if they get water and remain for too long.
Watering Succulents Indoors
When it comes to a watering schedule, it all comes down to deep watering and letting the excess water drain out. Once the soil dries, that should take up to two weeks; you can follow the same watering method for indoor succulents.
Still, you want it to be effective, and we recommend investing in testing for dryness from the top to the bottom of the soil. You can stick your finger in the ground or invest in a soil moisture meter. The important thing is to water only when the soil is dry.
Preferably, use a small spout watering can as you will only soak the soil around the base and not the leaves. Another great way to prevent overwatering is to transplant your succulent into a container with drainage holes and place some small rocks at the base before placing them in the pot.
Outdoor Succulent Watering
As with your indoor succulents, your outdoor succulents also need watering, and if grown in pots on the patio, the same applies to watering indoors. But if you develop your vegetation in the ground, such as desert natives, they can tolerate extreme weather.
Still, you need to provide them with well-draining soil to prevent the succulent roots from rotting. The same rule applies using the soak and dry method. In extreme droughts, water them when you notice the leaves fade.
The reason is that a thirsty succulent is better than a drenched one. So when it rains a lot, you only need to water succulents outdoors when you notice the ground completely dry. The only problem you will not have with your indoor succulent leaves is that they can get wet as the air dries out the leaves faster.
As you know, constant watering will eventually kill your plant if the soil is wet.
4 Factors to Consider When Watering Succulents
Okay, now that you know how to water succulents, other factors also play a big part in your watering schedule.
During warmer months like spring and summer, your succulents grow like crazy. Thus they will need more frequent watering. Your small succulents to large ones draw a lot of water out of the ground to provide nutrition for new growth.
Still, it all depends on the moisture in the soil by following the drench and dry method. In the summer months, if grown outdoors, the ground dries out faster. Further, it all depends on the temperature.
Yet, while most succulents are not frost-resistant, you do find some of them capable of surviving outdoors in the winter months. But, during colder temperatures, the watering becomes less as succulents enter a dormant state sleeping peacefully.
Remember the rule of thumb for all seasons let the ground dry out and prevent watering the thick leaves.
Pot Size and Soil Mix Matters
All succulents need water, but they also need the correct pot size if grown indoors. Thus, pick a container that suits your plants when planted. Having a colossal container leaves you with less watering as it holds moisture back. Still, it depends if you have small succulent plants or ones growing huge.
When you choose a shallow container, the watering frequency is more. Also, make sure the potting medium has a drainage hole to let the excess water drain freely after moistening intensely, as, with your container, you need the right potting mix.
But what is a good soil mix? Well, we have a great recipe here to make your potting mix for your succulents. The essential thing is to provide them with porous ground to prevent overwatering.
Potting Soil Recipe
All you need is some potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. Preferably use sterile potting soil as the base.
Also, please avoid using a garden mix heavy in vermiculite or anything stating it has added moisture control to retain water. Another note is to use coarse sand that is fast draining.
You will need:
One part perlite or pumice
Three parts potting soil
Two parts turface or poultry grit that is both coarse sand
Take a container and dump everything together, mixing it through well.
The Right Amount of Light to Keep Your Succulent Alive
So how much sun does your succulent need? Your succulents need enough light-grown indoors. Thus, they need up to six hours of sun in a day. But this also depends on the succulent type you have.
If you want to grow your succulent indoors, placing it on a window sill with sheer curtains at first helps slowly introduce them to full sun to prevent the leaves from scorching.
Another crucial thing is to rotate them frequently to provide them with sun all around. Yet, you will notice if your succulent gets more than ten hours of full sun, you will need to water more often.
Humidity Also Plays a Factor With Watering
If your succulent is in cooler temperatures with high humidity, you will not need to water them often compared to one in hot, dry climates. The reason is that in high humidity, the ground retains moisture for a longer time.
How Often Should You Water Succulent Plants?
So how do you know your succulent needs water? Well, there are two ways you can tell? The first is to use two fingers and press the leaves gently. If the leaves are resilient, it still has enough water in them. On the other hand, if the succulent leaves feel limp or look shriveled, it needs some water.
The other method is to lift the pot to see if the ground has dried up or is still moist as it will be darker in color. Another way is using the finger test. The vital thing watering succulents is when the soil has dried.
Generally speaking, indoor succulents need water every 14 to 21 days to keep succulents alive. But as we love succulents, the best is to keep an eye on the soil.
We hope that the information provided helps you determine how much water your succulents need to stay alive. The simple rule is to keep an eye on your plants, provide them with good drainage, and let the soil dry. Happy gardening and we are sure your succulent will provide you with a bright and cheerful display standing on your patio or at the window.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!