Succulents are a huge family of plants with a wide array of colors, forms, textures and sizes. Found in many parts of the world, these beautiful plants all have adapted to very dry conditions by developing specialized structures that enable them to store water in their leaves, stems and roots. A healthy succulent takes up water through it’s roots and fills each water storage cell. The “water balloons” swell to their fullest, and retain this moisture until it is needed.
How to Water Succulent Plants Properly
Watering succulents is one of the trickiest parts of growing them. Learning how to water succulents is all about paying attention to the plant.
How much and how often you should water indoor succulent plants?
When you water your succulents, you want to make sure the soil is completely soaked. Why? Because your succulents will expect a drought, and will soak up as much water as they can. Then give your soil a couple days to dry out–and don’t water again until the soil is completely dry.
Succulents like well-drained soil. A good quality potting soil mixed with either a material such as perlite will help ensure good drainage. In addition to quality potting media, make sure your containers have drainage holes, because too much moisture can result in rotten roots.
Your succulents will do fine in completely dry soil for a few days, especially if they’re larger and have well-established roots. During the “drought,” they’ll put out new roots that are thick and healthy, so they can absorb more water when the “flood” comes again. They’ll survive for a while this way, but they’ll be much healthier with a good soak every few days.
The location plays a big role in how much you have to water. For example, if your house doesn’t hold a lot of humidity, succulents will dry out pretty quickly.
So, if you live in a dry climate, you’ll probably need to water every three or four days, but if you live somewhere more humid, you may only need to water once a week, or less.
The frequency of watering will also depend on the light and as well as the size of the container. The larger the container, the more moisture it can hold. Small, shallow pots may need to be watered more frequently.
Succulents require more water in the early spring when the plant is growing. Water needs may lessen in the summer and even more so during the winter. When the light decreases during the winter months and most succulents are in a dormant period, their water requirements also decrease. During winter, water your succulents when the soil is dry. This could be as infrequently as once per month but will depend on your conditions.
How much and how often you should water outdoor succulent plants?
Summer is a good time to move potted succulents outdoors. Though they love sun, give them a chance to acclimate to outdoor conditions by placing them in a partially shaded area before moving to a sunnier location.
When watering outdoor succulents, just follow the same method of soaking the soil, then letting it dry out completely before watering again. As with indoor plants, the exact amount you water your plants outdoors will depend on the humidity of the area where you live. Your conditions will dictate how often succulents will need water. Start by checking on a weekly basis, paying attention to the condition of the potting media and whether it’s bone dry or moist.
How much and how often you should water succulent plants in the ground?
These amazing plants, grow quite well in the ground. Established succulents will have a stronger root system and tolerate dry conditions much better than new plants. Whether you grow hardy or annual plants, they need to be in well-drained soil. Keep in mind that succulents planted in the ground don’t have to be watered quite as often as succulents in pots, because the soil stays cooler and doesn’t dry out as quickly.