How Often to Water Succulents

Succulents should typically be watered every two weeks. Succulents are drought-tolerant plants that need the soil to get completely dry in between waterings. Succulents need to be thoroughly watered so that the soil is evenly moist, and then the plants should not be watered again until the soil is totally dry.

Succulents shouldn’t be watered when the soil is still wet because doing so leads to root rot.

Succulent Circumstances:Succulent Watering Schedule:
Indoor Succulent Watering:Indoor succulents should receive water around every two weeks. Make sure to allow the soil surrounding the roots completely dry out in between waterings.
Outdoor Succulent Watering:As a general guideline, water plants once every two weeks, adjusting as necessary for the season, air flow, sunlight exposure, and pot size. Do not rewater until the earth has dried out.
Summertime Succulent Watering:In the summer, water succulents once every two weeks on average. However, in summer, when temperatures above 80°F (27°C), succulents like aloe vera and jade plants go dormant and need watering every three to four weeks.
Succulent Watering in the Winter:In the winter, water succulents once every three to four weeks. Because they do not actively grow throughout the Winter, succulents are more susceptible to root rot. Before watering your succulent once more in the winter, make sure the soil is absolutely dry.
Watering propagated succulent leaves:Spray the leaves and cuttings of propagated succulents every two days in order to keep the soil and leaves moist. When the soil’s top dries out or the leaves start to look shriveled, water the propagated leaves once more.

Read on to find out the best way to water succulents and how to water them at different times of year, in various climates, and conditions.

How Often to Water Succulent Plants (Indoors and Outdoors)

In stony, well-draining soils with sporadic rainfall that typically falls as a deluge followed by weeks of dry weather, succulents are adapted to thriving in climates that frequently experience drought.

Therefore, it’s crucial to replicate the watering conditions and soil moisture levels that succulents are used to in their natural environment in order to water succulents appropriately.

Regardless of whether your succulent plant is indoors or out, it is crucial to let the soil completely dry out around the roots before watering it again.

Succulents should be well watered once every two weeks indoors and outdoors. Before rehydrating the succulent, make sure the soil is completely dry around its roots to meet its water needs and prevent root rot.

Succulent plants, which differ from other plants in having thick, fleshy leaves, roots, and stems that store water, have evolved a variety of survival techniques to deal with dryness. As a result, they are not as dependent on constant rainfall for their environment as other plants are.

Succulents do not survive overwatering and constantly moist soils since they are so well adapted to drought; as a result, the leaves quickly turn yellow, brown, or black and develop a mushy feel, which is an indication of root rot.

If you are unsure, wait to water until the soil feels dry or the succulent leaves begin to wilt slightly. It is far easier to restore an underwatered succulent than an overwatered succulent.

The use of adequate, grit-filled, well-draining potting soil that mimics the soil conditions in the natural range of succulents should be combined with good watering habits for succulents.

Normal potting soil keeps moisture for too long for succulents to endure, which can also result in overwatering symptoms and cause the succulent to die back. For successful succulent growth, choosing the right potting soil is just as crucial as how frequently you water your succulents.

How to Know When to Water Succulents

The secret to watering succulents is to only water your plant when the soil is completely dry and to put off watering if the soil is still wet.

While watering succulents once every two weeks is a good general rule, the frequency of watering your succulents should depend on how quickly the soil dries out in your house or garden.

The following elements have the greatest impact on how frequently you water succulents:

  • the typical temperature and humidity range for your area. (You should water the succulent less frequently because higher humidity minimizes water loss from the leaves and soil.)
  • The pot or container’s size for succulents. (Larger pots hold more soil and moisture; small pots dry out more quickly.)
  • Whether the succulent is exposed to significant airflow from forced air, air conditioning, heat sources when indoors, or direct sunlight. (Excessive wind and heat can swiftly zap moisture from the soil and foliage.)
  • the soil’s moisture retention capacity and rate of drainage. (Succulents require coarse, well-draining soil that closely resembles the earth in their native habitat; in soils that retain too much moisture, such as regular potting soil, they will die from root rot.)

Feeling the soil at the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole in the base to determine if it is still damp or dried out is the most accurate technique to determine how frequently to water succulents in your climate.

If the soil still seems wet, wait another day or so before watering; however, if the earth feels dry, water your succulent now.

You can determine the ideal watering schedule for your succulent plant based on your particular climate and the conditions in your house or outside once you know how long the soil at the bottom of the container usually takes to dry out.

This method of watering successfully replicates the cycle of flooding rain followed by periods of drought that succulents encounter in their natural habitat. It makes sure the succulent plant receives enough water to remain healthy with plump leaves while allowing the soil to dry out properly to prevent problems with root rot, which is the primary reason for a dying succulent.

Signs your Watering Succulents too Often or not Often Enough

Depending on the variety of succulent, underwatered leaves often appear thinner, droop, or appear withered. They may also curl inwards.

Because succulents store water in their leaves, they draw on those reserves when they are submerged. This causes drought-stressed succulents’ leaves to become thinner or droopier when their moisture stores are used up, as opposed to their regular plump appearance.

This is a blatant sign that you are not watering your succulent frequently enough or that you are watering it too lightly (succulents need a good soak every time your water).

Instead of a specific issue with your watering routine, environmental factors could also be to blame for a succulent appearing to be underwater.

If your succulent is indoors, think about whether it is close to a heat source. If the pot is small and heats up rapidly in the sun, the soil may also dry out more quickly.

Give your succulent a good soak in a basin of water for about 10 minutes, then allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again in another 2 weeks or so if it appears to be underwatered as evidenced by thinner leaves that can curl inward (as is the case for aloe vera) or leaves that droop.

The succulent should recover in two or three cycles of watering since this enables it to refill its moisture reserves while also preventing root rot from excessive watering.

It is a sign of overwatering, slow drainage, or soils that retain too much moisture if the succulent leaves are turning yellow, brown, black, translucent with a soft mushy texture, or dropping off. This could also be a sign of root rot, which is more challenging to treat.

To explain how to save succulents that are harmed by overwatering, I prepared another post on how to revive a dying succulent plant.

How Often to Water Succulents in Summer

How Often to Water Succulents in Summer

In the summer, most succulents only need to be watered once every two weeks, but you should alter how frequently you water your succulents depending on your region’s unique climate, circumstances, and temperature.

It is more crucial to avoid overwatering succulents since this encourages the development of root rot, but in the hotter, drier Summer months, keep an eye out for symptoms that your succulent isn’t getting enough water as in some areas, watering once every two weeks may not be sufficient.

The succulent may not be receiving enough water for its particular environment and conditions if its leaves are looking thinner, drooping, or perhaps dried up and wrinkled.

In that instance, thoroughly water the succulent to revitalize it, and consider watering it more frequently.

To check when the soil dries out, feel the dirt at the base of the pot through the drainage hole to determine when to water. Succulents, however, cannot tolerate persistently damp soil, so you should always allow the soil to dry out around the roots of your succulent before watering again.

It’s crucial to remember that when the temperature hits 80°F (27°C) for an extended length of time, some common succulents, including aloe vera and jade plants, can actually go into hibernation in the Summer.

In order to survive in its hot and dry native environment in nations like Oman in the Arabian peninsula, the succulent slows down development during the summer dormancy to retain its moisture stores that are held in the thick, meaty leaves.

In order to avoid the risk of root rot while the succulent is dormant, water aloe vera and jade plants less frequently if temperatures are persistently higher than 80°F (27°C) for several days. This lowers the need for water.

In really hot weather, give aloe and jade plants a nice soak once every three weeks. However, keep an eye out for any signs of drought stress (shriveled leaves or drooping foliage) and adapt your watering schedule appropriately.

For more information on how to specifically water aloe vera and jade plants at various times of the year and under various circumstances, read my articles.

How Often to Water Succulents in Winter

In the winter, water succulents once every three to four weeks. In the winter, succulents go into hibernation and use less water. In the winter, water your succulent well once every three to four weeks to satisfy its watering needs and prevent root rot.

Due to fewer days of sunlight and a decrease in its intensity, succulents go into hibernation in the winter.

Succulents typically do not actively grow throughout the winter, which lowers their water requirement.

The succulent’s decreased water needs in Winter make it more vulnerable to root rot if the soil is too wet, so it’s necessary to reduce water usage and plant the succulent in porous, well-draining soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture (a specially formulated succulent and cacti soil can significantly reduce the risk of root rot).

It should be noted, though, that interior conditions might affect how frequently you water your succulents in the winter because indoor heat sources can quickly dry out the soil and the foliage, leading to symptoms of drought stress.

During the winter, if the leaves on your succulents begin to look thinner, withered, or wilted, check the soil’s moisture by feeling the potting soil through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

If the soil and leaves of the succulent are entirely dry, you may need to water it more frequently to prevent more drought stress or transfer the succulent to a cooler location if it is next to a radiator in the direction of forced air that is drying the succulent’s soil and leaves.

(Take note that there are a few causes for why succulents shrivel; I created an article on how to identify the problem and fix your shriveling succulent leaves.)

How Much Water Does a Succulent Need?

Although there are several factors that can determine how frequently to water succulents, no matter the type or season, they all require the same quantity of water.

Always thoroughly water succulents to ensure that the soil is evenly hydrated. To ensure that the roots of the succulent plant get access to the water they need to be healthy, extra water should seep out of the pot’s base. This is an indication that the water has penetrated adequately.

This method of watering mimics the natural watering cycle that succulents generally undergo in their natural settings, which consists of a period of drought followed by a big downpour of rain.

A good soak of water enables your succulent’s roots to develop and become established in the soil, which boosts the succulent’s resistance to drought.

The roots of succulents become shorter, less robust, and frequently unable to get the moisture, water, and nutrients they require if you water them too little. This results in indicators of drought stress, such as shriveling leaves and a drooping appearance.

(Read my post Why are my succulent leaves shriveling?) Succulent leaves can shrivel owing to both underwatering and overwatering; to determine which is the issue for your aloe plant and afterwards adopt the proper cure.

How Often to Water Propagated Succulent Leaves and Cuttings

Use a spray bottle to liberally sprinkle the leaves and surrounding soil with water once every two days to irrigate propagated succulent leaves, ensuring that both the soil’s surface and the succulent leaves are moist. When the soil’s top feels dry, re-spray the propagated leaves and cuttings with water.

Succulents can absorb moisture through their leaves, thus it’s crucial to mist-water the tops of the leaves specifically because this may be the only way for the plant to do so while the root system is growing.

Several variables, including temperature and sunlight intensity, can affect how quickly the soil dries, so depending on the environment, you might need to water your propagated succulent leaves more or less frequently.

When to spray your propagated succulent leaves depends on two factors:

  1. To determine whether the soil is still moist or has dried, feel the surface with your finger (mist when it feels dry).
  2. Whether or not the succulent leaf appears shriveled.

Because succulents store water in their leaves, if there is not enough moisture available they may begin to look shriveled, which is a good sign that you need to wet your propagated succulents leaves and cuttings more frequently.

The succulent leaf or cutting can recover from a withered appearance with frequent watering.

To prevent the cutting from absorbing too much moisture and turning to rot, it is crucial to make sure it has calloused over on dry soil before any watering.

Succulent leaves that have been propagated absorb moisture from the air (water vapor), therefore spraying the leaves is a preferable method of watering them while the roots are still growing. This is another reason why it’s important to water cuttings more frequently than established plants.

Make sure your propagated succulents receive enough moisture by regularly checking to see if the soil’s surface is dry.

For a clear description of how to water propagated succulents leaves, see this useful YouTube video:

Key Takeaways:

  • Succulent plants need to be thoroughly watered once every two weeks in the spring and summer and once every three to four weeks in the fall and winter. Succulents are drought-tolerant plants that need the soil to completely dry out before they can be watered once again to prevent root rot.
  • Succulents that are indoor or outdoor should be thoroughly watered once every two weeks so that extra water drips from the pot’s base. To prevent root rot, wait until the soil is totally dry before watering your succulent once again.
  • Because they are dormant and not actively developing during the winter, succulents need to be watered less frequently. In the Fall and Winter, give succulent plants a good watering once every three to four weeks to ensure that the soil is evenly hydrated. Never rehydrate the soil before allowing it to completely dry out.
  • As a general rule, sprinkle the leaves and surrounding soil with water every two days when watering propagating succulent leaves using a spray bottle. When the soil seems dry on top or the succulent leaves start to look shriveled, mist the propagated succulent leaf cuttings once more.
  • Always give established succulent plants a thorough watering to ensure that the soil is evenly moist. Water should flow from the base of the pot. Succulents benefit from thorough watering since it helps the plant develop strong roots and lush foliage. Succulents can experience drought stress if their availability to the moisture they need is restricted by insufficient watering.

FAQ

Is once a week too often to water succulents?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period. A few situations constitute an exception to this rule.

How often should potted succulents be watered?

Only water succulents when the soil has totally dried up. There isn’t a standard watering schedule that applies to all succulents in all environments. Many indoor succulent growers discover that watering their plants every 14 to 21 days keeps them healthy.

How often should I water my succulents in the summer?

Summertime Succulent Watering: In the summer, water succulents once every two weeks. However, in summer, when temperatures above 80°F (27°C), succulents like aloe vera and jade plants go dormant and need watering every three to four weeks.

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