– How to Water Succulent Plants

Succulents require a different watering regimen than other plants, so it is important to not treat them the same way as other plants, such as house plants, if you want them to thrive.

However, it is not advisable to ignore them entirely.

The difference between overwatering and underwatering succulents can make it difficult to care for them, but this straightforward watering strategy will provide your plants the adequate hydration they need to flourish.

If you’re looking for even more assistance, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that will show you how to properly adjust the amount of water your succulents require. Click the link to get it and it will be a great resource.

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Keep a record

The best way to ensure your succulents flourish and to find the perfect watering schedule is to keep track of when you water them.

Understanding when you last watered your plants can provide valuable insight into when it is necessary to water them again.

I prefer to use the Succulent Tracker app (Apple | Android) to keep track of my plants’ watering needs. It’s a great tool that lets you easily record when you last watered and allows you to view your watering history. It also includes reminders to water and a photo history of your plants.

Keeping track of how often I water my succulents has been a real game-changer, and I’ve found that the app offers a lot of different options to help with this.

How to Water Succulent Plants (indoors and outdoors)

The most efficient way to hydrate succulents is to utilize the “soak and dry” method. This entails completely drenching the soil and then allowing it to completely dry out before you water again. It is also essential to ensure that the succulents are planted in a soil that is well draining and in a pot that has a drainage hole.

To demonstrate this concept, let’s use an example. Suppose you want to change the color of a car from blue to yellow. First, you would need to clean the car of any dirt or debris. Then, you would apply a base coat of yellow paint. After the base coat is dry, you would apply a few layers of yellow paint to ensure an even finish. Finally, you would apply a clear coat of paint to protect the color and give it a glossy shine.

It is recommended to avoid getting water on the leaves of indoor succulents; prolonged contact can lead to rotting of the plant.

Try using a small spout watering can, such as the one found in this fantastic option, or a squeeze bottle like the one included in this convenient tool kit.

This is not a major concern for succulents growing outdoors, since there is more air circulation and the moisture will evaporate more quickly.

If feasible, douse the soil around your succulents with water until it is completely saturated. Don’t water your succulents again until the soil has entirely dried out, from top to bottom.

Succulents should not be left in moist soil for more than 2-3 days.

What is the next step?

How often should I water my succulents?

It is necessary to pay attention to the soil in order to determine when succulents need to be watered. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to watering as different succulents and climates require different amounts of water. Therefore, it is best to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering the plants.

It is suggested that indoor succulent growers begin by watering their plants every 10-14 days. This should be a good starting point, but it can be adjusted as necessary to meet the needs of the plants.

Be sure to get the free watering guide to understand how much water your succulents need. Click here to access the guide.

The ideal time to water your succulents is when their leaves start to appear dry. Check out the guide above to find out what this looks like.

Rather than watering your succulent frequently, it is recommended to wait until your succulent shows signs of needing water before providing it.

Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again.

I’m a firm believer in tracking your watering schedule, as it’s so easy to forget and think you haven’t watered in a while. To make this easier for myself, I use the Succulent Tracker app (Apple | Android) to keep a record of how often I water – it’s saved me more than once.

1. The size of the pot the succulent is in: larger pots will require more water than smaller ones.

2. The type of soil used: soils with a higher organic matter content will retain more moisture, meaning less frequent watering is needed.

3. The environment: succulents in a dry, sunny environment will require more frequent watering than those in a cooler, shadier location.

4. The season: succulents will need more water in the summer months due to increased heat and sun.

Why does this watering method work?

Why does this watering method work?

Rather than adhering to a strict watering schedule, it is beneficial for your succulents, particularly if they are kept indoors, to be watered using the “soak and dry” method.

The succulent can be well-supplied with water if it is given a thorough watering. As it goes through periods of dryness between watering, the succulent will start to develop new roots in an attempt to reach more water.

The soak and dry approach encourages the succulent to grow a substantial and vigorous root system, which will make it more resilient during dry spells than other plants.

Instead of using a spray bottle, give your plants a thorough watering with a larger amount of water. This will help develop stronger root systems that can better tolerate dry spells.

If you don’t water your succulent regularly or provide it with enough water when you do, it will not survive. Be sure to provide your succulent with sufficient water to keep it healthy.

To repeat the process of soaking something in a liquid and then drying it off.

The right soil is crucial for watering success

The right soil is crucial for watering success

Succulents should not be kept in soil that is constantly wet; the soil should be allowed to dry out in between waterings. The top half of the pot should be dry within 2-3 days for best results.

What characteristics make a soil good at draining water?

I have created an entire article discussing the best type of soil for succulents. To find out more, please click here.

A well-draining soil typically has a “gritty” texture due to its sizable particles, which measure around ¼ inch (6mm). Generally, the soil should contain ⅔ inorganic material, such as rocks, and ⅓ organic matter, like pine bark or coconut coir.

Using regular soil for succulents is not ideal since it tends to retain moisture for too long, making it difficult for the plants to thrive. Similarly, commercially-sold cactus and succulent soil mixes don’t usually provide adequate drainage.

I strongly suggest trying out Jack’s Gritty Mix soil for your succulents if you’re unfamiliar with growing them, or if you’ve overwatered succulents in the past. This is the number one soil I’ve used for my succulents and they seem to be doing extremely well. In fact, over 95% of my succulents are planted in this soil!

In addition, check out the soil post for advice on which other materials to use and how to alter off-the-shelf soils to make them more suitable for succulents.

Use a pot with a drainage hole

Re-phrased: An essential element of this watering technique is having a pot with a drainage hole.

I mentioned earlier that succulents don’t enjoy having wet soil for extended periods of time. If the pot doesn’t have a hole for draining water, then it can be difficult for the soil to completely dry out.

The pot’s bottom hole enables any additional liquid to leave the pot and away from the succulent roots. It also provides an opening for air to move through the dirt, allowing it to dry out more quickly.

If you’re a beginner when it comes to succulents, having a pot with a drainage hole will be very beneficial.

If you’re looking for tips on how to sustain succulents in a pot without a drainage hole, please click this link and I’ll provide you with the necessary information.

How should I water the succulent leaves or babies I’m propagating?

It is only acceptable to use a spray bottle to water your succulents when you are propagating them.

Nevertheless, I suggest employing a squeeze bottle (such as the one in my go-to tool set) to make sure the soil is completely soaked.

To ensure proper hydration of succulent leaves while propagating indoors or outdoors, it is important to water them daily and keep the soil damp (not overly wet). This will ensure the leaves have adequate access to moisture.

Instead of pouring water directly onto the soil, try misting the top of the soil with a spray bottle. This will give the leaves of your succulent a chance to absorb moisture from the air and prevent root rot.

Be mindful of your roots–they could become dehydrated if they are not being sufficiently watered.

I frequently utilize the Succulent Tracker app (Apple | Android) to help me keep track of when to water my succulents. A lot of the time, I can simply look at the soil and tell if they need water.

Sometimes when I’m uncertain about when I should water my plants, I rely on a mobile application to let me know when it’s time to give them a drink. Not only does the app help me stay on schedule, but I can also use it to store photos of my plants and monitor their progress.

Watch your succulents for indicators

It’s time to put the soak and dry method into action!

Notice the changes in your succulent. If it needs more or less water, its appearance will be different. To make it easier, refer to my cheat sheet to understand what the signs mean. It’s sure to be beneficial.

In other words, if you’re unsure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and abstain.

It’s easier to rescue your succulents when they don’t get enough water than when they get too much. If you’re not sure if you’ve watered your plant properly, follow this link for advice on how to proceed.


How much water do indoor succulents need?

Give the plants enough water to thoroughly hydrate them but not so much that the soil becomes overly wet. Water the succulents once a week and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

How often do you water house succulents?

The primary rule for watering succulents is to only water when the soil in the pot is completely dry. Ensure that the soil is crumbly, dry dirt before adding moisture, as opposed to other houseplants which need to remain moist. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings.

Do you water succulents from the top or bottom?

Continue to water until it starts to come out of the pot’s drainage hole.

Do succulents need direct sunlight?

If you don’t have a sunny spot in your home, go for plants like mother-in-law tongue that thrive in low light. Place them near a window that faces south or east in order to get them the required 6 hours of natural light.

How do you know when a succulent needs water?

The wrinkled, dried out leaves of your Succulent are a sign that it needs more water. As the plant uses up its stored moisture, it needs to replenish it in order to survive, so providing additional water can help to keep it healthy.