Water Therapy for Succulents

If succulents have been deprived of water or have been propagated from cuttings, it is often recommended to give them a water therapy treatment to help them better absorb moisture.

I would not suggest water therapy for most succulents as it is an advanced technique that is not suitable for beginners.

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What is water therapy?

Watering treatment is a technique used to revive a succulent that is “bare root” (not potted). It involves immersing the plant in water for 24-48 hours.

It is possible to propagate a plant without roots by placing a cutting either in water or slightly above it.

Benefits of water therapy for succulents

Benefits of water therapy for succulents

Water treatment can accelerate the rooting process of cuttings by providing them with hydration.

Although both of these can have positive outcomes, they also have some disadvantages.

Problems with water therapy

Watering a succulent too quickly can lead to edema, which is characterized by raised, swollen patches on the plant’s leaves.

Water therapy does not usually make succulents drought-resistant, so you’ll need to water them regularly to keep them full and hydrated. If you don’t water them frequently, they may dehydrate quickly and become unhealthy.

Alternative options

I’ve come up with a different approach to water therapy that not only helps struggling succulents recover from being underwatered, but also encourages more robust root growth in the long run. It’s an effective way to get cuttings to put down roots as well.

I refer to it as the 2-3-4 Technique.

If you’re attempting to propagate a cutting, put it in a pot of soil that is partially filled with a coarse mixture and topped with a thick layer (around 1 inch) of coconut coir.

The rest of the procedure is identical regardless of whether you are caring for a recently cut or severely dehydrated succulent.

To ensure your succulent is properly hydrated, use the soak and dry method by giving it a thorough drenching with water. Repeat this process multiple times if needed until the soil is fully saturated to the core.

Water the succulent once more after two days, making sure the soil is saturated.

Water the succulent every three days.

Allow four days to pass before watering again.

A succulent that has been under watered typically starts to look healthier and more full-bodied within a few days. The change should be noticeable in the leaves.

The cutting is likely to take root during this period as well.

After four days of watering, observe your succulent’s condition. If it appears dried out, give it another drink in four days.

If the leaves are still full and crisp, re-water every 6 to 7 days.

This approach has more long-term success as the succulent is initially provided with lots of water, but gradually adjusts to less frequent watering, allowing it to endure the usual dryness it needs to flourish.

The next time you need to propagate succulent cuttings or revive a dehydrated succulent, give one of these strategies a go and discover what works best for you.


How long to soak succulents in water?

Put the potted succulent into the water and ensure it is in an upright position. Allow it to sit for around 5-15 minutes, or until the soil is fully saturated.

How do you revive dehydrated succulents?

Rephrase: Take the succulent out of its container and snip off any dry or wilting leaves and roots. Let the cutting heal over before putting it in water. Then, put it in a new pot with fresh soil.

How often should I soak my succulents?

How often should you spray succulents with water?

Water your succulents gently every 2-4 days. Depending on the type of succulents, the watering frequency may vary; if you are unsure, it is best to wait until the soil is dry before misting them again.

Do succulents like to be sprayed with water?

Instead of using a spray bottle to water your succulents, try placing the pots in a pan of water, so the soil can absorb the water through the drainage hole. Once the top of the soil is moist, remove the pot from the pan. Misting the succulents can cause brittle roots and moldy leaves.