How Often Should Succulents be Watered? | GroveGypsy

While many people believe that succulents are an easy beginner house plant, they are frequently overwatered, causing the plant to die.

Succulents are great plants to own but need very different water requirements than your traditional houseplant. Succulents typically only need to be watered every few weeks and do not like to be overwatered or to sit in damp soil as it causes root rot.

If you have had trouble with succulents before, you are not alone. Succulents are desert plants whose natural habitat does not provide regular water. In order to help your succulents thrive, there are many different factors that you need to account for. This article will help you identify how much to water according to the season as well as humidity levels of your house or environment. The container size you succulent is in will also profoundly affect how often you should be water. After analyzing the effects of seasons, container size, and humidity on your succulent, we will provide a few fools proof tips to know when your succulent needs water.

As a team of gardening experts with years of trial and error with succulents, we know how challenging this seemingly effortless plant can be. These tips and tricks will give you the knowledge you need to have a healthy, happy, succulent.

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What season of the year do succulents need the most water?

The season of the year it is will drastically affect how much water you succulent needs. During certain times of the year, plants, mainly succulents, go into a sort of hibernation where they do not produce much growth.

During the fall and winter, the growth of your succulent will slow, and the weather also becomes colder. Due to lack of sun and heat, your succulent will not need very much water. It will be able to go 3-4 weeks without any water and will be perfectly happy. During the winter months, it is vital not to overwater your succulent. Due to the inactivity of your plant, its roots will suck up less water, and excess water will sit in the dirt, making your succulent’s roots rot.

During the spring and summer months, your succulent will grow more and get more heat and sunlight. During the sunniest and warmest parts of the year, your succulent will need more water. The heat and sun will dry the soil faster, and your succulent will grow more due to the sun, which means it’s roots will intact more water. During the summer months, it is critical to pay attention to your succulent and look out for warning signs of under watering such as yellowing leaves or shriveling. During the warmest part of the year, your succulent may need water every 2-3 weeks.

How big should my succulent’s container be for watering?

The size of the container that your succulent is planted in will affect how much water your succulent needs. Larger containers that are deeper often have more dirt that is protected from drying out, which means they hold water for longer. If you have a succulent or several succulents in one large pot, they will need to be watered less often.

Smaller containers mean less dirt to hold onto water, and shallow containers mean more soil will be exposed to the sun, which means water will evaporate faster. Succulents in small containers need to be watered more often than succulents in large containers. Because the amount of dirt in a small container can hold less water, the roots of your succulents will absorb that amount of water faster. The difference in container size could mean your watering times vary as much as two weeks.

How humid do succulents need to be?

The humidity levels in your home or the environment you live in will drastically impact how often you need water. Plants that live in high humidity do not need to be watered as often because the rate of water evaporation is slower. If you water your plant in high humidity, the water from the soil will evaporate much slower, meaning that your plant will be able to absorb moisture from the soil for longer. Places near the coastline or at low elevations tend to have higher humidity levels.

Succulents in low humidity levels such as desert environments need to watering more often. This is because the water in the soil is absorbing fast, just like it would in the spring or summertime. In order to find out the humidity levels near you, you can check a weather forecast service. If you need to check the humidity inside your house for indoor succulents, you will need to purchase a humidity gauge.

If you live in a high humidity area, your succulent will only need to be watered once a month or so. Succulents are native to desert environments, so overwatering in high humidity can kill your succulent. In desert areas, you will need to water your succulent more often. Watering every 2-3 weeks will help your succulent get the water it needs to grow.

Should my succulent’s dirt be dry?

Checking the dirt that your succulent lives in is an excellent way to gauge when you need to water your plant. If the soil is damp on the surface, you need to wait several weeks to water again. If you stick your finger one buckle into the dirt and your finger has a significant amount of mud on it when you pull it out, you should wait a week or two weeks before watering again.

You will know if your succulent needs to be watered if you stick your finger into the dirt and no dirt sticks to your finger and the dirt feels dry two knuckles deep. If the soil is parched and crusted, and hard on the surface, you will likely need to water your plant more often. While overwatering is a frequent killer of succulents, under watering can be very harmful as well. 

Should my succulent have yellow leaves? 

Looking at your succulent can tell you a lot about how often to water it and when it needs water. Succulent leaves should be very plump and should always look hydrated. If your succulent begins to look shriveled in any way or if the leaves on your succulent seem to be defaulting, your succulent could be in desperate need of water. Wilting leaves or soft leaves may mean you need to water your succulent. A few days after watering, you should notice that your succulent is plump and firm again.

Another sign of your succulent needing water is if it starts to change colors. If your succulent is usually green and begins to turn yellow or brown, your succulent needs to be watered, and you need to drastically increase your watering schedule. Browning of the edges of leaves is another sign that under-watering could be harming your succulent.

Does light affect how much my succulent should be watered?

The amount of light your succulent gets will change how much water it needs. Just as humidity and season can mean your soil stays drier for longer, it is damp for long periods of time, the amount of light will cause the same effects. Succulents are almost always high-light plants. This means that in order to grow and thrive, they need six or more hours of light per day. If your succulent is near a very sunny window, it will need water every few weeks. If you have your succulent farther away from the window or in a dark room, it will need water only once a month or longer. 

How much should I water my succulent?

How much you water your succulent at one time will impact how often you have to water it. Succulents prefer to have quality waterings over quantity. Instead of watering your succulents just a splash every few days, you should water a significant amount but less often.

When watering, you want your succulents dirt to be soaked entirely through, which can be done one of two ways. The first is to water your plant from the top until the water soaks through and comes out of the drainage hole at the bottom. This will ensure that water is soaking all of the dirt, and the roots won’t have to reach upward to reach the water at the top of the soil.

The second option for proper watering is to water from the bottom. This means sticking your succulent pot with a drainage hole into a container of water and letting the succulent suck in water from the bottom. This method takes several hours of letting your succulent sit in water. You will notice the water levels or the container going down significantly as the succulents dirt absorbs all the water it needs. When following these options, you should not need to water your succulent every few days but instead every few weeks.

To determine exactly how often to water your succulent, you need to factor in all of the variables above. If you live in a dry, hot climate and your succulent lives in a small container or is by a bright window, you will need to water every 1-2 weeks. If you live in a humid, cooler climate or your succulent is in a large pot, you will only need to water every 3-4 weeks. Carefully monitoring your succulent and testing how dry the dirt is will help to make sure you are not overwatering or under watering your plant.

About THE AUTHOR

Elsie Moore

Elsie Moore

As an experienced gardener & landscaper on my own property over the last 20 years, I'm excited to share the things I've learned along the way, as I continue to learn.

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