Can Succulents Live In Water? | 7 Absolutely Useful Facts |

In nature succulents adapted to survive in drought environments. But I wonder Can succulents live in water?

With that problem in my mind I searched for an answer. So I found some interesting facts about succulents and water. I like to share what I found with you.

Can Succulents Live In Water

Can succulents live in water?

Yes, succulents can survive in water. This planting technique is known as succulent hydroponics.

 As you may already know, succulents have fleshy leaves, fleshy stems and sometimes even fleshy roots where they can conserve water. They are usually adjusted to grow in hot and dry weather conditions. 

Usually, you could spot the succulents being grown in tiny pots in soil as it is their main growing medium for the succulents. 

People grow them in soil mainly  so that you could provide the necessary nutrients for the succulents to grow well.  It could be further useful for the plant anchorage.

So, let us find out about growing succulents in water and I am sure you will find it quite interesting! So, keep on reading to find out more on growing succulents in water. 

How long can succulents live in water

They could keep on living in water until they die. You simply have to place them in a proper container and take  care of them well.

Consequently they could live in water healthily and vigorously. However, you need to keep in mind that the roots in water are contrary to the roots in soil.

So, if you have grown a succulent in water and if you replant it in soil, there is a high probability for that succulent to die.

What is succulent hydroponic?

To briefly tell you, you could call the method of growing plants in a soilless medium and using water as the growing medium.

I am sure you would have heard about this term quite a lot these days as it is becoming more and more famous.

Many people are keen to learn about this subject and they keep researching on this. There are so many people who have succeeded by practicing this method. 

It has become a great trend across the world to plant vegetables using this method.

One of the biggest advantages of this is they only require less space and there will be less wastage of water as well.

Some might think, how could you grow the succulents in water since it is always said you need to avoid over watering the succulents as they are quite responsive towards the succulents.

I am sure if you are into succulent gardening, you have had so many bad experiences regarding over watering. So, how could they survive in water?

Well, we ask you to not to over water the succulents. That is because when you over water the plants, that would make the fungus attractive towards your beloved succulent plants.

Consequently, your plants will end up having fungal growths in the soil medium. (Soil contains organic matter and due to that they would already have  fungus.)

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These fungi could be so dangerous since they are harmful for the succulent fleshy roots and for their stems as well. In fact, your succulent will end up getting root rot.

When it comes to growing succulents in hydroponics, you do not have to use soil as the growing medium. As such, there will be a least probability of root rot in the plant. 

Having said that, do not misinterpret that thinking you could completely get away from root rots when you are growing succulents using hydroponics method. 

Chances are that your succulents will have root rots if you do not look after the plants well and if you are not keeping the plants clean.

Further it is necessary that you change the water at regular intervals.

Plants for succulent hydroponics 

You cannot grow all succulents in hydroculture, though it is possible to grow many of them in water. 

You could consider growing the succulents which have rosettes and which you could easily propagate through leaf cuttings.  Find below a list of plants which you could use this method, 

Echeveria Agavoides Romeo – This is an attractive succulent which produces rosettes.  Those rosettes would be about 6 inches in height.  These are native plants in Mexico, and they are quite prone to die in high humidity levels.  Avoid exposing their leaves to water.

Hen and chicks – These plants would fit well for both indoors as well as for outdoors. They also form rosettes and tend to make so many new pups. They would prefer to grow in rocky and dry locations.

Echeveria Runyonii – This is an endemic plant in Mexico, and they would be quite handy in using for ground covers, rock gardens and for containers as well. They produce offsets which could be about 10 inches in length.

Sempervivum Tectorum – This is a flowering succulent which you could mainly spot in mountains in Europe. This could be very useful to use as ground cover. Once these plants complete flowering, their rosettes would also die.  Those  Rossetts would be about 4 inches in diameter.

Echeveria Macrophylla – These plants come up with rosette which have  star shaped leaves . further they would be about 10 inches in diameter.

Sempervivum Altum – These plants are evergreen perennials which tend to grow in rosette types. They would be about 2 inches in size.

How to create succulent hydroponics?

There are two options available in hydroculture. They are full water and semi hydro ware culture methods. You could grow succulents using both these methods.

First you need to start the process with obtaining  either cutting, offsets or even a full potted plant.

Keep in mind that you need to let the cuttings and offsets become callous, especially where they expose to the stem opening.

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To do that, you could simply leave them aside for a few days. In case if you use the cuttings, which are not calloused, that will create rotting in the water culture.

Full water Culture

In terms of full water culture, your succulents would grow in water and that would be their only growing medium.

You should supply the nutrients by mixing them in water. Best is to apply the water-soluble nutrients for this purpose.

How to conduct the full water culture

You should wash off the soil from the roots in case you are using a soil bound plant. Let the offshoots and cuttings become callous in condition.

Next, you should get ready with a water filled glass vessel which contains a very diluted amount of nutrients as well.

When doing this, make sure that the water level is just beneath the succulent stem.

Further, keep in mind that the cutting or the offshoot should not be in contact with the water surface. Instead, it has to ideally dangle above the water surface.

If you are using a soil bound plant, the root edge should ideally be in touch with water lightly.

Avoid exposing the succulent leaves for water unless it could contribute to root rot. As such i would recommend to use a separation between the water surface and the leaf.

Semi hydroculture

The difference between the semi hydroculture and the full water culture is that you need to place an inert medium in addition to soil placed in the pot.

You could place the material even to the soil. You could add material such as leca, pebbles, glass beads etc. Further you could add only a little amount of water as well.  

When selecting and preparing the plant, you could practice the same guidelines as the above. What is contrary to the full water culture is the addition of the inert material to the pot only.

You could place the succulent in the inert material and water. That will ensure that water level will just reach the succulent level.

If you use cuttings, you could spot them developing roots in a few weeks’ time. when they grow, you could further see the roots are slowly heading towards the water medium.

Usually, the growth rate of the hydroponic plants is faster than the ones which grow in soil. The reason for that is because they do not have to develop roots in search of nutrients as they already have them available in water.

In general, it would take a few months for the soil grown succulents to properly develop simply because they need to produce water roots which could survive in hydroponic conditions.

If you wish to have fast growth, best is to proceed with cuttings or with offshoots as they could form water roots faster.

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In case if you spot any unhealthy and decaying roots, best is to get rid of them unless it could degrade the water quality.

You need to change the water at regular intervals here as well.  Apart from that, you need to wash the inert material as well. That will avoid any potential mineral build up in the specimen. 

How to care for succulents in water?

In terms of caring for the succulents growing in water, it is crucial that you feed them with nutrients periodically so that they can grow vigorously.

Always ensure that you are using a fertilizer which is used for hydroponics. Further you need to dilute it to half strength before applying.

You need to apply the same for the soil bound plant when you grow them in hydroculture  as well. You could easily acquire these liquid fertilizers from specific stores.

Furthermore, you should maintain the water level when taking care of the succulents in water. Chances are that the water level could change overtime. Best is to keep the water level 1/3 of the way full.

Flush the system monthly. That would be beneficial particularly if it has any salt buildup.

To do that you could simply remove the inner pot from the outer pot and hold it somewhere it would get exposed to some running water. Next you could rinse your outer pots and add some nutrients to that.

Apart From that you need to provide enough light to boost their growth. It is hard to place hydroponics outdoors. Therefore you need to provide grow lights for them. 

What is the importance of succulent hydroponics?

Usually, the hydroponic succulents tend to grow faster in hydroponic when compared to growing them in soil medium.

That is purely because they have all the nutrients available in the water and they do not have to look for them like they usually do when they grow in soil.  

It would be convenient to practice this process as it will not be messy as doing it with soil. further it would be aesthetically beautiful as well.

More importantly when you grow succulents in water, it would attract only a small number of pests as well. So, it would be hassle free for you.


As you may already understand, it is an easy process to grow the succulents in water. It would help to enhance the décor of your home as well.

You do not have to worry about repotting, and you could leave the jar for a few weeks  without any bad impact on the plants. Watering them regularly is also not essential.

So, I hope this article was useful for you to develop your knowledge on growing succulents in water. So without waiting further, start commencing this adventure.

Credit to: Michael Langerman
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.