How Often To Water Succulents? | Everything You Need To Know |

Many succulent gardeners (usually beginners) have this one question “how often to water succulents?”. Although it seems very simple, It has a bit of a complicated answer. 

Therefore I decided to write this article about succulent watering techniques with my experiences and a lot of research materials.

How Often To Water Succulents

How often to water succulent 

There is no specific watering schedule that you can adhere to when you water a specific succulents.

Usually, in terms of watering the indoor succulents , you could water them once every two weeks or once every three weeks.

Moreover, they will try to indicate that they need water through their leaves. That will be the earliest indication they give to you.

Succulents are generally vulnerable for root rot which could  occur from over watering.

As such you could first wait until you can spot any sign from the plant to indicate that they lack water and then resume watering. If at all, avoid watering them until the soil gets dry.

In addition to this, it is better if you could keep a track on the watering sessions you had done.

How do you know when a succulent needs water 

The very first sign plants give when they  need  water is through their leaves.

When you touch the leaves, if you feel like they are rubbery  and if you could bend them easily, you could think that they need a good watering session.

When they need water, they will not change their colors like they do when they get excess water.

Furthermore, if you spot the succulent leaves have turned wrinkled and shriveled , that means they need water too.

In addition to that, succulents will tend to grow aerial roots when they lack water. Aerial roots would form in clear white or pink tendrils.

They will form from the stem on top of the soil layer. The purpose of forming these roots is to grab water from the air.

You could spot this commonly in high humid areas. But, if there are aerial roots and if you have done watering as necessary , you could ignore that.  

How Often To Water Succulents

Factors to consider when watering 

Succulent type

Even though succulents grow well in hot and dry conditions in general, you need to water them when it is essential.

Then they will grow vigorously. However, you cannot provide the same amount of water for all succulents in general.

For example, if you take a succulent type like Kalanchoe or Aeonium Kiwi , you need to water them more frequently.

That is purely because their leaves are slender and little in size and due to that they cannot store a lot of water. They will start to wilt if they do not get water for about one weeks time.

Moreover, if you take succulent types such as Lithops and Echinopsis Domino, they can thrive without water for a longer period.

The reason for that is, their leaves are plump  and fleshy and they retain a lot of water.

Place you live

The place you live will also cause you to adjust your watering frequency as different locations will have different weather conditions.

Hence you need to adjust your watering frequency depending on those.

If you consider a person who lives in hot and dry areas, you need to water frequently whereas if you live somewhere , the weather conditions are cool and humid, you  need to cut down on watering to a certain extent.

How Often To Water Succulents

Soil Type

Soil type will also affect the watering frequency of the succulents. Density of the soil mix will decide how long it will take to dry the water it gets.

If the density of the soil you are using is high, they will drain the water slowly.

This literally means, the roots will stay moist for a longer period.  As such you need to water them less often to avoid the root rot.

In other words, the density of the soil is a combination of 2 main elements. They are organic compounds and inorganic compounds.

If your soil type contains more organic compounds than the inorganic compounds, the density of the soil would be high.

As such, you should minimize watering since it could hold water for a longer period than fast draining soil.

Pot size

You need to adjust the watering routine according to the pot size you are utilizing for this purpose too.

In fact, if you are using a larger pot,  you need to water them less often as they could hold moisture for too long.

That is because they have more soil in the larger pots. On the other hand, consider you have a little pot, then you need to water them more often as their soil tends to wither rapidly.

Light availability

If you have grown your succulents where they are exposed to sunlight for about 10 hours , you need to water those succulents more compared to the ones which get less light.

In general, the succulents which you have planted outdoors need more water. On the other hand, indoor succulents need only less water.

The reason for this is because outdoor succulents thrive in tough conditions and they get more exposure to sun whereas the indoor succulents face less harsh conditions.

Humidity

You need to water  the succulents which grow in high humid and cooler temperatures less often than the plants which thrive in hot and dry conditions.

Simply because the ones in high humid areas can conserve water for a longer time.

How Often To Water Succulents

How to water succulents

Indoor succulents

When you water indoor succulents, the best practice is to water them thoroughly and deeply without watering them more frequently.

Water should ideally soak through the soil and move fast through the draining holes.

During early spring, you need to water the succulents more as only then they begin to  actively grow.

Once the plants go into dormancy and when the sunlight reduces, simultaneously you need to lessen the watering.

In addition to this, when you are watering the indoor succulent during winter, you need to water them only when the soil is dry.

You could do it less often, like once a month. That will again be based on your weather conditions. Moreover you should consider the size of the pot or the container when watering.

If you have planted them in a larger pot, the longer they will hold the moisture.

On the other hand, when you water the plants in small containers, you need to water them more often as their water dries faster.

You could practice the following guidelines when you water the indoor succulents,

  1. You need to use a  watering pot which has small holes. If it is not available for you, alternatively you can modify a bottle and then use it.
  2. Water these plants only at the base, until the soil completely soaks through with water.
  3. Refrain from watering the succulent leaves. If you accidently do this, it could cause the leaves to rot. That is especially because of the less indoor circulation.
  4. When you water , ensure that the soil is entirely dry before you water them again. In case you water the soil when it is soggy , it could help the plant to drown.
  5. You should ideally utilize the soak and dry method when you water the indoor succulents.

Outdoor succulents

Usually, the plants which you have outdoors require more water compared to the ones which you have grown indoors.  

You could observe your plant to decide whether your succulent needs water. You should ideally do it once a week while observing the soil condition.

If it is entirely dry you can resume watering. On the other hand, if the soil is still moist, you should wait for some more time.

Having said that, if you have grown succulents and cactus in shallow containers, you need to water them frequently, like once every few days.

Succulents could thrive in the ground, especially the sedum succulents could survive well in those outdoor conditions.

You may need to water them once every week based on the climate conditions you have there.

Having said that, the succulents which have a vigorous root system (old plants) can withstand the dry conditions better than the new plants.

Despite all these, it is mandatory to have a well draining soil mix. In case your soil is soggy and moist, you could utilize a raised bed. 

You could practice the following few tips when you water the succulents outdoors,

  • You need to  water them at the bottom of the plant.  It would be better if you could  use a hose, a watering can or even a squeeze bottle.
  • Water them until the soil gets completely soaked.
  • Refrain in watering  the succulent leaves. However since they are outdoors, in case accidentally you water the succulents leaves, they will be able to wither soon since they are getting much airflow.
  • Before you proceed with another watering session, make sure that the soil is dry from the previous watering session. You should water them only if the soil is dry in condition.
How Often To Water Succulents 4 1

How often to water succulent pups

If you have placed them indoors, you should water them once every two weeks to four weeks.

If their leaves have wrinkled and shriveled , you should realize that you need to water them.

How often to water succulent in different seasons

Summer

Usually the active growing seasons of the succulents would be in summer and in spring. Hence, they need you to water them more aggressively and more often during these periods.

During this period, they form new stems, fresh leaves, roots etc. In addition to that they will flower during these seasons too.

As such they absorb water rapidly from the soil. Best recommended is to  water them for approximately about  thrice a week.  Frequency will depend on the light and temperature conditions as well.

Winter

Succulents usually fall in the winter season. They terminate their growth during the dormant season. As such you could minimize watering them.

You could water them just once or twice during the whole winter season.

Keep in mind that once you over water a succulent, especially in winter , it could be very difficult to cure it and sometimes it could be fatal.

Therefore, you should cut down on water from November to March. That is their sleeping period and we should leave them at peace.

Autumn

During Autumn, succulents go through their resting session. You need to cut down on watering during autumn too. That will allow the soil mix to dry between two watering sessions.

Spring

Usually the active growing seasons of the succulents would be in summer and in spring. Hence, they need you to water them more frequently and more often during these periods.

During this period, they form new stems, fresh leaves, roots etc. In addition to that they will flower during these seasons too.

As such they absorb water rapidly from the soil. Therefore, it would be ideal if you could water them approximately thrice a week. Frequency will depend on the light and temperature conditions as well.

How Often To Water Succulents 5 1

Watering succulents with ice cubes

If we use ice cubes in watering the succulents, it literally means we are exposing them to a temperature of below 0 degree Celsius.

This is a dangerous activity to try on your succulents. If you do so, you  will be able to spot the side effects as the time passes by.

Watering succulents with tap water

Tap water usually has minerals such as magnesium, calcium and they could build more in the soil. This could lead to white spots on the succulent leaves.

They could even contain additives  such as fluorides. Succulents in general are hardy plants, there won’t be a big impact for the plants from tap water.

However, refrain from doing these for a long time. 

Related questions

How much water does a succulent need?

It will depend on the soil condition. In fact , you need to wait until the  soil gets dry to water them and then water them accordingly.

It is mandatory for the soil to be dry from the previous watering session before we proceed with another watering session. If the soil is soggy, avoid watering them.  

Do you water succulents from the top or bottom?

Best is to water the succulents from the bottom of the pot instead of applying water for the top.

It will be useful to water the roots instead of watering the rest of the plant. That will help the plant grow vigorously.  

What kind of water is best for succulents?

Best is to use distilled water for this purpose. All plants in general would love to have distilled water.

The reason for that is it does not include minerals and additives.  Succulents will love it if you could  provide them with those.

You may purchase them from stores. If not, you could even make it by yourself by  boiling tap water. 

Credit to: Succulent Fame
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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.