Succulents and other plants have a lot of difference. If you tend to water them in a way you would do with any other houseplant, you are likely to end up killing it. However, that should not mean you can discard them without watering either.
How often do succulents need to be watered? Ideally, succulents should be watered once every 14 to 21 days. In essence, the succulents need to be watered only when the soil has dried off. Succulents do have a fixed watering schedule, and watering them should basically be based on the wetness of the soil.
How Often Do Succulents Need to be Watered?
You are expected to water the succulents only when the water has dried completely. You should water them only when the container is dry. The soil should get completely dried out between the two waterings. As long as the soil is not crumbly or dry, it would help if you never watered it in any way.
Watering a succulent even when the soil is wet can cause overwatering. In most of the circumstances, this can cause the issue of overwatering. The overwatering can result in rotted roots, and rotted roots can further result in problems such as a dead succulent.
There are a few prime factors that decide how often do succulents need to be watered. Let us check out a couple of them right here:
Some succulents tend to grow more in the summers and springs. You may need to water them more frequently. They may pull or suck more water, and thus the soil gets dry quite often. As such, you will need to water succulents three times a week in summer. In such a situation, you need to ensure that your succulent is actually growing faster in summer and springs.
Larger containers need less watering. Since they hold more soil, they have the ability to hold more water. The smaller and shallow containers may need to be watered quite often. In any case, you need to check the level of dryness of the soil for achieving a better degree of efficiency.
Plants growing in highly humid and cooler temperatures would need lesser water and thus will need less watering. When compared to the plants in a dry climate which require more water, you would end up using less water in a humid climate.
Amount of light
The amount of light received by the succulent will have a great bearing on the watering that it needs. Succulents receiving more sunlight will need more water as opposed to the ones that get less light. That is exactly what would explain why succulents in the outdoors consume more water as opposed to the ones in the indoors.
How to Water Succulents Outdoors?
The amount of water for the succulents in the outdoors would be dependent on the outdoor conditions. If you are in an area where the summer temperatures reach as high as 70 to 75 Fahrenheit and winter temperatures do not go beyond 40 Fahrenheit, the ideal watering schedule should be somewhere around once every 8 to 10 days.
For instance, in areas such as coasts, which have a dense fog, you should be fine with watering for around once every week. Do remember that you may end up overwatering your succulents in those conditions and if you want to avoid it, it may be a good idea to water them once every ten days or so.
In a desert area, however, the requirements will change considerably. In summer the succulents in the desert area would need watering once every week. If you have smaller pots or containers, it may be a good idea to water them once every five days.
During the spring and fall, the ideal watering schedule should be around once every 10 days. During the winter months, however, we would recommend reducing the time to water the succulents to around once every two weeks.
How to Water Succulents Indoors?
The succulents ideally need high light. However, some of the succulent varieties have been observed to be growing better indoors than outdoors. However, when it comes to watering the succulents indoors, it should ideally be dependent on the amount of sunlight received by them.
Under most of the ideal indoor conditions, it is recommended to water the indoor succulents once every two weeks during the summer months. During the winters, however, it would be wise enough to reduce the schedule to around once every three or four weeks.
In essence, you should water the indoor succulents less frequently than in the outdoor succulents. However, there are a few species of outdoor succulents which may need you to water them quite frequently. A few good examples here can be Christmas cactus, and Epiphyllums need you to water them once every week in summer months and every alternate week in the winter months.
The general rule to be followed in watering the succulents indoors would be to water them once every 7 to 14 days during the warmer weather and every three to four weeks during the winter months. The best option for scheduling watering would be to water it once and then watering again only after the soil has dried down.
The Best Tips for Watering the Succulents
Watering a succulent is an art you need to develop. Unlike most other plants, watering a succulent would not come much easy. Following a few tips can perhaps help you find a proper watering schedule for your succulents.
One of the most important parts when watering a succulent is to use a pot with a drainage hole. Succulents do not like sitting on a wet soil. A too wet soil can make its roots rot and subsequently kill the succulent. The soil needs to dry out completely, and this can only be possible with the help of a drainage hole.
Not that you cannot grow a succulent in a pot without the drainage holes, but in such a situation, the possibility of root rot will ideally increase. Even when you get a pot without a drainage hole, it should be possible to drill a drainage hole with a diamond tip drill bit. It may also be a good idea to add a layer of pebble and charcoal to improve the drainage.
Since succulents need the water to drain out quickly, it would be advisable to get the right type of soil that can move out quickly. That would make it important to go with the faster draining soil when potting your succulent. You should be able to find them faster draining soil specifically designed for cacti and succulent from most of the local stores. You can create your own mix with the help of light, porous potting soil and fluffy material such as perlite or pumice.
Some succulents may need more water than the others. Overwatering a cactus or succulent can end up killing it. The effects of overwatering on a succulent can be far more dangerous than underwatering. In any case, you should not water them too often as you would do to any other houseplant.
The soil should be completely dry before you can water the plant again. Even when you follow a schedule for watering, it would be worthwhile to check the soil and its dryness before you water it again.
Always Water at the Roots
Water the plants at the roots and never water it at the leaves. Watering the succulents at the leaves, stems and other parts can end up making your plant develop issues. The water on the leaves can make the leaves have white dots. Rainwater may not have an issue, but the tap water consists of minerals such as magnesium or calcium.
General Guideline for Watering the Succulents
While there are no hard and fast rules that govern how to water your succulents, following a few guidelines can help you achieve better results.
Some of the practical guidelines can include:
- If you have a small pot, water it every seven days.
- If you have a medium pot, water it every ten days
- If you have a larger pot, you can water it every 14 days.
Things to Consider When watering succulents
There are several things you need to consider when watering your succulents. Succulents are a delicate species, and that is exactly why you need to be careful when watering them.
A few worthy factors you need to check out when watering the succulents can include:
- If your environment is drier, you will need to water it quite often
- The hot weather will need more frequent watering of the succulents.
- The hot weather and more sunlight will need you to water it more often
- The smaller pots will require more watering.
- If you have a more humid environment, it would be advisable to water them fewer times
- If you have a foggy environment, you need to water the succulent less often
- In winters, it is advisable to water it less
- In case you have faster draining soil, you will need to water it more
- The denser soil mix will have to be watered less as it will hold more water.
How Much Water Do Succulents Need?
There cannot be a measure of how much water does a succulent need. When watering, make sure that you have watered it thoroughly until the water begins coming out of the drainage holes. This can be helpful for the roots to grow downwards. Watering less amount can make the roots to grow upwards, which may not be desirable.
Never get the leaves and other parts of the succulents wet. This can make the leaves disintegrate or rot. Check your soil with fingers for any signs of wetness. If the soil is moist, avoid watering it again. Between every two watering cycles, it is always advisable to check the wetness of the soil. The rule of the thumb is not to water again until the soil has dried completely.
Watering the succulents can be quite simple and easy once you understand the underlying concepts. Rain water is always a great choice for an effective and efficient watering for any plant, leave alone succulents. Following the proper watering schedule for your succulents can definitely prove to be a great option for achieving better results and a better growth for your plant.