How Often Do You Water Succulents? [Learn The Essentials]

how often do you water succulents

Caring for succulents is very different to caring for regular plants. Maybe that’s why they have a reputation for being hard to grow. But that need not be the case if you follow our guide on how often to water your succulents.

As expected, there’s a few factors that go into determining how often you should water your succulents. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should be watering your succulents every 14-21 days.

Why Is The Perfect Watering Schedule So Important For Succulents?

Succulents really don’t like to be over-watered and they definitely don’t like sitting in water. In their natural environment they’re used to long dry periods interspersed with a quick deluge of rain.

So, to grow your own succulents successfully, you have to try and mimic this natural environment in your own home or garden.

Using The Soak And Dry Method

The ‘soak and dry’ method simply means soaking your succulents with water and then letting them completely dry out before you water again. Can you see how this mimics their natural environment?

The best way to accomplish this is to wait until the soil is completely dry. Then, using a watering can with a long spout or even a squirt bottle, soak the soil until the water comes out of the drainage holes.

Let all the water drain out. This is really important. Never put a saucer under your succulent pots or plant them into a self watering planter. The water must be allowed to drain out of the soil completely.

Once you’ve soaked the soil, you don’t need to water again until the soil is completely dry. Depending on the size of the pot and where it’s positioned, this could be anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks.

Obviously, the time of year will also be a factor as soil will dry out much faster in a hot climate.

Pro Tip
Only water the soil and try not to get water on the leaves. If the leaves get wet and stay that way for any length of time, they can rot.

Create A Watering Schedule For All Your Succulents

The best way to ensure that you’re watering your succulents at the right times is to keep a schedule or record of when you’ve watered them. Different succulents will have different needs. This is why you should keep a schedule for each of the varieties that you’re growing.

You can do this in many different ways. You can have a notebook for your watering schedule and have a page or two for each variety. Then, record each time you water and make sure you check the last watering date before you water again.

This means you won’t over-water because you think you haven’t watered in a while. Of course, you need to ensure that you check your notebook regularly so you also don’t forget to water.

You could also keep a spreadsheet on your computer. Or, set up a reminder on your phone to alert you when each succulent needs to be watered. Alternatively, search for an app that will keep a record for you.

Here’s one I found in the Apple App store:

succulent tracker

How To Tell If Your Succulent Needs Water

There are certain tell-tale signs that will alert you when your succulent needs water. These include:

  • The leaves are looking wrinkled and shriveled not plump
  • Leaves of your succulent feel rubbery and bend easily
  • You succulent may send out aerial roots in search of water

Factors That Affect How Often You Should Water

There are basically four factors that will dictate how often you should water your succulents. There are:

  • The season. Succulents will grow faster in spring and summer, so they’ll need more water around this time. You may find that you have to water them 3 times a week during their most active growing season. On the other hand, in winter, you may only have to water them once every 2 weeks or so.
  • The size of the pot. If your succulent is in a tiny pot, it will require watering more often as the soil will dry out quickly. Larger pots, on the other hand, will require less watering as the soil will retain moisture for longer.
  • Amount of light your succulent gets. If your succulents get a lot of sunlight during the day, it will require more frequent watering. This is because the soil will dry out faster. Generally speaking, succulents that are grown outdoors will need more frequent watering compared to indoor ones.
  • Air Humidity. If you live in an area that experiences high humidity for certain times of the year, you’ll find that you have to water more infrequently. However, if you live in a dry climate, watering will have to be more frequent.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know when a succulent needs water?

When the leaves feel rubbery, bend easily or are shriveled or wrinkled, it’s a sign that your succulent needs water.

Should you mist succulents?

No, you shouldn’t mist fully grown succulents as this creates a humid environment.

How many days can a succulent go without water?

Most succulents can survive without water for around 2 weeks before they start to show signs of slight distress.

Final Thoughts

You should now know how often you should water your succulents. The most important point to remember is to let the soil dry out completely in between watering.

The main factors that ascertain how often to water are the season, the size of the pot, the level of humidity in the air and how much sunlight your plants receive.

Remember, it’s much easier to rescue a succulent that has been under-watered to one that has received too much water. Therefore, keep a record of your watering frequency so that you can always tell when your succulents need to be watered.

Do you have a favorite method of recording your succulent’s water needs. Please share it with us in the comments below.

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