How Often to Water Your Succulents
Knowing how often to water your succulents can take a bit of practice, and if you make a few missteps, you might end up with a succulent that looks like it’s on death’s doorstep. But if you know the signs of a sad succulent, you can intervene to help your little plant bounce back. Don’t toss that sad boy in the trash as soon as it starts to look limp—there’s still hope for your succulent to make a full recovery!
How Often Do You Water Succulents
Succulents are accustomed to living in desert areas with dry, rocky soils. Their leaves and stems are full of moisture reserves, so they don’t need their soil to be watered as regularly as your other houseplants. Allow the soil in your succulent’s container to dry out before watering. This could be as often as twice a week during hot, dry summer weather, but generally, you won’t need to water them that much. Just poke your finger in the soil to check the moisture level, and top it up once it’s dry.
Your succulent will go into dormancy in winter and needs to rest and charge up for its next spring growth spurt. During this time, you don’t need to water that often; once a month should be sufficient.
Saving an Overwatered Succulent
Overwatering is arguably much more damaging than underwatering, so resist the urge to constantly top-up that water! We know you love your succulent, but you don’t want to smother the poor little guy. If you overwater your succulent, it will display the following signs:
- Mushy, limp leaves
- Pale leaves that are becoming transparent
- Leaves dropping easily
Now, if you really overdid it with the watering, then your succulent will start to mold. The leaves and stem may turn black, and you’ll see some funky stuff growing on there. Hopefully, you won’t let it get to this point, because a moldy succulent is tough to revive! But if you notice the early signs of overwatering, scale back on the H2O, and your plant should be okay.
If the soil is very soggy or you notice some mold developing, replace it with a fresh potting mix. Use a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti. Cactus and succulent soil features sand and either perlite or pumice as well as organic matter, allowing for better drainage. This way, moisture drains through faster, so your plant isn’t sitting in soggy soil. Remove any damaged parts of the plant, and place it in a sunny, dry spot so it can soak up some rays.
Saving a Dehydrated Succulent
If you forgot to water your succulent for a couple of weeks, or if you went on vacation and left it alone for a while, your plant may be looking a bit parched. Signs of insufficient watering include:
- Dry, wrinkly leaves
- Leaves turning flat and losing their plumpness
- Leaves turning brown and drying up near the bottom of the plant
Give your succulent some water ASAP, but don’t totally drown it. Remove any dried-up or damaged plant parts, and rewater once the top few inches of soil have dried up.
If you’re having trouble avoiding overwatering, it might be worth considering switching them to pots with drainage holes. This way, excess water will exit through the bottom instead of collecting in the soil and turning funky.
Fix a Stretching Succulent
Is your succulent suddenly growing tall? That’s not a good kind of growth spurt; it’s just not getting enough sunshine. Place it in a sunnier spot so it will get more sun! If you have a stretching rosette-shaped succulent, like an echeveria, you can cut off the top part of the rosette, put it on a sunny windowsill, and wait until that cutting sprouts roots. Then, you can replant it, and it will develop into its normal shape.
Overall, you’ll have an easier time knowing how often to water succulents indoors if you pay attention to their subtle visual cues. There are so many spectacular succulent varieties available; once you get the hang of it, you’ll be thirsting for more to add to your collection! Browse our full catalog of beautiful plants ready to be shipped from our California greenhouse.