How to water succulents? Watering the right way with our tips

How to water succulents
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Today I am going to show you some proven ways to water succulents, how often to do it, and what to avoid when watering them. So you already have your desired succulents? Or maybe you got them as a gift and you don’t know how to care for succulents? Are you thinking about how to water succulents?

It is best to water the succulents until water appears in the saucer under the pot. Any excess water should be poured out of the saucer. Remember to plant the succulents in well-drained soil with drainage.

Watering succulents is a bit of an art, but you can give it a bit of a technical shape.

As a rule, succulents tolerate less water better than excess water. However, it must not be forgotten that watering itself is one of the few elements that make up a beautiful house plant. Therefore, I decided to start this article with the most common watering mistakes. This way I would like to show you that watering is only one part of the process and sometimes, despite the correct amount of water, you can accidentally kill a plant …

Unfortunately, I did that a few times too ?

But you have to go further and you learn from your mistakes.

What method to water succulents?

I start watering succulents by assessing the condition of the soil in which they grow.

We water succulents only when the soil in which they grow is completely dry. To the very bottom. In the case of small succulents without thorns, it is so easy that you can turn the pot upside down and gently catch the falling plant in your hand. In this way, I sometimes look at the bottom if it is really dry. If it is dry, I start watering and pour enough water to keep the earth wet, not just wet.

With good drainage and adequate soil, you will almost immediately see water pouring out of the pot. I never water succulents when they are standing on a stand, and never leave them in the water when it collects in it. I just pick up the pot and water it over the sink/bucket until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot and the soil is completely saturated with water. Then I put the pot back in its place while turning it with the other side to the light. In this way, the plant can grow evenly and I avoid the situation that it grows crookedly (one side towards the light).

Remember not to use sprinklers as they harm the growth of succulents, not to mention the nasty white stone coating.

Properly watered haworthia
Properly watered haworthia

How often to water succulents?

This of course depends on the species, but as a rule, I water it every seven days. However, this frequency may not be appropriate for your plants. It is very important to choose the right amount of water and the frequency of watering according to the species and the place where the succulents grow. The same species growing in different places may require different watering frequencies.

If you live in an area with dry air, your succulents may need to be watered more often. If you have doubts and you think that succulents won’t last a week, give them a try and you will see that some of them will last even longer.

Remember that succulents are mostly plants from Africa and are used to a dry climate and when it rains, it pours for a long time. Also, don’t forget that the frequency of watering depends on the species, and some thick-leaved succulents, such as aloe vera and echeveria, do not require as much water as those with thin leaves. What is captivating about succulents is the sight of their leaves swelling the next day after watering.

One more thing. In the pictures below you will see how succulents can bloom.

Blooming haworthia
Blooming haworthia

This is my favourite haworthia cooperi from the haworthia genre.

I am sorry that one did not work out, but this is the third attempt and I do not know how to focus on the phone to make it perfect …. ?

How to water succulents in glass?

Succulent watered in glass jar
Succulent watered in a glass jar

Succulents that grow in glass containers create their little ecosystem.

Watering such an ecosystem requires a comprehensive approach, i.e. you need to pay attention to the following things:

  • whether the glass container (terrarium) is open or not
  • what species of succulents grow in a glass container

If your glass container with succulents is open, excess water will evaporate more easily. Of course, this does not mean that we can pour as much water as we like, but it is a little easier.

Generally, the biggest problem with succulents in glass is that the containers they grow in don’t have drainage holes. For this reason, the excess water should not go out anywhere and it is easier to overflow the succulents.

When their roots are in the water, they start to get sick very quickly, so when watering succulents in a glass it is necessary to limit the amount of water.

Watering should only begin when the soil is completely dry and the amount of water should be adjusted to the species that grow inside.

You can water succulents in the glass with the sprinkler, but be careful not to spray the leaves. Most species don’t like it.

A good way to find out how much water should be used for watering is to pour the water at the edge of the aquarium as far away from the succulents as possible and just watch how deep it sinks into the ground.

This way, the amount of water is adjusted to the substrate on which they grow.

In conclusion, when watering succulents in glass, the amount of water should be reduced compared to watering succulents in pots with drainage.

How to water succulents in winter?

ZZ Plant watered in winter
ZZ Plant watered in winter

Winter is the time when succulents go to sleep. I like to call it survival mode ?

When watering succulents in winter, reduce the frequency of watering, not the amount.

This means that in winter we water succulents deeply, i.e. we keep watering until the excess water flows out through the drainage holes. We only reduce the frequency of watering and here many people are surprised, but some succulents can be watered even every few months.

I know that sometimes a visit like “some succulents” or “a few months” is very general and novice succulent lovers often have trouble with such terms so let me give you the best all-round advice on watering succulents in winter.

Watch the succulent leaves!

Each species of succulents uses a different amount of water, so the watering intervals should be different. It is best to water when the leaves start to wrinkle a little. This is a sign that the succulent plant is using up the water stored in the leaves.

If in such a situation, the soil is perfectly dry, it is a sign that it is time to water ?

The most common mistakes made when watering succulents

Using a container without drainage

Many of the different species of succulents can grow and thrive in vessels without drainage, but if you are just starting your adventure with succulents, it is better to prepare good drainage. I mean the appropriate holes in the bottom of the pot.

The succulents that I see most often in supermarkets are already too big for the pots they are sold in and need to be repotted immediately after purchase. Therefore, when choosing a new pot, remember about drainage.

A few days ago I was looking at cute colourful glass pots in one of the garden markets. I already had them in my basket (they were at a nice price of a few Euros) when it dawned on me that they don’t have holes at the bottom. Admittedly, you can use them freely, but not for those species that I am planning to replant and slowly I cease to have room for more plants at home.
So they stayed on the shelf …

Use the right soil

This is a reminder to use the right substrate.

Supermarket succulents are grown on a massive scale but pay attention to the soil in which they grow. It is light and permeable to water. It gives the impression of being aerated.

To achieve this effect, when using ordinary garden soil, it must be mixed with other ingredients. In the next post I will give you the proportions and for now, remember that the soil should be permeable (not compacted).

Using the sprinkler for watering

Succulents like to be well watered, but not water.

You can’t even imagine how many times I saw a lady in a shop or florist who sprinkles succulents, on which later there are white spots after drops of water or a stone from water …

Succulents do not like sprinkling, and the superstition that this is so probably coming from the fact that someone did not know how much water to use in combination with proper drainage and soil, and sprinkling was the solution.

Remember that all plants grow with their roots facing the water. If you’ve ever planted a lawn, you know that proper watering of the grass requires the soil to be saturated with water for at least 2,5 cm (1 inch) for the grass to take root properly.

It’s the same with succulents.

If you sprinkle them with water from above, their roots will be shallow, the plant will be weak and may survive, but it will not bloom or thrive properly.

If you have doubts as to how much water to use, buy a syringe at the pharmacy. You will be able to accurately measure the amount of water needed for your succulents, especially when they are still small. Small watering cans, such as those in IKEA, work just as well, as long as they have a narrow funnel with which you can regulate the amount of water.


How much do you water a succulent plant?

Usually, succulents should be watered once a week when they are growing indoors. Make sure that the soil is completely dry before watering. in the ground, you can increase the time between waterings to 2-3 weeks.

Is it better to mist or water succulents?

Succulents do not like to be mist so please avoid this method. If you mist succulents then you change the humidity around them. Their natural environment is dry so they will not grow properly if you increase humidity around them.

How do you water indoor succulents?

The best way to water succulents indoors is to wait until the soil is completely dry and then water until you see the water coming out of the drainage holes, at the bottom of the pot.

So much for my advice on watering succulents. If you have any doubts or questions, write in the comments.

Categorized as Care

By Marzena R.

I love all my baby plants. I'm a mother of two and a happy wife. I enjoy my free time by taking good care of my beloved family, plants and my bichon "Indiana" :)