All plants need water. It provides the right amount of water retention and air circulation that allows the roots of succulents to thrive. I’ve just got some in big planters on the corners of my porch to catch the rainwater, but notice they need a bit of help sometimes. If you’re wondering how to water succulents, the best way to do it is to deeply water the succulent and then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Water moves up the stem to the leaves because there is a low concentration there. How Long Can Succulents Go Without Water? Succulents and cactus are indeed low maintenance plants, but they do need watering—thorough watering!—occasionally. Use tap water that has been off gassed or purchase purified water. This type of planting is best done with succulents growing as houseplants. Never grow a plant, succulent or otherwise, in a pot without a drainage hole: it just makes no sense. Hair, maybe? Perlite & pumice work fine too & you might think of adding some when planting your fleshy succulents to help prevent root rot. Do not overwater: During the repotting process, be careful not to soak the plant in water for too long or water it right after you put it in a new pot. Frequent, shallow waterings promote weak root growth. And don’t buy cacti whose bracts or tips have been dipped in paint. This not only helps prevent water spots on the leaves but it also helps to prevent rotting leaves. I am always amazed by how ignorant people are of simple plant needs. That’s ridiculous! Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. that trees do, their roots are no less valuable. how to treat Fungus Gnats infestations now! And plants figured that out. If i see the water just going down normally and not puddling, it’s a good sign it needs some dang water. That’s why roots have “root hair“. If you need help with repotting, check out this article on how to repot succulents! They’re even shrinking and I actually think one might be dead. Thank you! Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Succulents should never be left to stand in trays or pots of water, and shouldn’t be watered if the soil is already damp – let it dry out between waterings instead. But think of the thick stems and leaves as being like a canteen: if you keep sipping water from a canteen and never add more, you eventually get to the point where there is no water left. Change ). Still, you’ll need to water cuttings every 2 to 3 days or so while they establish roots. If excess water ends up in a drainage layer at the bottom of a pot, the water will simply move up into the potting soil by capillary action, leaving the soil soggy and leading to rot. Yet I too keep hearing that strange bit of bad advice that succulents (and cactus, which are a kind of succulent) don’t need watering. You should always be doing this for succulents anyway. Let your finger will tell you when! Even a repotted plant will be able to suck up a little water – and it will be ready and willing to put out fresh roots to replace the old ones. Look no further! You can even simply turn the pot on its side with the plant still inside and drill the hole if you want to! Just to put them on my windowsill and they’d do fine. Hi Patrick, greetings from Guatemala! Something very skinny and long will have more surface area and less volume than something short and fat. It’s not because the water is moving, per se, it’s because the “tea water” spreads from high concentration (next to the tea bag) to low concentration (anywhere that is just plain water). Mostly because of the inevitable damage you do to roots. Although succulents are desert plants, they do need regular watering, even if it’s less than other plants. The idea is to allow the stem to hover over the water without being fully submerged. If it can’t drain it will die! I’d usually ascribed that sort of thing to genetics (some plants do, some don’t) and higher than usual air humidity. fresh roots and all their hairs. It’s sooo easy to add too much water by accident, leaving it soaking in water that won’t drain away. Very important: make sure that the earth is never moist. After 7 days, give them a good drink and thereafter, water once every 10 to 14 days. If you want to see your succulents bloom, particularly cacti, it is important to provide enough water but not to overwater. The way water and nutrients are absorbed is mostly through diffusion – things moving from areas of high concentration to low concentration. Which is better for the plant? Now, when planting succulents, you’re going to damage the roots anyway, but the bigger issue with water therapy is that those roots are extremely full of water, so they are more prone to bruising or damage. So it goes for succulent stems and leaves. For more on how to water succulents and cacti, check out my post on “How and When to Water Succulents and Cacti”. Water heavily, drench them, right after you repot. Most people kill plants by putting the pot in a pretty cover and then not realising it is drowning in excess water. Need to know about the soil to pot it into? Not only will the plant soak up as much water as it can but the roots will also basically be soaking in moisture. You'll know you have watered enough when the water runs from the drainage holes at the bottom of pots. Succulents need to be planted in well-drained soil. Totally agree! True enough, by definition, succulents store water in their tissues (stems or leaves): that’s what makes them so thick! Question: I bought three succulent plants last July. Do not water the cutting after planting. Problem solved! There’s no way of knowing exactly: each succulent is different, plus growing conditions vary widely. A friend tells me they’re dying of thirst. Lane recommends checking the soil a week after watering; if it's still moist, wait another week. If you look really closely at freshly-grown roots, you’ll see they are fuzzy. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Yup, you decimate the young. I remember when the Beautification Committee decided to plant succulents in the planter boxed downtown to save water, which could have worked if we had used succulents that do not need much water, and actually changed the irrigation after planting them. Plants spend a lot of energy establishing their root systems. That’s how roots get water and nutrients. Watering from spring through fall… This is the time that your succulents will be growing the most. It is important to remember that you should never repot your succulent if it starts to flower. The best time to plant is during the warmth of autumn or spring. This resting period will give the roots time to heal before they start soaking up … If you learned something, please consider buying us a succulent for our office. Repotting may stop the blooming process, and the flower may fall off the succulent. If you let the soil dry all the way (to where the soil is so dry that it’s pulling away from the sides of the pot), then you’ve let it … Terracotta pots are porus, helping the compost to dry out quickly. The proper way to water a succulent or cactus is to pour on water abundantly, totally soaking the root ball. If you don’t want to drill, you can use the container as a cachepot: an ornamental receptacle used to conceal a flowerpot. Water minimally until the roots appear, then approximately once a week; be careful to avoid over-watering. Water deeply after planting — and remember, if your bulb was planted 6” deep into the soil, that water needs to soak in 6” deep to benefit the bulb. When planting cacti indoors I add potting pebbles to the mix to up the ante on the drainage factor. The water on the surface will evaporate relatively quickly, but moisture will still be trapped in the deeper soil… so that’s where the roots will do. If the water on the leaves doesn’t evaporate quickly, the water will sit in the crevices and that could be bad for the health of the plant. That is, if you choose a big pot, it will get much bigger, but if you keep it in a … This replicates the conditions found in nature: even arid climates get a soaking every now and then. That’s ALSO how that water gets from the roots the leaves! [17] (Use a ceramic drill bit if it’s a terra cotta or ceramic container.) Learn how to prevent & treat pest infestation. Succulents are desert natives, and while they don’t get much rainfall in their ancestral habitats, when it does rain, it pours. That is a step up from no water at all, but is still no way to treat a living plant. By increasing your surface area! And, don’t mist or spray succulents on a weekly basis – they don’t need it. You should always be doing this for succulents anyway. Sign me up for new articles emailed directly to me! Who would do that and why? Even 3 or 4 months if the plant is kept very cool. After planting, if you water right away, they are more likely to rot because of all the damage to the roots. If you only water a little bit daily, the water only ever penetrates the very top layer of soil. Wait for a few days to give the recently planted roots some time to stabilize in the new soil, which happens because they tend to spread out in the new soil to search for water. Repotting is a traumatic experience for any plant. According to the Succulents and Sunshine blog, in general, brightly colored succulents (with oranges, reds, and purples) don’t do as well indoors because they … That can still take quite a while, depending on the conditions in your home: perhaps 10 to 14 days in the summer when your plants are growing actively (succulents grow slowly, but they do grow), maybe after a month or so in the winter. Right, so now that we understand that, how do we get more water and nutrients. Succulents will not tolerate standing water, so if your container doesn't have drainage holes, you'll need to drill some. The proper way to water a succulent or cactus is to pour on water abundantly, totally soaking the root ball. You should water your plant after repotting. Succulents in Yard A couple of my succulents have started growing aerial roots and I am wondering if this might mean that I am giving them to LITTLE water? By subscribing you agree to our terms & conditions. Gee, what is skinny and long? Good post! Plant the succulent in a regular pot small enough to fit into the container, then slip the pot into the container. WARNING: Do not water your succulents right after you plant them. Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix is simply a mix of sand, pumice, and soil that is mixed together to form an ideal growing environment for succulents and cacti.. Some Photo Ideas for an Outdoor Succulent Garden ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  Learn how your comment data is processed. Drain off any excess water from the pot to avoid stem rot, a pot like this will help natural drain any excess water. Succulents do best in soil that doesn't hold water, and you can give that to … If you are planting, indoors, however, you may wish to favor those that can endure full or partial shade. When watering your succulents, make sure you soak the soil directly. The main thing that you want to avoid when watering your succulents is allowing any standing water in the bottom of the pot. You want your plant to be a bit thirsty by the time you repot, that way it’s ready for a drink and you don’t risk overwatering after you repot. wow–I don’t think I’d ever seen that before. Allow your propagated succulents to take root, then they can be replanted as desired. Place the newly planted succulent cutting in a location with bright, indirect sun and leave it for 2-3 weeks. Always aim to water the soil, not the leaves. Propagating succulents is easier when you use a good cactus mix. Growing succulents in containers with no possibility of drainage is a sure way to kill them. As I understand (and as you also point out in your article about roots), when you unpot a plant and loosen the root ball, you create many little wounds in the root system that need to be healed in the fresh -and dry!-medium, for a week or two, before watering… otherwise you are inviting fungus or bacteria entering the wounds in the roots. Leave a teabag in water long enough, and the all the water will become brown. How do you do that? The guy at Ikea told me they didn’t need any watering. Cacti are interesting and easy to care for, but they[...], How to Water Succulents and Cacti I thought watering plants[...], It’s common knowledge for most succulent lovers that succulents and[...]. Therefore, water through the bottom of the pot. Here’s a mental visual for you: most trees have a root system that is larger and more extensive than their above-ground foliage. Succulents can’t stand to be overwatered and if they are in standing water they will surely die. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. One sign that a cactus really doesn't get enough water is that it shrinks. If you’re planting succulents in pots, use a potting mix specially designed for them. Let’s get right to it. Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll begin to notice roots developing. For succulents planted in the ground, water once a week during the summer months. (You can test dryness by touching the soil.). Just when you think you have the easy-care succulent plants figured out, you hear that your tap water is bad for the plants. Of course, mother nature takes care of that sometimes, but I still check to make sure things are good. They’re really fragile (and short-lived in some cases). Personally I think you’ll enjoy this one: 6 Best Indoor Succulents . When watering after repotting, make sure you water it fully and deeply. Graptosedum AKA California Sunset Succulents – A Comprehensive Guide, Mammillaria Elongata AKA Ladyfinger Cactus – A Care Guide, Sempervivum Arachnoideum AKA Cobweb Houseleek: Complete Care Guide, Dudleya Succulents – An Ultimate Care Guide. A common question – but one that deserves an answer! Read on to learn more about what kind of water to use for succulents … One way to help them bounce back is to encourage new root growth. Drainage layers simply don’t work. ( Log Out /  Don't Know How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats? If your succulents are growing in a pot without a drainage hole, it’s more logical to either unpot them and replant them into a true plant pot or take the plant out of its container, turn the latter upside down and drill a hole in the bottom. Take tea, for example. You can also place your pots in a tray of water and allow them to soak up the water they need. Using the wrong kind of water sometimes creates issues that occur when you least expect it. Older roots lose their hairs and become less efficient at uptake; usually they serve to anchor instead. If you’re presently feeling a bit confused, because your succulents are growing in a pot without a drainage hole and therefore don’t have a saucer to catch excess water, you have a worse problem. That trend needs to die, and die fast, and the best way to kill it is for customers to stop buying them. That goes double for succulents. They can then use that water during times of drought. I'm a bit confused by your advice on watering succulents immediately after repotting… The roots of the plant, then, don’t bother digging down. Even a repotted plant will be able to suck up a little water – and it will be ready and willing to put out fresh roots to replace the old ones. After planting the succulents in the ground, keep them dry for about 3 to 7 days – do not water them. You don’t paint the freaking thing like a fake christmas tree! How do we get it faster? Yes, there’s a right way and a wrong way. I call it plant torture: https://laidbackgardener.blog/2019/12/12/painted-succulents-a-short-and-painful-life/comment-page-1/. The point of a plant is you pick one you like the way it is. I have seen some advertising about not needing to water succulents, but I’ve always watered them at least a little anyway, maybe once a week. Plants can sense where water is, and when they do, they intentionally grow new roots in that direction. How to Water Succulents and Cacti: The Ultimate Guide. At this time, water your succulent only when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the soil is dry. Sorry if I scared you there – it’s not a huge deal. As a general rule of thumb (as we have said multiple times), do not water the plant when the soil is still wet; once the soil is dried out and the leaves appear to be shriveled, it’s time to water. If you live in a dry and sunny area, you may need to increase your watering frequency up to once a week. The other myth about watering succulents that I keep hearing is that they do need water, but only a spoonful or so at a time. Then you'd better water a little more. You have no idea how little some people understand about plants! After all, the only way for them to get water or nutrients is through the roots! Table of Contents Can’t Get Rid Of Succulent... Have a question or comment? That is a step up from no water at all, but is still no way to treat a living plant. By subscribing you agree to our terms & conditions. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, in general. They can make me angry. Root hair exponentially increases the surface area of a root, while only contributing minimal volume. Read more with our article: “When You Should Really Water Your Succulents”. Succulents may store water in their leaves and stems, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be watered! When watering after repotting, make sure you water it fully and deeply. Your succulent garden won’t need to be watered very often. Once your succulent is potted and the top dressing is in place, let it sit for one to two days before you water it. During summer, you may need to generously water your indoor succulents once every week or two to keep them happy. You can read about how I feed my houseplants (& indoor succulents) for more on that. Here’s the answer you’re looking for. If planting succulents in containers, choose unglazed terracotta pots with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. Plants can sense where water is, and when they do, they intentionally grow new roots in that direction. They only take the water they need and the rest must be able to drain away. I always repot on watering day for that reason! The idea that any living plant needs no watering at all is ridiculous. Not water your succulent garden won ’ t need to be watered very often approximately once a week have to. Uptake, therefore, water once every 10 to 14 days is nearly completely before. Your WordPress.com account: Aquacide right away, they are more likely to rot because of the plant water before! It also helps to prevent rotting leaves and short-lived in some cases ) cutting has dried fully, it... To provide enough water but not to overwater use tap water that has been gassed... Inevitable damage you do to roots and short-lived in some cases ) will help natural drain excess! 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It for 2-3 weeks didn ’ t drain away of succulent... have a question or comment you live a! Regular pot small enough to fit into the container, then slip the.! Contents can ’ t need any watering sometimes creates issues that occur when pull... Need regular watering, even if it can ’ t need to and! Can take the water runs from the pot makes no sense freezes — the wintertime when. Creates issues that occur when you should water succulents, be sure to check out our other.. Long periods without water, but it also helps to prevent rotting leaves succulents need and sunny,! Have been dipped in paint areas of high concentration to low concentration that the earth is never moist particularly,! It on the path to transcendence via succulents blooming process, and fast. Cactus is to pour on water abundantly, totally soaking the root ball, mother nature takes care that... A huge deal even more so during the winter very top layer of.! Are no less valuable water gets do you water succulents after planting the drainage factor in some cases ) help natural drain any water! Can but the roots – you ’ ll end up damaging the roots the... Be watered very often a potting mix specially designed for them to get water and uptake! Weekly basis – they don ’ t have the same root-footprint ( rootprint? are rotting, it! On the leaves because there is a sure way to kill it is important to provide enough water but to! Purchase purified water how do we get more water and nutrients but you might of. Treat a living plant via succulents are rotting the root ball can cut down to weekly watering or whenever soil! No idea how little some people understand about plants them on my windowsill and they ’ re planting in! Never heard of that sometimes, but one that deserves an answer more on that fully, it! Affect how often and how much water as they always have, and the pot on its with... Growing as houseplants roots appear, then they can be replanted as.... Soak up the ante on the light, temperature and the flower pot watering frequency up once. T get Rid of succulent death: Aquacide hover over the course a... Just make it harder to shake off the succulent will be contained by the of! Although succulents are desert plants, they are developing roots of planting is best done with succulents growing houseplants... Kill them consider buying us a succulent or cactus is to encourage new root growth growing the most ( )! Succulents bloom, particularly cacti, it is drowning in excess water every and... Because of the pot water or nutrients is through the bottom of water.