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We all know that plants need water to grow, and while succulents may need less water than other plants, they are no exception! While watering is important, knowing when and how to water your succulents is just as important. Follow this quick guide to learn when and how to water your succulents well to keep them happy and healthy!
Typically, it’s best to water succulents (and most other plants) during the daytime, specifically in the early morning. Plants use water to assist with photosynthesis– a process that requires sunlight– so watering in the morning when the sun rises will guarantee your plants get what they need to photosynthesize for the day. Additionally, watering in the morning before the sun is too bright can also ensure your plants don’t get burned by harsh rays, especially if you have to move them when you water.
You can also water your succulents at night. Unlike during the daytime, your succulents may not drink all of the water, and the excess may pool and cause problems associated with overwatering. Excess water in your soil is also a breeding ground for pests like fungal gnats, mold and mildew growth, and root rot. Since you’ll need to prioritize drainage with succulents, it’s also a good idea to avoid watering right before bed. That way, you can make sure the soil drains completely without concern.
Watering varies based on which season your succulent is in. For example, during the growing season, you’ll need to water your succulent more often since it will constantly need the nutrients for photosynthesizing and growing. A general rule of thumb when watering your succulents during their growing season is to do so every ten to fourteen days or when the soil becomes dry to the touch. When you water your succulents during their growing season, make sure to let any excess water drain from the pot before putting your succulents back in their spot.
During dormancy, your succulent may appear dead, but like trees in the winter, it’s resting in preparation for warmer months. Because they aren’t actively growing, your succulent will typically need less attention than it usually would, especially with watering. When you water it during dormancy, always do so when the soil feels dry to the touch. Your watering schedule should change, and so should the amount of water you use.
Your succulent won’t need much water while it’s dormant, so cutting the amount of water it receives by half is a good place to start, especially if you’re concerned about root rot developing during the dormant months.
Where you water your succulents plays a major role in how much water they need and how easily water will drain from the pot. Indoor plants, for example, may need a bit less water than outdoor ones– especially succulents. Without access to rainwater and dew, your indoor succulents will require a more regular watering schedule. Outdoor succulents, on the other hand, may experience dormancy, especially if it gets too cold outside. In this case, you’ll have to provide them with less water or bring them indoors if it gets too cold.
The open air can also provide outdoor succulents with better ventilation, which improves drainage and your succulent’s ability to take in water and light. For indoor succulents, be sure to keep your home as well-ventilated as possible, or water your succulents near an open window when you can.
Time of day doesn’t matter much in regards to watering technique, but there are still some important life factors to keep in mind when you choose to water your succulents. When it’s time to water your succulent, there are a few ways to go about doing so:
A watering bottle is the most recommended method for watering succulents, especially ones with wide rosettes like hens and chicks or echeveria. Watering bottles are small, reusable squeeze bottles with an angled nozzle, allowing them to get directly to a succulent’s roots without wetting or damaging the leaves.
This method of watering is not recommended for succulents at all. Instead, you should only mist your succulents when propagating cuttings, as mature succulents store water in their leaves. Misting can cause water to pool on your succulents’ leaves and cause mold or fungal infection– save it for the babies instead.
Misting is, however, a decent technique for watering air plants or other exotic plants that need a humid environment to thrive.
Recently made popular via TikTok, bottom-watering is a technique that waters your succulents’ directly through the soil and allows them to drink as much water as they need. While this method takes longer than traditional watering methods, it’s great for particularly sensitive plants. To bottom water your succulents, fill a tub or basin with fresh water, then stick your succulent’s pot into the water for soil to soak it up. When you’re done, make sure any excess water drains completely and dry off your pot before putting your succulent back. This technique is best done in the mornings since you’ll have plenty of time to monitor your soil’s drainage between waterings, as it may take hours for soil to completely drain.