As you have come this far, we assume that you are struggling with figuring out how often your succulents should be watered. But you are not the only one. Even professional gardeners go through this problem at the very beginning of dealing with succulents. But after figuring out the way to raise them, caring for succulents will be very easy for you. How to Water Succulents can be a tricky part of taking care of the plants.
Succulents are mainly an immense collection of plants that store extra water in their leaves, stems, or roots. As they have evolved to grow up in extreme drought conditions, people tend to think that they need to be watered more often after bringing them into the home and in garden environments. And if you are doing the same with your succulents, you have misunderstood the plants.
How to Water Succulents – How to Care For a Succulent Grown Indoors
Succulent plants have a unique ability to retain water for a long time. Therefore, they can survive in warm and dry climates. The features make the plants adapted to indoor growing and are best for people who want low-maintenance house plants. Despite the features that the plant has, it still needs proper care for it to grow healthy.
If you have decided to grow the plants indoors and it is your first time, here are some tips to help you ensure that the plants are well taken care of.
Choose an appropriate succulent for your indoor condition
Climate and temperature vary from one place to the other. The condition requirements for succulent plants also vary. Not all succulent plants will do well in the same environment. Most succulent plants require direct sunlight. But that doesn’t mean you will not grow succulent plants if you only have a shaded place in your house to grow the plant.
There are many varieties of succulents available with different environmental conditions requirements. All you need to do is to go for low-light tolerant plants like mother-in-law’s tongue. If you have a plan of growing your succulent in a hanging planter, you should go for varieties such as a string of bananas. Therefore, it is essential to go through the plant labels before purchase. That will enable you to know the sunlight needs and spread of the succulent.
Provide a very well-draining potting medium
Nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is too rich and retains too much moisture. Succulent plants are known to have water for a long time; therefore, they require a well-draining medium. That will help drain excess water from the plant that may cause its stunted growth.
You can find the best succulent plant you need at the tree nursery. When preparing a habitat for the plant, always start with a course soil mix to provide good drainage and aeration. To help improve drainage for the plant, you can add pertile to the succulent plant depending on the moisture requirements of the plant. Make sure you wet the mix before use to ensure even distribution of moisture.
Choose your container
Choosing the best container to grow your succulent is one of the care tips for the plant. Some containers may not provide a conducive environment for the plant. It may, therefore, end up having stunted growth which is not pleasing. Most succulent plants grown indoors are for aesthetic value. It must therefore be kept healthy to serve its intended purpose.
When reporting, you should use a container with a drainage hole and is slightly larger than the nursery container. That will provide the plant with enough space, which is conducive for its growth. It would help if you avoided glass containers at all costs. Although everyone else is looking for a long-term solution, glass containers are not appropriate. They will not give room for breathing and expansion of the roots. That may make the plant roots rot, and the plant will end up dying.
Fill the container to one-third full with pre-moistened potting mix, position your plant inside and backfill with pre-moistened potting mix.
Place the potted succulent in a sunny location.
Every green plant requires sunlight to obtain chlorophyll that will keep them green all the time. Every succulent plant has its degree of sunlight requirement, but most prefer at least six hours of sunlight every day. You should therefore try and keep them in a window that faces the direction of the sun. When the succulent plat starts turning yellowish, it will show you that the plant lacks enough sunlight. You may also see your succulent plant stretching in the direction of the sun, indicating that the plant lacks enough daylight for you to provide the appropriate solution.
Allow the potting mix to dry out between watering.
The most common mistake that many people usually make with succulent plants is overwatering them. The plants have self-adaptation and can store water for a long time. They, therefore, don’t require excess water as that may end up damaging them. Watering the plant is essential, but it should not be more frequent. Saturate the potting mix thoroughly while also making sure that water properly flows out of the drainage hole. Before you do the next watering, you should leave the mixture slightly dry. Keeping the potting mix wet all the time may make the plant dry.
Fertilize your succulent at once every year
Succulent plants, just like any other plant, require a fertile environment for their proper growth and to stay healthy all the time. The plant benefits most from fertilizer in the spring. Use a balanced all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer for the plant. The fertilizer should be diluted to half the strength as indicated on the instructions on the package. During the winter season, the plants are usually semi-dormant, and there is no need to water them during this time. During this time, the plants are not actively growing and do not require the nutrients boost.
How to Water Succulents – Best Succulent Plants for Your Indoor Garden
There are several succulent plants available in the nursery. Every succulent plant has its condition where it thrives well. Therefore, you should always select a succulent plant that best fits your state to grow it. Here are some of the best choices for your indoor garden.
Crown of thorns
The plant originates from Madagascar. It has thick stems and can be pretty thorny. The plant prefers direct sunlight and may boom its red flowers when exposed to an ample amount of sun.
The plant features as neat plants that resemble living stone. This category has many species under it, but the most common one is Lithops optica. The plant is an interesting one because it grows with an almost eye-like appearance. It produces leaves that are flat-shaped on top. The leaves are usually whitish-grey and. The plat will have a single white flower between their thick white leaves.
The pig’s ear plant is native to South Africa. It has thick and oval leaves and often has a reddish tinge around the edges. The plant blooms their droopy red or yellow flowers from stems that rise about two feet out of the leaves. They can grow quite large and best for both indoor and outdoor conditions.
Aloe Vera is one of the most famous succulent plants due to its medicinal value. It is commonly used for making various cosmetic products such as body lotion. The sap inside its leaves is very soothing for crapes and burns. It is often found in skin lotions and other cosmetic products.
This plant grows thick and pointy leaves and is usually greenish. It is variegated with spots of white. The plant originates from Arabian Peninsula but can also be found in the wild in many tropical climates.
How to Water Succulents – A Guide for Buying The Right Size Succulents
Many people usually get confused about where to start after deciding to buy a succulent plant. Buying a succulent is much fun. But due to the various options available, it may be challenging to choose the right one for yourself.
Again, you might know precisely what you want already. Before you take your shopping trip, whether locally or online, this guide will help you choose the best succulent.
What is your succulent style?
You might be the type of person who gives their plants too much attention or one who will neglect them. Depending on how you care for the succulent and where you live, select a succulent that best fits you. If you don’t care much about the plant, there is no need to choose a species that requires a lot of care. Although all the plants will require utmost care, some require too much care to survive and be healthy all the time. If you rarely remember to water your plant, you can try plants like cactus with thick leaves that do not drain water faster than others.
What size should you get?
Succulent plants come in a wide variety of sizes, and with that variation, you will also get a variety of prices. The ease of transporting the plant to your home also varies. You will find some are easy to carry while others are complicated to transport. Therefore, you should choose the right size for yourself depending on the means of transport you want to use. If you don’t select appropriately, your plant may get damaged on the way.
Some sizes of the plants are also easy to care for. Large plants are easy to fickle. They don’t dry out as quickly as compared to smaller ones. That also means they don’t need frequent watering. The larger the pot, the easier it will be to maintain your plant. A succulent in a gallon-sized pool will require lower maintenance than a six-inch pot.
A succulent in a larger pot will cost more. But if it means you are less likely to kill it, then it seems worth it.
There are two alternatives for potted succulents. The two alternatives are cuttings and plugs. Cuttings are easier to work with since you don’t have to worry about roots and are much cheaper. They are generally a little needier than a fully rooted plant. Plugs start growing more quickly than cuttings but can still be a bit temperamental.
Once you have found the right plant and have also known the right size to get, now the question is, where do I buy them?
There are several places available where you can buy your succulent plant. You can buy locally at various nurseries or buy online. The two have their unique benefits.
You can buy them at a variety of stores depending on your location. Some places where the trees are being sold locally include Walmart, Home Depot, and local nurseries. Local nurseries or farmers’ markets are the most preferred. They tend to be of higher quality and less likely to be overwatered. Since succulents are trendy, more local nurseries carry them. If you are not sure if a local nursery has succulents, you can contact them first.
Some advantages to buying locally can choose the specific plant as well as quality and quantity. Not all areas have stores that store succulents. There are fewer unusual varieties. Local shops do not specialize in succulents so that the plants can be less healthy. Making orders online also have their disadvantages. They may fail to deliver the same plant you ordered for or provide one of poor quality.
How to choose the healthiest plant.
This may seem obvious but when you buy at a local store, avoid damaged plants. This means the plant should have no scars, no bugs, and no bumps. You can slightly bump the leaves to ensure they don’t fall off. Be sure to do this very gently. The leaves should feel firm and not mushy.
Another thing to consider is the color. People have their color preferences. Succulents are available in different colors. Brighter color equals a healthier and better-maintained plant. It also indicates that the plant gets enough sunlight.
Not all succulents will come with more than one succulent in the pot. If you only see one plant in the pot, lift the leaves a little and see any new growth hiding. Also, avoid any plant that has been painted. If you see succulents that are glittering or are royal blue, it’s like they have been painted. Buying this is not a good idea. They may look fun and healthy at the time of purchase, but you will be more successful with a more beneficial plant that has not been painted in the long run.
One great thing about buying online is the access to a wider variety of succulents. There are better specimens because sellers are experts. You can also get the plant delivered to your door. You don’t have to go shopping.
The downside to shopping online is that you cannot pick your specimen, and also, the plant can get damaged in shipping are more expensive due to the shipping fee.
How to Water Succulents In Outdoor Conditions?
First, before watering your succulent plant, you need to understand some factors related to the soil it grows in. Make sure the ground is thoroughly soaked after you’ve finished watering your plant. The succulents naturally grow in drought conditions, so you don’t need to water them every day.
You might need to water the plant for 2-5 consistent days depending on the weather condition. If the city’s weather in which you live is dry, you have to water for 3-4 days or more often. Make it 2-3 days and only water once a week or even less in humid conditions. This watering schedule is only for pots that have a drainage hole underneath them.
Then let the plant few days to dry completely and don’t water any further unless the soil becomes completely dry. If your plant has large and well-raised roots, it will grow well in arid soil even if you don’t water it for a couple of days. During this drought period, your plant will put out healthy new roots to absorb more water the next time you start watering again.
Avoid spraying water bottles on your plant. This light spray won’t bring any good to its growth. Fill up its root with water instead so that your plant can grow tiny and thin new roots for absorbing more water rapidly. Also, the new sources will hope for being watered at any time soon.
If you pour water every day, your succulents will die soon. But they would rather be healthier if you soak them in water every few days. If this sounds new to you, try watering your plant in this way. You will realize why you had a tough time growing the succulents. Just take into your consideration that succulents with thicker leaves like the Pachyveria need less water than with the thin leaves like the Aeonium Zwartkop.
How to Water Succulents in Outdoor Conditions
If you are gardening succulents outdoor, the watering level will be a bit twisted in this regard. Here, it would help if you considered few more things. The environment is different outside than what it is inside. The hotter the weather is, the faster the soil will dry. So, you will need to water more often.
During the summer season, water your plant every 2-3 days. In hot, dry weather, the airflow will evaporate the water in the pot even faster. So, it would help if you watered more often. Just make sure the soil is arid before you water it again. Keep a closer look at how your plant is growing.
How to Water Succulents – Succulents that are Planted in the Ground
If your succulents plant is planted in the ground, then it is easier to water. You don’t need to water more often like people used to do in indoor and outdoor conditions. As the soil stays more relaxed, it doesn’t dry out quickly. So, the land will be soaked for longer times and take more time to dry out entirely out.
How to Water Succulents – Propagating the Succulent Leaves
As far as watering the propagating succulent leaves is concerned, this is the only condition where you can use a spray bottle to water its leaves. You can even water propagating leaves every day if you are keeping them in the indoor environment. When you spray on the soil, the leaves will get needed water from the air surrounding them.
How to Water Succulents – Frequently Asked questions
- Can you use sand to plant succulents?
Succulent plants may seem to thrive in sand and loose rocky soil due to their ability to retain water for a long time. They also require nutrients for proper growth, just like any other plant. To ensure they serve the purpose to which they were planted, such as for aesthetic value, the plant must always stay healthy. When used on its own, and tends to compact over time. That will cause too much water retention in the container, which will allow the roots to breathe and expand effectively. The best potting medium for the succulent plant is a well-draining mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite.
- Can you start succulent from seeds?
Yes. Succulent seeds can be started indoors in light, moist soil. The only problem is that they grow slowly, and they do not reach transplant size until around one year after germination, which is quite a long time.
- Why are my succulent leaves falling off?
Like other plants, the lowest leaves on the stem will always dry and fall off the stem. Therefore, that is a regular occurrence that should not worry you. However, when the top leaves are the ones dropping off, it should create concern. It could be because of overwatering, disease effects, or pest damage.
How to Water Succulents – Conclusion
While gardening the succulents, you need to be extra careful about the way of watering the plant. Otherwise, your plant might last in the end, but it won’t look like a healthy plant. To grow your succulents in healthy condition, follow the instructions given above so that they can please your eyes long enough in terms of their life.