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Succulents are drought-resistant and resilient, but what do these terms really mean? They can be quite confusing for new growers. Does it mean they can tolerate a bit of neglect? Is it okay if you don’t worry about succulent care so much since anything goes?
The truth is that succulents do require care, the same as any other plant. That said, the best way to learn more about it is to check out the various guides dedicated to your specific succulent type. For instance, there’s a caring guide of Campfire Crassula, and there’s another for Sedum morganianum.
Don’t have the time to catch up on your gardening studies? At the very least, you should know how to water your succulents properly.
Watering Your Succulents
What a lot of people don’t realize is how sensitive succulents are to how much water they drink. How much and how often you water your plants play a huge role in how happy and healthy they are going to be.
While succulents can tolerate a few missed watering sessions, they still need enough to survive. Overwatering, on the other hand, can kill your plants just as fast. It can lead to root rot, make your succulents’ leaves turn black, and, ultimately, waste their precious lives away.
To add more to the challenge, there are different factors that can impact your watering sessions. In other words, what might work for a grower who lives in another state might not work for you.
Different Factors That Affect Succulent Watering
There are three main factors you should keep in mind when deciding how much water to give your plant and how often to do so.
The Current Season
The first factor is the current season and the current weather in your area. Succulents will definitely need more water during the long, hot days of summer. Meanwhile, giving them the same amount of water in the winter can potentially kill them.
Some summer days are cooler than others, and there are those where we experience debilitating heatwaves. Timing your watering accordingly will help equip your plant to survive all these stressful changes as they happen.
Also, consider the active and dormant growing seasons of your particular plant. Some succulents are active during the spring, while others are more active in the winter. Whether they are active or dormant can warrant different watering requirements.
The Container Size
The next factor you should account for is your plant’s pot size. A bigger container means more soil. More soil means more (and longer) water retention. Hence, those planted in smaller and shallower pots will require more frequent watering.
The Plant Location
Where is your plant located? Those planted outdoors usually experience tougher growing conditions and, thus, need more watering compared to a pot that resides indoors. Those that receive more hours of sunlight, regardless of whether it’s direct or indirect, are more likely to feel thirsty more frequently.
Lastly, your succulent’s location will also influence how much moisture it has access to at any given time of the day. How’s the humidity in the room it’s currently in? Should you consider moving it to another room where it will feel more comfortable? Would you rather supplement that moisture through more frequent watering and the use of a humidifier?
How Often Should You Water Succulents?
The factors we just shared should hopefully help you determine how much water your plant needs. As to how often, there really is no straightforward answer. However, there are two ways to help you refine your watering timing.
First and foremost, you can follow the soak-and-dry watering method. It is a practice that involves waiting until the soil of your plant dries up before watering. Then, once it’s time for another drink, you should make sure to water your plant thoroughly or at least until the excess water seeps out at the bottom.
The catch is that one can easily forget to check the soil in between waterings. This technique is also not easily applicable to those succulents planted in containers without drainage holes because it could lead to overwatering.
The other (and more ideal) option is to simply invest in a handy soil moisture meter. It is a small sensor that you can pop into the soil so that you can tell when your plant is ready for another drink.
Keeping Your Succulents Well Hydrated
Take the guessing game out of your succulent watering sessions. Sadly, simply relying on trial and error can get your plant in trouble. It is important to gain more insight into the factors that affect the needs of your plant.
Aside from that, there are also proven methods that can help you determine how much water your plant needs and how often it needs it. Don’t hesitate to use them to your advantage. Good luck and happy planting!