Succulents are one of the best kinds of plants you can grow. They have striking variety like no other plant family and have a classy look totally unique to them. However, they are extremely sensitive to water & it is best not to water them at whatever times you want. So,
When should succulents be watered? Succulents must only be watered when the soil is dry. It can take 5-10 days for the soil to be dry depending on the climate & other factors. Ideally, succulents should be watered in the early morning before the sun gets high up. You can always check the soil dryness by dipping a finger into the soil or by using a moisture meter.
How Do You Know When a Succulent Needs Water?
Succulents are not like tropical plants, they are xerophytes. They are well accustomed to conditions of extreme drought. So they have developed a variety of features to store water for future use and to minimize loss of water. So they dont need to be watered regularly.
- If you water them more than what they actually need, then it can in turn kill the plant as succulents are extremely sensitive to root rot which occurs due to overwatering.
- Only water the succulents when the soil feels dry both outside and inside. You can use a moisture meter for this purpose of judging the moisture of the soil. Once you get acquainted with the time it needs to get dry, you can create your own watering schedule.
How Much Should Succulents be Watered & for How Long?
Succulents should be drenched in water and the watering needs to go on until water starts coming out off the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. In the deserts, rain is rare but when it occurs, it drenches everything. So dont hold back while watering the succulents.
Succulents are as mentioned earlier susceptible to root rot under damp conditions.
- Hence it is ideal to keep them in soil and pot that has low water retention abilities.
- The soil needs to be a cactus mix soil that is rich in inorganic materials.
- The pot needs to have multiple drainage holes at the bottom.
In case the succulent pot does not have drainage holes, you should roughly aim to water half the amount of soil the pot contains. So if your pot has two cups of soil in it, aim to drench the succulent with one cup of water. If you wanna know about growing and watering succulents in pots without drainage holes, read this post.
In the case of Newly Propagated Leaves or Stem Cuttings:
- Do not water them for a few days after planting them in the new pot soil. Let them get adjusted to the new environment.
- After that whenever the soil feels dry, keep on misting the soil lightly. Proper Water absorption mainly happens through roots. As the roots have not developed yet, draining the soil is not a great idea. So go on misting the soil until roots emerge from those small plant parts.
- Avoid Misting grown plants as that won’t encourage deeper development of roots and the plant growth can be stunted.
How to water succulents?
- Target the stem base of the succulent and the adjacent soil.
- Aim to give these parts a good soaking. Avoid the upper plant body including the leaves and branches as water absorption mainly happens through the roots.
- In fact, watering the leaves can sometimes lead to fungal infections.
- Use a succulent friendly water sprinkler instead of a cup or regular watering containers that give you better control. Avoid using spray bottles.
Also Read: How do Cactus store Water?
Should Succulents be Watered in the Evening?
Well, you can water them in the evening but it is not advisable especially in the longer run.
Succulents are sensitive to damp soil and hate moisture in the soil.
- After the evening succulents receives almost no exposure to bright light as the sun is down.
- So it remains in totally damp conditions for 12 hours minimum before the sun comes out. Doing this once in a while may not hurt the plant but in the longer run, this can lead to root rot. The most common reason behind the death of most succulents is root rot.
- So try to avoid watering succulents after the evening.
Should Succulents be Watered in the Afternoon?
It is alright to water succulents in the afternoon which are placed indoors. In the afternoon, the sun is in the mid sky and the heat will be maximum.
In these circumstances, if you water succulents that are placed under the full sun then you can damage the plants without even knowing. Water droplets act like a magnifying glass and under bright sunlight can cause scars in the plant’s surface.
- So make sure you are watering only those succulents which are placed indoors away from scorching heat in the afternoon.
- Avoid watering succulents that are kept outside in the afternoon.
What Time of Day Should You Water Succulents?
The ideal time to water succulents is in the early morning. The sun is yet to come up properly, the droplets lying on the plant surfaces will get enough time to dry up. The succulent soil will get a whole day”s worth of bright light that will somewhat reduce the damp water log condition of the soil.
So the best time to water your succulents is early in the morning.
- It just gives them enough time to soak in the needed amount of water and get dry without damaging themselves.
In general, the golden rule to be just safe is to never water your succulents after 2 PM in hotter months and after 11 AM all other time of the year.
Read: Can you plant Succulents in Mason jars or Glass Containers?
How often to water?
There is no hard and fast rule to water the succulents after every specific amount of days. You should only water succulents when the potting soil feels really dry. When in dilemma dont water the plant. Underwatering does not kill the plant as easily as overwatering does.
In case you are wondering how long a succulent can live without water, read this post.
Is it Okay to Water Succulents at Night?
Again this is a debatable topic as many believe that as succulents utilize CAM pathways the proper usage of water during the scorching heat of the day is halted as desert plants keep their stomata closed to prevent loss of water, so watering at night helps them to absorb the water better. However, this logic works best when the succulent is growing in its native place.
For homegrown potted succulents, if you regularly water them at night, the chances of occurrence of fungal infection are pretty high. Even though the stomata remain closed at the day during the heatwave outside, the water absorption can still occur through the roots. So watering in the early morning before the sun gets up, is a great time to water your succulents.
Succulents are well adaptable to all kinds of environmental conditions however, they are extremely sensitive to watering and soil. When you should water your succulents, this is a debatable topic as different people have different opinions. However, this depends upon whether your plants are indoor or outdoor.
- Avoid watering outdoor succulents in the afternoon as the scorching sun rays can leave scars on the plant body owing to the presence of water droplets. You can water indoor succulents in the afternoon provided they are not under direct sunlight.
- Succulents hate moist conditions, so watering them at night can lead to the creation of a wet environment that won’t change until the sun comes out the next day. So doing this on a regular basis can hurt your plant as this can further rot the roots and lead to bacterial and fungal infections. This goes for both indoor and outdoor plants.