How To Water Succulents

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Succulents hold water in their fleshy leaves and stem and are well-adapted to arid areas, which is why they do not require much water to survive.

However, while you should not water your succulents like other plants, these hardy plants still need water, but how much water do succulents need?

Also, how often should you water your succulents? You should answer these questions if you want to keep these plants alive. Proper watering is paramount, as the well-being of your succulents depends on it.

Trust me, learning when and how to water your succulents is worth the effort, so why not explore the topic together? Let’s get started.

When To Water Your Succulents

how to water succulents


When it comes to watering succulents, you cannot follow similar guidelines you would normally use when watering other houseplants.

Creating a watering schedule may seem like a good idea on paper, but it’s not since you should water these plants only when they need it.

Related Post: How to water succulents without drainage

So, how do you know your succulents need water? These general guidelines will help you determine when to water your succulents:

a) Check The Soil Moisture

Before watering your succulents, check the moisture level in the soil by sticking your finger around 1 inch into the soil. Water the plants if you find the soil dry. On the contrary, wait much longer if the soil is still moist.

b) Consider The Season

Give your succulents more water during their active growth period, usually in spring and summer. In contrast, you won’t need to water them much during their dormant period, typically in fall and winter.

c) Observe The Plant’s Appearance

Are the leaves of your succulents looking wrinkled, shriveled, or limp? This is a sign that the plants are dehydrated and need watering.

However, it is prudent not to mistake overwatering symptoms such as yellowing leaves or mushy stems for signs of dehydration.

Read More: Why is my succulent dying?

Best Way To Water Succulents

how to water succulents


So, you have ascertained that your succulents need watering. Now, what’s the best approach to doing so? Below are the two options to consider.

Watering From The Top

As the name suggests, this approach entails pouring water into your succulents from the top. Instead of watering your plants at the base or soil level, you pour water directly into the foliage or top of thr plant.

Use a spray bottle with a misting nozzle or a fine spray, or a watering can. This is because it will help distribute water more evenly and reduce the chance of water droplets collecting in leaf rosettes or between leaves. Also, wet the soil without drenching the leaves excessively.

The best way to perform overhead watering is to pour water on the soil until it begins pooling and coming out of the container’s drainage holes.

This watering method is undoubtedly popular because it is easy. However, watering succulents from the top isn’t without problems. For instance, water can collect in the leaf rosettes or between the leaves, leading to rot.

Also, the water might not reach the roots effectively. Furthermore, overhead watering can create a damp environment, making your plants susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew or black rot.

Read more: How to make your own succulent soil

Bottom Watering Succulents

This is the best watering method for succulents, so let it be your first choice. However, you probably wonder why it is a better method. It allows the plants to take up water from the roots without risking excess moisture on the leaves or stems.

Bottom watering also helps prevent issues such as rot and fungal diseases and encourages the development of healthy root systems.

How do you water succulents from the bottom? Here’s what to do:

  • Choose A Container With Drainage Holes

Excess water must drain away to prevent waterlogged soil and root rot, so use pots or containers that have drainage holes at the bottom.

  • Fill A Tray Or Saucer With Water

Place your succulent pots in a tray or saucer that is large enough to hold them. After that, fill the tray with water, but ensure the water level is not higher than the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes.

  • Let The Soil Soak Up the Water

Let the succulent pots sit in the water-filled tray for about 20-30 minutes or until the topsoil becomes moist. As the soil absorbs the water from the bottom, it will gradually moisten the entire root ball of the plant.

  • Remove The Pots From The Tray

Once your succulents absorb enough water, remove the pots from the tray and allow any excess water to drain out completely. Discard any remaining water in the tray to avoid the soil sitting in standing water.

How Often Should You Water Succulents?

how often should you water succulents?


There is no set duration for the frequency you should water succulents. This is because several factors, like the type of succulent, the climate you are in, the time of year, and the growing conditions, dictate the watering frequency of succulents.

Your succulents can go for 1 to 2 weeks between watering in summer and spring and 2 to 3 weeks in winter and fall. I would advise you to check on your succulents every couple of days, perhaps on a weekly basis, to be sure when the time to water them comes.

Seasonal Watering Tips

As the seasons come and go, you will have to adjust the way and how often you water your succulents accordingly. Your succulents’ water needs differ in summer and winter, so how do you ensure you water your plants appropriately during these seasons? Check out these helpful tips:

a) Watering Succulents In Summer

Summer is characterized by increased heat and dryness. Also, your succulents will actively grow during these months, so you must ensure they get sufficient water and are not straining. In that case, give your succulents extra attention in summer and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

b) Watering Succulents In Winter

Your succulents will enter a semi-dormant state to survive tough winter conditions. As a result, reduce the watering frequency and let the soil dry out more between waterings compared to other seasons.

Additionally, keep watering to a moderate level to avoid saturating the soil or allowing excess water to accumulate in the drainage tray. Furthermore, it is best to water your succulents during the warmer parts of the day, so avoid doing so in the evening once the temperatures drop.

Watering Succulents Problems And Solutions

Watering your succulents correctly is important for a reason. It ensures you avoid certain watering problems, but to avoid them, you must know what these issues are and also how to solve them should you encounter them.

In that case, let’s go through the problems and their solutions.

1. Overwatering

overwatered succulent

Overwatering is a common issue with succulents and can be detrimental as it leads to root rot, yellowing leaves, wilting, and an unhealthy appearance.


The best solution for this issue is to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and use well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes. I recommend the “soak and dry” method, which entails only watering when the soil is dry at least an inch deep.

Related Post: How do you tell if you have overwatered your succulents

2. Underwatering

Your succulents may not be constantly thirsty, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with ignoring them. Underwatering can lead to dehydration, shriveled leaves, and stunted growth.


Develop a watering schedule based on your succulent’s needs. This features watering your succulents thoroughly, allowing water to flow through the drainage holes until it runs out from the bottom. Also, water more when it gets hot and dry.

3. Improper Watering Technique

Watering succulents from the top may be a common method, but it doesn’t mean it is appropriate for succulents neither is a high-pressure watering method. This is because it can lead to water pooling on the leaves, causing rot and fungal diseases.


Use bottom watering or a gentle watering method for your succulents’ sake.

4. Inconsistent Watering

Your plants will feel the stress of inconsistent watering patterns leading to issues like leaf drops or stunted growth.


Monitor your succulents closely and adjust the watering frequency based on the season, temperature, and individual plant requirements.



Should You Spray Succulents With Water?

You should not spray your succulents with water because you risk sunburning or damaging the leaves, fungal diseases, and insufficient water absorption.

Do Succulents Like Being Misted?

Don’t get me wrong; misting can slightly increase humidity. However, succulents do not like being misted. So, if you need to increase the humidity for your succulents, consider placing a tray with water or a humidifier near the plants.

How Long Can Succulents Go Without Water?

Succulents can survive without water for 1 to 3 months since they are adapted to arid environments. However, the precise duration varies depending on different factors, including the specific succulent species, growing conditions, and climate.



Saving your succulents from underwatering is easier than overwatering, but you should strive to avoid watering issues altogether. Now that you know when, how, and how often you should water your succulents, you just need to put this knowledge into practice, and you will see your plants looking vibrant.

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