Succulents are extremely versatile plants that are known for their one-of-a-king looks and their ability to hold onto water. One of the things that makes succulents different from other plants is that their leaves can absorb water and hold onto it for extended periods of time.
This means that they don’t adhere to the same watering schedule as your other plants. If you are new to succulents, it can be a challenge to figure out when to water and when to relax and find something else to do. So how often should you water succulents?
Every Succulent is Different
Although succulents are all similar to one another, no two species are exactly the same. This means that you’ll want to look up information specifically to the species of succulent that you got. Even within the same species, there can be variance from one plant to the next. This requires you to have careful attention to detail and to observe how your plant is reacting to the recommended watering schedule for that species.
If you take a look at your succulent and notice that the leaves have a somewhat yellowish tint or that they look transparent, that’s a sign that you’re watering too much. Waterlogged succulents will behave in this way, and it means you need to put a few more days in between watering.
If the succulents look dry and start turning brown, you may need to water more frequently. Pay attention to your plant and then adjust your watering schedule.
Succulents really hate to be surrounded by water on a regular basis. If the soil is staying visibly wet for a few days, then you need to water less and less frequently. When there’s too much water in the soil it can lead to pests and disease in the plant. Succulents absorb water quickly and can store it for a long period of time. If they do that and then there’s still lots of water around their roots in the soil, they don’t perform well in that environment.
The Soil Matters
The soil that you plant in also has a big impact on how often you should water. When you plant in an arid, rocky or sandy soil, the water will run right through and dry out quickly. This requires you to water more frequently. If you’re planting in a peat-based soil, the soil may absorb water quickly and hang onto it longer than average.
With a peat-based soil, it can become even more challenging to know when to water than normal. Once peat dries out, it gets to a point where it doesn’t want to accept new water. It will harden and when you water, the water will simply run around the edges of the soil instead of absorbing into it. To avoid this, you have to keep watering on a regular schedule while the peat is accepting water. After it reaches the point of completely drying out, you might as well replant in a new soil instead of trying to make it work.
With all of this in mind, the general guideline for most succulents in most conditions is watering every two to three weeks. Start out with a watering schedule in this neighborhood and then pay attention to how the plant and the soil is doing. From there you can adjust to slightly more frequently or slightly less frequently, depending on what you see. There’s not a one-size-fits all recipe for watering every succulent out there. It takes some critical thinking and being flexible to get it just right. Once you’ve got the pattern figured out with your succulents, you can set your watch by it and enjoy your succulents.