How To Know When A Succulent Needs Water

Knowing when to water your succulent can be confusing and tricky, leaving you with a dead plant. Here are some tips that will help you determine whether your plants require water or they are good to go.

You are a plant lover who wants to add a successful succulent like a cactus or aloe vera to your garden. You go to your local nursery, buy a healthy-looking succulent and bring it home. However, you might start to wonder when you are supposed to water your succulent, and how you can know when your succulent is thirsty. 

Look at a succulent’s leaves and roots to tell if it needs water. Succulents are low maintenance when it comes to care and attention. Since succulents grow in dry climates, they only need to be watered once a week during the summer and once every two to three weeks during the remaining seasons.

The number one reason succulents die is from either overwatering or underwatering the plant. Succulents can store a significant amount of water in their stems, roots, and leaves. If you overwater succulents, the plant will drown. If you underwater succulents, the plant may die of parchment. Read on to learn about the things to look for so you can know when it is time to water your succulent plant.

Look at Your Succulent’s Leaves

The texture of a succulent leaf should be smooth. When the leaves start to wrinkle or appear to be shriveling up, it is time for you to water your plant. To smooth out the wrinkles, follow these steps.

  • Add water by first placing your finger about an inch deep into the soil.
  • If the soil feels completely dry, take a water dispensing device and apply water.
  • After you have watered the soil, your leaves should return to their smooth and flawless finish.

If you water the succulent and still find that your leaves are wrinkled, you may have placed the plant in an area with too much sun. The sun’s rays may be dehydrating the plant at a faster pace than it can absorb water. If the plant is in an indoor pot, simply move it a few inches away from the window so it can receive a reduction of radiation.

If your succulent leaves are not smooth, it means that the plant requires water.

In addition to having a smooth appearance, succulent leaves should also feel firm. If you can easily bend the leaves or they look weak, it is time for you to hydrate your plant. The leaves should feel strong and difficult to bend. If the leaves are still flexible after an hour of watering the plant, you can either move the plant away from the sun or add about three tablespoons worth of water.

What To Do If You See Burn Marks on Leaves

If your plant has been in too much sunlight, you will see burn marks on the leaves and the stem. Move the plant away from the sunlight and water the plant properly.

If you see burn marks and the plant does not replenish itself after a day or two of being out of direct sunlight, you can remove the succulent from its pot and place it in a cup of water for twenty-four hours. This procedure should rehydrate the plant and resurrect your healthy, strong succulent back to life.

Look for Aerial Roots on Your Succulent

You can think of aerial roots like spuds on a potato. Aerial roots are anything that grows on the root that is not supposed to be there. They often appear as pink or white hair-like substances growing on the stem. These roots grow to absorb water from the air if they are not getting enough hydration from the soil.

If you see an aerial root on your succulent, do not panic. It is normal for this to happen and it is your plant’s way of telling you that it is thirsty. By simply adding water to the plant and making sure it is not receiving too much UV radiation, the aerial roots will disappear within a week. Here are four things you can do to get rid of the aerial roots on your succulent plant:

  • Water your succulent plant once a week during the summertime and once every two weeks during fall, winter, and spring. If you live in a warmer climate like Texas, Arizona, or Florida, follow the summer guidelines throughout the year.
  • Do not remove the aerial roots. This is the plant’s way of surviving from water in the air and they will go away on their own once they are hydrated.
  • Aerial roots are more likely to appear during the succulent’s growing season. While once a week in the summer and once every two weeks for the rest of the year is a general rule of thumb, they may require more attention during their growing season, which is typically in the warmer months.
  • When the aerial roots dissipate, continue to practice proper watering techniques. You may need to water the plant twice a week if it is in an extremely dry climate, or once every two weeks if the climate you are in has a lot of moisture. It depends on your location and the plant’s individual needs.
If you notice that your succulents have aerial roots, water the plant and protect it from UV radiation.

Furthermore, the roots on a succulent should be light in color and firm in texture. The roots should not be flexible. If you can bend the roots or they have discoloration, your plant may be suffering from root rot. This is when the roots start to decay due to dehydration or overwatering. To get rid of root rot, remove the plant from the soil.

Then, clean off the soil from the roots and place the plant in a space that is out of direct sunlight. Let the plant dry and make sure there are no rotten roots, which will be brown or black in color. Let the plant sit for five days, and then replant the succulent in a new pot of fresh soil. After two days of the plant sitting in the new soil, water the succulent.

This should cure the root rot. Make sure you keep up with proper watering practices after replanting the roots to ensure the root rot does not occur again.

Use the Correct Watering Tool 

Avoid using spray bottles to water your succulent. While spray bottles work great for other types of indoor plants, they are not well suited to water succulents. 

While spray bottles work for other houseplants, they are not suitable for watering succulents.

You need to have a more concentrated water flow for the water to penetrate the roots of the succulent and the dispersion of liquid from the spray bottle is not powerful enough to evenly distribute among the roots of the plant. Water cans are preferable since they have a consistent flow.

  • The best way to water a succulent is by using a measuring cup and pouring a cup of water over the entire plant.
  • Allow the soil to dry completely, and then pour another cup of water over the plant.

This method will activate the plant’s root system, give it time to absorb the first cup, and prepare the plant to receive hydration from the second cup.

Use the Correct Pot and Soil

You need to use a pot with a draining hole. The hole prevents the succulent from drowning or rotting. A small pot with a single draining hole will be sufficient in containing your succulent.

Using the proper pot and soil mix is key to providing sufficient drainage for your succulents.

Additionally, you need to use the right soil. Most soils are too dense and hold too much water for your succulent to thrive in. Remember, succulents have evolved to contain enough water over an extended period. They do not need the support of the soil to hold more water since their storage units do this naturally.

Choose a soil that has visible particle sizes. A gritty mix is a great soil to use since it only holds water for a short period of time and has a small absorption rate. The gritty mix also dries out quickly, making it ideal for plants that are well-suited for dry climates.

Conclusion

Succulents are low-maintenance plants that do not require a lot of time or care. They have evolved to survive on little water and can go for long periods of time without water. Overwatering your succulents can damage them. However, a succulent’s leaves and roots will alert you when it is thirsty and needs to be rehydrated.

Sources:

read this next

Explore why your cactus is getting sunburned and how to know if it is. Sudden changes in growth conditions and habitat are two primary reasons why cacti might suffer from sunburn. Learn how to take care of your sunburned cactus or prevent it from happening.
Although cacti are low-maintenance plants and can do well in harsh conditions, you still need to do some research to grow healthy cactus. Here are 10 facts you should consider before getting a cactus for your indoor or outdoor garden.
Of all the succulents commonly sold indoors, Echeveria seems to be the most misunderstood. You may have seen it labeled “full sun,” “partial shade,” or even “light shade” in gardening centers, but what does any of that mean? It’s time to put such labeling to rest by going over the needs of Echeveria and other common succulents.
What are cactus plants made of? Cacti, also known as succulents or Succulent plants, are actually made up of specialized stems and leaves which store water, similar to the roots system of non-succulent plants. They contain high amounts of organelles called plastids; these store food for the plant. Here are some unique features of cacti and additional information on how these amazing succulents use them.
Cacti Vs. Succulents: If you’re new to the world of succulents, or are looking to purchase your first piece, it may be helpful to compare the two most common types of fleshy stemmed plants. Though they are similar in appearance, cactus vs. succulent stems have distinct visual differences that set them apart.
Cactus are unique plants, but what makes them so special? While some have been documented to live for hundreds of years, others have become an awe thanks to their bizarre growth patterns, unique shapes and unmatched resistance to harsh conditions.
String of pearls is one of the most popular genera of succulents. These gems have small rounded and oval-shaped leaves, arranged in strings making them resemble a string of pearls. String of pearls plants will produce many offsets that can be separated from the mother plant, which then can be potted separately to form new plants.
Cactus are special plants that don’t require too much care to grow indoors. It is very easy to start a cactus garden with these cute little succulent balls that grow into beautiful houseplant gardens. This article will teach you everything to set up your own cactus garden.
Cacti are great for landscaping because they’re so easy to take care of and are super unique to look at. Choosing the best outdoor cactus will depend on a number of things, here you will find 10 of the best outdoor cacti species
The cactus is not just another houseplant. It’s a natural air-purifier and a conversation starter, but it’s also one of the most trouble-prone and finicky of all indoor plants. There are plenty of things that can kill a cactus, but perhaps the most common mistake people make is overwatering. If you suffer from overwatering issues or notice any signs your cactus is sick, read on for tips to resuscitate it.
The desert is not known for anything flowery, but the truth is, there are hundreds of flowering desert plants. Most of these would bloom at the slightest sign of rain, giving the otherwise flat and arid land some rare ambiance and color.
Nepenthes or carnivorous pitcher plants have a kind of suction tube or bucket-like plant native to Malaysia and Sumatra. They make for an amazing houseplant as well as a curious ornamental plant in the garden. But here are some amazing facts about these plants that you probably didn’t know!
Succulents are perfect for lovers of plants and flowers. They don’t need to be watered often and prefer direct sunlight. However, many owners of succulents wonder how to care for succulents in winter. We will answer this question and also give recommendations and advice on how to keep your plants healthy and beautiful all year long.
Cactus plants are great plants to have in your home since they bring subtle beauty and an incredible visual experience, especially when they flower. The only thing you need to ensure when growing these plants in your home is to have them in the right place
Rooting and planting a piece of your cactus plant is a technique for propagating it. You need to carefully take a cutting, allow it to try, and root it into a proper-sized pot with suitable soil. To keep your cacti healthy, never overwater them
If you follow the steps in this article, your cactus should be in the proper environment for blooming. However, the best way to ensure that your plant is going to bloom is to buy one that already has a bloom present

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.