how to water succulents

How to Water Succulents to Keep Them Healthy?

4 minutes, 56 seconds Read

Learn when and how to water these adaptable plants both outdoors and in containers.

You’re not alone if you’ve killed off every succulent you’ve ever owned. Unfortunately, the easiest and surest way to kill a succulent is to over or under-water it. The rest of succulent care will seem simple to handle once you understand how to water succulents properly, though.

These hardy plants don’t require daily irrigation. Here’s how to provide them with the resources they require to continue thriving.

How to Water Succulents Indoors?

The best way to water succulents is with the “soak and dry” method. After giving the soil a thorough soak, let it completely dry out before watering it once more. Additionally, make certain that the succulents are in a pot with a drainage hole and well-draining soil (more on that in a second).

Water shouldn’t typically get on top of the leaves of indoor succulents. It can rot if left on a leaf for an extended period of time. Use a squeeze bottle or a small spout watering can (this one is great).

With more airflow and a quicker rate of water evaporation, this is less of a problem for succulents grown outside.

If at all possible, simply keep drenching the soil around your succulents with water until it is saturated. If the soil has not dried completely from the top of the pot to the bottom, do not water your succulents again. Succulents don’t like to stay in wet soil for more than a couple of days.

how to water succulents

How to Water Succulents in Outdoor Containers?

Moving potted succulents outside in the summer is a good idea. Although they love the sun, give them a chance to get used to the outdoors by placing them in a partially shaded area before moving to a sunnier location.

From late morning to midday, keep them out of direct sunlight. In general, outdoor plants require more water than indoor plants. Once more, how frequently succulents need to be watered depends on your environment.

Start by checking once a week, paying attention to the potting soil’s condition and whether it’s completely dry or still damp. In shallow containers, succulents (and cacti) may require watering every few days.

How to Water Succulents in the Ground?

Succulents, in particular sedums, can grow well in the ground. Depending on the climate in your area, they might require weekly watering. Compared to new plants, established plants will have a stronger root system and be much better able to withstand dry conditions.

Succulents must be grown in well-drained soil whether they are hardy or annual varieties. If your soil is consistently too wet, try using a raised bed or try piling the soil higher where you plan to plant succulents.

How Often Should I Water My Succulents?

Only water succulents after the soil have completely dried out. There isn’t a standard watering schedule that applies to all succulents in all environments.

Many indoor succulent growers find that watering for 14-21 days is a good frequency to keep their succulents alive. If necessary, start with this timeline and make adjustments.

Remember to get the free cheat sheet to see what it looks like when your succulents need more or less water.

The best time to water your succulents is whenever the leaves start to show very early signs of underwatering. For a visual representation of that, take a look at the cheat sheet above.

It’s best to wait until your succulent signals you to water because most succulents are very susceptible to rot with frequent watering. If nothing else, wait until the soil is completely dry before watering it again.

4 Factors That Affect How Often You Need to Water Succulents


Most succulents grow rapidly in the spring and summer, so you’ll need to water them much more frequently. As they grow new stems, leaves, roots, and blooms, they extract water from the soil at a remarkable rate.

You might water them three times per week depending on the weather, such as the light and temperature. Succulents stop growing during the winter. You won’t need to water them very often throughout the season because their growth has stopped.

how to water succulents

Giving a succulent too much water in the winter is one of the simplest ways to kill it, so avoid using your watering can from November to March. Let your succulent rest peacefully in the desert.

Container Size

Because larger containers contain more soil, which retains moisture longer, they require less frequent watering. The soil dries out more quickly in small, shallow containers, so more frequent watering will be necessary.

Amount of Light

When compared to succulents that receive less light, succulents that receive 10 hours or more of direct sunlight require more water. Because they are exposed to more abrasive elements and receive more sunlight, outdoor plants typically require more water than indoor ones.


Plants in high-humidity and cooler climates will require less frequent watering because they can retain moisture for a longer period of time than plants in hot, dry climates. Do your succulents receive direct sunlight on a patio in Phoenix? Consider daily watering. Are they on a deck in San Francisco, partially in the sun? You might only need to water once every two weeks or so.

Plants will flourish even in environments that differ from their natural habitats if well-aged compost and perlite are piled up in 1- to 2-foot mounds. Happy succulents require good soil, good soaking, and good drainage.

Water Succulents Thoroughly

Always aim to water the soil, not the leaves. This helps prevent rotting leaves in addition to preventing water spots on the leaves. If the water on the leaves doesn’t evaporate quickly, it will remain in the crevices and could harm the plant’s health.

Naturally, since the sun quickly dries out the water, this is not an issue for succulents grown outside. Just remember that the soil needs water, not the leaves themselves.

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