How to water succulents | 5 tips for happy plants!

Figuring out when, how and how much to water any plant is difficult, but with succulents it can be especially challenging. We all know they don’t need that much water – they naturally grow in dry areas, after all – but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to leave them without any moisture for long periods of time!

Keep reading to find out all about how to water succulents.

Close up of a succulent | 5 tips for watering succulents
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When to water succulents

As we all know, succulents use their leaves and stems to store water. This means they can go without any new moisture for quite a while, but it’s not a good idea to leave your succulents without watering for weeks or months at a time.

Both under- and overwatering can be fatal to these plants, so it’s all about balance here. How often your succulents need water mostly depends on the time of year.

Growing season

Between Spring and Fall the plants will be in full growing mode and water likely evaporates more quickly due to the increased temperatures. This means it’s a good idea to to increase waterings: some might be surprised to hear you may need to water your succulents up to once a week during the growing season. In fact, if you’ve got yours outside during the warm months, it might be even more.

The season guideline is not a set rule, though, so be sure to figure out an exact watering schedule by keeping a close eye on the soil.

Once the top of the soil seems to have dried out it’s time to give some water, especially if the plants are outside to catch some extra sun.

Winter season

During Winter your succulents won’t grow much, which means they don’t need as much water to survive.

Only watering once the soil has almost fully dried out is fine during the colder months. Depending on the humidity and temperatures in your home, this is usually around once a month.

String of buttons succulent
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How to water succulents

Figuring out a good watering schedule for your succulents is quite important in keeping them alive and healthy, but it’s also a good idea to pay some attention to the correct way to go about watering and planting them. 

The most important things to keep in mind are:

  • The amount of water. It’s not a good idea to give your succulents small amounts of water here and there. They will appreciate the soil being allowed to dry out a bit as described above and then being thorougly soaked so the leaves and stems can properly store the moisture. After this, the plant is ready for the soil to dry out again.
  • Properly draining pots. Proper drainage is one of the keys to healthy succulents and closed off pots can quickly lead to root rot unless you pay a lot of attention to the amount of water you’re giving. It’s a much better idea to get pots with a drainage hole, preferably unglazed clay ones such as these: they allow water to evaporate quickly after the soil has been soaked.
  • Soil type. Another factor important for proper drainage is the type of soil you use. Regular potting soil is not a great option for succulents, as they prefer something a little less moisture retaining. You can achieve this by mixing potting soil with sand and/or perlite or buying a premade cactus mix. You can find more info about succulent soil and potting here.

If you still need more info about how to water succulents or if you want to share some of your own succulent care tips, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.