Water for Succulents and Cacti

indoor succulent garden

Succulents and Cacti require periodic waterings and are very low maintenance.  Print basic care instructions for succulents and cactus.

For succulent plants, like echeveria, sedum, crassula, haworthia, space out waterings once every 2 to 3 weeks. Depending on sun exposure and air temperature, you can wait longer before the next watering cycle. 

For cactus plants, water at least once every 1 to 2 months.

Succulent and cactus plants naturally store water within the body, stems, and stems. Because these plants originate from dry arid environments, they use its stored water for nutrients. 

When watering your succulents and cacti, water the soil directly and deeply. Don’t watering too frequently. Don’t let the bottom of the pot sit in a tray of water. Overwatering will cause your plant harm and eventually die from rot. 

The soil needs to become bone dry and allow the plant to use its own water reserve. 

Soil matters

The type of soil used for cactus and succulent plants really matters.  Soil must contain grit to allow quick water drainage. These plants don’t like their roots to stay wet.  When watering the soil deeply, the roots quickly absorbs water the plant  needs.  The soil should become dry to the touch within 2 to 3 days.

If the soil remains soggy, there is not enough grit mixed into the soil. Also, the soil may contain a high percentage of peat moss. The best way to correct this problem is to add perlite or pumice to your soil.  Also, transfer your plant to an unglazed pot with drainage like a terracotta pot.

When succulents need water

A good sign to know when your succulent plant needs water is when the leaf structure starts to look limp and a bit wrinkly. Also, the leaves no longer feel firm.  The leaves and stems should look and feel firm and plump.

If you succulent starts looking wrinkly and limp and it’s been a number of weeks since the last watering cycle, water the soil deeply. However, if your plant still looks unusually limp and wrinkle after days after a good watering, your plant could be getting attacked by pests.

Succulents are susceptible to mealybugs and other soft-bodied pest that like to suck nutrients from the plant’s stem and leaves. Check the stems, leaves, and crevices for signs of pests. Treat the plant immediately.  (More information on pest control to come.)

Succulents and Cacti getting too much water

If you are a person who water plants once per week and are watering your succulents on that same schedule, you are over-watering your succulents and cactus. In many cases, your plant will not give you any obvious warning. It will suddenly turn mushy and died due to root rot. 

For growing success, it is always best to understand how these types of plants survive in its native climate and its growing and survival behavior. With such information, you can easily care for succulents within your home successfully.

Lorna Hawkins
Lorna Hawkins
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