Water succulents, but with care!
The popularity of succulents among gardening lovers is increasing day by day. And, the crucial reason behind it is the fact that they need so little care in comparison to regular plants. It is not a tough & watchful task to water succulents like regular houseplants.
When other plants go like I want nourishment, pruning, fertilizers, watering, succulents are like no worries. They can manage with your least attention, and still will be the show stopper of your garden.
But, caring less does not mean any care at all. This is where most of the home gardeners get confused at. When they learn that succulents have originated from a drier climate and store water in them, they tend to ignore the watering needs of it.
And sometimes, due to ignorance, they start treating succulents like other plants. And, start watering them frequently, which is even more harmful to them, as they are born to survive in drought conditions, and overwatering is a slow poison for them.
Their whole existence begins to rot if we water succulents over, and soon might have a dead one in the garden.
How often to water succulents?
Still, the thumb rule to water succulents only when the soil is bone dry. They can survive the drier conditions better than regular plants. In fact, it is better for their growth, as in drier situations, their root system evolves. As, it searches for the water to the distant corners of the soil.
So, before adding more water, you should do a simple stick in technique to judge the moisture. For that, you can push a clear wooden stick in inside the soil for 2-3 inches, and when you take it out, you will get the idea if it still holds the moisture. If you see some wet soil on it and if you don’t, you are good to go.
Exactly could be done with the finger also, but be cautious of the spines dropped in the soil if you have a cacti type. Another indication that can help us figure out the need for watering is the leaves of the succulents will feel like they are crumpled up. Or you can say that they are more wrinkly when they are in a scarcity of water.
As water storage must have depleted by then, and the search for roots for additional water sources would have also turned futile. That is when you need to water succulents with the soak and dry method like in desert conditions. Multiple days of drought, and then sudden flood. And that’s when they store the extra water in their water bubbles in stem, leaves, and roots depending on the variety. But you need to keep a check on the amount of water you are giving to them, as it is always better to underwater succulents than overwater them.
When & how to water succulents? Deciding factors.
But before you water succulents, first you need to know about the factors that can affect the requirement. Then only can you estimate the amount of water required by your lovelies. Without this knowledge, you will tend to overwater them or repeat the watering procedure much frequently than needed.
Succulent type and size:
The water requirement of a succulent varies according to the type of it. Some succulents require less water as they are quite drought-tolerant, while some need an average water supply.
The liquid needs also depend on the size of the succulent. That means if we have a large succulent in our garden, it will ask for more water love as it needs it for storage also. On the other hand, smaller succulents require lesser water, some for their current needs and some for storing.
Soil composition for Succulents:
However, mostly all the succulents prefer well-drained soil. But, some succulents need an extra layer of gravels on top for better water penetration to roots.
While some prefer gravels at the bottom of the container for the flow of excess water. As, it gives roots an additional route for fresh air. So, depending on the soil mixture used while planting also determine the quantity to water succulents.
Succulent pots size and types:
Container type is crucial as if your planter has a drainage hole, excess water will be out of it much easier through it, while a container without it will hold the excess water in it.
Therefore you need to be careful when to water succulents in no drainage container. As, extra water may lead to increased moisture in the soil. which is the starting ingredient for the rotting. Container size is also a crucial factor as a large container means it can accommodate more amount of soil. And, the larger the quantity of soil, higher the moisture it can hold.
Therefore care needs to be taken before watering in large containers, as moisture could be prevailing inside them. You can find that out by sticking something deep into the soil. While, small containers dry out quite faster, as succulent roots absorb the moisture for the store. So, you may need to refill it bit sooner.
Weather and locale for succulents:
Weather conditions play a vital role in deciding when to water succulents. Drier & rough atmosphere asks for higher water consumption, while humid climate helps succulents in retaining moisture for a long time. Summer is hot and windy. Succulents in the outdoors, dry out sooner due to hot breeze, and their water needs may reach a new high.
Whereas in winters, when the climate is cold, sunlight is minimal. Water requirements also drop-down, so providing the same water quantity as to summers will lead to overwatering. And, everybody knows the end-result then. Also, sometimes, a season differs in years, for example, an earlier might be warm in comparison to the current one. So, the water needs will vary too, keep a check on that.
Exposure to sunlight:
That is not a tough thing to understand, as the outdoors plants face more sunlight and heat in comparison to indoor ones. Therefore, their water requirements will also differ. While outdoor plants will need extra water, indoor ones might surprise you with hidden moisture in their soil when you dig in deep.
Now, when we have an idea about the circumstances that can affect the liquid requirements of a succulent. We can better judge the amount of water that we need to supply them. A better understanding of these factors will help us find the right quantity of water required for their nourishment. For your help, you can find here some tips for watering. A brief squeeze of all the above factors, that will help you to find the right time and method.
Watering newly planted succulents:
Just like our babies, new succulents also need some time to settle in. So, when you have planted a small succulent in your garden, give it some days to spread its roots for it can absorb the moisture better on watering; obviously, the waiting period depends on the type of succulent you have planted.
Small succulents have small water needs:
Small succulents have small water needs; because of their size, they need lesser water for nourishment. Also, small succulents get sown in small containers, which dry out quickly and need watering frequently.
Watering tips for vacation lovers:
People go for family vacations; you can leave your pet at a pet care home, but what to do about multiple succulent beauties at your home.
There is a good thing about succulents; they can handle the scarcity of water for a bit longer time than regular plants. So, if your vacation is under 15 days, you don’t have to worry that much. However, you can do small things to avoid those plants from a hot & dry atmosphere till then. Like, you can move the indoor plants away from windows so that they don’t have to face sunlight. Remember to turn off you’re air conditioner before moving out; they can also dry out your plants.
Check out for the material container is built from:
Different sorts of pots and containers are available in the market; some made of porous material like unglazed clay or terra cotta that can breathe air. And hence result in drying out of the soil faster; they need frequent watering in comparison to pots made from plastic or ceramic, which are not porous and require less watering.
You must have figured out till now that there are so many factors that affect the process to water succulents. And of course, there are so many methods to counter them. It is advisable to go through them deeply so you can care for your beauties nicely!