A quick guide to watering care for succulent
“The watering of a garden requires as much judgment as the seasoning of a soup.”
Succulents are in trend these days due to the vibrancy that they add in a place. Lots of people prefer them in their homes and offices, as succulents need lesser care and sunlight, but one more thing also that differentiates them from other plants is their lower water requirement. And to be factual, overwatering is one of the reasons these plants succumb to an untimely death.
Because succulents are less popular and our traditional plants need adequate watering to grow has created a notion in the minds of people that all the plants need wet soil whole time for nourishment. Contrary to this, succulents are uncomfortable with higher water availability all the time; the reason behind it is their origin climate.
Succulents have come from desert areas, and because of that, they are habitual to heavy rains and drought or drier conditions after that; this is the reason why succulents store water in their leaves and stem because they use this water in the drier conditions. And by abundantly watering these plants, we upset their existence, the very fundamental thing that they are born for gets disturbed, and that leads to undergrowth or departure sometimes.
It is highly essential to discuss the water requirements of the succulents and also the right method and procedure for watering these plants. And it’s highly crucial for the novice in the gardening to have this knowledge as without the factual information, it not seems possible to have a healthy growth of these plants, or thing could go even worse, and we may witness a dead plant corpse in our garden. That is the reason we will discuss here the succulents’ needs first and then will move on to methods and tips for improving the effectiveness of the watering procedure.
- As we know, succulents are adaptive to thrive in drier conditions, and this is because they store water in the stem, leaves, and roots in the time of rain or water abundance. And swelled up with water bubbles, succulents utilize these water resources at the time of need, drought conditions to say. And because they have adapted themselves to this, it’s advised to keep them too dry rather than overwatering them.
- Leaves of succulents puff up when they fill with water, and when this water gets used, leaves contract, as stored moisture in them gets utilized for the growth, and these shrunk up leaves are the indicators that your succulent needs watering. Although some of the varieties of the succulents tend to drop their old leaves like they are withering, in fact, that is a healthy sign for them as new leaves are replacing them soon.
- Experts advise that we should water a succulent only when the soil is too dry, obviously because of their arid background; if the soil is moist, it’s better to avoid drenching them. A tip to check when is the right time to water a succulent is to dig in your finger 1 inch deep in the soil, and if you feel that bit is too dry, water them.
- Succulents refill their depleted water storage when they find more water in the soil, but what happens when they get filled with water and the ground is still too moist. When we water a succulent frequently, succulents reach a condition where the reservoirs in the plant fill up with water and due to overwatering cells and tissues start absorbing more and more water resulting in internal damage. Another sign of that is the rotting of leaves and roots; the firm leaves of succulents turn into spongy petals. Succulent is less capable of handling this situation nicely in comparison to regular plants, and therefore they drop dead sometimes. And recovery from this condition is tough or may lead to re-plantation, so, for best, it is advisable to keep them away from wet conditions.
- Like other plants, the possibility of the flourishing of succulent highly depends on the type of soil, while regular plants require well-drained soil for proper growth; succulents ask for fast-draining one. They need oxygen to get to their roots and also prefer to rest in well-drained soil, not on the moist clod. When preparing the right soil for planting a succulent, you can go for the mixes available in the market or make a one yourself, be ready to do a small soil test for judging the soil’s water-holding quality by squeezing it between your hands. And if it doesn’t hold like a wet lump, you are good to go.
Now, when we have a better idea about the watering needs of succulents and the preliminary preparations that we need to do for it. We can move on to the tips and facts that we should care about in the watering process as we will understand them better, we will get a clearer picture of the well-known fact that succulents need little care. By caring little, it doesn’t mean we should neglect them completely; in fact, we need to include some simple methods in practice, which will provide them water nourishment for better.
- We plant the succulents in three ways indoor in containers, in outdoor containers, and the ground; although the watering method for all is quite similar, it differs in some ways. Here also soak and dry technique is preferred, but due to different conditions indoors like low light, lesser humidity, and size of the pots, things are a bit contrasting. Succulents need more water in spring, a bit lesser in summer, and even lesser in winter when they go in hibernation. While succulents outdoor containers demand more water but keep a check regularly for the moisture, as shallow containers hold less moisture.
- Outdoor succulents in the ground also prefer the soak and dry method and dislike standing water, for that it is advisable to raise the soil with a mix of perlite and PermaTill in it, and you can also add some other nourishing items in that heap.
- The soak and dry method, quite a famous technique among the succulent lovers, it means that we should water a succulent when it’s too dry. And there is a reason behind it; this method helps the root of the plants behave like they are in their natural arid region. They grow better root systems in search of water, which assists them to be healthier and make them strong enough to withstand the drought conditions better than other plants.
- Do not use the spray method to water large succulents. Regular watering of succulents with small amounts of water, as we prefer with other plants, results in a weak root system as they manage to get water, they don’t advance to far corners in search of it. Also, water that is stuck on leaves after spraying can cause the leaves to rot. And that also makes succulents weak they get in the habit of regularly watering, and if you miss they can’t survive, and in spraying technique, water doesn’t reach deep in the soil, which is also a cause of premature death of succulents. The spraying method is best for baby succulents because, at that stage, succulents absorb water from leaves instead of roots as in larger ones; also, spray bottles come with measurements, which helps a lot.
- Planting a succulent in a pot with a drainage hole elongates their life, as they don’t like wet soil. A drainage hole allows excess water to flow out and also provides an alternate way for air in the soil. You can cover the drainage hole with mesh tape to stop nourishing things to drain away.
- Sometimes the reason for white dots on the leaves of succulents is their watering with tap water, which contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, etc. So, it is best to use rainwater, distilled water, or filtered water. You can collect the rainwater in the rainy season and use it throughout the year and if using tap water becomes a compulsion, store it in a bucket overnight so that the minerals in it can scatter into the air.
- Like the other plants, it is advisable to water the succulents in the morning time avoid watering them in humid or rainy weather, or the afternoon.
With some easy steps and caring methods, you will see your lovely succulents bloom in your garden, adding a vibrancy of new colors boosting up the ambiance of the surroundings. Now move! Your babies, your succulents’ are calling for you!