How Often Do Succulents Need Water?
Succulents are quite independent. They’re perfectly at home with minimal water. Their roots soak up moisture quickly and store it in their stems and leaves to survive until the next rain. Rain evaporates quickly in arid climates because of wind. They grow naturally in arid climates, where many plants can’t survive. Wind is constantly eroding the rocky landscape, making the soil coarse. Coarse soil is fast-draining. Because there is less plant life, the soil also has less organic material and nutrients.
Succulents grow well in this fast-draining soil. As much as succulents need water, they also need a drying-out period. Allowing succulent soil to dry out completely and stay dry for a bit mimics their natural environment. Their roots actually need a break from wet soil. It gives them a chance to breathe and helps keep the plant healthy.
Before I had succulents, my house was filled with tropicals, and they thrive on water and nutrients. It’s a completely different mindset when you’re taking care of succulents. It’s natural to want to nurture a beautiful plant, to water and fertilize it and fuss over it. But succulents seem to thrive on a little neglect.
How often to water succulents depends on how fast their soil dries. The kind of soil you have is one factor, and weather is another. If it’s hot, dry, or windy, water evaporates quickly. But if it’s cold, humid, or there’s little air circulation, it can take days. Knowing how often to water takes a little experimenting with your soil and checking your local weather. That’s why there’s no right answer for everyone about, “How often should I water my succulents?”
It’s easier to kill succulents by overwatering than underwatering, so if you’re unsure, lean toward underwatering. Succulents naturally survive dry spells.